Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best Michigan spots for New Year's Eve

If you’re looking for a place to celebrate New Year’s Eve and don’t want to do much driving, here’s a list of hotels, inns and destinations that fit that criteria. They’re scattered around the state and range from high-price hotels and inns to simple places.
The Perry Hotel in Petoskey is one of my top choices. It’s a small, intimate hotel with a cozy bar in the basement and a good dining room. The gaslight downtown district of Petoskey is within walking distance, and offers shopping in specialty stores. The City Grill, nearby, an excellent restaurant for casual dining. Hotel rates, $55-$270. For reservations, call 231-347-4000.
The Landmark Hotel in Marquette is a top choice because of its view of Lake Superior and location in the Downtown area. The elegant 62-room hotel has a wonderful lobby to hang out in, a casual bar which also serves food and an elegant dining room for formal occasions. Rates are $125-$270. It’s just a few blocks walk to the Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery, which serves up its only locally produced beer and casual to upscale meals. Prices, $12-$20. Snowbound Books is also nearby, and offers many Michigan-related books. Call 906-228-2580 for reservations.

The St. Clair Inn is about 50 miles from downtown Detroit, but seems a world away. The building, with a view of the St. Clair River, is a National Historic site, and opened in 1926. The rooms have been modernized over the years, and the rates are $50-$150. The River Lounge Bar is the casual watering hole in the Inn, and there are also more formal dining rooms. Call, 800-482-8327 for reservations.

The Ramsdell Inn in downtown Manistee in northwestern Michigan offers ten rooms and suits in an 1891 Victorian stone structure on the town’s main drag, River Street. It would be just the place for New Year’s. There’s a first floor pub, and it’s within walking distance of other downtown restaurants and taverns. There’s a boardwalk along the nearby Manistee River. Rates, about $100. For reservations, call 231-398-7901.

Detroit’s Greek town offers numerous restaurants and taverns in which to celebrate the evening. Our personal favorite is the Laikon Café, which serves up authentic Greek food. If you’re spending the night, the Atheneum Hotel on nearby Brush Street offers 174 rooms. For reservations, call 313-962-2323.

Grand Rapids is alive with nightlife in the safe, clean downtown area. At the center of the entertainment district is the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. In the hotel is The 1913 Room, a top-flight restaurant, entrees, $20-$36. For reservations, call 616-774-2000.

Bay City’s Midland Street entertainment district is a draw for many younger folks, with numerous bars and taverns housed in older, restored buildings. Our favorite is the old Arlington Hotel, which was once a lumberjack hotel. The best place to stay is at the Doubletree Hotel on the Saginaw River. The hotel is newer and modern, and has a bar. Call 989-891-6000.

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