While our ‘real honeymoon’ to Europe is postponed until next spring when my new husband (I like writing that!) finishes school, we certainly couldn’t let a wedding occur without some sort of getaway. So we headed to west Michigan for a ‘mini-moon.’
Our first destination was South Haven, located in the southwest region of the state on Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful Thursday morning as we started the three-hour drive to Martha’s Vineyard Bed & Breakfast, which was recommended by some friends. We were pleasantly surprised that the leaves had already dramatically changed color. It made for a colorful drive.
Upon entering the long driveway of Martha’s Vineyard, a small pond sits on the left, gardens on the right and the main house directly in front. The original home was built in 1852, converted to a bed & breakfast in 2000 and purchased by the current innkeepers, Ginger and Lou, in 2004. I instantly fell in love with the wraparound the porch. We were warmly greeted by Ginger, who gave us a tour of the quaint house. Guests can sit in the parlor, play games, watch movies, read, or even play a piano. A dining room hosts breakfast each morning, although tables and chairs arranged on the porch beckon during warmer days.
We opted to stay in the guesthouse for a bit more privacy and space. Each of the six suites has a private bath, two-person whirlpool tub, fireplace, television, bathrobes and more. I loved the fireplace! The guesthouse suites share a kitchenette, which provided popcorn, coffee, hot chocolate, refrigerator, games and more. It
was a wonderful (and yummy) surprise to have some chocolate covered strawberries (my favorite!) from my sister and brother-in-law waiting for us when Ginger opened our suite door.
Martha’s Vineyard is situated on five acres, but backs up to the South Haven Golf Club so the grounds look much more expansive. There are benches and chairs throughout the property, allowing guests to enjoy the quiet outdoors. The hammocks were pretty awesome too.
We headed a short drive from the inn to downtown South Haven, where we wandered through some stores. A stop in the Blueberry Store scored us a delicious blueberry oatmeal cookie and some blueberry vinaigarette dressing.
We woke Friday to a beautiful sunny, crisp fall day. Since we were in the guesthouse, breakfast was served to our room in a picnic basket! We enjoyed omelets, baked apples with granola and fresh cinnamon rolls. We definitely needed to work off our big breakfast so headed to the Kal-Haven Trail. I love that so many places throughout Michigan are converting old railroad tracks to trails for walking, biking, skiing, and other non-motorized uses. These trails let you enjoy the outdoors with fewer cars and noise.
The Kal-Haven Trail is 33.5 miles, running from South Haven to Kalamazoo. There is an 11-mile parallel section where horses are allowed on the trail. In South Haven, the limestone/slag surface trail picks up at the Kal-Haven Trail State Park.With the changing leaves, the trees provided a beautiful canopy of bright colors as we walked. We encountered a covered bridge, boardwalks and few other people. It
was very enjoyable. We also found many geocaches along the trail.
After the brisk 6-mile hike, we stopped at Blue Star Pottery. Located well off the road, the studio highlights the artist’s pottery. Interesting items but nothing really caught our eyes as unique. We headed north to McIntosh Wine Cellars (you didn’t really think we would miss an opportunity for wine tasting, did you?!). The apple orchard and winery is about 5 miles off the Blue Star Highway. The quaint building that holds the tasting room also offers a fireplace, seating and shopping. The staff is so friendly. McIntosh Wine Cellars offers fruit wines, which I tend to love. We sampled their raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, apple and peach wines, finally settling on their Hard Apple Cider and Apple Cinnamon wine. Yum! Since we had no place to be, we decided to order a glass of hard cider and the apple cinnamon wine and enjoy our glasses in front of the fireplace. The apple cinnamon wine might be one of my new favorites! The staff suggested drinking it warm on a cold, winter day. Mmmm.
Wine tasting made us hungry so we headed north to Saugatuck Brewing Company. We ate here during our spring visit to Saugatuck and enjoyed the food and drinks. We weren’t disappointed. Back at the bed & breakfast, we turned the fireplace on to warm up and enjoy a movie from the good DVD selection available to guests.
Temps dropped dramatically Saturday morning but the sun was still shining. We enjoyed another great breakfast delivered to our room – apple crepes, sausage (veggie for me!) and fresh fruit, then packed up for Grand Rapids. Martha’s Vineyard was definitely a place I’d recommend to others.
Stay tuned for our adventures in Grand Rapids!