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 nine fine B&Bs are busy baking for the West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour.
With your $25 ticket, take the West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie tour on the weekend of Dec. 7-9 or Dec. 14-16. Nine beautiful B&Bs will welcome tour participants on the Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. and on the Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Which B&B will you choose to be your home base for the weekend? See list below.
More than cookies, more than a road trip
This inaugural event is about much more than the delicious cookies you’ll get — up to three-dozen per ticket holder…
Or about receiving a handcrafted Christmas ornament…
Or about collecting terrific cookie recipes…
Or about being entered to win the drawing for a $250 gift certificate that can be used toward a future stay.
And it’s more than a cool idea for a road trip.
It combines so much of what’s special about the holidays:
- a celebration of the seemingly endangered art of baking from scratch
- 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
- beautifully restored grand homes, where they’ve decked the halls and where you can stay in style or just take a peek inside.
Two ways to get a ticket
The number of tour tickets available will be limited for one simple reason: The innkeepers need to bake a sufficient supply of cookies.
“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 three 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 $25 per ticket cost will be added to your room.
Additional tickets — not connected to an overnight stay — will become available Dec 1 for the Dec. 7 and 8 tour hours and Dec. 8 for the Dec. 14 and 15 tour hours.
Call 800-301-9792 to reserve and pay for individual tickets when they become available. If you won’t be able to manage an overnight stay, put “Order cookie tour tix” on your calendar now.
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 22nd 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, plus an additional nonmember B&B in Ludington. Starting from Whitehall and going north:
- Cocoa Cottage B&B, Whitehall. Something chocolate is always on the menu. Innkeepers Lisa and Larry will offer Chocolate Kris Krinkles and Almond Holly Cookies.
- White Swan Inn, Whitehall. Walk to quaint downtown. From innkeepers Cathy and Ron, Red Velvet Cookies.
- Hart House B&B, Hart. Love their outdoor fireplace and hot tub. Innkeepers Patrice and Allan will tempt you with Burnt Butter Caramel Slices and Rosemary-Walnut Brown Butter Cookies (top photo).
- Hexagon House, Pentwater. Located on a rise overlooking Pentwater Lake. Look for The Perfect Sugar Cookie (see photo) and Omi’s Butter Cookies offered by innkeepers Connie and Richard. (Omi is German for grandmother.)
- Candlelite Inn B&B, Ludington. Lighted candles always accompany innkeeper Melanie’s breakfasts. She’s planning on Turtle Cookies and Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies.
- Lamplighter B&B of Ludington. Elegant but casual lodging in a Queen Anne Victorian. From innkeepers Jen and Dan, Chocolate-Dipped Raspberry Linzer Cookies and White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies.
- Ludington House B&B, Ludington. Once the home of a lumber baron. Innkeepers Bob and Ellen will serve Banket (bahn-KET), a Dutch almond pastry, and Hot Chocolate Cup Cookies.
- Bear Lake B&B, Bear Lake. Two fireplaces to love. Innkeepers Cindi and Greg will offer Chocolate Caramel Pretzels and No-Bake Cookie Dough Truffles. (Bear Lake B&B is able to participate in the tour only Dec. 7-8.)
Make a reservation directly with the B&B where you’d like to stay. They all meet the 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 bears all the hallmarks of a holiday tradition in the making. Make your reservation now to participate in the very first one.
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