Michigan is a prime vacation destination, with its expanded access to the Great Lakes, some unique big cities, and lots of pristine wilderness. Michigan is a surprisingly wonderful little slice of the USA. It’s got beaches and forests along the edge of Lake Michigan and a flourishing wine and craft beer scene throughout the state.
Mackinac Island draws tons of visitors in the summer, but there are plenty of wooded areas for you to hide away and relax in peace and quiet too. Plus, with foodie towns like Traverse City and Grand Rapids, the range of dining options is a huge draw for folks hoping to eat some great local food. Come for skiing in the winter and boating in the summer. But definitely come, and do so resort-style, for eating, drinking, and relaxing all year round.
Let’s have a look at the best resorts in Michigan:
1. Mission Point Resort
Located on the shores of a favorite Michigan vacation spot, Mission Point Reserve on Mackinac Island is the definition of a luxury resort. Transform your getaway into a health and wellness retreat at their Lakeside Spa and Salon with hot stone massages, facials, and steam rooms. Play tennis and bocce ball on the grounds, enjoy the pool and hot tub, and have a go on the resort’s 18-hole putting green. For the real thing, guests receive complimentary golf carts and preferred tee times at the nearby Wawashkamo Golf Club.
Rent a bicycle or kayak and explore the beauty of the island or take a garden tour led by their resident horticulturist. Eat seasonally at the resort’s four unique restaurants, headed by an award-winning chef. Savor Italian food at Chianti, enjoy drinks on the terrace at Round Island Bar & Grill, or have some champagne and chocolates in their tasting room, Reserve. Accommodations include rooms in the Main Lodge and Straits Lodge, with amenities like free wifi, coffeemakers, and spa bath products, plus upgrades like hot tubs and fireplaces in their suites.
2. Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa
This Thompsonville resort is the perfect place for a family vacation. It’s got The Park at Water’s Edge, which is a mix of a swimming pool and an aquatic playground, with water cannons for the kids and water basketball and volleyball. Just outside, there’s a climbing wall and adventure course too. In terms of exciting activities, they’ve also got mountain biking, outdoor laser tag, and paintball. Guests can take a ride down the alpine slide or play disc golf on their nine-hole course. Or you can play real golf on one of their two courses.
Stay in a room or a suite, or if you’re bringing the whole family, rent a multi-bedroom cottage, condo, or bungalow. Accommodations come with options like private balconies, efficiency kitchens, and even private pools. With several dining options, you can enjoy handmade pizza at the bistro and grocery, or go for appetizers and drinks at the Wild Tomato. The Thistle Pub & Grille has a seasonal menu with steaks and fish, plus a great list of locally made craft beers.
3. Garland Lodge and Resort
With rustic lodging, scenic natural surroundings, a great golf course, and lots of food options, Garland Lodge and Resort in Lewiston is not a bad place to spend the week. They’ll even package all those things together for you at a great price if you want to do it all. Their on-site restaurants and bars love a good theme night too. They’ve got Cinco de Mayo night with Mexican food and margaritas (obviously), Tapas and Trivia, Polish Night, and a Derby Party with mint julep specials.
Besides being a premier golf destination in Michigan, in the winter you can check out their fish camp for a chance to catch and release rainbow trout. Or try cross-country skiing, but do it in style with their Nordic Nibble and Nosh trail. Guests get to ski from stop to stop for snacks and drinks along the way. Stay in a room at the Main Lodge or the South Wing, or upgrade to one of their golf cottages or villas with gas grills, decks, and fireplaces.
4. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
This resort gets fab reviews and it’s not hard to see why. From their location in Traverse City, guests will be close to the state’s wine country, Lake Michigan’s beaches, a very “foodie” town, and one of the nation’s top golf destinations. But you won’t even need to leave the resort to eat and drink well, with three restaurants and two bars on the property and options to dine with views of the bay or the golf course.
Hike their wooded trails, relax on the beach, or book a day at the spa. If you’ve got the time, play a round of golf on each of their three excellent courses. Hit the health club (with its five indoor tennis courts), rent paddleboards and jet skis, or try your luck at the nearby Turtle Creek Casino. Or you could just hang out by the pool and leave the kids at the indoor water playground. Rooms in the hotel and tower are built with scenic views in mind, and the Hospitality Suites are all about entertaining, with luxe amenities like wine refrigerators and 60” flat-screen TVs.
5. The Inn at Bay Harbour
This resort is fancy. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Little Traverse Bay, the property itself is nothing if not detail-oriented. Good food is abundant, with decadent breakfasts and lake views at the Sagamore and afternoon tea in the main lobby. The Vintage Chophouse and Wine Bar has rustic yet refined fare like short ribs, planked Scottish salmon, and a cowboy ribeye. If you can’t get your fill there, the resort can also arrange a Michigan Wine Experience Package, complete with a tour of several wineries along the Bay View Wine Trail.
The accommodations range from rooms at the Inn to luxuriously spacious suites and cottages. Add-ons include fireplaces, hot tubs, private covered porches, and kitchenettes. Spend a day at the spa with its full-service salon and nail room, or bike around Bay Harbour to the many nearby small towns. Play a round at one of the five courses at your disposal in “America’s Summer Golf Capital,” or chill by the pool or beach with a tropical drink from the Cabana Bar.
6. Grand Hotel
Yep, this is another resort on the Michigander favorite of Mackinac Island, but that’s because the area is just a resort kinda place. Condé Nast’s Traveler called them one of the Top 5 Midwest Resorts. Other credentials? They’ve got the world’s longest porch, where you can relax in a rocking chair and enjoy the slow pace of life here. The Grand Hotel maintains traditions like afternoon tea and nighttime dancing, and they’ll be celebrating their 130th birthday soon.
Each room on the premises is uniquely decorated with bright colors, patterned fabrics, and fun wallpaper designs. Suites include parlor areas, and cottages come with private hot tubs and fully stocked refrigerators and bars, plus a Wii gaming system. Play golf on The Jewel, relax at Astor’s Salon and Spa, or visit the resort’s swimming pool. Wander the gardens or seek out the live music happening all day long in many areas of the property. Have at least one formal dinner in the Main Dining Room during your visit, and then have your pick of five more casual eateries, plus an ice cream parlor!
7. Marina Grand Resort
A waterfront resort in New Buffalo harbor, this is a true luxury right on the lake. That means every room has great waterfront views from its private patio or deck and comes with a fireplace inside. Larger rooms and suites have European kitchens, living and dining areas, and soaking tubs. Relax at the marina or walk to a stunning beach on Lake Michigan. You can also go for a wine tasting or venture out for some hiking. Warren Dunes State Park is just nearby
There’s also plenty of shopping if you’re not into cycling, watersports, golf, or fishing. You can drink like a local at all the breweries, distilleries, and wineries within a stone’s throw. And the resort’s Bentwood Tavern offers lakeside dining, serving up artisan comfort cuisine, which means sophisticated pub fare, homemade pizzas, fresh seafood, and steaks. If the weather’s good, enjoy their rooftop bar with Michigan craft beer, wine, and cocktails.
8. The Homestead
Leelanau County has been called one of the most beautiful places in America. The Homestead is located amongst its tranquil farms, sandy beaches, massive dunes, and timbered ridges. This resort is actually surrounded by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, plus nearby vineyards and cherry orchards. Go exploring there, or stick close to the lake for hiking, kayaking, swimming, lounging, fishing, and climbing.
Visit their Spa Amira or make a special trip to Lillyjade Salon for a fresh haircut. For dinner, enjoy Italian at Nonna’s or watch the sunset over Sleeping Bear Bay at Café Manitou’s. There’s even a sports bar, Beppi’s, with pizzas, calzones, and salads, or a grocery, Cavanaugh’s, where you can stock up on snacks and drinks for your personal stash. Stay in a room at the Inn overlooking the river and Lake Michigan, or in Little Belle with its suites set amongst waterfalls and gardens. Or rent a condominium with fireplaces, luxurious bathrooms, and premium bedding.
9. Evergreen Resort
Located on over 300 acres outside of the town of Cadillac, Evergreen Resort is perfect for outdoorsy stuff and golf. They’ve got miles of trails for hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. And there’s tons of national forest at your fingertips for fishing, downhill skiing, and lakeside beaching and watersports. Or just stick close to the resort and enjoy the indoor pool and whirlpool when you’re not playing their 27 holes of championship golf.
With two on-site dining options, guests can visit Passage North for locally and globally inspired dishes and large portions, where they can eat fireside on the patio. Or check out Curly’s Bar which offers a range of trendy Michigan craft beers as well as tavern fare. Accommodations include free wifi, flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, and complimentary breakfast buffets. And not that you’d want to work, but they’ve got plenty of meeting space for your next corporate event.
10. Boyne Mountain Resort
This resort is all about having fun. From horseback riding to ziplining to Michigan’s largest indoor water park, you and your family won’t be bored. They offer free fly-casting lessons and wakeboarding camps, plus other out-of-the-box activities like segway tours and paintball. They even have daily hayrides and bonfires with s’mores during the summer. Their two golf courses, The Alpine and The Monument, provide guests with 36 holes for multiple days of play.
The resort has eight different restaurant choices, a beer garden, a deli, and an ice cream shop, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to food and drink. Forty Acres Tavern serves up pub fare and over 20 beers, and there are two waterfront dining spots located on Deer Lake, Gigi’s Tiki Bar and the Beach House Restaurant. Stay in their quaint European lodge or a larger condominium, villa, or cabin where you can be close to the course or the slopes.
11. Bavarian Inn Lodge
A bit on the unique side, this resort sticks to a Bavarian theme in an interesting fashion. You’ll feel as if you’ve teleported to a quaint German village without ever crossing the Atlantic. There’s riverfront scenery, horse-drawn carriages, an indoor waterpark, and over 40 shops and boutiques on this resort property. You’ll see traditional Bavarian architecture in their Glockenspiel and covered wooden bridge. The resort hosts lots of festivals, but even if there isn’t one going on while you’re there, check out the nightly live entertainment or the family karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays.
As you might expect, they’ve got a huge selection of German beers and German foods like schnitzel, sauerbraten, and golden chicken at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant which has been open since 1888. But of course, you’ll get it served in a very American way: family-style and all-you-can-eat. Don’t worry, you can work it off on one of their four tennis courts in the exercise room. European-themed rooms and suites include a mini fridge, flat-screen TV, and upgrade options like whirlpools.
12. Treetops Resort
This place is all about hitting the links. Treetops has over 81 holes of championship golf spread amongst five distinctly different courses, including the “World’s Best Par 3 Course.” They also offer lessons from professionals if you need ‘em. Afterward, you can take a break and head to the spa for massages, nail care, and other body treatments. Or stick around for winter and check out the skiing, snow tubing, and dog sledding. So yeah, maybe it’s not all about golf.
The resort also offers Culinary Adventures, like their series of Farm2Fork Beer Pairing Dinners where they’ll take you out to the Wilderness Cabin for some locally grown food. Or in the winter, enjoy their Wilderness Sleigh Ride which ends with a four-course meal. But even if you’re just hanging around the resort, you can enjoy the two restaurants and sports bar located on the property. Accommodation options are comfortable, and you can choose from rooms in the Lodge or the Inn, or upgrade to a condominium, cottage, or chalet.
13. Bayshore Resort
Located on the beach of West Grand Traverse Bay, you’re just a short walk from downtown for shopping, dining, and nightlife. You can also easily pop over to one of the many wineries or casinos in the area. Or since you’re on vacay, just stay at the resort and get your fill of boating, swimming, skiing, fishing, and golfing. They’ve got economical accommodation options in their standard rooms, but if you’re trying to upgrade then choose one of their spa rooms or suites with bay views and private balconies and patios. And they’ve got wifi in every room.
Stick by the indoor pool, or head out to the lake and rent a jet ski for the afternoon. Their private beach is a big draw for summertime visitors. But they also offer lots of different packages which hook guests up with tickets to culinary and wine events in the city. Staff can coordinate a lot of things, like winery tours, tastings, or even a romance package with chocolates and champagne.
14. Tamarack Lodge
Possibly the best Traverse City resort on the beach, Tamarack Lodge ain’t cheap, but it might just be worth the cash. They’ve got 800 feet of “sugar sand” shoreline on Lake Michigan and they’re all about luxury. Built in an arts and crafts architectural style, the rooms in the resort’s condominium lodge are elegantly appointed with waterfront views. Guests can choose between one, two, and three-bedroom units. They come with amenities like full-size kitchens, private balconies, spa-like bathrooms with jacuzzis or jetted tubs, gas fireplaces, and premium linens.
On the property, you can lounge at the beach, rent boats and jet skis, use their barbecues and beach bonfire pits, or have a drink at the outdoor cafe. The staff can also recommend great golf and spa options just off-site. Hit their bike and snowmobile trails, or visit the many restaurants, bars, and vineyards within walking distance.
15. Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
For something a little different, why not gamble a bit on your holiday? Or just get cozy in your luxury room or suite complete with a fireplace and jacuzzi. Then you can stroll to the spa for your appointment, or set up a tee time at the golf course. This resort is surprisingly family-friendly too, with a huge indoor waterpark that includes a surf simulator, climbing wall, water slides, and lazy river. Rent a cabana by the pool, soak in the hot tub, or stop by the pro shop.
Their huge casino is spread out over 200,000 square feet, and it includes table games, slots, bingo, and poker if you’re feelin’ lucky. In the evenings, there’s great entertainment at the resort with big music stars like Jason Aldean and Loretta Lynn performing, plus comedy acts like Bill Maher. As for dining, guests will find a steakhouse, Italian restaurant, classic diner, and buffet located on the property. But there’s also a coffee shop, sub shop, and lounge for cocktails too.