The small town of Tomohon is up in the hills about an hour's drive from Manado. It's something of a transportation hub for North Sulawesi, and many of the sights around the highlands are not far from Tomohon. The city has a rather interesting market, but other than that doesn't seem to have much to recommend it. There are a few accommodations around Tomohon, which are best described as "rustic" but the highlands sights are quite spread out, so staying in Tomohon doesn't necessarily make it any easier to access the sights without your own transportation.
Tomohon Area Sights
Mount Mahawu Volcano is just a surprisingly short drive from town, through fields of corn, cabbages and other produce. Mahawu is the northernmost, and least active, of a string of young volcanoes along North Sulawesi's spine.
Just outside of Tomohon is the handicraft village of Woloan. The local "handicraft" here is quite unique: houses - the kind you live in.