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fotoman311

Weekend Getaway spots

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Since displaying my excitement about visiting one of my favorite weekend getaway spots in another thread was apparently misplaced, I figured I'd start a new thread to hear about other people's best places to visit. I searched for an existing thread, but couldn't find one.

Where do you go to escape for a weekend? What do you do there? What places do you like to stay? Where do you eat and drink?

One of our favorite places is Bellaire, MI and the Bellaire B&B ( http://www.bellairebandb.com ). The owners are fantastic, the rooms are awesome, there's a free wine social hour every evening at 5pm, and the breakfast has been superb every time we've gone. And, they offer half price rooms during April, so those weekends can fill up pretty fast. One of the owners is also a Master Gardener and does classes occasionally.

There's another cool looking B&B in an old looking house and a cool old hotel right on the river a block from the "downtown". I don't know the names off the top of my head.

There are also a number of great places to eat and drink. My favorite is Short's Brewing company, one of the best breweries in the Michigan, if not the Midwest, in my opinion. There's also Lulu's, an upscale bistro type place, a decent family style Italian place, and a steakhouse near a golf course, so there's some variety nearby. The B&B is a short walk from a park along the river and a nice little downtown area. There's also a few little shops and a 2 screen movie theater. Last summer, we visited a pretty good, relatively new cajun restaurant that I believe was in Elk Rapids. I can't remember the name though.

It's pretty easy to make a day trip to Traverse City if you like, or hang around somewhere on Torch Lake. There are 3 other micro-breweries within an hour's drive if that's your thing.

So, where does everyone else like to go?

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You mentioned it; Traverse City. Its easy to get to for a nice weekend. There are many wineries, great restaurants and have an excellent and walkable downtown. Not that I'd ever really go in the winter. But there always seems like there are plenty of things to do in the city.

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+1 for Bellaire B&B. Absolutely phenomenal atmosphere and service, and reasonably priced (from my limited B&B experience).

Leelanau State Park is another one of my favorite hideout spots.

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My wife and I grew up in Boyne City (our parents still live there) so we are constantly going up there for a relaxing weekend and visiting family. I love going there when they have craft or car shows at Veterans Park (right on the lake) and then walking around downtown when its packed with fudgies (basically, you folks ;) )

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Since displaying my excitement about visiting one of my favorite weekend getaway spots in another thread was apparently misplaced, I figured I'd start a new thread to hear about other people's best places to visit. I searched for an existing thread, but couldn't find one.

Where do you go to escape for a weekend? What do you do there? What places do you like to stay? Where do you eat and drink?

One of our favorite places is Bellaire, MI and the Bellaire B&B ( http://www.bellairebandb.com ). The owners are fantastic, the rooms are awesome, there's a free wine social hour every evening at 5pm, and the breakfast has been superb every time we've gone. And, they offer half price rooms during April, so those weekends can fill up pretty fast. One of the owners is also a Master Gardener and does classes occasionally.

There's another cool looking B&B in an old looking house and a cool old hotel right on the river a block from the "downtown". I don't know the names off the top of my head.

There are also a number of great places to eat and drink. My favorite is Short's Brewing company, one of the best breweries in the Michigan, if not the Midwest, in my opinion. There's also Lulu's, an upscale bistro type place, a decent family style Italian place, and a steakhouse near a golf course, so there's some variety nearby. The B&B is a short walk from a park along the river and a nice little downtown area. There's also a few little shops and a 2 screen movie theater. Last summer, we visited a pretty good, relatively new cajun restaurant that I believe was in Elk Rapids. I can't remember the name though.

It's pretty easy to make a day trip to Traverse City if you like, or hang around somewhere on Torch Lake. There are 3 other micro-breweries within an hour's drive if that's your thing.

So, where does everyone else like to go?

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My wife and I are returning to Saugatuck again this year for Memorial Day weekend (our anniversary). Awesome food and drinks and plenty of little shops to occupy your day. The beach isn't too far either, thought its a heck of a walk.

Bellaire seems like my kind of place...

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My weekend getaway: Chicago!

We drive down to Michigan City to take the commuter train and stay in cool hotels around the city. I love to see the shows, do some shopping and explore the cool neighborhoods. I'm not into the tourist stuff - instead we always try new restaurants and in the summer, try to catch a baseball game.

I love big cities and Chicago is at the top of my list.

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My wife and I are returning to Saugatuck again this year for Memorial Day weekend (our anniversary). Awesome food and drinks and plenty of little shops to occupy your day. The beach isn't too far either, thought its a heck of a walk.

Bellaire seems like my kind of place...

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A friend of mine has a cottage on the channel in Pentwater and we've spent a couple nights up there in the past and that is a fun little place too. It's got a few shops/art galleries, some decent bars, and some good restaurants. And everything (including the beach) is within a few blocks of everything else. I highly recommend it. Especially if you're a beach person...

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If you make the drive to Bellaire, you need to consider eating in Ellsworth. Two of the best eateries in Michigan (according to Wine Spectator magazine) are right there: Tapawingo and Rowe Inn. Tapawingo is especially great when they do their lawn parties with musician Bob James - they also do really nice high end cooking classes...

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Some getaway spots we've hit over the last few years:

* Tobermory, Ontario, at the tip of the Bruce Penninsula - if you are a hiker, this is a must. About 6 hours from metro GR

* Milwaukee via the ferry - Milwaukee's lakefront is bustling and a blast in the summer

* Chicago - nothing says summer like Wrigley in July...ahhhh, Old Style

* Leland, MI for the Annual Wine Festival - stayed in Sutton's Bay at the Vineyard Inn - incredible time.

But my all-time favorite is at home watching my Tigers on the tube with a Bell's Two Hearted Ale in hand and the barbecue blazin' outside!

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My weekend getaway: Chicago!

I love big cities and Chicago is at the top of my list.

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GRDad, speaking of Torch Lake makes me sort of homesick! When I was young my folks would stay a hop-and-a-skip from Torch Lake on Clam Lake in a place called a "boatel". Boaters came for a week or two and put in at the boatel dock. That little area at Clam River/Clam Lake was kind of neat in its own right and you could go in any direction for tons of stuff to do. Hopefully, it is still as beautiful.

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Its interesting to hear about Bellaire from a different perspective. It has a much different image to those living up there... but that is a different 'element' of the town that other locals are familiar with than the B&B and the downtown

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Its interesting to hear about Bellaire from a different perspective. It has a much different image to those living up there... but that is a different 'element' of the town that other locals are familiar with than the B&B and the downtown

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We love, love, love to go to Bellaire. We stay at the Applesauce Inn Bed and Breakfast, just outside of Bellaire on M-88. It's a small bed and breakfast--wonderful owners, ambiance and food there. We enjoy eating at Gio's Trattoria Grille on M-88 approaching Bellaire. We've also enjoyed eating at Lulu's Bistro.

Someone a few posts back mentioned the Cajun place in Elk Rapids--sounds like Pearl's New Orleans Kitchen.

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And yes, pr sc, I think I know exactly which boatel you're talking about. It's got to be the marina area on the North bank of the Clam River, just as you pass under the East Torch Lake Drive bridge over Clam River. You can even rent little mobile homes there in a parking lot and park your boats right out front.

I don't know how long ago you were there, but does this place ring a bell? It got a new paint job a few years ago so it might look different.

156087679_94b196f360_b.jpg

And yes, it's still clear, turquoise and windy. :shades:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=torch%20lake&w=all

But I'm hijacking this thread pretty badly.

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Cool stuff - thanks, GRDad. I'm going to have to get out the photo album and check it out. The last time might have been 1989....long time ago. I didn't remember it being that close to the water but it did have a large deck like that. Thought I could remember some A-Frame cabins next door, also for rent. And the owner lived in a house kind of behind the boatel with a view of the boat landing. Thanks again for all of that.

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Well that's not a picture of the boatel, that's just Dockside, right at the mouth of the Clam River where it flows into Torch Lake. :) It seems like it's one of the most infamous places Up North (where pretty much everyone has heard of it/been there). The boatel is further down the Clam River about 1/4 mile (to the right in the photo).

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