Words by Marissa Bergen.
The temperatures are dropping and now is a great time to plan a cozy getaway with your significant other. San Francisco may be for lovers and Rome and Paris may be known for being romantic destinations, but West Michigan can certainly hold its own among these top contenders. Filled with scenic views, quiet spots, great eateries, and terrific entertainment, you might be surprised by all the area can offer to couples looking to spend some quality time together. If you are planning to visit West Michigan for your next romantic vacation, here are some destinations to consider.
Grand Hotel- Mackinac Island: When you’re looking for a secluded location, you really can’t do much better than Mackinac Island. Cars are completed prohibited on the 3.8 square mile island so walking or horse and buggy are the only options for transportation. To get the island, you must take a ferry, small aircraft, private boat or snowmobile over an ice bridge in the winter.
While on the island, the Grand Hotel is recommended for accommodations. There you can sit on the world’s longest porch. And be sure to try their famous fudge, an island tradition since the 1800’s.
Chateau Chantel: A wine country of its own, this cozy getaway features whirlpools, private balconies, and fireplaces. Venture out to stroll on country roads and beaches or enjoy the Chateau’s wine room where you can sample different wines, attend a wine education dinner or try out the wine boot camp.
Bavarian Inn Lodge: This German-themed lodge is located in downtown Frankenmuth, a section known as ‘Little Bavaria’. Don’t be fooled by its quaint exterior; the hotel boasts 400 guest rooms, four indoor pools, two water slides, and an indoor water park. The riverfront property allows for romantic strolls and horse-drawn carriage rides as well as plenty of opportunities to sip German beer and eat ethnic dishes like bratwurst, schnitzel and more. The only problem? It may be hard to leave the kids at home for this one!
Old Harbor Inn: Located along West Michigan’s Gold Coast, this cozy hotel is one of the only places you can see the sunset over the water in the Eastern United States. Stroll outside for easy access to tons of beaches, boardwalks, and downtown South Haven shops, restaurants, and activities. Oh, and be sure to take a dip in their indoor pool!
Otsego Club and Resort: This is a great place for both summer and winter activities. During the summertime, it’s a great location for golfing, fishing or canoeing. In the winter, enjoy skiing, or snowboard, sled or snowshoe among its hilly slopes. Then, cozy up for a private bonfire or take a spin in the resort’s ice skating rink.
Castle in the Country B&B: The name says it all. Enjoy the solitude of the Victorian style B&B by strolling its 65 acres of farmland or paddling through nearby waterways. Be sure to check out the spa for a 60-minute Couples Chocolate Bliss Massage!
The Island House Hotel: Also located on the secluded Mackinac Island, this hotel offers a historic experience on the water. Couples can stroll on the dock for panoramic harbor views, enjoy the indoor heated pools, hot tubs and sauna or take in the scenery at the waterfront veranda.
Marv Herzog Hotel: Another hotel in ‘Little Bavaria”, this hotel offers its own taste of Germany to tourists and locals. You can stroll around the area to enjoy flower lined avenues, German delis, and European style windmills.
But the highlight of your whole stay may be the breakfasts the Marv Herzog offers. Eggs, biscuits, sausage and Belgian waffles all may make you want to kiss more traditional continental breakfasts goodbye.
And if you’re visiting the Frankenmuth area, be sure to choose a prime time. The Bavarian Festival Parade takes place in mid-June. The Michigan Bier Celebration is a month later, in mid-July. The end of September marks the beginning of Oktoberfest, a month-long celebration throughout the town.
Shanty Creek Resort: More of a resort village then a resort, you can choose your accommodations from options including the Schuss, the Cedar River or the Summit Village. If it’s winter, you might enjoy Schuss Village which provides alpine ski slopes, the Monster Terrain Park and a skating experience that has made the village famous.
The Cedar River is more of a summer destination, voted one of Michigan’s best golf resorts.
Summit Village can be great any time of year offering a number of beaches, restaurants and a scenic winter wonderland.
Lake Shore Resort: The epitome of romance, each room features a king-sized bed and strictly prohibits all children under 13 from staying in the resort. A private beach, indoor pool and large windows with scenic views are just some of the reasons you will love your stay.
National House Inn: This inn is known for providing comfortable accommodations in the Marshall, MI area for over 170 years. It has been named as one of the ‘Dozen Distinctive Destinations’ to visit by the National Trust of Historic Preservation. Couples who stay here can enjoy its authentic architecture, ghost tours, and nearby antique shops and artistic centers.
Inn at Black Star Farms: An authentic rural destination, this inn offers 160 acres of wooded trails, orchards, vineyards, and stables. Be sure to visit their sauna and spa as well as their on-site tasting room and Leelanau Cheese Company creamery. This is all set against magnificent views of clear, open skies that are sure to make for the utmost in romance.
Maybe you have an anniversary coming up, or maybe you just want to take some time to be with that special someone. Whatever the occasion may be, consider West Michigan for your romantic destination. They are sure to have the accommodations of your dreams!
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