A long hard day of traveling Michigan ends best with a good night’s sleep. There’s a lot to see and do out here, so you’re going to need to be well-rested to enjoy the state to its fullest. And why not make where you lay your head an experience itself? Michigan is home to some highly unique places to stay overnight from boat hotels, to a light house bed and breakfast, you’re surely find something special in the Great Lake State. Here are our 10 favorites.
One of several entries in the “castle” moniker in Michigan, Kalamazoo's Henderson Castle Inn is built around the Henderson Castle, a Queen Anne house built back in 1895. Restored and under new management since 2011, the Henderson Castle not only has an extensive history—the exterior is comprised of a combination of Lake Superior sandstone and brick—but it also offers up a variety of services for its guests today. Home to a slate of spa services, events space, a winery and a complete French restaurant, Henderson Castle offers features not readily found throughout Michigan.
Those heading out to Saugatuck will have a very unusual potential stay ahead, if they're interested in boating, that is. The Sea Suites Boat and Breakfast is not only located entirely on a boat, but it's also one of five “floating inns” found in the entire United States, reports note. Guests get one of four queen-bed staterooms with a variety of amenities, as well as mornings that start with fresh-ground coffee and the inn's signature dish: Wild Berry and Cream Waffles.
Heading up to the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan? Interested in a wine tour? Then the Inn at Black Star Farms is a terrific option. Part of the Select Registry, the inn offers up a slate of noteworthy amenities from full breakfast to a nightly “hospitality tour” featuring wine and an hors d'oeuvre. A free bottle of the house wine comes with the room, and a sauna room and an “expanded VIP tasting” is also on hand for guests.
Easily one of Ann Arbor's most unique hotels—the only Stash Partner hotel in Michigan—Weber's Boutique Hotel offers a range of experiences limited largely only by what a guest might want. Some rooms aren't far from the pool area, complete with unique spiral staircases leading from room to pool, and offering not only swimming, but also hot tub, sauna and ping pong. The Dolph Park wildlife sanctuary is immediately next door, allowing for a surprisingly urban hike, and of course, the wonders of Ann Arbor are all at your fingertips.
Those heading to Saugatuck may want to point the car in the direction of the Wickwood Inn, a place so special that it's drawn the attention of the New York Times itself, along with publications like Food and Wine. What's got these big names so interested? It's the sheer skill of presentation found from Julee Rosso, co-author of the Silver Palate Cookbook series. Those who want some top-notch cuisine with their Michigan stay should consider the Wickwood, home to the farm-to-table breakfast and such dishes as the pistachio sausage, the pea shoot crostini, and many more.
If you're in the mood for a working vacation that doesn't involve office work, then the DeTour Reef Light Preservation Society between DeTour Village and Drummond Island has a deal for you: Come stay at the lighthouse. While there aren't many amenities here—a double bed is on hand along with a bunk bed for the family—and guests will be expected to work, including performing cleaning chores and assisting in tour conduction, it might well be worth it for those who want a great story to tell out of their vacation.
Those looking for a lighthouse stay that doesn't involve clerical work and light housekeeping, meanwhile, can look instead to Big Bay, home of the Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast. Offering a more relaxed pace, including a living room fireplace, along with hiking, biking and similar options found in and around the Big Bay area, potential guests will have to watch out, because as the hotel's website warns “If your GPS takes you onto a two-track road through the woods, turn back to the paved road.”
Head on up to Grayling for one of the most natural times you've ever spent in a hotel. Near the Au Sable River, the North Branch Outing Club has previously played host to famous names like Henry Ford and Horace Dodge, offering up the opportunity to fish like no tomorrow. With guided fishing and hunting tours on hand, and a fly shop on hand for those who'd rather take care of such business unaided, outdoor sports are clearly the focus here. Before starting such a day, be sure to fortify yourself with the full hot breakfast served to all guests at one sitting, about 9 a.m. each morning.
Head on up to Sutton's Bay to check out Hillside Homestead, set in a farmhouse built in 1910. Those who stay here will get a taste of life as it was lived back in the turn of the century...the turn of the 19th into the 20th, that is. No candlelight dinners here. Rather, guests dine by oil lamp on food made from authentic turn-of-the-century recipes. Featuring dishes like chicken ficassee from the 1908 release of the “Boston Cook Book” and Potatoes in Jackets from 1880 culinary mainstay “Buckeye Cookery & Practical Housekeeping,” there's no shortage of historic amusement on hand.
Sure, anyone can stay in a hotel, but how about a hotel built inside a set of actual train cabooses? That's what's on tap at the Old Harbor Inn's Caboose Inn in South Haven. South Haven is known as one of the premier destinations in summer in Michigan, so there's no shortage of things to see or do in the area. The Caboose Inn, meanwhile, features queen bed rooms and a variety of amenities located immediately nearby like a heated in-ground pool.