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15 Top-Rated Resorts in Michigan

Written by Anietra Hamper
May 4, 2020

Michigan is an all-season destination that is as inviting in winter, with a 16-foot snow base for skiing in the Upper Peninsula, as it is in the summer, with more than 650 different golf courses in the state. While skiing and golf are the main seasonal draws for the top resorts in Michigan, vacationers come to push the limits of both relaxation and activity by indulging in the diverse natural landscape throughout the state.

Resorts near Detroit and Traverse City thrive on offering a secluded paradise, with luxury amenities adjacent to the urban vibe. Northwest Michigan is where many people soak up resort life because cities like Boyne Falls, Petosky, and Bay Harbor are farther away from the metropolitan areas. For those who truly want a retreat, there is no better escape than the romantic flare of resorts on Mackinac Island. You can only ferry to the island in the summer, when the soft afternoon breeze blows off the water, and guests drift off in Adirondack chairs on the lawn.

The top resorts in Michigan cater to romantic getaways, girlfriend spa weekends, golf trips, and family retreats. Whether you take a ski class, try snowshoeing or dogsledding through the wintry woods, take a trip to climb the sand dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan, or spend a weekend on the world-class golf courses, it's easy to pack a collection of memorable experiences into one trip with this list of the best resorts in Michigan.

1. Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island | Photo Copyright: Anietra Hamper

The Grand Hotel in Michigan's Mackinac Island is an elegant getaway that ushers guests into another century. There are no cars on the island, so once you ferry from the mainland, you will be transported by horse and carriage to the Grand Hotel. Its famous wooden verandah sits more than 660 feet high on a hill, with rocking chairs awaiting your arrival.

Since 1887, the hotel has served as a retreat for visitors looking for formal dinners, afternoon tea in the parlor, and high-end amenities. More than 40 guest rooms are decorated with themes to honor US presidents, entertainers, time periods, and even flowers, so no two rooms are the same. Be sure to walk the grounds at the hotel to admire the landscaping done by hand and look for memorabilia from the 1979 movie Somewhere in Time that was shot at the hotel, with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve.

Two must-dos during your stay: spend at least one sunset on the grand porch for a view you will never forget and enjoy a scoop of homemade ice cream from Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor. The island shuts down in the winter.

Address: 286 Grand Avenue, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Accommodation: Grand Hotel

2. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme | Photo Copyright: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is one of the best spa resorts in Michigan. It has several kinds of lodging located on 900 acres of Northern Michigan. Stay in the 17-story glass tower with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan or reserve a condo for your home away from home. The quiet 900-acre property is a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

There are three championship golf courses on the grounds and a golf school. In the summer, you can take a shuttle to the resort's private Shores Beach Club on East Grand Traverse Bay with an exclusive stretch of beach where jet skis and kayaks are available for rent. In the winter, you can explore snowshoe and cross-country ski trails.

Packages are available to combine on-site activities, like the full-service spa, with off-site excursions to shopping and dining in nearby Traverse City. While the resort has six dining options, the Aerie Restaurant & Lounge located at the top of the tower is a unique experience with unobstructed views of the sunset over Grand Traverse Bay.

Address: 100 Grand Traverse Blvd., Acme, Michigan

Accommodation: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

3. Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville

Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville | Photo Copyright: Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain Resort is where skiers and golfers go big or go home. There are 58 downhill ski slopes on the property, two challenging golf courses, and a world-class spa where many people begin or end the day with a massage. The all-season resort is located in Thompsonville, just south of Traverse City and caters to those who plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.

In addition to the ski slopes and ski school options, wintertime means snow trail hiking, fat tire biking, snowmobiling, and ice skating. It is a top resort for families due to the many family-geared amenities, especially in the summer. The Crystal Coaster alpine slide, Water's Edge pool, art park, and adventure course are just some of the main attractions for families to enjoy.

To get the lay of the land when you first arrive, hop on a chairlift ride for the best view of the property. For an added experience during your stay at Crystal Mountain, plan a day-trip through the resort to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The park encompasses 35 miles of Lake Michigan and the famous dunes on the quiet beaches.

Address: 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville, Michigan

Accommodation: Crystal Mountain

4. Treetops Resort, Gaylord

Treetops Resort, Gaylord | Photo Copyright: Treetops Resort

The Treetops Resort and spa in northern Michigan is easily ranked as one of the top golf destinations in the United States with more than 81 holes of golf on five courses. There is a wide selection of golf instruction options for children, beginners, women, and academies for the experienced who want to take their game to a higher level. There are even exclusive golf tournaments at the resort.

The resort ups the ante in the winter, too, with a terrain park, extreme tubing, and 23 ski runs. If you prefer to try dog sledding or wilderness sleigh rides and skiing, you can do that, too. For those who want to simply enjoy the accommodations, a full-service spa on-site is a popular retreat for couple and girlfriend getaways.

One of the most unique features of the Treetops Resort is its Culinary Adventure Series, where you can take part in events like wilderness sleigh ride dinners, farm-to-fork dinners, and a "skiable feast." The culinary events combine an element of outdoor adventure with unique dining experiences.

Address: 3962 Wilkinson Road, Gaylord, Michigan

Accommodation: Treetops Resort

5. Bayshore Resort

Photo Source: Bayshore Resort

The Bayshore Resort in Traverse City sits on the waterfront of West Grand Traverse Bay. Lodging at the resort is diverse, ranging from Bayfront rooms with private balconies to spa rooms with two-person spa tubs. Suites at the resort have added luxury with a spa tub, fireplace, and views of the beach.

Bayshore Resort has a private beach for guests to use, along with towels and chairs. During the summer season, guests can rent boats and Jet Skis to use. The resort is within walking distance of downtown

Traverse City, where you can do some shopping and enjoy local dining.

Address: 833 E. Front Street, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Bayshore Resort

6. Evergreen Resort

Photo Source: Evergreen Resort

The Evergreen Resort is located just outside Cadillac, Michigan on hundreds of private acres, so you are just far enough outside the city to find solitude but close enough to enjoy the urban scene when you want to. There are two golf courses and a pro shop on the grounds. Enjoy the indoor swimming pool and 12-person whirlpool even during the winter.

The rooms and suites at the resort range from standard to deluxe with Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, and multiple bathrooms. The resort is surrounded by a half million acres of forest, so hiking trails, biking, and outdoor recreation is just outside the door.

Address: 7880 Mackinaw Trail, Cadillac, Michigan

Accommodation: Evergreen Resort

7. Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection Hotels

Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection Hotels | Photo Copyright: Inn at Bay Harbor

The grandiose appearance of the Inn at Bay Harbor is a sight you will never forget, but the resort goes to great lengths to make sure that the experiences you have are equally unforgettable.

The romantic allure of the resort is what makes it perfect for couples' getaways. The Inn at Bay Harbor encourages guests to forget about watches, clocks, and obligations and instead focus on simple life indulgences, like delicious food, quiet conversations over coffee, and spending time together doing activities.

The resort lodging ranges from private suites with fireplaces and kitchenettes to cottages and elaborate accommodations for six people with several bedrooms.

The lakeside resort is popular for its full-service spa and fine dining. It is located between Charlevoix and Petoskey on Little Traverse Bay, which is part of lake Michigan and its own little corner of the world.

The Bay Harbor Golf Club is dubbed "America's Summer Golf Capital" and is known as a top golf destination for courses like The Links, The Preserve, and The Quarry. Each is designed with a unique flare.

Clearly, the summertime golf along the Lake Michigan coast is a main draw, but winter brings a certain serenity to outdoor adventure. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and fat tire biking bring guests when the snow falls.

Address: 3600 Village Harbor Drive, Bay Harbor, Michigan

Accommodation: Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection Hotels

8. Shanty Creek Resorts

Shanty Creek Resorts | Photo Copyright: Shanty Creek Resorts

Shanty Creek Resorts is set up as three separate villages, giving you several location and lodging options, including hotel rooms, rental homes, and condos at Schuss Mountain, Cedar River, and Summit. The best accommodation is located at Summit Village. The resort villages are located near Michigan's Chain of Lakes, including Torch Lake, so there is plenty of accessibility to water activities like kayaking, fishing for walleye, and finding a beach to relax.

The resort has four of Michigan's top golf courses with a golf academy and special golf packages. The winter landscape at the resort is perfect for snow sport enthusiasts and families due to the versatility of the slopes, activities, and lessons offered on-site. There are beginner through black diamond ski runs, as well as several terrain parks that have jumps.

Other winter activities range from alpine tubing and dogsledding to fat biking and snowshoeing throughout the property. After a long day on the slopes or on the links, grab a bite at one of several dining options at the resort. Try one casual night at The River Bistro and one upscale night with a view of Lake Bellaire at The Lakeview Restaurant.

Address: Bellaire and Mancelona, Michigan

Accommodation: Shanty Creek Resorts - Summit Village

9. The Inn at Harbor Shores

The Inn at Harbor Shores | Photo Copyright: The Inn at Harbor Shores

Magnificent Lake Michigan is the backdrop of The Inn at Harbor Shores in southwest Michigan, located 45 minutes out of Saugatuck. The resort is known for its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, which has hosted several PGA championships, as well as its spa and fine dining. The Inn at Harbor Shores is more laid-back than other resorts, making it perfect for a romantic getaway or a guys' golf weekend.

With five beaches and a marina, the inn offers a quiet serenity to guests. As you take walks on the grounds to admire Lake Michigan's steep sand dunes, also plan some time to stroll into the nearby town of St. Joseph, where you will find small boutiques and cafes. The inn has events for guests throughout the year, like artist exhibits and holiday parties, and it regularly offers themed packages that combine golf or spa treatments, lodging, and dining.

Address: 800 Whitman Drive, St. Joseph, Michigan

Accommodation: The Inn at Harbor Shores

10. Boyne Mountain Resort

Photo Source: Boyne Mountain Resort

Get ready for an active getaway at Boyne Mountain Resort. There are so many activity options in both the summer and winter that you will appreciate the comfortable bed in the lodge at night. Boyne Mountain is located in the village of Boyne Falls, which is home to Michigan's largest indoor waterpark, called Avalanche Bay.

Besides the waterpark, the resort is perfect for couples, families, and even solo travelers looking for outdoor activity. The resort has two golf courses and a spa, mountain biking, mountain disc golf, fishing, hiking, scenic chair lifts, and ziplining. Things do not slow down in the winter when the ski lifts get underway and the terrain parks get busy. The resort features dozens of downhill ski trails, as well as trails for fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Lodging ranges from villas to condos, cottages, and cabins. Be sure to grab a bite at Stein Eriksen's with the best dinner view in the house overlooking the ski slopes and ice skating. An even better view is from the unique dining experience in a hemlock at the Eagle's Nest with a panoramic view of the Boyne Valley.

Address: 1 Boyne Mountain Road, Boyne Falls, Michigan

Accommodation: Boyne Mountain Resort

11. Mission Point

Mission Point | Photo Copyright: Anietra Hamper

A summer afternoon in an Adirondack chair on the lawn of the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island without a care in the world is a vacation moment forever trapped in time. This is just the beginning of the kind of relaxation and elegance that is only captured in this unique, summer-only environment.

Mission Point prides itself on creating a family experience. Bikes are available for rent, and the 18-hole putting course are just two of the ways families relax together. The resort has comfortable rooms and suites, a pool, spa, movie theater, and even a kid's club on-site. It is located on the waterfront, so every time you step outside you will feel the breeze coming off Lake Huron.

There are five restaurants on the resort property and downtown shops are just a few minutes away on foot. Mission Point is a perfect home base for your time on Mackinac Island where you can explore most things by bike, on foot or in a horse-drawn taxi.

Address: One Lakeshore Drive, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Accommodation: Mission Point

12. Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

Photo Source: Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

One of the most appealing features of the Sugar Beach Resort in Traverse City is the 300-foot beach with soft sand on East Grand Traverse Bay. The resort has hotel accommodations with private balconies. Villas are available for larger parties, with three bedrooms and bathrooms along with a kitchen and fireplace.

Guests can use the indoor swimming pool and hot tub, but many guests prefer to enjoy the natural surroundings of the bay and Lake Erie. The resort is located in Traverse City, so you are close to the local museums, entertainment, and dining in the downtown area.

Address: 1773 US 31 North, Traverse City, Michigan

Accommodation: Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

13. Double JJ Resort

Double JJ Resort | Photo Copyright: Double JJ Resort

A resort with a Western flare is not what you would expect to find in Michigan but that's exactly why the Double JJ Resort is popular with visitors. The unique resort with a Gold Rush and life on the ranch experience is great for families looking for a little something extra out of their vacation. The resort has two golf courses with challenging terrain along with a driving range and practice green.

The Double JJ is probably better known for its Gold Rush indoor water park, which is popular with kids, and equestrian lessons offered for both beginner and advanced riders.

Suites and cabins are available for lodging. If you go to the effort of staying at the Double JJ resort it is worth taking a breakfast or dinner horseback ride and enjoying a hot meal cooked by an authentic western wrangler.

Address: 5900 Water Road, Rothbury, Michigan
Accommodation: Double JJ Resort

14. Bavarian Inn Lodge

Bavarian Inn Lodge | Photo Copyright: Bavarian Inn

If traditional or western are not your style, you might opt for an authentic German experience in Michigan at the Bavarian Resort in Frankenmuth. As America's largest Bavarian-themed resort, it is a unique family getaway with many activities that range from daily pretzel rolling classes and strudel making to the indoor water park with slides and pools.

The resort complex has more than 40 boutiques for shopping and plenty of German architecture to enjoy, like the covered bridge and lodges. You should arrive hungry to the Bavarian Inn because you will not leave that way. Make sure you try one of their famous chicken dinners and homemade desserts.

Address: One Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth, Michigan

Accommodation: Bavarian Inn Lodge

15. Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest

Photo Source: Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest

The elegant resort of Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest in Ypsilanti is a luxury retreat sitting between Ann Arbor and Detroit. The resort sits on an 18-hole championship golf course and overlooks the beautiful Ford Lake. The rooms and suites at the resort have extra space, and some overlook the golf course or the lake.

Guests have full access to the resort's indoor pool and whirlpool. There is a comfortable indoor lounge area and an outdoor patio and fire pit. The Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest is just a few minutes' away from Ann Arbor, so you can go into the city for entertainment, dining, or a University of Michigan football game.

Address: 1275 S. Huron Street, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Accommodation: Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

More Places to Visit in Michigan: During your stay in Michigan, you will want to work in time to see some of the top attractions in Detroit, like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Henry Ford Museum. If you are looking for a Michigan weekend getaway, there are urban and out-of-the-way options, from Grand Rapids and Mackinac Island to Bay City.

Outdoor Adventures in Michigan: For outdoor activities in Michigan check out some of the top beaches during the summer months, like Cheboygan State Park beach and Grand Haven City Beach. In winter, you cannot beat Michigan's top ski resorts, which have dozens of runs and terrain parks.

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