Early on in the planning process, we decided having a day to relax before making the drive home would be best, so the third and final segment of our trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was visiting Short’s Brewery in nearby Bellaire, Michigan.
After a scenic hourish-long drive, Megan, Erin, and I arrived at our our lodging destination of choice for Sunday, the Stone Waters Inn & Suites. We had the Stables Room, which was located on the back porch of the inn overlooking a quiet river among the trees. As an added bonus, we were greeted with pastries and popcorn!
After washing off the dirt and grime a couple days of rustic camping will give you, we spent a few moments exploring the inn. A pool table and fireplace, stacks of board games, and a collection of books were available in the lobby, while outdoors there were lawn games, a fire pit, and a hot tub overlooking the river.
As an added bonus, we were only about a block from the number one reason we decided to visit the quaint little town of Bellaire, the pub for Short’s Brewery!
As we made our way along the quiet downtown street, we took note of the little shops, restaurants, and local watering holes along the way.
Hungry for fresh food and a good craft beer after surviving on dehydrated foods and instant coffee for the past couple of days, we ordered an assortment of carb-laden appetizers, several rounds of beer, and sandwiches too.
To start, we enjoyed fresh soft pretzels with queso cheese, peanut butter and jam, and hot mustard to dip them in (each being made specially with one of Short’s own beers), as well as toasted garlic bread coated in a creamy dip of spinach, artichokes, and pesto. Both were excellent, but the spinach/artichoke/pesto dip was unanimously our favorite!
For my sandwich, I opted for the quesadilla, which included black beans, sweet corn, avocado, and cheese, and was accompanied by salsa and homemade tortilla chips. If I’m being completely honest, my affinity for salsa meant that container was gone within four chips, so the rest mostly served as a vehicle for more spinach dip.
Between the three of us, we tried Rosie Palmer, Nicie, Bourbon Mango Cooler, Strawberry Short’s Cake, Totally Noche, Octorock Cider, Soft Parade (which all three of us already knew we liked but wanted to drink anyway), and Action Pants. I can’t complain about any of them, but my favorite was definitely the Action Pants.
When our carbohydrate stores were comfortably replenished, we walked around town for a bit and then headed back to our hotel to stretch our sore muscles, relax, and bask in the glow of Investigation Discovery.
The beds in our hotel were incredibly comfortable, so all of us slept like rocks.
In the morning, we made coffee in our room (extremely thankful that they had good coffee) and enjoyed it sitting down by the river before checking out, going to breakfast, and heading back home.
The drive back was relatively uneventful. The weather became dreary, everyone was tired, and there was a lot of traffic and construction for the last hour or so.
It was pouring rain by the time Megan pulled up to our house and we started to unload the car. I was was sad my little adventure was over, but glad to be reunited with Luke and Patronus again.
If you’re interested, you can read the rest of my trip report to South Manitou Island by clicking on the links below.
- Part One: Planning Our Trip to South Manitou Island
- Part Two: Camping in Glen Haven
- Part Three: Backpacking South Manitou Island
- Part Four: Pretzels and Beer