If you’re wondering about the irresistible aromas emanating from certain kitchens along the road from Whitehall to Bear Lake, it means that innkeepers at eight fine B&Bs are busy baking for the 2nd Annual West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour.
With your ticket in hand, take the West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie tour on one of these two weekends: Dec. 6-7 or Dec. 13-14. On the Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. and on the Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m., visit any or all of the eight beautifully decorated B&Bs.
At each stop, you will get to sample and collect cookies and enjoy a beverage. At some inns, you’ll get to explore pop-up shops featuring exclusive products from local artisans and merchants. The goods will include seasonal décor and collectibles, honey, syrup, coffee and tea, paintings, jewelry, specialty soaps and lotions, and more.
Which B&B will you choose to be your home base for the weekend? Booking a room is the only guaranteed way of assuring you can score a tour ticket. See list below.
More than cookies, more than a road trip
This event is about much more than the delicious cookies you’ll get — up to three-dozen per ticket holder. In a partnership with Ludington’s HumaniTea, a portion of proceeds from the event will go to efforts to stop human trafficking.
HumaniTea shop owners Carmen Biggs and Chris Turnbull said they are delighted to be part of the cookie tour and meanwhile to help raise awareness and to “confront the tragedy of modern-day slavery.” Their Ludington tea room and gift shop provides responsibly sourced teas and items made by global artisans who play a role in trafficking prevention.
What does your tour ticket get you?
- Entrance to all eight inns during tour hours
- Four freshly baked holiday cookies from each B&B
- Recipes for all cookies featured on the tour
- One handcrafted ornament from one of HumaniTea’s global craft partners
- Special discounts/exclusive offers to downtown area businesses
- Entry into a drawing for one $250 gift certificate to be used towards a future stay at one of the participating B&Bs.
And it’s more than a cool idea for a road trip.
It combines so much of what’s special about the holidays:
- beautifully restored grand homes, where they’ve decked the halls and where you can stay in style or just take a peek inside
- a celebration of the art of baking from scratch, a tradition in decline but fondly remembered by many
- holiday lights, sights and sounds in charming small towns
- shopping small — with popup shops hosted at some of the inns and numerous exclusive deals in their towns.
Two ways to get a ticket
“The sure-fire way of getting a ticket is to stay at one of the inns,” said Jen Hinderer of Lamplighter B&B in Ludington, one of the tour’s principal organizers. She added, “A few of the B&Bs may offer one-night stays on those weekends, but for the fullest immersion in Christmas cookie nirvana, you’ll be glad you booked a two-night stay at one of the B&Bs on the tour.”
The ticket cost will be added to your room cost.
Additional tickets — not connected to an overnight stay — will become available Dec 1 for $35 each if you click here. Note that this Eventbrite site shows four dates; however, each person should purchase one ticket for Dec. 6-7 OR one ticket for Dec. 13-14. Each ticket is good for both dates on the same weekend.
(Put “Order cookie tour tix” on your Dec. 1 calendar now. If it’s not Dec. 1 yet and you click the link, you’ll see a Sold Out message. )
Why do the organizers limit the number of tour tickets available? Because the innkeepers need to bake a sufficient supply of their made-from-scratch cookies.
Inspiration for West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour
Organizer Ellen Alderink of Ludington House B&B, said, “Innkeepers are some of the best bakers around, and the West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour will showcase their talents and traditions.”
Melanie Barnard of Candlelite Inn B&B, Ludington, said: “You won’t see any Rice Krispie treats on this tour. Nothing made from pre-packaged dough. Nothing with unpronounceable ingredients or preservatives.”
The organizers were inspired by the popularity of an annual inn-to-inn holiday cookie tour in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, now approaching its 23rd year.
List of inns and cookies
The West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour includes the following eight MBBA member inns and numerous businesses in their towns. Starting from Whitehall and going north:
- Cocoa Cottage B&B, Whitehall. Something chocolate is always on the menu. Innkeepers Lisa and Larry will offer Cinnamon Bun Cookies, Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cookies.
- The Lewis House B&B, Whitehall. Views of White Lake. Innkeeper Debi will make Buckeyes and Whoopie Pies. (Lewis House will participate on the first weekend only.)
- White Swan Inn, Whitehall. Walk to quaint downtown. From innkeepers Cathy and Ron, Red Velvet Cookies and Cranberry Pecan Bars.
- Candlelite Inn B&B, Ludington. Lighted candles always accompany innkeeper Melanie’s breakfasts. She’s planning on Candlelite Kolaches, Eight Layer Comfort Cookie Bars.
- Lamplighter B&B of Ludington. Elegant but casual lodging in a Queen Anne Victorian. From innkeepers Jen and Dan, Spritz Cookies, Orange Butter Cookies with Chocolate Ganache.
- Ludington House B&B, Ludington. Once the home of a lumber baron. Innkeepers Bob and Ellen will serve Swedish Heirloom Cookies and Speculaas Cookies, a spiced shortcrust biscuit.
- Shining Light Inn B&B, Ludington. Ideal for a group of friends touring together. Innkeepers Carin and Luke will bake Gingerdoodles and Scandinavian Almond Bars.
- Bear Lake B&B, Bear Lake. Two fireplaces to love. Innkeepers Cindi and Greg will offer Snicker Doodles and Bear Lake Holiday Rounds. (Bear Lake will participate on the Dec. 6-7 weekend and Friday, Dec. 13.)
Make a room reservation directly with the B&B where you’d like to stay. They all meet the high quality standards of the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association.
All of the inns in this scenic Lake Michigan area are located near U.S. 31 or one of the U.S. 31 business loops. Participants will get a map at their first stop on the tour.
The West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour is fast becoming a holiday tradition. Make your reservation now.
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