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Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn Color Tour Routes in West Michigan


Just how many ways are there to view this splendor of autumn’s pallet? West Michigan travelers have an abundance of ways to enjoy the show, either by car, train, boat, bicycle, hot air balloon rides, at festivals, hiking, on golf courses and luxury resorts, or historic highways. Many of these “old roads” cut through great forests of hardwoods and pines and make perfect color tours, and some are state-designated scenic routes. From 40 miles to 140 miles, there’s a day trip perfect for everyone. Read on to view a listing of 26 scenic driving routes and print detailed directions for each.


Color Tour One: Directions Starting from New Buffalo

Red Arrow Hwy north to Bridgman. I-94 north to Benton Harbor, M-63 north to Coloma Rd, east to Watervliet. I-94 east to Paw Paw (Exit 60), M-40 south to M-216 east in Marcellus, US-131 south to Three Rivers. M-60 west to Cassopolis, M-62 north to Dowagiac. West on M-62, south on M-140 to Niles, M-60BR to US-12, west to New Buffalo.

Color Tour Two: Directions Starting from Centreville

Klinger Lake Rd north (becomes Covered Bridge Rd) across Langley Covered Bridge. Covered Bridge Rd then becomes Silver St. North to M-60. East on M-60 through Mendon (becomes M-60/M-66) to Clarendon. South on 22 Mile Rd (becomes Clarendon Rd in Branch Co). Right on Jonesville Rd 1/2 mile, south on Quincy Ray Rd to California, then west on Southern Rd to Angola Rd. Turn left, then right to return to Southern. West through East Gilead to River Son Rd, right on Southern, right on Orland, then left to Southern. Left on Dutch School Rd, right at Round Lake Rd past Round Lake (becomes Fawn River Rd in St. Joseph Co). Left at second intersection to continue on Fawn River Rd. North on Klinger Lk Rd to return to Centreville.

Color Tour Three: Directions Starting from Jackson

South on M-50, west on Meridian, south on Stonewall. South on Horton Rd, south on Jackson Rd to Liberty. West on Hanover Rd, north on Pulaski Rd to M-60 heading northeast. West on Michigan Ave, north on Parma, north on Country Farm Rd, north on Rogers Rd, east on Benn Rd. North on Stepladder Rd, north on Springport Rd through Minard Mill where it becomes Minard Rd. South on M-50, south on US-127, east on I-94. North on Route 106 to Munith. South on Coon Hill Rd, east on Waterloo Munith Rd through Waterloo Recreational Area in the State Park. South on Clear Lake Rd (turns into Francisco Rd south of I-94). West on Michigan Ave back to Jackson.

Color Tour Four: Directions Starting from Lansing

M-43 west through Grand Ledge, then south to M-89. East to Gull Lake Rd, north to C Ave. East to 40th St (becomes Kellogg Ave in Barry Co), north to Hickory Corners. East on CR-400 (Hickory Rd) to M-37, south to M-89 (W Michigan St), east to Raymond, north to Verona, east to McCallaster, north to ÒNÓ Dr to 16 Mile Rd (becomes 16-1/2 Mile Rd). South on Old US-27 to Marshall, east on Michigan Ave to Albion. North on M-99 through Springport (becomes M-50/M-99) to Lansing.

Color Tour Five: Directions Starting from South Haven

Phoenix Rd (CR-388) east to 46th St. Turn south, then east to return to CR-388 in Bloomingdale. CR-655 south to CR-380 east, 38th St north, then CR-388 east through Kendall. North to 12th Ave (CR-388, becomes D Ave in Kalamazoo Co). D Ave east to US-131, south to M-43, west to South Haven.

Color Tour Six: Directions Starting from Allegan

M-40/89 north to Monroe Rd (118th St), west to Allegan Dam Rd north (circles back east around Lake Allegan). Cross M-40/89 to head north on 36th St, east on Dumont Rd, then north on 122nd Ave. East on 127th Ave, east on 128th Ave through Hopkins to 12th St north. East across US-131 on 129th Ave (becomes CR-430 in Barry Co) around Gun Lake through Yankee Springs Recreation Area, then south on CR-611 to CR-428. West to CR-623, south to CR-426, west at Orangeville. South on Dennison Rd to 116th Ave (M-22), east across US-131 to Allegan.

Color Tour Seven: Directions Starting from Holland

BR-31 south to US-31. Take first exit (Saugatuck), then south on Blue Star Hwy (A-2) to 118th Ave. East to 62nd St, north to 122nd Ave. Wind east, then north to M-89 (124th Ave), east through Fennville to Old Allegan Rd north (parts are unpaved but maintained), east to 60th St north. East on 140th Ave, north on 66th St, west on Ottagan St to S Shore Dr, east to downtown Holland/US-31.

Color Tour Eight: Directions Starting from Grand Haven

Robbins Rd east to Mercury Dr past Grand River bayous to Riverside Park (becomes Green St, then North Cedar Dr). South on 104th Ave, east on Osborn St (becomes Warner). South on 68th St, east on M-45. South onto 48th St, east on Fillmore (becomes Cottonwood Dr). In Jenison, left on Baldwin, left on Chicago Dr. In Grandville, left on Wilson to M-11/28th St, left onto M-11 northbound. Left on Fennesey St (becomes Luce St, then Linden Dr). Left on Leonard St through Spring Lake to Grand Haven.

Color Tour Nine: Directions Starting from Grand Rapids

North on East Beltline (M-44), turns into Northland Dr through Rockford to Cedar Springs. West on M-46, south on CR-B35 (Ravenna Rd) through Ravenna to Coopersville. Left on Randall Rd, right on 48th Ave. I-96 east back to Grand Rapids.

Color Tour Ten: Directions Starting from Ada

M-21 east, south on Ada Dr, east on Bronson to view Ada Covered Bridge. Left on Thornapple River Dr, right on Ada Dr to M-21 east. North on Hudson (becomes Lincoln Lake Ave). East on Fallasburg County Park Rd, follow signs to cross Fallasburg Covered Bridge. Right on McPherson (becomes Potters Rd), north on Whites Bridge Rd (becomes gravel) across Whites Covered Bridge. East on Belding Rd (also M-44), north on M-91, east on M-46. South on M-66 to Ionia, west on M-21 to Ada.

Color Tour Eleven: Directions Starting from Big Rapids

Northland Dr north through Paris to Reed City. East on M-10BR to M-10 east to Evart. South on Main (becomes 85th Ave then curves to become 80th Ave) to Hill Corner. East on 20 Mile Rd, south on M-66, east on Taft Rd (becomes Airline Rd in Isabella Co). South on Coldwater Rd, east on Weidman, south on old US-27 (Mission Rd) to Mt. Pleasant. West on M-20 (High St then Remus Rd). South on Winn Rd, west on Blanchard Rd (becomes Jackson Rd in Mecosta Co). North on M-66 to Remus, west on M-20 (9 Mile Rd), south on 90th Ave, west on Buchanan Rd through Canadian Lakes. South on 130th Ave, west on 5 Mile Rd (CR-548). North on Northland Drive through Stanwood and back to Big Rapids.

Color Tour Twelve: Directions Starting from Fremont

M-82 west to M-120 north through Hesperia, east on M-20 to Dickinson Ave. North to 11 Mile Rd, east to Woodland Park, north on Bingham Ave to Bitely. West on Cleveland (13 Mile Rd), north on Osborn Ave, east on Coolidge Dr, north on Star Lake Tower Rd, west on Star Lake Dr (becomes Evergreen) around Big Star Lake. East on Carrs Rd (56th St) to Baldwin. South on M-37 (Woodbridge Dr) to White Cloud. East on Base Line Rd, south on Elm Ave. East on 36th St past the Hardy Dam, west on Hardy Croton Dr (becomes Croton Dr) to Newaygo. Left on Mason Dr (M-37), east on M-82. South on Cypress Ave to Ensley Center. West on 120th St to Ashland Center. North on Wisner Ave, west on 112th St to Bridgeton (becomes Warner Ave, then M-82) to Fremont

Color Tour Thirteen: Directions Starting from Muskegon

US-31 north to westbound Whitehall-Colby St exit (US-31BR). Left on Mears, left on Main, right on Benston, right on Durham, right on Lakewood Rd. Left on Weber, right on Michillinda. Left on Nestrom, right on Duck Lake Rd, then left on Scenic Dr along Lake Michigan to Muskegon State Park. Left on Memorial Dr to Whitehall Rd/US-31BR (Seaway Dr). South to Laketon Ave (becomes Lakeshore Dr after curve) to Pere Marquette Park. Follow shoreline. Right on Beach St, left on Sherman Blvd, right on Lincoln, right on McCracken, left on Seminole. Right on Lake Harbor Rd (becomes Pontaluna Rd) to US-31 north to Muskegon.

Color Tour Fourteen: Directions Starting from Montague

North on US-31BR, north on Whitehall Rd through Rothbury. East on Cleveland Rd, north on 90th Ave, west on Arthur Rd, north on Oceana Dr through New Era, Shelby and Hart. West on Monroe Rd (becomes US-31BR) to Long Bridge Rd along Pentwater Lake. South on Ridge Ave (becomes Hazel Rd, then Silver Lake Rd at Silver Lake). South on 18th Ave, west on Buchanan, south on 16th Ave (becomes Scenic Dr, then Webster Rd). South on 48th Ave (becomes Lehman Rd in Muskegon County), east on Meinert Park Rd, south on Chase Rd, west on Hancock Rd and south on Old Channel Trail. East on Prospect Rd and follow the shoreline back to Montague.

Color Tour Fifteen: Directions Starting from Ludington 

US-10 west, north on Lakeshore Drive to Hamlin Lake. East on Dewey Rd, north on Jebavy then right immediately on Angling Rd. East on Fountain Rd to Fountain. South on Reek Rd, east on Sugar Grove Rd, south on Benson Rd to Walhalla. East on M-10, then first right south onto Wallhalla Rd. West on Hawley Rd, south on Scottville Rd, west on Marrison Rd, south on Stiles to Bucks Corner. West on Washington Rd to West Oceana Dr, north on Lakeshore Dr past Bass Lake to Buttersville Park and Pere Marquette Memorial. Go back south on Lakeshore Dr, east on Iris Rd to US-31 north. Exit west on M-10 back to Ludington.

Color Tour Sixteen: Directions Starting from Clare

US-10BR northwest through Farwell. Northwest on M-115, east on M-61 to Harrison, south on Old US-27BR to Clare.

Color Tour Seventeen: Directions Starting from Cadillac

M-55 east to M-66 north through Lake City. West on M-42 through Manton to US-131 south. West on Boon Rd to Harrietta, south on 11-1/4 Rd. West on M-55, south on 7-1/2 Rd (becomes 48th Rd). South on 11-1/4 Rd to State Rd into Lake Co. East on Five Mile Rd, north on Skookum, east to Eight Mile (becomes 20 Mile Rd in Osceola Co), east to US-131, north to Cadillac.

Color Tour Eighteen: Directions Starting from Manistee

US-31 north to M-110 (Lakeshore Rd) to Portage Lake. East on Crescent Beach Rd, north on M-22 through Onekama. West on Potter Rd through Pierport, west on 13 Mile Rd to Lake Michigan. Backtrack 200 feet east. North on Lakeview Rd, east on Shaef Rd, north on M-22 through Arcadia. (Scenic Hwy), east on Grace Rd. South on M-31, south on M-115 past Thompsonville. South on Yates Rd, west on Nine Mile Rd, south on Highbridge Rd. West on M-55 (Caberfae Hwy), south on US-31 back to Manistee.

Color Tour Nineteen: Directions Starting from Frankfort 

East on M-115 to Benzonia, northeast on US-31 through Interlochen. North on M-37/US-31 to Traverse City. To tour Old Mission Point, follow M-37 north. Backtrack to Traverse CIty via US-31 west. M-22 north through Suttons Bay to Northport. South on M-22 through Leland to Glen Arbor. South on M-109 through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. South on M-22 to Empire and back to Frankfort.

Color Tour Twenty: Directions Starting from Grayling

I-75 north to M-93 (exit 259) north past Hartwick Pines State Park. East on CR-612 to Lovells, south on CR-F97, south on M-18 through Roscommon. West on M-55 to Houghton Lake. North on Old US-27 back to Grayling.

Color Tour Twenty-One: Directions Starting from Kalkaska 

North on US-131/M-66 to Mancelona. South on CR-571 (Tillie Rd in Antrim Co, Darragh Rd in Kalkaska Co) to Darragh. East on CR-612 (Manistee Lk Rd) around Manistee Lake to Frederick. South on Old US-27 to Grayling. West on M-72, north on US-131 back to Kalkaska.

Color Tour Twenty-Two: Directions Starting from Elk Rapids 

North on US-31 to Eastport. East on M-88 toward Central Lake. North on CR-65, east on Mohrmann Bridge Rd, south on Rushton Rd (becomes Intermediate Lake Rd), south on Derenzy Rd to CR-620 through Bellaire. South on East Torch Lk Dr (CR-593) through Alden (becomes Crystal Beach Rd) and north to Kewadin (becomes Cherry Ave) then south again (becomes Cairn Hwy) back to Elk Rapids.

Color Tour Twenty-Three: Directions Starting from Gaylord 

West on M-32 to East Jordan. West on Ellsworth Rd (CR-626) to Ellsworth. West on Atwood Rd (CR-48) to Atwood. North on US-31 through Charlevoix, Bay Harbor & Petoskey on to Alanson. East on M-68 to Indian River. South on I-75 back to Gaylord.

Color Tour Twenty-Four: Directions Starting from Petoskey 

US-31 north to M-119, north through Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Left on Lake Shore Dr to Lakeview Rd (becomes Gill Rd at Sturgeon Bay). Left on Cecil Bay Rd, right on Wilderness Park Dr north to Mackinaw City. Pass under I-75 at the base of Mackinac Bridge. South on US-23 (Cheboygan Co. Scenic Route) through Cheboygan. South on M-27 through Indian River. East on M-68 to US-31 south to Petoskey.

Color Tour Twenty-Five: Directions Starting from Mackinac Island Ferry Docks

  Left on Market St to Cadotte Ave, right to Huron Rd behind Ft. Mackinac to Arch Rock. Left on Rifle Range Rd, right on Sugar Loaf Rd, back to Rifle Range. Right to Garrison Rd past Skull Cave, left on Annex Rd to Cadotte, right to Market, left to docks.

Color Tour Twenty-Six: Directions Starting from Beaver Island Ferry Docks

 Starting at the ferry dock in "downtown" St. James, turn right at the Ace Hardware. Turn left at the top of the hill onto The Kings Highway heading south out of "town". Turn left on McCauley's Road. Turn right on East Side Drive. At the south end of the island it becomes West Side. Don't forget to stop and visit the Lighthouse just before Iron Ore Bay. Cross the 4-way intersection onto Paid Een Ogs Road. Turn left onto The Kings Hwy back to “town.”


Get some great photos on your trip? Tag them with #westmi so we can see & share them!

Friday, September 19, 2014

West Michigan Weekend Round Up: September 19-21

Friday, September 19

Fall is really in the air these days, with old fashioned train rides to pick pumpkins, corn mazes, and haunted houses popping up all over West Michigan!

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Saturday, September 20

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Sunday, September 21

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Autumn welcomes the heavy boughs of apple trees, spotted with green, red, and yellow fruit. We celebrate the season with trips to the apple orchard, apple pies and crisps, bobbing for apples, apple cider and caramel apples, and homemade apple sauce. It’s no surprise that this not-so-forbidden fruit is Michigan’s largest crop, with our state ranking third on the list of apple-producers and over 950 family-operated orchards calling the Lower Peninsula home.

Varieties

Red delicious, golden delicious, gala, mutsu, fuji, granny smith, honeycrisp, mcinstosh, empire… Mentioning your favorite variety could start a heated debate! There are about 2,500 apple varieties in the United States with over 7,500 internationally, each with its own unique flavor and texture. In general, red apples offer a sweet flavor while green varieties are tart and tangy. For a great description of Michigan apple varieties and their recommended uses (whether it be fresh off the tree, baking, cider or sauce), visit www.michiganapples.com/varieties.html.

Location

Apple trees can thrive in a wide range of soils, but do particularly well in West Michigan’s sandy loam where you’ll find the highest concentration of orchards. Full sun and quality air circulation are also key, especially in terms of keeping the morning dew from sitting too long on the leaves and fruit, which can lead to decay and disease.

Growing Season

Apple season begins in spring when the trees are ornamented with delicate white and pink blooms, Michigan’s state flower. Depending on friendly bees for pollination, only 7% of the blossoms will become fruit during the fall.

Harvest

A ripe apple will be firm and rich in color with a juicy flesh. If an apple is not ready, it will have a starchy taste, while overripe fruit will be mealy and soft. Not every apple on a tree will ripen at the same time, so be patient and leave those that don’t detach on the tree until it’s ready.

To harvest by hand, cup an apple into your palm and gently twist. It will release easily from the branch when ripe. A wire harvester is helpful when reaching for higher boughs, but a ladder may be necessary. Use caution and care for the sake of your safety and the fruit’s!

Storage

Apples bruise easily, so treat them gently. They store well in cool temperatures in a well-ventilated bag away from strong odors, which may be absorbed. Apples ripen up to ten times faster when stores at room temperature.

Nutrition

How true is the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Apples truly contribute to a healthful lifestyle at only 80 calories in a medium-sized fruit. They contain a combination of antioxidants, boron, phytochemicals, phytonutrients, complex carbohydrates and pectin – a soluble fiber. Apples are also sodium, fat, and cholesterol free. Just don’t peal the skin: it contains more antioxidants and fiber than its flesh in addition to the anti-inflammatory and antihistamine quercetin, which studies show may aid in the prevention of cancer.

Did You Know?

  • Michigan has more than 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production.
  • Sixty percent of Michigan apples are processed into another product, including apple pie filling, applesauce, and apple cider.
  • China produces the most apples in the world, with the United States coming in second.
  • The earliest evidence of apples dates to around 6500 BC.
  • The apple tree originated between the Caspin and Black Seas.
  • European settlers introduced apples to New York in 1600s, while John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed, brought the fruit to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois in the late 1700s.
  • Apples have five seed pockets.
  • Fresh apples float because 25% of their volume is air.
  • The most popular variety in the United States is the Red Delicious.
  • The largest apple ever picked weighed three pounds, two ounces.
  • The only apple native to North America is the crabapple.

Friday, September 12, 2014

We're starting to sense that Fall is in the air in West Michigan, with the opening of Niles Haunted House Scream Park this weekend, as well as corn mazes popping up at Lewis Farm Market and Crane Orchards. Check out all of these, as well as other West Michigan events for this weekend below.

Friday, September 12

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Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Sons of the American Legion Fish Boil
Grand Rapids Carrie the MusicalGrand Rapids To the Rescue!
Grand Rapids Tree-Mendous Trees Tours
Grand Rapids Kayaking & Canoeing

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Lowell Explore: Watercolor - featuring artists Dawn Hollister and James Johnson

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New Era 8-Acre Corn Maze!

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Saturday, September 13

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Allendale GVSU Farmers Market

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Baroda Cocktails & Cars
Blanchard Classic Car and Vintage Motorcycle Tour

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Cedar Springs Bud Knapp Memorial Swap
Coopersville Old Fashioned Train Ride

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Empire Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Star Party
Empire Star Party

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Fennville Get Lost In Our Corn Maze

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Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Salmon Run 5k
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Fall Harvest Entertainment Tent
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Purple Romp Grape Stomp
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Michigan Beer & Wine Tasting
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Gourmet Salmon Cook Off
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Art Fair
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - KidZone
Grand Haven GH Salmon Fest - Big King Fishing Contest
Grand Rapids Grand Rapids AIDS Walk + Run
Grand Rapids Carrie the Musical
Grand Rapids West Michigan Mom's Sale
Grand Rapids Heirloom Tomatoes
Grand Rapids Team Trivia at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Karaoke at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids To the Rescue!
Grand Rapids Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens
Grand Rapids Just Fort Fun
Grand Rapids Tree-Mendous Trees Tours
Grand Rapids Live Entertainment Every Weekend!
Grand Rapids Kayaking & Canoeing

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Hastings Happy Tails Dog Run
Hastings Hastings Farmers Market

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Kalamazoo 35th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals North plus
Kentwood The Baby Walk

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Lowell Outdoor Farmers' Market
Lowell Explore: Watercolor - featuring artists Dawn Hollister and James Johnson

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Manistee Hops & Props Craft Beer & Classic Boat Show
Marshall Cornwell's Antique & Flea Market
Marshall Flea Market & Antique Show at Cornwells Turkeyville
Muskegon Michigan Irish Music Festival
Muskegon Daily Scenic Cruise on Port City Princess

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New Era 8-Acre Corn Maze!
Niles Niles Haunted House Scream Park

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Paw Paw Taylor's Halloween Attic

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Saugatuck Star of Saugatuck Boat Cruises
Saugatuck Touching Strangers Exhibit
Silver Lake Area Silver Lake Sand Dunes Apple & BBQ Cook-Off Festival
Spring Lake Muskegon Humane Society 5K Dash for Dogs
South Haven South Haven's Myrtle Beach International Film Festival
South Haven South Haven's Saturday Night Comedy & Live Music
St. Joseph Fall Festival
St. Joseph St. Joseph Farmer's Market

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Thompsonville Crystal Mountain Scenic Chairlift Rides & Music
Traverse City 2014 Old Mission/Leelanau Winery Passport

Sunday, September 14

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Allendale GVSU Farmers Market

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Centreville St. Joseph County Grange Fair
Coopersville Old Fashioned Train Ride

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Fennville Get Lost in Our Corn Maze!

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Grand Rapids Vintage Street Market
Grand Rapids Heirloom Tomatoes
Grand Rapids Carrie the Musical
Grand Rapids To the Rescue!
Grand Rapids Tree-Mendous Trees Tours
Grand Rapids Team Trivia at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Karaoke at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Sunday Night Funnies
Grand Rapids Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens
Grand Rapids Kayaking & Canoeing

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Hastings Hastings Farmers Market

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Kalamazoo 35th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals North plus

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Lowell Outdoor Farmers' Market
Lowell Explore: Watercolor - featuring artists Dawn Hollister and James Johnson

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Manistee Hops & Props Craft Beer & Classic Boat Show
Marshall Flea Market & Antique Show at Cornwells Turkeyville
Marshall Cornwell's Antique & Flea Market
Muskegon Michigan Irish Music Festival
Muskegon Daily Scenic Cruise on Port City Princess
Muskegon Sunday Sunset Cruise

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New Era 8-Acre Corn Maze!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

West Michigan's Best Bed & Breakfasts

There's something special about staying at a B&B that instantly makes you feel welcome. Here you're not just another guest, you become part of the family for your stay. Cozy rooms, outstanding breakfasts, and time to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.

A Country Place Bed & Breakfast is located in South Haven, and will leave you just .24 miles away from public beach access to Lake Michigan. The B&B offers five uniquely decorated guest rooms, all of which offer their own private bath, television, & mini fridge, with three boasting electric fireplaces as well. You’ll enjoy a scrumptious homemade breakfast in the morning, and freshly baked goods, snacks, and beverages around the clock. You’ll be hosted by Chuck and Katie, as well as the resident dog Lola! Visit during the month of October to witness the entire house transformed into a haunted B&B!

Amanda’s Bequest Bed & Breakfast is a Heritage FarmStay experience located in Montague, MI. Along with your choice of three uniquely themed guest rooms, on-site heritage cooking class activities, and a full breakfast featuring heirloom recipes, you’ll enjoy the great history of this site when you stay. Built in the early 1870s, the building was originally the manse (parsonage) for the Ferry Memorial Church, built to honor Amanda’s son, who had fallen during the Civil War. The building has been moved since its creation, and served as apartments for almost 30 years before John & Valerie purchased the property and began uncovering & recovering the beauty of the original building. Spend your visit learning to churn butter or make jam, stroll in the woods, gather eggs, relax on the back gazebo, or do absolutely nothing at all.

Antiquities’ Wellington Inn welcomes you to Traverse City, and transports you to an era of quiet and gracious living. A time when life was slower, when families entertained at home, and downtown was a leisurely stroll past elegant neighborhood homes. Antiquities’ Wellington Inn is a 1905 neo-classical mansion built by one of Traverse City’s lumber barons, and now fully restored to its original grandeur. Enjoy a full breakfast each morning in the dining room, or enjoy refreshments any time of day just off the third floor ballroom. Located just a short walk away from the attractions and beaches of Traverse City, your hosts will be happy to help with any arrangements to ensure a memorable stay.

Your stay At Willow Pond in Fenwick will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Their guests' most frequent comment is how peaceful and relaxing they find it at this country inn, here in “the middle of the mitten.” Their 26 acres nestled in Michigan’s heartland is in small town, just minutes away from exploring the orchards and farm stands, passing by the horse drawn buggies of the nearby Amish and Mennonite communities on your way to antique shops, and golf courses, lakes and bike trails, cute little stores and old fashioned movie theatres. Beautiful, quiet surroundings and great food await you on your stay.
BaySide Inn is located in the heart of downtown Saugatuck, and is positioned on the Saugatuck Harbor. Originally built in 1927 as a boathouse with living quarters on the upper level, the building sat partially submerged for years due to high waters until Kathy & Frank Wilson purchased the property in 1990 and transformed it into the prestigious B&B that it is today. Relaxation is the focus here, as you’re invited to relax in front of the fireplace in the central living area, enjoy the outdoor hot tub just four feet from the water’s edge, or watch sailboats and yachts head for Lake Michigan from the outdoor deck.

The Bridge Street Inn is a three story, historic Colonial Revival home in the summer resort town of Charlevoix. Located just steps from Lake Michigan, you’ll enjoy gorgeous sunsets from the wrap-around porch before you retire to one of eight comfortably appointed guest rooms. Formerly known as Baker Cottage, The Bridge Street Inn was built in 1895 as just one of over a dozen cottages for guests of the Beach Hotel to stay at. The Beach Hotel no longer exists, but The Bridge Street Inn carries on its historic character and elegant tradition. Join your fellow travelers for wine and cheese in the living room each night, and request turndown service to be treated to some homemade cookies before bedtime. All the comforts of home? We’d say this is a step up!

Vacation in luxury when you stay at the Cartier Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Ludington, just minutes away from Lake Michigan. Originally built as the estate of Ludington lumber baron Warren Cartier in the 1950s, the building now holds five elegant guest rooms. Much of the interior is still endowed with its original woodwork, fixtures, flooring, and antiques. The building still maintains & uses an original rib cage shower from 1905, the grand balcony overlooking Ludington Avenue, and the recently restored Carriage House. This historic home is also open for tours on Sundays from July through October for a $5 admission fee.

Immerse yourself in Northern Michigan’s wine country with a stay at Chateau Chantal’s Bed & Breakfast in Traverse City. They offer guests a unique experience that combines vineyard & winery, B&B lodging and friendly company, and a relaxing rural landscape with breathtaking views, local beaches, trails, and quiet country roads. Enjoy everything from cozy rooms to spacious suites, featuring views of vineyards and fresh water. Indulge in a glass of wine on the terrace or balcony, a wet bar, whirlpool tubs, elegant furnishings, ample breakfasts, and attentive front desk staff. Round out your stay by partaking in a wine dinner when you visit, which will afford you a beautifully prepared seven-course meal, each specially paired with a Chateau Chantal wine.

Enjoy a pleasant and comfortable stay at the Gerber Guest House Bed & Breakfast on your next visit to the Fremont area. Built in 1923, this is the original residence of the Daniel Gerber family, who started Gerber Baby Food Products in 1928. With a park-like setting, the Gerber Guest House boasts a large terrace and deck overlooking a beautiful garden and fountain. The residence originally consisted of two separate homes, which were converted into the Gerber Guest House in 1955 when the family moved to a larger home on Fremont Lake. The Guest House was used to house Gerber Employees and those visiting the Gerber Baby Food Plant before opening to the public as a Bed & Breakfast.

Goldberry Woods is Harbor Country's premier Farm-to-Table Bed & Breakfast. Beautiful homemade breakfasts and evening snacks feature local and organic ingredients grown right on property. Their eight newly renovated rooms and suites feature artisan-built wooden queen beds, double Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, and private decks. Set on 28 acres of woods, trails, orchards, vegetable, & fruit fields, Goldberry Woods is also less than a mile away from Lake Michigan. Get up early one morning to help gather greens and fruit from the fields for a fresher-than-fresh breakfast, and then spend the day biking to the beach, exploring the back roads, borrowing a canoe or kayak from the B&B, or step out onto one of many trails through the woods and along the Galien River.

Relax in the luxury of an elegant country vineyard estate at Grey Hare Inn Vineyard Bed & Breakfast when you visit Old Mission Peninsula. The inn’s gourmet Northern Michigan fusion with Tuscan/Provence breakfasts gets guests ready for a day of Traverse City adventures, and its wine-related cuisine is a gourmet prelude to wine tasting at nearby Old Mission Peninsula wineries. All accommodations offer a private bath and queen-size bed, as well as European-styled decor and expansive views of the bay, orchards, and vineyards. You’ll awaken to a full gourmet breakfast, and then settle in by the limestone fireplace, or head out past the trellised stone patio to begin your day.

The Henderson Castle Bed & Breakfast and Winery is truly a jewel in Kalamazoo. Built in 1895, the Henderson Castle boasts ten guest rooms, seven baths (one with a thirteen-head shower), an elevator, a third-floor ballroom, and a hot tub on the roof. The castle was built with 25 rooms in all, and exemplified the most expensive tastes of the time. The Henderson Castle is now owned by Master Chef Francois Moyet, and operates as a full bed and breakfast with a French restaurant, organic garden, vineyard and day spa. Indulge in the Royal Tasting Menu, and sample the world’s most prized delicacies in one meal, or choose from an eleven, seven, or four course dinner. Stop by the spa to enjoy a couple’s massage, facials, manicures, and more. Wind down your evening by sampling a flight of Henderson Castle’s own Estate Label Wine.

Tucked away on 60 acres of quiet Michigan pines in Charlevoix, the Horton Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast brings you the best of northern Michigan, including strolling the gardens, viewing the ponds, walking the trails, or relaxing by the pool. The peaceful quiet you will experience here will make it hard for you to leave. Choose from seven Up-North themed guest rooms, each with hand made queen beds, desk or table and comfy chair. You’ll find the full breakfast they serve in their four-seasons sunroom satisfying in every way; both the food and view are more than you could ask for. Their gardens have been featured in the "Birds & Blooms" and "Traverse" Magazines. Your hosts are David and Jeannie Babbitt, who traveled looking for the perfect place to open their B&B, and were eventually drawn back to their home state of Michigan.

J. Paule’s Fenn Inn in Fennville is a perfect destination for Southern Michigan relaxation and fun. They have been providing lodging accommodations in the Fennville/Saugatuck area since 1986, with visitors from the world over. The inn offers a quiet country setting on two acres, featuring lots of flower gardens with ample seating. Visit the outdoor fire pit or soak up the sun on the large second floor deck. Ms. Paulette is your hostess when you stay in one of their five guest rooms. Enjoy a full sit-down breakfast each morning, as well as a dessert table that’s stocked all day long, and the option of reserving a private dinner for just you and your special someone.

The Last Resort Bed & Breakfast should really be one of the first places you consider staying when visiting the beach town of South Haven! It is the closest B&B to the beach, located just half a block away, as well as within easy walking distance of the downtown area. Built in 1883 by Civil War Captain Barney Dyckman,The Last Resort Inn was actually South Haven’s first. Originally named “Park Grove Place,” the building was used for weekend dinners, followed by large poker nights. The inn was closed and abandoned for twenty years until in 1979 the current innkeeper, Mary Hammer, purchased the building and began the four years of renovations. Mary & her husband Alberto still run the inn, and have developed it into a wonderful mix of the traditional and the contemporary.

The National House Inn Bed & Breakfast on Marshall’s picturesque Fountain Circle is the oldest operating hotel in the State of Michigan. Built in 1835, the inn was believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad, and has served as an inn, factory, and apartments throughout its almost 180 year history. Having fallen into disrepair by 1976, the inn was restored as a generous bicentennial gift to the community by a team of four dedicated restorationists. You’ll find the current innkeeper Barbara Bradley in the garden when you visit, and you’ll have your pick of 16 guest rooms offering today’s luxuries along with the same gracious hospitality that welcomed those first stagecoach travelers so many years ago. You’ll enjoy a home-cooked breakfast each morning, freshly popped popcorn each evening, and countless simple pleasures and charms reflecting a simpler time.

The Oviatt House is your key to Traverse City, located within walking distance of downtown and a family-friendly beach complete with volleyball nets, a waterpark for the little ones, and access to the refreshing waters of Grand Traverse Bay. Built in 1900, all of the old woodwork and wooden floors have been preserved over the years in this beautiful centennial home. Franny and Ken Bluhm are your hosts, and are working to restore all of the house to its original classic style. A full, hearty breakfast is included, made with local, fresh, organic foods. The Oviatt House is committed to “Green” practices, including using local products, recycling, and using natural, non-toxic cleaning products.

Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast is your key to the best of what Saugatuck has to offer. The beautiful Victorian home offers two suites for rent, one a replica of the interior of a log cabin, and the other decorated in the flair of the late 19th century, as well a three additional guest rooms. The hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows, and wraparound porch add to the ideal wooded setting. Each morning breakfast is served in the dining room or on the gracious porch. Spend your time swimming in the heated pool in the summer, cross country skiing in winter, or exploring the charming shops in Saugatuck and Douglas year-round. Enhance your stay with a private cooking class with a top chef to learn recipes ranging from Northern Italian to Southeast Asian to Traditional Mexican. Explore the culinary offerings of the area by booking a stay that includes a trip with Hungry Village Tours, who will lead you on a walking or driving tour of the area to experience the best in the local culinary scene.

The Sylvan Inn Bed & Breakfast welcomes you to Glen Arbor, located just steps away from the beach, galleries, restaurants, and boutique shops. Surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park, and 38 miles of spectacular beaches, you’ll find breathtaking views at every turn. The Sylvan Inn was established in 1885 and provided room and board for countless lumbermen and mariners. Throughout the years, this lovely building has remained true to its purpose to relax, refresh, and care for the many working and weary folk, travelers, visitors, and seasonally returning friends. You can enjoy the same gracious country charm today that has welcomed guests for over 100 years. An addition was completed in 1987 that offers a sauna and hot tub overlooking the tree-filled yard.

The White Rabbit Inn is a small eight room bed and breakfast located in the lovely little village of Lakeside, only 90 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago, or less than 3-1/2 hours from Detroit or Indianapolis. The Inn is only a few blocks from the nearest public beach access, and Warren Dunes State Park is less than five miles away. This property was once a little hotel, and traces of the Inn's previous life still live on in that each room has its own private, ground-level entrance. Their specialty is the romantic getaway. "We have a 100% success rate when it comes to popping the ol' question," according to your host A.J. Breakfast is served in the Lodge, an airy building with large picture windows overlooking the woods. Enjoy our "hearty and homemade" continental buffet while watching for deer, colorful wild birds or our favorite pair of chipmunks.


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Friday, August 22, 2014

West Michigan Weekend Round-Up: August 22-24

From wrapping up Grand Rapids Restaurant Week, to Alexander Zonjic's Shoreline Jazz Fest in Muskegon, to a Fudge Festival on Mackinac Island, you're going to wish this weekend was longer to fit in all the great things you can do in West Michigan!

For a complete calendar of upcoming events, please visit our online event calendar.

Friday, August 22

Allendale 
Coopersville 
Grand Rapids 
Mackinac Island 

Saturday, August 23

Allendale 
Baroda 
Grand Haven 
Grand Rapids 
Honor 
Mackinac Island 

Sunday, August 24

Allendale 
Baroda 
Mackinac Island