You’ll find a range of reasonably-priced chain hotels clustered near the I-94 interchange in Jackson . Three include the Hampton Inn (2225 Shirley Dr., 517/789-5151, www.hamptoninn.com , $119–139 d), the Fairfield Inn (2395 Shirley Dr., 517/784-7877, www.marriott.com , $94–149 d), and the Country Hearth Inn (1111 Boardman Rd., 517/783-6404, www.countryhearth.com , $63–83 d).
Not far from the Cascades , you’ll find The Parlour (1401 Daniel St., 517/783-1581, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $3–20), an ice-cream emporium that has been dishing it out for more than 50 years. Choose from 35 flavors and dozens of sundaes, parfaits, malts, and shakes, including the always-popular tin roof sundae and the towering banana split, nearly a foot high. The diner-style menu also offers salads, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza—just in case you didn’t actually come for dessert.
This is meat-and-potatoes country, and you’re going to have a tough time beating it. If you’re happy to join it, try Steve’s Ranch (311 Louis Glick Hwy., 517/787-4367, www.stevesranch.com , 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 6 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun., $10–30), a longtime favorite for omelets, burgers, and, of course, steaks.