Experience the snowy season and surprise your loved one with a winter getaway at one of these Northern Michigan hotels and lodges with warm-you-to-your-toes amenities.
Snowshoe Sleeping Bear
The Homestead, a family-friendly ski resort in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, has everything you need for a perfect winter getaway; breathtaking ski and snowboard runs with views of Lake Michigan, a serene spa and a stocked wine cellar at Nonna’s (one of several on-site eateries) where Chef John Piombo serves authentic Italian cuisine. The Glen Arbor resort even has a sleet of cross-country skis and trails that connect the property to the national lakeshore, which, when winter comes, transforms into a wildly stunning snowscape. Miles of trails lace the lakeshore (find maps at nps.gov/slbe), but Pyramid Point (a 5-minute drive from the resort) is always a must-visit. The trailhead parking lot is seasonal, so leave your car about a half mile away next to the Leelanau Outdoor Center, then hike or snowshoe to the trailhead. From there, take the short 0.6-mile trail to a grand Lake Michigan overlook, or extend your adventure and explore the entire 2.7-mile loop.
Warm Up in Wine Country
Escape to Hotel Walloon, where the vintage elegance of the Hemingway era meets convenience and luxe. The Walloon Lake hotel sits in the center of the Petoskey Wine Region, which stretches from Central Lake north to Harbor Springs. Spend a weekend soaking up sweeping, snow-covered views, while you visit 14 distinct wineries with tasting rooms as unique as the cold-hardy grape varieties being grown in the northern vineyards. When you return to Hotel Walloon for the night, head outdoors for a sunset soak in the waterfront hot tub: Ask at the desk, and staff will have the outdoor heaters ready so you’ll stay toasty even when getting out. After you’ve toweled off, head to the lobby bar, settle in by the massive fieldstone fireplace and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided by Walloon Lake Inn, followed by a dessert presentation. Say ahhhhh. (Tip: Ask about to-go orders from Barrel Back restaurant. After you place your order, a hotel staff member will go next door to pick it up and bring it to your room, with plates.)
Cozy Up in the Northern Woods
Surround yourself with nature at one of these lodges. Barothy Lodge in Walhalla (between Ludington and Baldwin) sits right on the Pere Marquette River, with easy access to miles of hiking, skiing and snowmobiling trails — grab a map from the office. Fifteen individual lodges are available to rent, ranging from a one-bedroom log cabin with a fireplace, to Barothy’s nine-and-a-half-bedroom Whitetail Lodge with a sauna and vaulted great room.
Farther north, at Crooked River Lodge in Alanson, guests are welcomed by a multi-story stone fireplace and antlered chandelier, and you’ll love the outdoor fire pit by the river and indoor pool room with a waterfall wall. Snowshoes are available to guests, or rent a snowmobile from Country Wide Powersports, Indian River Sports Center or Burt Lake Marina.
Find this article and many others in the December 2020 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine; or subscribe to get Traverse delivered to your door all year round.