Where to Stay & Dine -- The Victorian-style Bayshore Resort, 833 E. Front St. (tel. 800/634-4401 or 231/935-4400; www.bayshore-resort.com), has doubles beginning at $176. The Grand Beach Resort Hotel, 1683 U.S. 31 N. (tel. 800/968-1992 or 231/938-4455; www.grandbeach.com), is a great family choice, with doubles starting at $169. Both hotels include continental breakfast and are right on the beach. The Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd., Acme (off U.S. 31 N; tel. 800/236-1577; www.grandtraverseresort.com), is the place to go for pampering. The property recently received a $15-million renovation and offers a trio of 18-hole golf courses, shopping, dining, and a spa. Doubles begin at $146.
For dining out, head to Traverse City's Front Street downtown, with a wide array of choices. For a special evening out, try the contemporary Italian Trattoria Stella, 1200 W. 11th St. (tel. 231/929-8989; www.stellatc.com), a beautiful brick turn-of-the-20th-century manse on the wooded grounds of Grand Traverse Commons. Expect an extensive wine list and a changing menu based on the availability of local ingredients and Atlantic and Pacific seafood.
Where to Stay & Dine -- You'll find many chain hotels on U.S. 10 between U.S. 31 and Ludington. If you want to be near the beach, head for Snyder's Shoreline Inn, 903 W. Ludington Ave. (tel. 231/845-1261; www.snydersshoreinn.com), across the street from the city beach. Doubles begin at $109. Favorite Ludington B&Bs include the Lamplighter, 602 E. Ludington Ave. (tel. 800/301-9792; www.ludington-michigan.com), with doubles for $125 to $170 (no children); and the Inn at Ludington, 701 E. Ludington Ave. (tel. 800/845-9170 or 231/845-7055; www.inn-ludington.com), with doubles from $100 to $195 (children 9 and under stay free). Both properties include full breakfast and are within walking distance of Lake Michigan. Outdoor lovers should consider Ludington State Park, with three popular, well-maintained campgrounds.
Most restaurants are clustered along Ludington Avenue, and an additional couple of good choices are P. M. Steamers, 502 W. Loomis St. (tel. 231/843-9555; www.pmsteamers.com), featuring American fare and waterfront views; and Scotty's, 5910 E. Ludington Ave. (tel. 231/843-4033; www.scottysrestaurant.com), famous for prime rib and seafood.
Where to Stay & Dine -- Holland's chain hotels cluster along U.S. 31. For a unique downtown stay, try the new City Flats, 61 E. 7th St. (tel. 866/609-2489 or 616/796-2100; www.cityflatshotel.com), one of the first LEED-certified hotels in the nation, with doubles starting at $140. Also downtown is the Haworth Inn, 225 College Ave. (tel. 800/903-9142 or 616/395-7200; www.haworthinn.com), with doubles starting at $110, including continental breakfast.
In downtown Holland, numerous restaurants lie on or near 8th Street. Try Alpenrose, 4 E. 8th St. (tel. 616/393-2111; www.alpenroserestaurant.com), featuring German and Austrian fare; Butch's, 44 E. 8th St. (tel. 616/396-8227; www.butchs.net), a deli and wine shop by day and fine-dining restaurant by night; or the New Holland Brewing Co., 66 E. 8th St. (tel. 616/355-6422; http://newhollandbrew.com).
Where to Stay & Dine -- Everyone should experience fine living at the 19th-century Grand Hotel (tel. 800/33-GRAND [334-7263] or 906/847-3331; www.grandhotel.com) at least once. Comfortable rooms in the world's largest summer hotel are individually decorated in bold tones, some with balconies and lake views. The suites are exceptionally luxurious, many named after famous figures, including six First Ladies. Resort grounds include tennis courts, an outdoor pool, an 18-hole golf course, and formal gardens. Doubles start at $225 per person, including elaborate daily breakfast and dinner and all tips. More moderately priced choices include the family-run Hotel Iroquois, Main Street (tel. 906/847-3321; www.iroquoishotel.com), a 100-year-old thoroughly modernized inn. Doubles start at $205. Suites at the Lilac Tree Hotel, Main Street (tel. 866/847-6575 or 906/847-6575; www.lilactree.com), include a fridge and microwave and start at $130.
For fine dining, nothing surpasses the Grand Hotel's Salle à Manger (tel. 800/33-GRAND [334-7263] or 906/847-3331; www.grandhotel.com), known for its French-inspired entrees, pecan ball dessert, and service fit for royalty. The hotel's Jockey Club and Woods restaurants offer casual meals -- pasta, chicken, and steaks -- at lower prices. The Carriage House, Main Street (tel. 906/847-3321; www.iroquoishotel.com), in the Hotel Iroquois, features local specialties such as broiled Great Lakes whitefish. A nice casual spot downtown is Patrick Sinclair's Irish Pub (tel. 906/847-8255; www.patricksinclairs.com), with Irish and American favorites.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.