Historical Bed and Breakfast Overlooking Lake Kalamazoo
Twin Gables Inn has lived many lives: In the 1920s, it was a vacation spot for members of Al Capone's notorious gang. In the 1850s, the property functioned as a lumber mill. These days, a cross-generational family of innkeepers operates the charming property, which has vine-covered gardens and sits adjacent to Lake Kalamazoo.
For guests staying in the inn, each morning kicks off with a three-course gourmet breakfast on the sun porch overlooking the lake. Many breakfast plates are prepared with fresh fruit from local orchards, too. Afterward, you can commingle in the homey common room, furnished with a wood-burning fireplace, overstuffed chairs, oriental rugs, and a baby grand piano. There's a sense of tranquility to the surrounding grounds, where you'll find 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 is the Cabernet room, which has a gas fireplace and a four-poster king bed; in the Vintner's loft, you can make drinks at a wet bar and soak in a whirlpool tub.
One- and two-bedroom cottages stand apart from the main house. One of these is the Napa Valley cottage, which boasts a furnished deck for taking in sunset views, as well as 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. Budget Travel called Saugatuck one of "The Coolest Small Towns in America" for its old-fashioned feel; you can reach the popular Oval Beach by crossing the Kalamazoo River on a circa-1838 ferry.
Art galleries and museums are abundant in Saugatuck and the neighboring village of Douglas, earning the area another title: the "Art Coast of Michigan." Stop by the downtown art houses, which boast collections of local and national fine art.
About 5 miles north, you'll find the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, which runs nearly 3 miles along the shore and features dunes more than 200 feet tall. A number of local outfits operate dune-buggy rides; when the weather's nice, you can hop into an off-road vehicle and see the local wildlife.
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