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A Room With a Different View
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A Room With a Different View
  Michigan Vacation Package ( Press Release )

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA: Looking for a room with a different view? Bed down aboard an historic maritime vessel. Spend the night on an African savannah. Whether its a romantic get-away for two, a family vacation or a group outing, these unique overnight options are waiting to be discovered.
FLOATING B&B
The Tall Ship Manitou,* which docks in West Grand Traverse Bay, offers a Floating B&B experience. Fresh air and starry nights abound from the decks of one of the largest traditional sailing vessels on the Great Lakes. Your evening begins with an moonlight sail, followed by an adventurous overnight secured at the dock. Mornings are a special time with spectacular sunrises climbing over Old Mission Peninsula. Wake up to a fresh mug of coffee topside. Then enjoy a hearty breakfast from the galley, cooked on a wood-burning stove.
There are accommodations for 24 guests in 12 private cabins which are rustic and befitting a mid-1800 style windjammer. Each is equipped with built-in wooden bunks and electric lighting. If you'd rather and the weather is favorable, you may bring a sleeping bag and pad and sleep on the deck under the stars.
The Manitou is a replica of an 1800 "coasting" cargo schooner. With a 62 passenger capacity, there is plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. Her overall length of 114 feet, beam of 21 feet and displacement of nearly 100 tons ensures a comfortable, relaxing motion, soothing to both landlubbers and "old salts" alike.
The minimum age for the B&B passenger is 8. Cost is $51 per child (ages 8-12), $107 per adult or $188 per couple. The B&B does not operate every night, so call for dates and reservations.The Manitou is also available for charter for weddings, corporate get-togethers, family reunions and birthday parties. 800-678- 0383 or www.tallshipsailing.com
OVERNIGHT ENCAMPMENT PROGRAM
Walk the decks, visit the engine rooms, take command on the bridge. An overnight aboard either Silversides or McLane is a truly unforgettable experience.
Scout, church and other youth-oriented organizations may book an overnight stay at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum* aboard the historic World War II submarine, "USS Silversides" (SS-236) or the 1927 Coast Guard Cutter, "USCGC McLane" (W-146). Become an official "Crew Member" for a night and learn the exciting history of these famous vessels as they come "alive" for you and your group. Scouts can also earn badges through programs on board.
The Silversides has a total of 72 bunks, separated into four different compartments. These include the forward torpedo room, officer's country, crew's quarters and the aft torpedo room. One group booking is required for a group of 20 or more people. The same arrangements can be made when booking the McLane, which has 38 bunks in three compartments.
Food is not prepared on board and there is no refrigeration: coolers are recommended. It is also recommended that overnight visitors bring plates, napkins, silverware and cups, as cookouts are permitted. There are two fire pits on site, but wood is not included. Please bring a grill or camp stove and plan for a late-night snack. Local pizza establishments will deliver meals with prior notice. Eating is allowed aboard the boats, but it is important that groups clean up their mess when finished.
Rates start at $18 per person (Monday-Thursday) and $22 per person (Friday-Sunday). A $100 non- refundable deposit is due within 10 days of booking your reservation. Call 231-755-1230 to make reservations or log on to www.silversides.org for more information.
SLEEP ABOARD A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK
The S.S. City of Milwaukee is offering lodging for groups of 20 or more in 2003. In 2004 the regular bed & breakfast for individuals will return.
The City of Milwaukee is the last traditional Great Lakes train passenger ferry. The 73-year-old vessel is currently open to the public in Manistee. It offers guests the chance to explore the unique legacy of "Rails Across the Water."
The "SS City of Milwaukee" sailed under the Grand Trunk Railroad the majority of its career, but was leased and operated by other railroads around Lake Michigan over the decades. It was purchased by the State of Michigan to operate as an Ann Arbor vessel in 1979. The ship was retired in operable condition in 1981 when the State of Michigan shut down its cross-lake ferry system.
Continental breakfast will be included with all overnight bookings, and will be offered in the passenger dining room and at cafe tables on the weather deck overlooking Manistee Lake. All towels and linens will be provided. There will be in-room basins with running water and vanities with mirror, soap, drinking glasses and feather pillow. Club bathrooms and showers will be available. Guests are welcome to utilize shipboard amenities including the weather deck promenade, observation room, reading room, theater, passenger saloon and gift shop.
Rooms include the Pullman Berths, Passenger Staterooms, Railroad Executive Room, Four Boys Room, Two Cooks Room, Engineering Officer Room and the largest... the Captain's Room.
For complete room descriptions, log on to www.carferry.com or for more information call 231-882-7670.
WILD, WILD WEST
The Double JJ Resort in Rothbury opened its "Back Forty Ranch" in 1998 and offers three kids'-exclusive lodging options. Whether the youngsters choose the Conestoga wagon, tee pee or cabin, they'll have a hoop-holerin' good time.
Two Conestoga wagons with canvas tops and wheels, have bunk beds for six inside. Three tepees, with cement floors and bunk beds all around, sleep 12. Both the wagons and tepees are for summer use only. Four log cabins, each sleeping 10 in built-in bunk beds, are open year-round and provide heat, air- conditioning and bathrooms. The kids'-exclusive accommodations are provided to children seven years and older, whose parents are staying at the resort. Supervision and recreation is provided by trained staff. Families can also stay together in one or two-bedroom cabins or the on-site campground, with primitive and modern hook-ups. The two-bedroom cabins are new for the summer of 2003 and offer two bathrooms, basement, full kitchen, living room and loft to accommodate 8 to 10 people.
The Back Forty is an "Old West" town complete with a general store, dining hall, a swimmin' hole complete with 145-foot waterslide, zip line and a log roll, crafts shop, street shows, entertainment, petting farm, child care corral and equestrian center. Family packages are available for horseback riding or championship golf. Meals are served family-style in the dining hall or at the fire pit in the Back Forty.
Find out more online at www.doubljj.com or call 800-DOUBLE-JJ.
WILD KINGDOM
Experience the zoo as you've never experienced it before. John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids offers overnight adventures for groups and families. Enjoy activities, an animal demonstration, a night hike and a behind- the-scenes tour. Scout groups can incorporate activities to help meet badge requirements. Bring your sleeping bags and camp out on the covered deck of Mokomboso Valley, the chimp exhibit.
Overnights are available for groups of 15 to 30 people, including chaperones, for those in second grade through high school. One chaperone for every five students is required. Family overnights are available as well, at a cost of $30 per person. This includes activities, evening snack, breakfast and a souvenir.
Dates are limited and reservations are required by calling 616-336-4317. For more information, log on to www.johnballzoosociety.org.
MORE WILD NIGHTS
When the entrance gates close for the evening, your adventure is just beginning at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. Try a "Zoo Snooze" or an "Overnight Safari" this summer.
Enjoy the beauty of Binder Park Zoo at dusk. Learn about nature through games and activities, experience close encounters with many zoo residents and even dine under the stars. After a good night's sleep, your group will wake to the sounds of the animals. Enjoy breakfast while watching the sunrise over the African Savanna. Spend the rest of the day exploring the zoo. You can even hand-feed giraffes in Wild Africa.
As part of their adventure, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn badges like the Plants and Animals, Naturalist, and Eco Explorers. Overnight adventures run most Fridays and Saturdays from late April through early October with additional sessions on Thursdays in June, July and August.
Snoozing at the Zoo rates are $30 - $40 for children (ages 6-17) and $25-$35 for adults (18+). Special rates are available for Binder Park Zoo members. Each child receives a special t-shirt or hat and souvenir patch.
To register for your Overnight Adventure, call 269-979-1351 or log on to www.binderparkzoo.org.
For regional travel information, contact WMTA toll free at 800-442-2084 or log on to www.wmta.org. Founded in 1917, WMTA is the oldest continually-operating tourist association in the nation. Representing 41 counties from the Michigan-Indiana state line north to Mackinac Island and covering the entire west half of the Lower Peninsula, WMTA is dedicated to proving that "Nobody Knows West Michigan Like We Do!"
*These properties welcome the WMTA Gift Card.

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