Time spent near water has a long list of benefits, among them the pre-holiday boost of lowering stress and anxiety, along with a general sense of wellbeing and happiness. We can only surmise that a November squall simply multiplies that—especially when you’re watching the wave show next to a roaring fire at these beachfront inns in Northern Michigan.
Let Lake Michigan’s power play out from your elegant Grand Suite at the Inn on Bay Harbor, especially perfect for the way you can gaze at the fireplace and big lake at the same time. Plus, whether the day brings rain or snow, your whole vacation is under one trademark red roof. You’re just an elevator ride from your cocooning lavender body wrap and Petoskey stone massage that comes with the signature Northern Luxury Body Treatment at the on-site spa. Then enjoy the dinner classic of Great Lakes walleye by the massive dining room windows.
Settle into the hot tub on the private deck jutting over the beach to savor the Lake Huron spray without even getting a chill. Rooms at Huron House Bed and Breakfast in Oscoda come with gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs and Netflix for those who want to hunker in and binge. Breakfast specialties like house-baked croissants covered in caramel sauce and crushed walnuts are delivered to your door. If you do leave the room, be sure it’s to meander to the outdoor fire pit where the crackling of the fire can mingle with your trip’s soundtrack of pounding waves.
The gales of November are especially poignant when you’re gazing upon Lake Superior from the cliff-top rooms where keepers once kept watch for shipwreck survivors during late fall storms. Rooms at The Inn at Big Bay Point Lighthouse are outfitted with gas fireplaces and windows, great for storm-watching amid the extra drama of the rotating light. The coffee pot is always on, so wander the shoreline and 47 acres of woods and meadow, then warm up afterward; there’s an evening cookie snack. For fun, borrow the on-site lighthouse books or the copy of Anatomy of a Murder, filmed nearby.
Kim Schneider is a long-time travel writer specializing in Michigan adventures, food and wine. The Midwest Travel Journalist Association has named her Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year, and she’s the author of the recently-published book, 100 Things to Do in Traverse City Before You Die. kimschneider.net