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
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.
The Tall Ship Manitou,* which docks in West Grand Traverse Bay, offers a Floating B&B
Fresh air and starry nights abound from the decks of one of the largest traditional sailing vessels
Great Lakes. Your evening begins with an moonlight sail, followed by an adventurous overnight
the dock. Mornings are a special time with spectacular sunrises climbing over Old Mission
Wake up to a fresh mug of coffee topside. Then enjoy a hearty breakfast from the galley, cooked
There are accommodations for 24 guests in 12 private cabins which are rustic and befitting a
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,
plenty of space for sitting and moving around the decks while under sail. Her overall length of
beam of 21 feet and displacement of nearly 100 tons ensures a comfortable, relaxing motion,
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
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.
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
Naval Memorial and Museum* aboard the historic World War II submarine, "USS Silversides"
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
can also earn badges through programs on board.
The Silversides has a total of 72 bunks, separated into four different compartments. These
forward torpedo room, officer's country, crew's quarters and the aft torpedo room. One group
required for a group of 20 or more people. The same arrangements can be made when booking
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
plan for a late-night snack. Local pizza establishments will deliver meals with prior notice.
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
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
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
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
leased and operated by other railroads around Lake Michigan over the decades. It was purchased
State of Michigan to operate as an Ann Arbor vessel in 1979. The ship was retired in operable
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
dining room and at cafe tables on the weather deck overlooking Manistee Lake. All towels and
be provided. There will be in-room basins with running water and vanities with mirror, soap,
glasses and feather pillow. Club bathrooms and showers will be available. Guests are welcome to
shipboard amenities including the weather deck promenade, observation room, reading room,
passenger saloon and gift shop.
Rooms include the Pullman Berths, Passenger Staterooms, Railroad Executive Room, Four Boys
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
WILD, WILD WEST
The Double JJ Resort in Rothbury opened its "Back Forty Ranch" in 1998 and offers three
lodging options. Whether the youngsters choose the Conestoga wagon, tee pee or cabin, they'll
hoop-holerin' good time.
Two Conestoga wagons with canvas tops and wheels, have bunk beds for six inside. Three
cement floors and bunk beds all around, sleep 12. Both the wagons and tepees are for summer
Four log cabins, each sleeping 10 in built-in bunk beds, are open year-round and provide heat,
conditioning and bathrooms. The kids'-exclusive accommodations are provided to children seven
and older, whose parents are staying at the resort. Supervision and recreation is provided by
Families can also stay together in one or two-bedroom cabins or the on-site campground, with
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'
complete with 145-foot waterslide, zip line and a log roll, crafts shop, street shows,
farm, child care corral and equestrian center. Family packages are available for horseback riding
championship golf. Meals are served family-style in the dining hall or at the fire pit in the Back
Find out more online at www.doubljj.com or call 800-DOUBLE-JJ.
Experience the zoo as you've never experienced it before. John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids offers
adventures for groups and families. Enjoy activities, an animal demonstration, a night hike and a
the-scenes tour. Scout groups can incorporate activities to help meet badge requirements. Bring
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
through high school. One chaperone for every five students is required. Family overnights are
well, at a cost of $30 per person. This includes activities, evening snack, breakfast and a
Dates are limited and reservations are required by calling 616-336-4317. For more information,
log on to
MORE WILD NIGHTS
When the entrance gates close for the evening, your adventure is just beginning at Binder Park
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,
close encounters with many zoo residents and even dine under the stars. After a good night's
group will wake to the sounds of the animals. Enjoy breakfast while watching the sunrise over
Savanna. Spend the rest of the day exploring the zoo. You can even hand-feed giraffes in Wild
As part of their adventure, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn badges like the Plants and
Naturalist, and Eco Explorers. Overnight adventures run most Fridays and Saturdays from late
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+).
rates are available for Binder Park Zoo members. Each child receives a special t-shirt or hat and
To register for your Overnight Adventure, call 269-979-1351 or log on to
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
WMTA is dedicated to proving that "Nobody Knows West Michigan Like We Do!"
*These properties welcome the WMTA Gift Card.