5 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Take a Michigan Vacation (CLOSED: Plus a Giveaway!)

Traveling is a great way to reconnect and have fun with family and friends.  But, did you know that studies have shown that taking vacations can lead to better productivity, less stress and better health.  

However, many people aren’t taking advantage of their vacation days.  More than 40 percent of Americans say they didn’t take a single vacation day last year, according to Skift.

In honor of National Tourist Appreciation Day, here are five reasons why you should treat yourself to a Pure Michigan vacation.  We are also giving away a $100 gift certificate to the  to kick Pure Michigan Store start your summer!  See details below.

Castleexterior1

Photo courtesy of Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast

1. Recharge Your Batteries: A 2011 study by Expedia found that 35 percent of Americans feel better about their job and are more productive after a vacation. Vacations help us recharge because we sleep better during and shortly after them. When we return, our brain responds quicker. To recharge your batteries, try a relaxing weekend at one of the 400 cozy Bed and Breakfasts throughout the state.

2. Unleash Your Inner Picasso: Staring out at a beautiful Michigan sunset isn’t just a treat for your eyes; it’s good for your brain too! Studies have shown nature scenes activate areas of the brain associated with less stress. Daydreaming allows you to be more creative and be a better problem solver, too.  Take a look at our Instagram page for inspiration on places to take in a Pure Michigan sunset.

Tunnel Park

Photo courtesy of Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

3. Great Lakes, Great Relaxation: Stress is known to be harmful to our health. One of the many antidotes to stress is a vacation, especially near water! One study showed that people were five percent happier when they were near a body of water. The color blue is known to stimulate positive emotional responses, too.  With numerous beaches to choose from along 3,126 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, a Michigan beach vacation is good for you

4.Connecting While Relaxing: Picnics on the beach or canoeing as a family can strengthen your bond with loved ones while creating unforgettable memories! Some studies suggest that group travel builds social ties, which encourages life-long learning.

Copper Harbor Trails

Photo courtesy of Copper Harbor Trails and Hansi Johnson

5. Get Physical: Active vacations are proven to lower health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure and more, according to the Physical Activities Guidelines Advisory Committee. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a mountain biking excursion in Keweenaw.

Vacations offer the opportunity to discover new things and places to enrich and transform your perspective. Where will you take your next Pure Michigan vacation?

Do you want to score a $100 gift certificate to the Pure Michigan store? Simply tell us in the comments section below what your favorite Pure Michigan vacation destination is and what item from the Pure Michigan store you’d want to pack in your suitcase. We’ll then select one lucky winner at random to win a $100 gift certificate. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by Thursday, May 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winner Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).

UPDATE: This contest has ended and the winner has been contacted via email. Thank you to all those who participated!

The History Behind Michigan’s Hexagon House

The Hexagon House Bed and Breakfast, named after its unique architectural design, is a “turn of the century” Victorian home in beautiful Pentwater, Michigan. Today, Chris Adema of LovePentwater.com gives us a look back at the history behind this charming bed and breakfast.

Learn more about the Hexagon House and other Michigan bed and breakfasts by visiting michigan.org.

Perched along the sandy shores of Michigan’s western coast are numerous summer beach towns – not least among them is the quaint harbor village of Pentwater. Located just south of Ludington, Pentwater is a somewhat lesser known vacation destination, serving as the home of a beachside state park, multiple marinas, boutique clothing stores, art galleries, and a truly beautiful bed and breakfast with a long history: The Hexagon House.

Pentwater was initially established in 1853, finding its beginning as a shipping port, mill, and center for the then booming lumber industry that was busily expanding across Michigan.  The Hexagon House was, in turn, constructed circa 1870 as one of the first boarding houses for the many lumbermen visiting the area from Chicago and from around the Great Lakes, making the home nearly as old as the town itself.  In fact, the builder and first owner was named S.E. Russell, and was an agent of Charles Mears – the Western Michigan lumber baron of that time, and the same man responsible for digging the channel and turning Pentwater into a harbor town. The Hexagon House has truly been a staple in this waterfront community since the very beginning, and played an important role in the bygone era that gave birth to the village.

The next major evolution of the Inn came about in the 1920s and 30s when the two daughters of S.E. Russell inherited the property and turned it into a summer tourist camp, and the home base from which they ran a homemade pie business and a boat rental business.  (The black and white photo included in this post comes from that time period.)

The surviving Russell sister sold the home in the 1950s. Since that time The Hexagon House has changed owners on five more occasions, being enjoyed by the families of a distinguished dentist from Chicago, a professor from Nova Scotia, the Warners, who are responsible for completely renovating the home in 1994, restoring it to a masterpiece of Victorian elegance (you can see the deteriorated pre-renovation condition of the home and the final result in the included photographs), and two veterinarians from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Finally, in 2011, Matt and Sandy Werner purchased the property, embarking on second careers as innkeepers.

Today this Victorian bed and breakfast inn boasts five exquisite guest rooms, including a suite, with wrap around porches, a sprawling lawn, and the convenience of being only a short walk or bike ride to the village of Pentwater. It stands ready to welcome guests for the 2013 season and beyond.

Have you or do you plan to visit the Hexagon House Bed and Breakfast? Share with us below and learn more on michigan.org.

Chris Adema is a Michigan native, the owner of LovePentwater.com, and an internet marketing professional servicing Hexagon House Bed and Breakfast with website management and online promotion.