This week, our wonderful Customer Service Agent Michele shares her family’s Thanksgiving travel tradition:

If you are looking to unwind, recharge your batteries, and enjoy time with your family during Thanksgiving (without the stress of cooking,) I highly recommend a visit to Stafford’s Bay View Inn located on Little Traverse Bay in Petoskey, Michigan.

This historic Inn, built over 125 years ago, looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. There are no televisions in the guest rooms, so you can catch up on your reading and uninterrupted family time in front of the fire. (For those who absolutely can’t miss the football games on Thanksgiving, televisions are located in their sun room and library.) Be sure to visit their charming gift shop which features regional and gourmet items. You can even get a jump start on your Christmas shopping; Stafford’s Cookbook has over 40 years worth of recipes, including their incredible Sticky Bun recipe.

The Thanksgiving buffet features carved turkey with all of the traditional side dishes, as well as ham, pork loin, pumpkin bisque and for dessert, cobbler and every type of pie you could imagine.

After you have completely stuffed yourself, you can bundle up and take a walk into town. The view of Little Traverse Bay is breathtaking, especially when there is a blanket of snow on the ground, common for this time of the year.

The next day, neighboring Harbor Springs has their tree lighting ceremony, and on Saturday Stafford’s hosts the downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade at 10 AM. You can warm up with some cocoa, hot mulled cider or coffee at one of the many local cafes or visit Stafford’s art gallery downtown. On our last trip, we purchased beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments from the art gallery, which is a lovely reminder of our trip when we decorate our Christmas tree.