Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Visit Our New Blog at the New!

Check out our new blog, located on the new! You can keep up with all of the latest news in West Michigan with our new blog, as well as following us on Google+

New WMTA Blog:

West Michigan on Google+:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

West Michigan Winter Lodging Specials

Start planning your winter getaway in West Michigan with all of the great deals & offers below. We've sorted them into North, Central, and South sections of West Michigan to help make your planing easier.


Lodging Packages at Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire
Whether you’re planning a winter ski trip, a romantic getaway, or a traditional golf outing with your best buds, Shanty Creek Resorts can customize your vacation to fit your needs. Click here for several package options designed to meet our guests’ preferences and satisfaction.

Keep in mind lodging rates vary based on each accommodation’s size and appointments. Let our staff plan your trip that fits your budget and needs best. Visit Shanty Creek Resorts in Michigan.

Specials at Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville
Whatever you’re into – hitting the green, making a splash, or just saving some money – Crystal Mountain’s Internet specials are a great way to go. With a variety of special offers that change often, you can make sure to get an awesome deal on your next northern Michigan adventure. Click here for the current Crystal Mountain specials

Trout Creek Condominium Resort, Harbor Springs
Ski Week Special ... Arrive on Sunday night and stay through Thursday night. Enjoy a 5 night stay in a beautiful Trout Creek condo complete with fireplace, kitchen & Jacuzzi tub and best of all a discounted room rate. Enjoy the fitness center with the indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and exercise equipment! Prices start at $809. Available January 4 - March 1. Find more specials here,

At Willow Pond B&B, Fenwick
Last Minute Getaway Special: If the date you’d like to stay is not booked 48 hours (or less) in advance, you can get the room at the last minute for 10% off. Be sure to mention this last minute special when you book to get your 10% off. Find more specials & packages here.

Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls
Get some great package deals on skiing, snowboarding, and waterpark passes! Book your Canadian Spring Break package now to save too! Click here for lodging specials & packages.

Chateau Chantal Winter Lodging Specials, Traverse City
All December: Stay Sunday night, get Monday night 1/2 off. Visit the Chateau Chantal website here.

Any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night stay December 1 – 23 is eligible for the Salvation Army Special. $150 per night, plus Chateau Chantal will donate $25 from each night to the Salvation Army’s Adoption Program.

BOGO! Stay with us any night midweek in January, February or March and receive the 2nd night free! (Check-in must be Sunday night through Wednesday night. THIS YEAR VALID with stays in the Executive Apartment)

The Inn at Grey Gables, Charlevoix
Be the first to say that you went “Winter Rafting” in Michigan! Just because there is snow on the ground doesn't mean that you can't enjoy paddling the beautiful Jordan River. This north woods experience is great for the entire family or for a romantic evening as you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Jordan River Valley. See the trees and riverbanks blanketed in snow and sense the peacefulness as you are guided down the river. Get details on this trip and find more packages here.

Edgewater Inn, Charlevoix
Save on ski & lift tickets to Boyne when you stay at Edgewater Inn this winter. Get the details here.

Apple Tree Inn, Petoskey
Surprise your loved one with a night they will always remember! Start the night off with a limo ride to and from a romantic dinner at any of our fabulous local restaurants in downtown Petoskey's Gas Light District, then arrive to your Jacuzzi Suite with candles, chocolates and rose petals in a heart shape on your King size bed. Book your package here.

Package Includes:
  • One (1) night in a King Jacuzzi Suite
  • Chocolates, rose petals, candles & votives
  • FREE limo ride to and from your dinner destination
  • FREE deluxe continental breakfast
Stafford's Crooked River Lodge, Petoskey
Winter Warm Up Package available Sunday - Thursday, November 20 - December 13*. You deserve some rest and relaxation before the busy holiday season. Cozy up with:
  • One nights lodging
  • Breakfast the morning of your stay
  • $20 in Stafford's Dining Dollars (redeemable at any Stafford's location)
Price starts at $79, based on two guests per room. Find more packages & book your stay here.

Half Off Special at Cherry Tree Inn & Suites, Traverse City
You better believe it's back. It's that time of the year when you can reserve the trip to Traverse City without saving for months before. Our Half-Off Special gives you 50% off every second, fourth, sixth, and so on night you stay with us. Just pay the normal daily rate for the first night and then get 50% off the next night. The third night is the normal daily rate, and then 50% off the next night. It's great for those wanting to get a taste of Traverse City for the first time or simply want to explore more of Traverse City for their 50th time! Get all the details here.

Ellis Lake Resort, Interlochen
Winter Special 2014/15: December 2014, January & February 2015
Book 2 or more nights get last night half-off! Get more details here.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Traverse City
You’re looking to escape the rigors of everyday life - to disconnect and discover the bounty of somewhere new - somewhere diverse - somewhere miles away from ordinary. Our specials and packages are designed to get you there. Whether you're pursuing a weekend spa getaway, championship golf package, or all-encompassing family vacation package, you can be sure that your Michigan vacation at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa will leave you inspired-with a revitalizing frame of mind.

Grey Hare Inn, Traverse City
Cross Country Ski Packages, starting at $195 per person*. Get all the details here.
  • Two nights of luxurious and scenic accommodations with complimentary use of the inn's rustic ski trails
  • Plus 1/2 Hour massage
  • Protein balanced gourmet breakfasts to get you ready for another day on the trails
  • Wine and fondue Apres Ski gathering
New Year's Eve Package at West Bay Beach, Traverse City
Ring in the New Year with West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort!
Our convenient downtown location offers all the amenities you need to make your New Year’s Eve a night to remember! Marvel at our panoramic bay views, enjoy a delicious meal or cocktail in one of our on-site restaurants or bars, or join us late-night for live entertainment and dancing in our nightclub! As an added luxury, we are offering a limited number of New Year’s Eve accommodation packages! Book your stay here.

NYE Package Includes:
  • Guest Room for 2 Occupants
  • Goodie Bag with NYE Party Favors Given at Check-In
  • 2 Admissions Into “View” Nightclub NYE Party
  • Complimentary Champagne Toast at Midnight
  • Extended Check-Out Time of 1:00pm
  • New Year’s Day Brunch for Two People
New Year's Eve Package at Park Shore Resort, Traverse City
Starting at $169.99, includes one night's accomodations, party favors in your room and steak and lobster dinner for two to be enjoyed in our lounge, Morel room or delivered to your room. Reservations are recommended for the Morel room and the Parkshore Lounge.ParkShore Resort also has rooms without the package starting at $99.99/night plus tax.
Live DJ from 9 pm until 2 am in the Lounge. Call Toll-Free at 877-349-8898 or click here to make your reservation.

Pointes North, Traverse City
Come and stay in one of our spacious beachfront Jacuzzi rooms and get pampered while you’re here. Most Pointes North rooms have a two person Jacuzzi tub and all are directly on the water. With this package you’ll enjoy a couples massage complete with a bottle of sparkling wine (must book your massage time at least 48 hrs. in advance). Make any getaway memorable, stress-free and relaxing. Inquire at front desk for pricing. Get more information here.

Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
Book a great deal with these packages that will have you saving on winter fun. View all Boyne Highlands specials & deals here.

Cadillac Sands Resort, Cadillac
Book a Snowmobile Package at Cadillac Sands Resort, and enjoy one night lodging, a snowmobile rental from 9 am to 4 pm, a $15 dinner voucher and continental breakfast. Check out the rest of their winter packages here.

Alpine Lodge, Gaylord
Print this coupon and receive $10 off your stay!


Best Western Lakewinds, Ludington
Travel along our back roads around Ludington for some of the most beautiful autumn colors. Mention this special and receive 50% off your second night. What a great way to extend your stay. Get all the details here.

Holiday Inn, Grand Haven/Spring Lake
Holiday Inn Grand Haven/Spring Lake is offering many winter packages, including the Winter Staycation Hotel Package, which includes:
  • One Room Night Accomodation
  • Set of Signature StayWarm Mugs
  • Hot Chocolate Voucher & 15% Coupon for Chocolates by Grimaldi
  • Gift Certificate to Grand Haven 9
  • Dinner Voucher for Jack’s Waterfront Bistro

Home during the Holidays with CityFlatsHotel, Holland
For those of us that call the mitten home, take 10% off the current daily rate at CityFlatsHotel - Holland and a breakfast credit to the Kitchen @ CitySēn Lounge this Holiday Season! Enjoy the holidays at the first LEED Gold certified hotel in the Midwest between November 1st and January 31st 2015. Get all the details & more packages here.

The Harrington Inn, Fremont
Stay any three nights this Christmas, and save 15% off your stay. One of the nights must fall on Christmas. Click here for details.

The Weathervane Inn, Montague
Before all of the snow flies, we are offering 25% off a two night midweek or weekend stay in December. Come relax with us and enjoy the warmth from the fireplace in your room or relax in your large Jacuzzi with a glass of wine!
You must book soon, as this deal will not last long! Just mention our winter special when you call our team and they will get you all set. We look forward to spending time with you while you are in White Lake! Book your stay here.

New Year's Eve "Groovy" Party Package at JW Marriott, Grand Rapids
For New Year’s Eve 2014, the JW Marriott Grand Rapids is kicking it “old school” with a 1970's party, complete with a funky band and groovy DJ so you can hustle under the disco ball all night long to your favorite throwback jams. Along with entertainment, cocktails, and dancing, the party will also have a contest for the best 1970’s get-up. Get all the details here. The New Year’s Eve package includes:
  • Overnight accommodations
  • Two wristbands to the party in the International Ballroom
  • Complimentary valet or self parking
  • Access to the New Year’s Eve party located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Ballroom (after 10 p.m.)
  • Late check-out of 2 pm
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel New Year's Eve Package, Grand Rapids
Don’t miss the best New Year’s Eve parties in Grand Rapids! Ring in the New Year in style at the Amway Grand Plaza with fabulous parties in three of our stunning ballrooms. Get all the details here.

The New Year’s Eve Holiday Package includes:
  • One wristband for each registered adult guest within your room. Wristbands allow access to the celebrations at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. After 10 pm, you will be able to access the JW Marriott's Groovy 70's party in the International Ballroom.
  • Check in starting at noon to begin celebrating early
  • Complimentary valet or self-parking 
  • A guaranteed late check-out of 1:00 PM
  • Party Favors
Riverfront Hotel, Grand Rapids

Get the New Year's Eve Package details here. New Years Eve Package includes:
  • Standard room ( upgrade to riverside add $20)
  • Live Entertainment by ODR!
  • Party favors & Champagne toast at midnight
  • Photo Booth- by Little Black Photo Booth
  • Dinner(Served 6 to 9 pm)
  • 1 pm checkout
Alpine Motor Lodge, Manistee
We invite you to join us as we celebrate Christmas with the Sleighbell weekend in downtown Manistee. Activities are scheduled all weekend. December 4 - 7, 2014. Click here for more details.

Winter Weekends at Double JJ Resort, Rothbury
Get wet & wild this winter at the Double JJ Resort. Wet and wild winter weekends include your stay in the Lofts Hotel with unlimited waterpark access and breakfast each morning. Click here for more specials & packages.

La Belle de la Riviere Bed and Breakfast, Newaygo
La Belle de la Riviere Bed and Breakfast would like to welcome you to stay with us during the Winter months. Please call (231) 652-1093 for availability and reservations. Book a room and stay between Sept. 1st 2014 and March 31st 2015. Stay 2 nights and get 3rd night half off or stay 3 nights and get 4th free. Based on availability. Visit their website here.


Sherwood Forest B&B, Saugatuck
For unforgettably romantic Michigan getaways, make reservations for one of the Sweetheart Specials at Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast.
A memorable way to celebrate a special occasion, to rekindle your romance, or to just relax away from demands of your daily life, our Michigan weekend getaway packages are full of the little details that will show your loved one how much you still care.

Lakeshore Lodging: Rental Homes in Saugatuck
Take advantage of their Year End Special and stay two nights, get the third night free through December 30, 2014. Click here for all the details.

Hilton Garden Inn, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph
Book a Romance Weekend or Family Getaway package this winter at the new Hilton Garden Inn at Benton Harbor/St. Joseph. Click here for details.

The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, St. Joseph
New Year's Eve on the Boulevard package. Available December 31, 2014 only. Get all the details & make your reservations here. This package for two includes:
  • Overnight accommodations in a spacious suite
  • $50 Dinner credit for the Bistro on the Boulevard
  • A bottle of Chilled Champagne
  • Two keepsake Champagne Flutes
  • Breakfast for two served in the Bistro
  • Late check-out of 2:00pm
The National House Inn, Marshall
Their favorite package includes one night's bed and breakfast lodging, dinner for two at the nearby Schuler's Restaurant and a tour of The Honolulu House Museum located next to our Inn. $235. Click here for more packages.

Goldberry Woods, Union Pier
Stay 3 nights Sun through Thurs and receive 5% off your stay or Stay 4+ nights and receive 10% off! Click here to check availability.

Henderson Castle, Kalamazoo
Spoil yourself with a Serenity Spa Retreat or Royal Romance package at Henderson Castle. Find details on all special packages here.

The Last Resort Inn, South Haven
Stay Sunday and Monday, receive 50% the 2nd night! Enjoy our great location right across the street from the North Beach. Rooms are going fast…take advantage of this offer now while rooms are still available. *Must be in the same room consecutively for all nights.* Get all the details here.

All packages, special deals, and discounts subject to availability. Please confirm all offers with the listed properties before booking.

West Michigan Snow Sports

When the powder flies, it's time to grab your gloves and hit the great outdoors! Skiing, snowboarding, fat biking, luging, and more, West Michigan doesn't even come close to hibernating in the winter! Read on for your guide to Snow Sports in West Michigan.


Traverse City Tourism

Last year, Budget Travel named Traverse City one of the 11 “Coolest Winter Places in America” and added Traverse City to its list of “America’s 10 Hottest Cold Cities” – the nation’s best winter vacation destinations. They said Traverse City had “all the ingredients for a great winter vacation – a quaint downtown with beautiful views of Lake Michigan, microbreweries, restaurants, shops, performance venues and lots of snow.”

When it comes to skiing, tubing and snowboarding, the region’s premiere full-service winter destination is undoubtedly Shanty Creek Resorts, a 4,500-acre recreational complex in the beautiful Chain of Lakes region about 30 miles northeast of Traverse City. Ski Magazine rated Shanty Creek the Midwest’s number-one destination in value, dining, lodging, weather and après ski activities. Other skiers have discovered the fun of staying closer to town, taking advantage of low lodging rates and a broad choice of shopping, dining and entertainment options while skiing at Traverse City’s two day ski areas, Mt. Holiday and Hickory Hills.

But the region is probably best known for the quality of its winter “silent sports” -- snowshoe hiking and cross-country skiing -- thanks to its vast acreage of forest and parkland. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has eight marked trails, some leading up to panoramic overlooks high above the lake. Other marked trail systems include the Lost Lake Pathway near Interlochen, the 3,500-acre Sand Lakes Quiet Area near Williamsburg and the Vasa Pathway, one of the finest cross-country ski trails in the nation. Within the city, the 300-acre Grand Traverse Commons features superb skiing and snowshoeing in park-like grounds among century-old, European-style buildings and stands of old-growth pines.

Snowmobilers tend to head south and east of town, where more than 200 miles of the country’s finest and most diverse snowmobiling wait for them in the enchanted Boardman and Jordan river valleys. There’s something for every taste – whether it’s twisting and turning through dense hardwood forests, touring over hills, bridges, and waterways, or racing across wide-open spaces with plenty of room to enjoy the fresh white powder. Best of all, both trail systems are close to Traverse City’s hotels, resorts and restaurants – an important consideration at the end of a long day of sledding.

The Boardman Valley Trail, just minutes from downtown, is an 81-mile trail system in the Pere Marquette State Forest, where sightings of turkeys, eagles, deer and other wildlife are commonplace. The Boardman is also linked to several other regional trail systems, offering even more opportunities for extended distance riding. The Jordan Valley Trail, about a half-hour to the northeast, is a network featuring over 130 miles of spectacular trails not far from Shanty Creek and the picturesque village of Bellaire.

Shanty Creek Ski Resort, Bellaire, MI

Schuss Mountain has long defined skiing in Michigan. So it’s no surprise Shanty Creek was rated “Best Downhill Terrain in the Midwest” by’s visitors.

Now with 53 runs on its two mountains and featuring 4 terrain parks, a 300′ half pipe, more than 175″ of snow, and a 450′ vertical drop, Shanty Creek is where terrain meets tradition.

Combine great terrain with special ski events, discount lift ticket pricing, and season passes for all ages, Shanty Creek makes it easy to schuss all winter long.

Alpine: From beginner to experienced skiers and boarders, Shanty Creek has something for everyone. Schuss Mountain has earned its reputation as the “Best Downhill Terrain in the Midwest.” And with four terrain parks, a half pipe, more glade runs, and the best groomed snow, SCR offers the best lift ticket value in Michigan.

Terrain Parks: With four terrain parks and a half pipe, Shanty Creek leads the way for freeriders and twin tip skiing alike. Boasting a variety of ever-changing rails, boxes and tabletops, our parks are groomed daily and maintained by our trained and knowledgeable staff.

Jib smaller jumps and rails in the beginner’s area, get sick on the features of Purple Daze at Schuss Mountain, catch air at Summit, and grab and twist your way down the pipe.

Tubing: Tubing is a speedy downhill thrill for your whole crew on Schuss Mountain’s north face. Located in Cedar River Village, SCR’s five-lane tubing park is fun for kids, families, groups and non-athletes.

Tickets are limited each hour; sessions begin at the top of the hour and may be purchased at the Summit Village Snowsports Center, Schuss Snowsports Center, Nordic Center or the Cedar River Tubing Park Window.

Please note: All children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a release of liability form.

Cross Country: Shanty Creek prides itself on its pristine Nordic ski trails that wind through snow-blanketed northern Michigan hardwoods and pines.

All 30km of dedicated trails are groomed daily and designed for cross-country enthusiasts in mind with stretching and bending terrain… ideal for short-strides and long-glides.

Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls

Stay where you love to play! Two 18-hole championship golf courses, hiking and biking, shopping, plenty of dining options, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark – Avalanche Bay, the luxurious Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, plus a mountain of snowsports fun with 60 downhill runs spread across 415 skiable acres, seven terrain parks, including a Burton Riglet Park for young riders, and a tubing park with a total of five lanes.

The resort offers Zipline Adventure Tours year round, you can race a friend on the popular Twin Zip or spend part of your day soaring over the slopes and through the trees on a tour. Horseback riding is very popular in the summer months and a day spent on the beach at Deer Lake is sure to please the whole family. There is a reason for every season at Boyne Mountain, so plan your trip today. We’re ready when you are.

Crystal Adventures Lodging & Rentals, Thompsonville, MI

Crystal Adventures has affordable cabins, cottages, chalets and houses to accommodate your Up-North lodging needs. Canoes & Kayaks are available for fishing & conquering the Betsie River. Adventure trips daily on this world renowned trout stream. Take a thrilling ride on an hourly ATV guided tour or rent one for the day & play! During Winter season, Snowmobiles are available for exploring the Benzie-Manistee groomed trail system.

Local activities include: Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa (ski and golf), Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, casinos, Traverse City, various pubs/taverns, and wine tours.

Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI

Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, year-round ski, golf and spa resort located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City. Amenities include downhill skiing on 48 downhill slopes, cross-country skiing on 40 km of groomed trails, a full-service spa, 36 holes of championship golf, an outdoor pool and water playground, Michigan’s only alpine slide, lodging, dining, indoor pool and fitness center and IACC-approved conference facilities for groups of up to 400 people. Michigan’s “Green” Spa Destination. Crystal Spa, with its 12 treatment rooms, meditation lounge and outdoor meditation garden with hot tub, is one of only six LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) spa facilities in the nation. Four Seasons of Fun! Crystal is also home to the Michigan Legacy Art Park, a non-profit 30-acre outdoor park that blends art with nature. In the spring, summer and fall, make a splash at the Park at Water’s Edge or coast down the mountain on the Crystal Coaster, Michigan’s only alpine slide. Looking to hit the links? Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa offers 36 holes of championship golf on the Betsie Valley and Mountain Ridge courses. Crystal Mountain Golf School was named one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in America by GOLF Magazine, and is home to one of the the Midwest’s top junior golf instructional program. Whether you’re traveling with friends & family, enjoying a weekend getaway or getting down to business, you’ll find the perfect northern Michigan retreat at your mountain… Crystal Mountain.


Pando Winter Sports Park

8076 Belding Rd Rockford, MI 49341
Pando is a great family winter sports park. We are located 15 minutes outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan in picturesque Rockford. We cater to the beginner, as well as, the advanced skier and snowboarder with seven ski runs, six rope tows, rail park and half pipe. Our tube hill offers exciting family fun for all ages. Our beautiful cross country trails are groomed and tracked and in great condition.

Pando also features exceptional snow making, lights, well-equipped lodge, rental shop, snack bar, and ski school.

Cannonsburg Ski Area, Grand Rapids, MI

Daily snowmaking and grooming paired with more than 40 years of experience gives Cannonsburg skiers, boarders, and tubers great snow conditions every ride. New “padded” quad chair, triple and double chair lifts, T-bar and rope tows are perfect for day or night skiing. Cannonsburg offers one of the finest Snowsports Schools in the Midwest with a 150 member staff ready to fine tune your technique, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. The Grin Zone is decked out with jumps, bumps, rail slides, table tops, picnic tables, and more.

Visit the full-line ski shop with rental equipment, lodge with fireplaces, cafeteria and the Cedar Lounge. Group packages and banquet facilities available. All kids six and under ski and board free. 10 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. 8 miles east of US-131 on Cannonsburg Rd.

Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Council, North Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Sports Council Home of one of 4 luge tracks in the country. Recreational & instructional luging from beginner to advanced sliders. Ages 8 & up. Groomed & lighted X-country ski trails, outdoor lighted skating rink & showshoeing. Lodge w/fireplace, food concessions, rentals, restrooms.


Echo Valley, Kalamazoo, MI

Echo Valley is ideally suited for families and groups seeking wholesome entertainment. Our experienced staff goes all out to make sure you have an enjoyable, memory-filled experience on all of our attractions. Food and beverages are available in our 2400 sq.ft. warming lodge. Warm yourself by the circular fireplace while watching the skaters and tobogganers or enjoy the view from the deck There are no height or age restrictions for any of our attractions.

If you have any questions, our information line is 269-349-3291 and our direct line when we are open is 269-349-3017.

You do not need reservations for your group – just come on out and enjoy! We look forward to seeing you!

Timber Ridge Ski Area, Gobles, MI

Learn to Ski & Snowboard. Snow tubing with lift! 15 ski runs, a quad, a triple & 2 double chairlifts, pomalift & 5 rope tows. Lounge, cafeteria & snack bar. Snowmaking-100%. Racing on 6 levels inc/NASTAR, retail, rental & repair. Instruction, night skiing & terrain park. Special events most weekends. 13 miles northwest of Kalamazoo. Group discounts.

Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area, Jones, MI

Michigan’s closest ski area to Chicago & Indiana. 11 ski runs- 2 quads & 1 triple chairlifts, 4 ropes on separate beginners’ area. Night skiing every night on all slopes, 100% snowmaking coverage, ski & snowboard rental , day lodge w/cafe, Chalet w/ food & spirits, Ski/Board Shop.

10 mi west of Three Rivers MI on M-60 to Patterson Hill then north 4 miles to ski area

Bittersweet Ski Area, Otsego, MI

Bittersweet is the convenient, family-oriented skiing and snowboarding destination for beginner and expert alike, with the best runs and fastest lifts in Southwest Michigan. Our six lifts including the Sweet Express– the newest, safest, most technologically advanced ski transport system in southwest Michigan– in addition to five rope tows and a Wondercarpet to take you to 17 expertly groomed trails with 2300’ of lighted slopes. Complete alpine and snowboard rentals are available.

Ski and ride with the pros at our PSIA member ski and snowboard school. Race leagues are for everyone, adults and kids alike. For top quality gear and expert tuneups visit the Snowberry Ski Shop Enjoy good food and drink at the Copper Leaf Cafe, the Winner’s Circle Lounge, the outdoor grill or our two snack bars. Bittersweet has a webcam so that you can always see the conditions and crowds on our slopes. Current pricing on season passes and daily lift tickets is also available at

Only 20 minutes from Kalamazoo, there’s no other ski area quite like Bittersweet. US-131 to Otsego exit 49B, M-89 west.


West Michigan Snowmobile Museum and Library, Cedar Springs, MI

Come visit WMSM and Library, which opened Sept. 2013. It showcases unique and unusual snowmobiles, as well as popular classic machines. The machines are selected by Volunteer Curator and founder Ron Knapp. Forty-five beautiful examples of antiques, prototypes, and modern day racers and tricked-out sleds are on display. They also have the mocked-up prototype Bell and Howell sled, which is the only one in existence. You can also check out a homemade Make Yourself a Sled from an 1955 Science and Mechanics magazine article. The Library is dedicated to Ernol (Bud) Knapp. Thanks to his brother Floyd Knapp, our Major Sponsor, the Library is the first of its kind in the world. It houses Bud’s extensive collection of resources: books, magazines, manuals, etc. Bud Knapp (the professor) was the first person from Michigan to be inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in Grand Rapids, MN.

Bill & Paul's Sporthaus, Grand Rapids, MI

Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus is a 50+ year old, family owned, West Michigan retailer selling the best outdoor gear and clothing on the planet. Our staff is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and value to every sale and making relationships with our customers that may last for generations

You’ll find equipment for skiing, snowboarding, paddling, back-country camping, travel and more. We offer lots of selection from the leading brands in our industry along with small brands that you won’t find in our larger competitors. In addition to great products we offer exceptional service after the sale that includes maintaining and repairing skis and snowboards, kayaks, car boxes and more. We also have limited amount of rental gear including alpine skis, cross-country skis, snowshoes, kayaks, and backpacks.

Cabela's, Grandville, MI

Cabela’s Grandville, Michigan Retail Store is located in the Bucktown Shopping Center, off of 44th Street SW. In addition to offering quality outdoor merchandise, the 80,000 sq. ft. showroom is an educational and entertainment attraction, featuring a décor of museum-quality animal displays, huge aquariums and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats.

Coast 3, Holland, MI

We seek to provide a cost effective, hassle-free mechanism for people to enjoy more time outdoors.
We rent and retail everything from kayaks, paddle boards, roof racks, mountain bikes, road bikes, tents, back packs, campers, Sea Doos, and much more! Also check out our group excursions – we provide the gear, you join the fun.
Repeat customers love the optional membership plan which gives you unlimited access to our equipment without the rental fees!

Big Changes at Shanty Creek in Bellaire this Winter!

Shanty Creek is unveiling some big changes for the coming ski season to improve operations and guest satisfaction while adding value to each of its three villages across the 4,500-acre resort.Here’s what you can expect in the 2014/15 ski season:
  • Ski Rentals. The Rental Shop will now be located on the lower level of the Lodge at Cedar River. This will provide guests with a more streamlined experience, ample day lockers and plenty of restrooms. Plus ski-in/ski-out access to the Purple and Red Lifts and all of Schuss Mountain.
  • Ski School. Ski school registration and lessons will be located at Cedar River. The registration area will be adjacent to ski rentals on the lower level of the Lodge.
  • New Beginner Area. A new beginner ski area will be located at the Cedar River Village where the Alpine Tubing Park had been in previous years. A new 400-ft magic carpet will allow beginners to either stay in the beginner area or access the rest of Schuss’ slopes when they’re ready.
  • Tubing. The Alpine Tubing Park will move to the top of Summit Mountain behind The Lakeview Hotel at the resort’s Summit Village. Improving the experience, instead of handle tows as in years past, guests will now enjoy magic carpet access back to the top.
  • Day Lodge. The Snow Sports building at the base of the Yellow Chair Lift, where rentals and ski school had been previously, is being transformed into a new day lodge complete with seasonal lockers, day lockers, plus tables and vending machines for guests who choose to bring their own meals and snacks.
  • Dining at Cedar River. The River Bistro, a new 12,000 sq ft restaurant and bar in The Lodge at Cedar River features full-service dining in a casual atmosphere with fireplace and a 48-ft bar. Featuring regional and international beers, fresh-fruit cocktails, and pub games like pool, darts, foosball and more.
  • Ivan’s Café. Changes to transform Ivan’s into a premier skier’s cafeteria continue. New fixtures are arriving every day and new carpeting will be installed into the highest traffic areas.
  • Day Care. Now located inside the Lodge at Cedar River.
  • Parking and Egress. Parking will be expanded on Cedar River’s upper lot, and a new bridge to allow guest parking on the northwest side to access a new, closer lodge entrance into the lobby level.
  • Transportation. New GPS tracking systems have been added to all vehicles and monitors are being installed at The Lakeview Hotel, the Conference Center, the Cedar River Lodge’s lobby, Ivan’s and the Schuss Day Lodge. These will indicate for guests how near (or far) a shuttle is to their location, and help keep the flow of traffic moving along.
  • Transportation. Plus we are adding a new taxi service for guests’ whose needs extend beyond the regular shuttle route and much more.
For more information on the big changes happening at Shanty Creek Resorts this winter, visit

An early winter means that the ski season is already underway! We hope you’ll come join us so that you can see all the big changes for yourself!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

West Michigan Weekend Round-Up: November 14-16, 2014

Just because there might be snow on the ground already doesn't mean you should start hibernating! Get out in West Michigan this weekend with some great events, including Christmas Through Lowell, Singin' in The Rain at the Grand Rapids Symphony, and a Women's Only weekend in South Haven!

Friday, November 14th


Boyne City Live Entertainment
Traverse City It's Our World: The Big Draw Exhibition
Traverse City 2014 Old Mission/Leelanau Winery Passport



Kalamazoo Basic Chinese Painting

Saturday, November 15th


Boyne City Live Entertainment


Coopersville Learn to Line Dance
Grand Rapids Scott Smith Organ Performance at the GRPM
Grand Rapids Firebird Uncaged
Grand Rapids John Knox Preschool Craft Fair
Grand Haven Shop 4 Schools
Grand Rapids Exhibit: Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence: Oman’s Message of Islam
Grand Rapids Singin' in the Rain
Grand Rapids Team Trivia at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Karaoke at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Live Entertainment Every Weekend!
Grand Rapids To the Rescue!
Grand Rapids Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors
Grand Rapids Adventures in Balance!
Grand Rapids Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens
Lowell 23rd Christmas Through Lowell
Lowell LowellArts! Holiday Market
North Muskegon Northside Holiday Circle Tour
Spring Lake Lovestruck Boutique


South Haven Indoor Farmers Market

Sunday, November 16th


Boyne City Live Entertainment



Kalamazoo Basic Chinese Painting
Kalamazoo How To Return? Contemporary Chinese Photography

It’s a Woodpecker Pizza Party at DeGraaf Nature Center, Holland, MI

It’s time for a Woodpecker Pizza Party at Holland’s DeGraaf Nature Center on Saturday, November 22nd at 2 p.m. This program will begin with a brief overview of the kinds of woodpeckers we have in our area. Woodpeckers love suet or animal fats, mixed with seeds and other ingredients. At this Woodpecker Pizza Party participants will create a “crust” of suet and then put on toppings made of a variety of tasty treats for woodpeckers. When done, it will be ready to cut a slice to set outside for a woodpecker feast. Fee: $5 per pizza. Please call 616-355-1057 to register.

The DeGraaf Nature Center is located at 600 Graafschap Road in Holland. For More information on their programs and a map to the facility go to

Male Hairy Woodpecker Photo courtesy of Swoboda Photography

Loutit District Library Announces Thanksgiving Hours

Loutit District Library will close at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and remain closed Thursday, Nov. 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Library will re-open on Friday, Nov. 28 at 9 a.m.

The Library's normal winter hours are:
  • Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
Although the library is closed, its website,, is available 24 hours a day. Patrons can check on the availability of books and other resources at any of the 80 libraries in the Lakeland Library Cooperative online. They can renew materials, place holds and review the status of their library accounts.

In addition, the website provides online databases, a calendar of upcoming library events and links to other resources to help patrons find the information they need.

The library also offers a free Internet service that allows Loutit District Library patrons to download eAudio Books and eBooks. Using this free online service library users can download more than 1,200 eAudio Books and eBooks from their personal portable devices and home computers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information, visit or call 616-842-5560, ext. 200.

Loutit District Library is located at 407 Columbus Avenue in Grand Haven, Michigan. LDL serves 35,540 residents of the City of Grand Haven, the City of Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Charter Township, Robinson Township and that part of Port Sheldon Township in the Grand Haven Area Public School District. LDL offers a collection of over 145,581 items and provides educational, informative, cultural, and recreational programs for all ages. LDL is a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Santa Train Returns to Coopersville & Marne Railway for 2014 Season

The historic, Coopersville & Marne Railway is continuing its 25th year of providing family-friendly fun with the annual running of The Santa Train. Uniformed Conductors and Trainmen will assist you during your ninety-minute journey. The clickity-clack of the iron wheels and the sound of the locomotive horn at each road crossing will add to the special feeling. A blanket of snow in the passing woods and farmer’s fields completes the experience. Christmas carols are sung along the way.

The jolly old elf has a special seat in each of the decorated, vintage train cars. Some cars are almost 100 years old. Santa’s Elves will escort the little ones to sit with Santa. All children, even the shy ones, will get a special gift right from Santa’s big red bag. To put a figurative bow on this Christmas “enterTRAINment” package, the Story Telling Princess will read “The Polar Express”, which was written by Grand Rapids native, Chris Van Allsburg.

The 250 seat, heated train leaves the station in historic, downtown Coopersville every Saturday and Sunday from Thanksgiving until Christmas. Each passenger car has a restroom. Your light snacks and cameras may be taken aboard. Snow or no, we go!

Times for the departures are: Saturday, November 29 at 11 am & 1:30 pm. On all other Saturdays, the departure times are 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. All Sunday departures are at 1 pm and 3 pm. Saturday dates are Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, & 20. Sunday dates are Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 & 21.

Ticket prices are: Adults, $15.50, Seniors (60+), $14. 50 and Children (2-12), $13.50, Children under 2 years old are free. Advance tickets: 616-997-7000, Ext. 3 or Some tickets may be available at the train station on the days of departures. But, the train does sell out on occasion, so reservations are recommended. The Conductor begins the boarding procedures at twenty minutes prior to departure times.

Friday, November 7, 2014

West Michigan Weekend Round-Up: November 7th, 8th, & 9th

Catch a Classical Coffee Concert with the Grand Rapids Symphony, take the kids on an Adventure in Balance at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum, or take a class on Chinese Painting at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts this weekend!

Friday, November 7th


Boyne City Live Entertainment


Coopersville Learn to Line Dance
East Lansing East Lansing Film Festival


Kalamazoo Basic Chinese Painting

Saturday, November 8th


Boyne City Live Entertainment
Gaylord Hutch Ski & Snowboard Academy ~ 2 Day Camp
Traverse City It's Our World: The Big Draw Exhibition
Traverse City 2014 Old Mission/Leelanau Winery Passport


Grand Haven Forest Hills Eastern Holiday Expo
Grand Rapids Raising future environmentalists: Womens winter cabin getaway
Grand Rapids Exhibit: Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence: Oman’s Message of Islam
East Lansing East Lansing Film Festival
Grand Rapids Team Trivia at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids To the Rescue!
Grand Rapids Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors
Grand Rapids Adventures in Balance!
Grand Rapids Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens
Coopersville Learn to Line Dance
Grand Rapids Karaoke at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Live Entertainment Every Weekend!
Grand Rapids Holiday Gift Show


Kalamazoo West Michigan Harvest Cluster AKC Dog Show
Kalamazoo 22nd Annual MFEA Convention
South Haven South Haven's Saturday Night Comedy & Live Music
St. Joseph St. Joseph Farmer's Market
Kalamazoo Printing Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper
Kalamazoo Printing Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper
Kalamazoo Basic Chinese Painting
South Haven Indoor Farmers Market

Sunday, November 9th


Gaylord Hutch Ski & Snowboard Academy ~ 2 Day CampTraverse City It's Our World: The Big Draw ExhibitionTraverse City 2014 Old Mission/Leelanau Winery Passport
Boyne City Live Entertainment


Grand Rapids Raising future environmentalists: Womens winter cabin getaway
Grand Rapids Exhibit: Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence: Oman’s Message of Islam
East Lansing East Lansing Film Festival
Grand Rapids Team Trivia at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Karaoke at Aryana's Restaurant & Lounge
Grand Rapids Bernar Venet at Meijer Gardens
Coopersville Learn to Line DanceGrand Rapids Sunday Night Funnies
Grand Rapids To the Rescue!
Grand Rapids Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors
Grand Rapids Adventures in Balance!


Kalamazoo West Michigan Harvest Cluster AKC Dog Show
Kalamazoo 22nd Annual MFEA Convention
Kalamazoo Printing Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper
Kalamazoo Printing Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper
Kalamazoo Basic Chinese Painting

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Little Shopping, a Little Music: Holiday Fun in Traverse City

There was a time when Traverse City on Michigan's northwest coast slowed almost to a stop in wintertime. Not anymore.

These days, Traverse City fairly bustles with winter shoppers and merrymakers. Weary of looking at the same merchandise in the same Big Box stores, visitors are increasingly choosing to do their holiday adventuring in this community's charming boutiques, shops and galleries.

Christmas preparations in Traverse City start in autumn, when local churches, clubs and artist’s cooperatives begin staging the holiday arts and crafts fairs for which the region is justly famous. By December, it’s hard to find a weekend without some event that brings crowds of shoppers into downtown Traverse City. The town’s shopping season starts officially on Dec. 5 with a big outdoor extravaganza that involves carol-singing, the lighting of the community Christmas tree, and the arrival of Santa Claus on a bright red antique fire engine.

Nearby, a fascinating holiday tradition takes place each Dec. 13 in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a unique retail/residential district on the site of Traverse City’s former mental asylum. Serenaded by an ensemble of flutes, a young girl in a long white robe and a crown of lighted candles, wanders the grounds delivering warm sweet rolls to holiday shoppers. It’s all part of the village’s Santa Lucia Day, which also includes refreshments, special prices and free horse-drawn carriage rides -- a uniquely picturesque experience of Christmas past.

Just as popular with visitors are the late-night shopping sprees held in Traverse City’s downtown: a Dec. 11 Ladies Night, followed by a Dec. 18 Men's Night, all featuring entertainment, food and drink specials in addition to the usual in-store sales.

The same lovingly organized holiday shopping activities are organized in nearby villages like Suttons Bay, which holds a three-day Holiday Festival Dec. 5-7 that includes a nighttime stroll down luminaria-lined streets with refreshments, hors d'oeuvres, local wines, restaurant specials and over 50 decorated trees, as well as a tree-lighting and carol sing. Nearby Leland has a festival of its own -- the Holiday Wonderland -- on Dec. 13.

Exciting as the shopping may be, it’s only part of this charming area’s holiday celebrations. Thanks to a growing population and a thriving winter recreation industry, many of the area’s traditional holiday observances are still going strong – and a few more have even been added in recent years.

December is also a splendid time to enjoy some of Traverse City’s fabled cuisine. Thanks to its award-winning wines and talented local chefs, the community now enjoys an international reputation as a place of surprisingly sophisticated food and drink. And what could go better with all this culinary bounty than a fine wine? Traverse City’s vineyards are known for their crisp, intensely flavorful wines, and the local beer (15 microbreweries and counting!) is also taking prizes on every side.

Traverse City is also one of America’s most charming “art towns,” with dozens of galleries, studios and museums, two symphony orchestras, two theatre companies and a vibrant club scene. And with the world-famous Interlochen Center for the Arts just down the road, there’s music, dance and drama from some of the world’s most talented performers.

In fact, every winter students and staff at Interlochen put on a holiday ballet special for the community. This year’s Dec. 11-13 presentation is a traditional favorite – Tschaikovsky’s beloved Sleeping Beauty -- and on Dec. 18, the Academy Band and Choir presents its annual “Sounds of the Season” concert.

Each year, residents of the village of Northport, near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, decorate the Grand Traverse Lighthouse for Christmas as it was celebrated by the Coast Guard families who lived there in the early 20th century. The annual "Christmas at the Lighthouse" celebration is held this year on Dec. 6-7, and includes refreshments and entertainment by local musicians. On Dec. 14, the village has its own annual Christmas Concert, one of the most treasured in the area.

On Dec. 6, Traverse City’s ornate 19th century Opera House features the retro quintet Five By Design in “Radio Holly Days,” a revue of classic Christmas favorites from the Golden Age of radio, built around a live radio drama -- complete with sound effects.

On the weekend of Dec. 13-14 the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presents its hugely popular “Home for the Holidays” concert at Lars Hockstad Auditorium, with guest conductor Robin Fountain leading the Grand Traverse Chorale and Children’s Choir -- as well as the audience -- in a program of treasured Christmas classics, carols, medleys and holiday favorites.

A different sort of musical event is held Dec. 19 at the Left Foot Charley Winery in Traverse City. It’s “Unsilent Night,” a free “participatory sound sculpture” in which attendees participate by bringing their own boom boxes, laptops, iPhones, iPads and other portable music devices and create a “roving swarm” of sounds as they wander the grounds.

New Year’s Eve isn’t forgotten here, either. For the past five years, hundreds of people have gathered for the annual “CherryT Ball Drop”, a three-hour “street party for charity” that culminates with the lowering of a large illuminated cherry over downtown Traverse City. It’s a family-friendly event where attendees pay their admission by bringing donated items for local food banks.

To learn more about other winter attractions and events in the Traverse City area – and for a complete listing of lodging and dining options – contact Traverse City Tourism at 1-800-TRAVERSE or on line at