It’s the time of year when weekend getaways are important to maintain sanity. The weather is getting colder, the holiday craziness is just around the corner, and we have about four months of permacloud to look forward to. Where’s the best place in the region to go for an inexpensive winter weekend getaway? Why, the Lakeside Inn, of course.
The Lakeside Inn in Lakeside, Michigan, is my favorite place in the area to spend a weekend. I may be a bit biased, since it’s where I got married, but there’s a reason we chose it as our wedding venue – it’s the perfect place to get family and friends together for a weekend.
Walking up to the Lakeside Inn is like walking back in time 100 years. In fact, the Inn was built in the 1880s. The Inn is nestled in a grove of trees and is perched on top of a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. There’s an expansive front porch, where you can spend a long afternoon or evening rocking in a rocking chair while watching the waves crash on the beach or the sun set over the lake. Besides regular maintenance and adding bathrooms to all of the rooms, very little has been done to change the interior of the Inn over the last century. There are two huge stone fireplaces in the lobby and ballroom that are always lit in the winter and are surrounded by wicker couches, tables and rocking chairs. There are no TVs in the rooms – forcing you to socialize with those you came with in the common spaces.
You may wonder why I’d suggest going to an inn on Lake Michigan in the winter; There are several reasons. First, it’s super cozy, and the stone fireplaces make it an ideal place to relax on a snowy night. Secondly, the Lakeside Inn is super inexpensive during the off season. From November 1 through May 20, you buy one night and get the second night free. The rooms range in price from $90 to $175, but considering that’s the price for the ENTIRE weekend, it’s a steal. Third of all, there’s a ton of stuff to do in the area, even in the winter.
There are only 30 rooms in the inn and every single one is different, which is why the price varies so much. Don’t expect anything fancy – some of the rooms are small and the furniture is rather old (although well maintained); However, the character and history of the Inn and its rooms are what make it so special, not to mention that staying in the Inn makes you feel like you’re in a simpler time where relationships with others take priority over the TV and smartphone.
If you decide to spend the weekend at the Lakeside Inn, here are some suggestions of nearby places to visit (stay-tuned for more posts on many of these places):
– Explore the Sawyer Garden Center (seriously, it’s cool and they have tons of Christmas gift ideas)
– Check out the treetop viewing platform at Galien River County Park (it’s closed for part of the winter – check the schedule before visiting)
– Visit the antique stores on the Red Arrow Highway
– Explore the local wineries
– See a movie at the Vicker’s Theatre
Photo credit for the wedding pics goes to the awesome Allison Christians Photography.