10 Best Mom-And-Pop Resorts in Northern Michigan

More than 10,000 voters from across the state weighed in on 101 things they love about Northern Michigan. Their votes determined over 300 Red Hot Best winners and 700 honorable mentions. Here you’ll find the top picks for best mom-and-pop resorts in Northern Michigan!

Red Hot Best Winner: Chimney Corners Resort
Mary Rogers prefers the term “vintage” to “mom-and-pop” when talking about the resort that’s been in her husband’s family since the 1930s. But she says it is fair to call Chimney Corners old school. In fact, that’s the draw. Here you’ll find rent-by-the-week, historic summer cottages that don’t have phones or TVs (though there is internet now.) What this resort does have is all the low-tech but proven summer vacation essentials: A healthy length of beach frontage on scenic Crystal Lake, forested hiking trails, waterfront fire pits, tennis and basketball courts, and a beachside breakfast joint. “This is the place you come to get together, unplug and turn off the things that suck all our time these days,” Mary says.

She concedes that selling this kind of throwback approach can be a little tricky in a hospitality economy that’s big on amenities and home-away-from-home experiences like Airbnb. But Chimney Corners continues to thrive in large part because of a loyal set of visitors who return year after year. Mary says they’ve been at it long enough now to see the kids of their most loyal customers grow up and bring their own families.

One other reason we see this “vintage” resort only getting better with age? Mary and Jim’s youngest son seems eager to take the helm after they retire, allowing them to keep their family’s own story at Chimney Corners going for another generation.

[Check out this Traverse Magazine feature about Chimney Corners]

Ranch Rudolf

Second Place: Sleeping Bear Resort
Only a short distance from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, beautiful golf courses, downtown Traverse City, and many other attractions!

Third Place: Ranch Rudolf
Post horse-ride, keep the slow pace going all day: Guests are welcome to unwind on the banks of the ranch’s fishing pond. Or, rent a canoe or inner tube from the ranch for a lazy cruise on the river.

The remaining Red Hot Best winners for ‘best mom-and-pop resort’ in alphabetical order:

June cover 2017


Get your copy of the June 2017 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine for the complete list of over 300 Red Hot Best winners! Subscribe and get the June issue plus 12 months of Traverse Magazine for year-round travel ideas and food recommendations!


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