Walk on the white sand, private Lake Michigan beach for miles. Come back to a gorgeous Cottage with a complete stainless steel gourmet kitchen, cozy custom furnishings, and two porches. For chilly nights, there is a Vermont castings woodburning stove (wood and starters provided). Located in the middle of Michigan orchard country with several local winemakers (and a 'wine trail') as well as many art galleries, Lilac Cottage is the perfect base for explorations. Nearby St. Joseph boasts a top-notch small art museum, Children's Museum, and lovely restaurants. Benton Harbor has its own microbrewery along with a public access glassblowing studio. Only a few miles away is Sarett Nature Center with cross-country ski and nature trails. If you want fresh, local food products, the Saturday Farmers' Market in St. Joe is where you go. There are many local berry farms (u-pick or pre-picked) close by--guaranteed to be the best berries you've ever tasted! When you make your reservation, you will get Morrison and David's 20 most favorite things to do in the area--guaranteed to have something for everyone!
Lilac Cottage, named for its large lilac tile painting by a local artist, is located on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. It is reminiscent of the summer resort cottages of your youth--but with modern conveniences. After entering the lace curtained front door, you can relax or change into your bathing suits to walk down the stairs to the private, white sand beach of the southeast Lake Michigan shore. Sunbathe, swim, kayak, or take a leisurely stroll on the sand for miles. There are two kayaks and multiple beach chairs available. On a clear day you can see the St. Joseph lighthouse. Spectacular sunsets are on view from a double swing on the bluff or from the firepit patio.
Cottage Furnishings: The Cottage itself is comfortably furnished with oriental rugs, William Morris custom curtains, a rocker, a wicker sofa, and several comfortable chairs. A sleeping niche, complete with curtains to 'cabin' it off, has a day bed and trundle bed. The bedroom, with French doors that can create a private space in the open floor plan, couldn't be cozier with its own CD player and TV/DVD player that can be rolled into the living room. Satellite TV and a video/DVD library are available. A wide selection of reading materials, along with numerous board games, are also provided. A port for IPod or MP3 player is supplied. For those chilly evenings, a Vermont castings wood-burning stove provides warmth. There is original artwork everywhere.
Cook's dream kitchen: The Bulthaup stainless steel kitchen is a cook's dream. It is fully equipped, from a stove top espresso maker to blender. You can choose from an electric drip coffee maker or a cafetiere (French press). A 5-burner gas cooktop and wall oven encourage fabulous meals from local fresh products. You are encouraged to pick fresh herbs from the main house next door. A Webber gas grill is on your south porch, with dining table and chairs under the cover of the east porch where a double hung swing is located to wile away the hours There is a dining table and four chairs indoors, too. Calphalon pots and pans, and a pasta pot, are provided. There are plenty of plates, glasses (wine and martini, too!), flatware and serving pieces to go around.
Gardens and Yard: There is a very large 'pasture' on the east side of the Cottage which is perfect for horseshoes or croquet (provided) or just playing catch with Fido. Yes, we do permit well-behaved dogs. There is a daylily garden surrounding two sides of the Cottage and a wall with trellises bursting with climbing hydrangeas and clematis on the north. We have a hose at the front door to wash off beach sand.
Lilac Cottage shares the property with the main house, Lavender House, homeaway.com, # 357258. The houses are on 1 1/2 acres and maintain privacy although they do share beach stairs, kayaks and beach furniture, and the beach. The bluff, with its firepit and benches and a double swing, is available to both houses, but Lavender House is limited to five renters. It is 120 stair steps to the beach, with small landings every 20 steps.