Historical Bed-and-Breakfast Overlooking Lake Kalamazoo
A fire pit radiates outside, and a wood-burning fireplace crackles in the common room, an ironic nod to the inn's beginnings as a lumber mill in the 1850s. Twin Gables Inn has lived many lives up to now, including a hotel that drew in members of Al Capone's notorious gang in the 1920s. These days, a cross-generational family of innkeepers operates a bed-and-breakfast full of country charm.
Each morning kicks off with a three-course gourmet breakfast of fruit from local orchards and entrees, such as spicy enchilada eggs, served on the sun porch overlooking Lake Kalamazoo. Visitors comingle in the homey common room, furnished with overstuffed chairs, oriental rugs, and a baby grand piano. Outside, tranquility abounds among meandering shade trees, a waterfall pond, trellised gardens, and a hidden portal to Shangri-La.
The vine-covered gardens can be viewed from many of the distinctively decorated guest rooms, and others face the lake. On the first floor of the main house, the Cabernet room's gas fireplace casts a warm glow over the four-poster king bed, and the Vintner's loft plays host to cozy nights soaking in the whirlpool tub with drinks from the wet bar. One- and two-bedroom cottages, standing apart from the main house, include the Napa Valley cottage, which boasts a furnished deck for taking in sunset views and a fully equipped kitchen for preparing light meals.
Saugatuck, Michigan: Scenic Coastal Town with Thriving Artistic Community
The small coastal town of Saugatuck straddles Kalamazoo Lake, which feeds into Lake Michigan. In the autumn, fall foliage tours showcase the surrounding forests as trees take on vibrant hues, and many pay a visit to local orchards for apple-picking and juggling season. Come winter, the woods are blanketed with the kind of immaculate snow that rarely lasts in big cities, and cross-country skiers take full advantage, crisscrossing the powdery landscape.
In addition to the natural sights, art galleries and museums are abundant in Saugatuck and the neighboring village of Douglas, earning the area its title as the "Art Coast of Michigan." Year-round visitors can peruse the downtown art houses, which boast collections of local and national fine art.