Getaway from the Holidays

The Terrace Grille at the Bay Pointe Inn

Just 30 minutes from Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, the Bay Pointe Inn on Gun Lake is Dianna Stampfler’s perfect getaway from the frenzy of the holidays.

Trying to cram work, holiday get-togethers and last-minute shopping into the already hectic life of a single mom creates undue stress around what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year. By the time I settle into a lakeside deluxe suite, I am ready to relax. The soft nautical blues and greens of the room are peaceful and calming, which sets the tone for my night away. Equipped with a stack of magazines, I draw a bath in the oversized whirlpool tub, light the fireplace and settle in for an afternoon of me-time.

Tempura Asparagus at the Terrace Grille

As it turns out, lounging makes you hungry. Luckily, I don’t have to go far—the Terrace Grille is downstairs. A glass of Michigan Riesling kicks off an amazing meal. The sweet baked Brie and crispy tempura asparagus are delicious. The entree, The Original Bay Pointe Beef Wellington, is a tribute to the former landmark restaurant. The property has welcomed travelers as a resort, summer home, campground and restaurant since the 1880s. The beef Wellington is a delicate blend of flakey pastry crust and a filet so tender that I barely need a knife.

Because I’m on a mini vacation, I don’t feel guilty about ordering dessert. I take the ultimate indulgence—chocolate lava cake—to my suite to enjoy. It seems almost a shame to call it a night so early, but the plush king-size bed lures me under the covers. I am thankful for the solitude and banish all thoughts of work, household chores, parental responsibilities and, yes, even sugarplums.

The sun filters into the room, and I wake eager to start the day. Refreshed and recharged, I want to make the most of the morning. I snag a yogurt and banana from the Continental breakfast buffet and drive about 15 minutes to Yankee Springs State Recreation area for a hike through the forest. One of six hiking trails, the 2-mile Hall Lake trail winds through the woods. I don’t encounter anyone else on the hike—I am alone with my thoughts.

Facing the New Year doesn’t seem all that daunting, having recharged mind, body and spirit without overcharging my budget.

Dianna Stampfler loves Michigan so much that she’s made a career out of it! Her marketing consultant company, Promote Michigan, is just one of the many ways this fourth-generation Michigan resident shows her appreciation for the Great Lakes State.