YOUNG AT HEART: Local places to keep love alive after 50

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 12:49 pm on Friday, February 08, 2013

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many folks are thinking about ways to keep the spark fired up in the old furnace. After all, even the best relationship, given enough time, can benefit from a little boost of romance.

The trouble is, finding new and exciting couples activities — particularly for the 50-plus crowd — can prove difficult for those living in a smaller community. Here we present just a few ideas for romantic fun in and around Greenville.

• Hiking and its many permutations

Clifford Lake Inn in Stanton is one of a few West Michigan areas where couples can enjoy a romantic evening. The historic inn offers a warming setting with a fireplace, soft lighting, delicious food and a scenic view of Clifford Lake.

There are literally miles of pristine hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails peppered throughout the area. Getting out of the house for a little fresh air and exercise with your special someone is a great way to spice up not just your love life, but your life in general.

• Sledding and downhill skiing

As long as you’re enjoying the outdoors, why not take advantage of the quality ski and toboggan runs available within a 30 minute drive? Inexpensive options are often available, especially for those able to take advantage of mid-week specials.

• When it comes to romance, particularly on or around Valentine’s Day, nothing beats a quiet evening out at a nice restaurant. Turk Lake Restaurant, 161 S. Turk Lake Drive in Greenville, and Clifford Lake Inn, 561 Clifford Lake Drive in Stanton, both are offering great Valentine’s Day specials.

Turk Lake Restaurant also offers special options on other holidays such as Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and so on, according to the establishment’s manager Mary Rees.

“This is a good place to come for a romantic dinner,” Rees said.

Other likely considerations for a Valentine’s Day (or any day) romantic dinner include Latitudes Roadhouse in Howard City, Maxfield’s in Edmore, and, in Greenville, 57 Brew Pub & Bistro, the Winter Inn and Belding’s Candlestone Golf & Resort.

For those who like a little excitement with their dinner, Clifford Lake Inn is presenting a special murder mystery show over Valentine’s Day weekend.

“Over Valentine’s, we have a murder mystery show on Saturday for $30 that includes a dinner option of steak or chicken and the show,” said Clifford Lake representative Kim Hirkaway. “We also have dinner specials we will be running from Thursday to Saturday.”

Candlestone Inn also offers live entertainment on a fairly regular basis, including a regular schedule featuring nationally-known standup comics.

• Advice regarding romance and the assurance of its longevity is like a backroads route from San Francisco to New York; it goes on forever and is just as hard to follow.

Several Daily News Facebook readers chimed in the topic, though. Following are a few of their comments:

• “(Romance?) If only there was one.” — Kristy Gachter

• “What romance?” — Paulie Copas

• “If you are trying to keep (romance) alive, it shouldn’t be celebrated only once a year.” — Ashley Mykel Miller

• “I don’t know about romance, but as long as I have wine and chocolate it’s all good. Wine always helps to keep the love alive.” — Tammy Hill

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