Celebrate friendship with a Friendsgiving vacation

friendsgiving vacation

Thanksgiving is typically thought of as an opportunity to reunite with family. But it can also be a chance to bring together your chosen family—the friends you’ve surrounded yourself with over the years. These are the people who will always pick up the phone when you need to talk at some early morning hour. Who will listen to your stories, remind you of your strength when you’re down, and make fun of you when you deserve it. Thanksgiving can be the perfect time to reconvene with them and serve a home-cooked meal to express your gratitude for their company on the roller coaster of life. Things change as time passes, but a Friendsgiving vacation could be a great way to celebrate that which doesn’t: the love and support of your dearest friends.

How to plan a Friendsgiving vacation

1. Figure out who’s coming

Send out some feelers for who would be interested and able to attend your Friendsgiving vacation. You’ll want an idea of how big your party is going to be before you start planning where to stay and what your menu will look like.

2. Determine where you’ll host

While many of your friends may live near you, others have moved far and wide. Choose a convenient place for everyone to travel to and make a vacation out of the event. Ideally, your location will have a variety of vacation rentals to choose from so you can find the one best suited to your group. It will also have some cool attractions so you can make a whole weekend vacation and have fun with your friends. We recommend Saugatuck—but we’re biased.

3. Select your vacation rental

Find a vacation rental that suits your group. Make sure it has enough sleeping arrangements for your guest list, a well-equipped kitchen, spacious dining table, and any special amenities you think will bring your Friendsgiving vacation to the next level. Decide if you want it to be close to any attractions you’ll want to take advantage of or if you’d rather it be tucked away and private for a weekend spent in.

3. Plan the menu

Will you do all the cooking? Or will it be a potluck? Get an idea of what you’d like to eat and coordinate how to execute the feast with your friends. Don’t forget to bring some tasty beverages to pair with your Friendsgiving meal, too.

4. Send the invite

Make it official with a nice invitation. Let your friends know where and when the dinner will take place. If you’re doing a potluck, you could have your friends RSVP with the dish they plan to bring. Once you receive the RSVPs, you can figure out how to balance out your meal. Sending paper invites may seem over-the-top, but it’s an easy way to add an extra layer of care and cuteness to the party.

5. Make a Friendsgiving playlist

Get on Spotify and start compiling songs to play during your gathering. Make a mix of light dining music and toss in some throwback songs that will send your friends down memory lane and maybe catch some laughs. Background music is a necessary component of a dinner party, and it will set a festive mood.

6. Arrive, set up, and let your Friendsgiving vacation take off

Once you’ve planned everything, the next step is just to show up and let your vacation take whatever shape it wants to take. You’ve got all the ingredients you need for a memorable, unique Thanksgiving spent expressing gratitude for the wonder of friendship.

8 Reasons to book a vacation rental for Thanksgiving

vacation rental for thanksgiving

If you’re used to hosting family at home every year during Thanksgiving, the idea of renting a vacation home for the main event might strike you as unorthodox. But lend us your eyes for a moment and we’ll show you why staying in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental for Thanksgiving is actually a brilliant idea.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of work. But choosing to host in a vacation rental can take a lot of the headache out, and you can enjoy the perks of a nice home with beds for everyone. Here are 8 reasons why you should book a vacation rental for Thanksgiving.

8 reasons to stay in a vacation rental for Thanksgiving

1. Homes with great views

Maintaining holiday traditions is nice, but sometimes a change of scenery is in order. Make your holiday celebration picturesque: rent a vacation home with a view of Lake Michigan, or rent a cabin tucked away in a forest of vibrant autumn trees.

2. Room for extended family

One of the hardest things about hosting Thanksgiving is not having the space to host all of your family.  But it’s simple when you can just rent a larger home. When your house isn’t big enough to host the Thanksgiving dinner of your dreams, it’s easy to find a spacious vacation rental with everything you need.

3. Homes with spacious kitchens/entertaining areas

Having the space for everyone to gather and enjoy each other’s company can be hard when you have a lot of people to host. But a variety of vacation rentals  for Thanksgiving come with open floor plans, large dining tables, and spacious kitchens with all the amenities you need to entertain and make the most of your togetherness.

4. Sleeping accommodations for the whole family

Everyone can have a comfy bed to retreat to when the festivities are done in a vacation rental big enough to host everyone. No one need sleep on an air mattress when you choose to stay in a vacation rental for Thanksgiving.

5. Off-season pricing

The fall and winter months mean lower prices on all of our vacation rentals. You can save between 30-50% off of peak season rates when you stay with us for the holidays. So, really, Thanksgiving couldn’t be a more perfect time to stay in a Lakeshore Lodging vacation rental!

6. Personal catering and grocery delivery services

Take advantage of the hospitality hook-ups vacation rental services can offer. You can arrange to have your meals personally catered by a local business or have your grocery shopping done for you in advance when you stay with Lakeshore Lodging. Grocery delivery is available in the Saugatuck area via Shipt, so Shipt members can have groceries delivered right to their vacation rentals. Take the tedium out of your holiday hosting tasks!

7. Homes are clean and ready when you walk in

Another stressful chore associated with get-togethers: making sure everything is clean and ready for your guests. Well, when you choose to stay in a vacation rental for your extravaganza, we take care of all the cleaning for you.

8. Housekeeping service when you leave

When all is said and done, you don’t have to clean after your guests when everybody leaves. All we ask at Lakeshore Lodging is that you load and run the dishwasher (no need to unload it) and take out the trash. The rest is up to us.

There are even more reasons to book a Thanksgiving stay at a Lake Michigan vacation rental. Discover them for yourself when you book a cozy cabin with Lakeshore Lodging.

West Michigan craft beverages to pair with Thanksgiving dinner

west michigan craft beverages

West Michigan is known for its excellent and expanding selection of quality craft beverages. In addition to being downright delicious, the beer, cider, wine, and liquor around here can really enhance a Thanksgiving dinner.  Make your palate happy during your Thanksgiving stay in the Saugatuck area. Pick up a bottle, six-pack, or growler of one of these West Michigan craft beverages.

6 West Michigan craft beverages to pair with Thanksgiving dinner

Michigan Harvest by Virtue Cider 

west michigan craft beverages virtue cider fennville
Image: Virtue Cider

This semi-dry apple cider is barrel aged in French oak. Its scent evokes a Michigan apple orchard at peak harvest time, and it tastes delicious with traditional Thanksgiving fare.

Chardonnay Reserve by Fenn Valley Winery 

This dry white wine captures the fresh character of the Chardonnay grape and is softened with vanilla tones from the French oak barrel it’s aged in. This wine goes especially well with creamy, squash-based side dishes.

Third Bear English Style Ale by Saugatuck Brewing Company 

“Not too hoppy, not too sweet, this beer is just right.” Third Bear has a toasty flavor with leafy undertones that make it a perfect for pairing with a meal celebrating the autumn harvest. With nine different malts, the beer is complex, but not overwhelming.

west michigan craft beverages thanksgivingDry Apple Cider by Crane’s Winery 

Crane’s Winery features a wide selection of house-made wines and ciders that are sure to delight. Grab some cans for a light, not-too-sweet cider that will harmonize well with a bite of smoky turkey.

Single-Barrel Bourbon by Coppercraft Distillery 

When it’s time for dessert, Coppercraft Distillery’s Single-Barrel Bourbon sings alongside a warm slice of apple pie. The frosty temperatures outside don’t stand a chance with a glass of this warming spirit. This bourbon is aged for a minimum 11 years, and you can pick up a bottle right in downtown Saugatuck.

2013 Riesling Ice Wine by Wyncroft 

If pie doesn’t suit your fancy, make a rich ice wine your dessert. Wyncroft’s 2013 Riesling Ice Wine is a product of that year’s Polar Vortex, which created three tons of frozen grapes that were then pressed and fermented into this sweet beverage. How does it feel on the palate? Wyncroft says it best: “Unctuous, thick, and creamy with an amazingly dense flavor profile of honey-dipped apple and candied apricot, accented with crisp acidity.”

Reasons to stay in Lake Michigan holiday rentals this year

lake michigan holiday rentals

If you’re used to hosting family at home every year during the holidays, the idea of renting a vacation home for the holidays might strike you as unorthodox. But lend us your eyes for a moment and we’ll show you why staying in one of Lakeshore Lodging‘s Lake Michigan holiday rentals is actually a brilliant idea.

Hosting get-togethers for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve can be a lot of work. But choosing to host in a vacation rental can take a lot of the headache out, and you can enjoy the perks of a nice home with beds for everyone. Here are 8 reasons why you should spend the holidays in a vacation rental.

8 reasons to stay in Lake Michigan holiday rentals

1. Homes with great views

Maintaining holiday traditions is nice, but sometimes a change of scenery is in order. Make your holiday celebration picturesque: rent a vacation home with a view of Lake Michigan, or rent a cabin tucked away in a forest of vibrant autumn trees.

2. Room for extended family

One of the hardest things about the holidays is not having the space to host all of your family.  But it’s simple when you can just rent a larger home. When your house isn’t big enough to host the Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah dinner of your dreams, it’s easy to find a spacious vacation rental with everything you need.

holiday vacation rental christmas cookies3. Homes with spacious kitchens/entertaining areas

Having the space for everyone to gather and enjoy each other’s company can be hard when you have a lot of people to host. But a variety of holiday vacation rentals come with open floor plans, large dining tables, and spacious kitchens with all the amenities you need to entertain and make the most of your togetherness.

4. Sleeping accommodations for the whole family

Everyone can have a comfy bed to retreat to when the festivities are done in a vacation rental big enough to host everyone. No one need sleep on an air mattress when you choose to stay in a vacation rental for the holidays.

5. Off-season pricing

The fall and winter months mean lower prices on all our Lake Michigan holiday rentals. You can save between 30-50% off of peak season rates when you stay with us for the holidays. So, really, the holidays couldn’t be a more perfect time to stay in a Lake Michigan vacation rental!

6. Personal catering and grocery delivery services

Take advantage of the hospitality hook-ups vacation rental services can offer. You can arrange to have your meals personally catered by a local business or have your grocery shopping done for you in advance when you stay with Lakeshore Lodging. Grocery delivery is available in the Saugatuck area via Shipt, so Shipt members can have groceries delivered right to their vacation rentals. Take the tedium out of your holiday hosting tasks!

7. Homes are clean and ready when you walk in

Another stressful chore associated with holiday get-togethers: making sure everything is clean and ready for your guests. Well, when you choose to stay in a vacation rental for your holiday extravaganza, we take care of all the cleaning for you.

8. Housekeeping service when you leave

When all is said and done, you don’t have to clean after your guests when everybody leaves. All we ask at Lakeshore Lodging is that you load and run the dishwasher (no need to unload it) and take out the trash. The rest is up to us.

There are even more reasons to book a holiday stay at a Lake Michigan vacation rental. Discover them for yourself when you book a cozy cabin at Lakeshore Lodging.

Help us support Toys for Tots this year!

toys for tots

The season of giving is near, and this year, Lakeshore Lodging is choosing to celebrate by supporting Toys for Tots.

The Toys for Tots program is one that’s close to our hearts, delivering a message of hope to less fortunate children through a new toy at Christmas.

If you’ve witnessed the singular joy the gift of a new toy can bring a child, you know its power. Toys for Tots brings that joy to millions of children who would not otherwise experience it every year. The program brings the warmth and spirit of the Christmas holiday to less fortunate kids all around the country.

This year, with your help, we’d like to support the mission of Toys for Tots with a donation.

toys for totsLakeshore Lodging is a Toys for Tots drop-off location

From November 1  through December 15, we’ll be accepting toy donations for Toys for Tots. If you have a new, unwrapped toy you want to donate, stop by our office in Saugatuck to drop it off.

But that’s not the only way we’re supporting the program. Guests who don’t have a toy to donate can help, too.

1 early check in or late check out = 1 toy

When you add on an early check in or late check out to your existing or future stay arriving between November 1 and December 15, 2017, Lakeshore Lodging will donate one toy (up to a $25 value) to Toys for Tots. For $50, you can either start your vacation early or keep it going a little longer, and you’ll be supporting a great cause.

Join us in spreading the Christmas spirit to those who might not otherwise experience it. Add a little charity to your vacation, and help us support this exemplary program.

Find a great vacation rental to call home, and book your stay with Lakeshore Lodging today.

Thanksgiving in Michigan: Scenic, delicious, and fun!

thanksgiving in michigan

The best remedy to the short days and cold nights that November brings is a warm, homemade meal, surrounded by family, and no family meal is quite as good as Thanksgiving dinner! Thanksgiving holds a special place in our hearts, but Thanksgiving in Michigan is especially good. The weather might be chilly, but get-togethers and events here are cozy. In Saugatuck and the surrounding area, the weeks leading up to the holiday are full of great events—you’ll be in the holiday spirit in no time. Spend Thanksgiving in Michigan with us this year and see for yourself what makes Saugatuck so inviting, year round.

Thanksgiving in Michigan, Art Coast Edition

Things to do during a Saugatuck-Douglas Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day Buffet, Nov. 22, 2018. Don’t miss the Thanksgiving Day at The Kirby from 2pm-6pm. You can look forward to a traditional menu plus a few surprises. The cost is $40 per guest plus tax, gratuity, and beverage. The cost for children 10 and under is $20.

Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. Black Friday is typically associated with swarms of people flocking to large retail stores and Thanksgiving night cut short. Why bother with that when you can save your shopping for Saturday and support your favorite Saugatuck businesses?

FennMagic Makers Market, Nov. 23-25, 2018. Another opportunity to shop small in the area. Visit Fennville to find one-of-a-kind gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

Places to call home during your Thanksgiving in Michigan

A Thanksgiving vacation calls for a home that provides all the amenities for whatever kind of holiday you have in mind. With properties with fully equipped kitchens and gorgeous food-prep spaces, Lakeshore Lodging is the best vacation rentals to find your Thanksgiving home away from home. Here are some of our homes we think would be great to host an extravagant Thanksgiving meal in.

Aqua Vista

Sleeps: 12, Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 4

Stylish Aqua Visit boasts abundant space to gather with friends and family. Eat your Thanksgiving dinner with a view of Lake Michigan. Cuddle up on the spacious sectional couch and stay warm while you watch movies. Enjoy the company of your family in a beautifully designed home.

Mixed Doubles

Sleeps: 11, Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3

This home is located right on the lake. In terms of Thanksgiving-related amenities, it has a spacious dining table and a freshly renovated kitchen that’s a dream to cook in. Plus, the living area has a wood-burning fireplace to kick back by while you digest a legendary meal.

Switching Gears

Sleeps: 11, Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3

Switching Gears has lots of great spaces to gather, whether that be around the dinner table or around the fireplace. Downtown Douglas is just a mile away and Saugatuck is just two miles away from this home, so you’ll be close to the festivities in town.

Generations

Sleeps: 10, Bedrooms: 5, Bathrooms: 2

This spacious vacation rental has a great kitchen and dining space fully stocked with any equipment you could possibly need to make the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner. Great for big gatherings!

Borrowed Thyme

Sleeps: 10, Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 3

Borrowed Thyme is a perfect home away from home. Its gorgeous kitchen will have everything you need to prepare a perfect Thanksgiving meal. Watch the game on big screen TVs on the first floor and in the basement. Set the mood with seasonal music played over the speakers throughout the first floor.

Don’t Wait Until Thanksgiving to Enjoy Michigan!

If you’re planning on spending Thanksgiving in Michigan, great! However, you don’t have to wait until the end of November to enjoy Michigan. Here’s a quick look at what the Great Lakes State offers leading up to the holidays

Fall Foliage

Anyone who loves the amazing display of colors that autumn brings will love Michigan in the fall. Brilliant burnt hues, accompanied by farmland and Great Lakes shoreline, make Michigan a living postcard in autumn. All across the state, the changing leaves provide amazing views. Grab your jacket, a cup of hot apple cider,  and check out this Michigan fall colors map!

Michigan Fall Festivals

In October, Downtown Saugatuck hosts its Fall Fun Days events, where families can enjoy games, food, and music, during this month-long celebration.