Leland is well-known throughout Michigan for its famous Fishtown. Equally as stunning is the area of Leland just across M22 and up the road from Fishtown. Restaurants, wineries, the Leland River, and lodging awaits just steps from M22. One of the most beautiful parts of this area of Leland is The Riverside Inn. This historic Inn is celebrating 20 years with its current owners this September. Read on to see why you should celebrate with them.
Kate Vilter and her mother, Barbara, purchased The Riverside Inn in 1997. However, this Inn dates back to 1901. In 1924, the original Inn burnt down. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire, but the building was ruined. The owner at the time, Jacob Schwarz, also owned property across the street. This structure was a summer dance hall, also used for private events. It was directly on the river and had rooms upstairs for staff. This became the new home of The Riverside Inn. The Inn changed hands over time before coming to the Vilters, a family that had been summering in Leland since 1930.
About The Inn
The Riverside Inn has four, quaint rooms located upstairs. Rooms overlook the Leland River and the town of Leland. The restaurant downstairs is one of the best in the region. It is one of the best of Leelanau County because it brings so much of Leelanau County and the surrounding area to its table. Delicious cheeses made locally at Leelanau Cheese, Idyll Farms, and Boss Mouse Cheese are served on their charcuterie board and throughout other meals. Whitefish caught locally by Carlson’s makes one of the best entrees on the menu. And of course, we can’t talk about consuming the goods of Leelanau County without discussing wine. The Riverside Inn hosts an expansive menu of wines, including varieties from Blustone, Verterra Winery, Bel Lago, and Good Harbor Vineyards. On special nights with custom dinner pairings, the fabulous Baia Estates has been known to make an appearance. The Riverside Inn also has cider available from Tandem Ciders and many Michigan-made craft beers.
This past winter, Vilter completed a grand renovation of the Inn. The goal was to start in January and finish in time for the season in April. For those who are familiar with the setup of The Riverside Inn, the previous bar was pretty small. The new, beautiful bar now seats many more. The updated lighting includes Ball Jar pendants and provides a calming yet magical ambiance throughout the bar and restaurant. Main Street Gallery beautifully decorated the walls with art, all of which are available for purchase.
The Vilters’ goal with the renovation was to update the space while maintaining the tradition and familiarity of the Inn. They have done so beautifully. The renovated Riverside Inn maintains its history, but looks refreshed, inviting, and updated. Check out The Riverside Inn’s blog post to learn the full details of this elaborate renovation.
To celebrate the 20 years of ownership. the Vilters are hosting a celebration like no other. During the annual Heritage Festival on September 16th from 11:30am-3pm, come take a look at the newly renovated Inn. The open house will provide a complimentary luncheon buffet. Live music from Blind Dog Hank will be playing on the outdoor deck. A cash bar is available as well.
In addition to the open house, The Riverside Inn is giving away an amazing opportunity. Contestants can enter to win a cocktail cruise on the Rivergirl, a beautiful wooden boat. Along with the cruise on the Rivergal, winners get dinner for two at The Riverside Inn. Fill out the form here or enter in person at the open house. A winner will be chosen at random on September 17th.
The 20th anniversary celebration is the perfect opportunity to check out the newly renovated Riverside Inn. Stop by, enjoy some food, and enter to win this fantastic opportunity.
Have you been to The Riverside Inn? What’s your favorite part about the new renovations?