What do Michigan’s best resorts offer when ski season ends?
Whether you’ve grown up here, lived here, or just visited, you know that Michigan summers are hard to beat. The drawn out days, warm air and opportunities for adventure are endless – especially Up North.
That’s why we’ve decided to make a list of the best Michigan ski resorts to visit in the off season. Here they are:
7. Treetops Resort
If you’re looking for all around summer fun, Treetops Resort is a no-brainer. Located in Gaylord, Michigan, Treetops is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Au Sable River. A perfect destination for canoe and kayak adventures. They offer a variety of trips that range from 2.5 hours to overnight camping. As you paddle make sure you keep your ears and eyes open for wildlife and other encounters.
If canoeing and kayaking aren’t quite for you, don’t worry – Treetops also offers an abundance of other activities for you to enjoy, like guided fly fishing excursions. Northern Michigan is home to some of the best Blue Ribbon trout streams in the region, and with the Pigeon River and Sturgeon River flowing right through the resort, Treetops puts you in the perfect position to fish some of these legendary waters.
Treetops is also known for its golf. They have 5 courses that accommodate every skill level, from beginners looking to casually hit the course – to pros, looking to test their skills. The resort also offers golf lessons, golf clinics, golf packages and more.
6. The Homestead
Nestled right on the shores of Lake Michigan, The Homestead Resort is the ideal destination in the summer months. Want to enjoy some fresh air? Check out the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and take a bike ride through miles of scenic paths for bikers of all skill levels. Didn’t bring your bike? No problem. Stop by the New Leaf Fitness center in the Village for a rental.
Want to try your hand at some tennis? The Homestead’s five clay courts overlooking Lake Michigan are perfect for beginners and experienced players alike. They offer a wide range of private and semi-private lessons for those looking to up their game, as well as clinics for children and adults. The tennis courts are available for walk-on or reserved play, and cost $18 an hour to rent.
Here’s one you’ll probably see a lot of on this list. Golf. If you’re golfing at The Homestead you’ll be able to enjoy natural beauty of the par-3 Mountain Flowers Course. If you’d rather golf a full round, take a trip over to their sister property Manitou Passage Golf Club. The Arnold Palmer designed 18-hole course will challenge your skills, while you take in the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.
5. Otsego Club Resort
Located at the headwaters of the Sturgeon River, Otsego Club is home to some of Northern Michigan’s best trout and salmon fishing. There are plenty of rivers and lakes nearby for you to visit, and if you’re interested in trying your luck in some of Michigan’s premier waters, Otsego Club recommends Hawkins Outfitters guide services to lead your adventure.
Otsego Club Resort is also home to two “uniquely-challenging” PGA championship courses. The Classic Course, and The Tribute Course are both designed by Rick Robbins and Gary Koch. Both courses are surrounded by vast woodlands, gorgeous waters and an abundance of wildlife. The Classic and The Tribute are both open to the public from May 4th – October 14th.
4. Crystal Mountain Resort
Enjoy warm weather activities and miles of on-site hiking trails at Crystal Mountain Resort. Like the 1.6 mile loop through the Michigan Legacy Art Park. An award-winning 30-acre preserve located on Crystal Mountain Property that features 40 art installations representing Michigan’s rich history.
Crystal Mountain is also known for its exceptional Northern Michigan golf experience. They have two different courses that have both received a four-star rating from Golf Digest Magazine. But if Disc Golf is more your speed, Crystal Mountain has a nine-hole course for you to practice. Don’t worry about lugging your own discs, they have them available to rent or buy.
In addition to everything we’ve already mentioned, Crystal Mountain also offers paintball. That’s right folks, paintball. Challenge your friends and family to play at one of two courses. The Speed Ball Course, or the Woods Course (appointment only, with 10 or more participants). And remember, players must be 12 years or older to participate.
3. Shanty Creek Resorts/Schuss Mountain
Shanty Creek Resort/Schuss Mountain is known to have some of the best and most versatile skiing in Northern Michigan. And the same goes for summer time activities.
Have you ever heard of FootGolf? Neither have we. It’s a hybrid of golf and soccer that has been popular in recent years, and is recognized as a tournament sport in over 20 countries. The American FootGolf league recognizes 85 participating U.S. courses in 29 states. The cost to play at Shanty Creek is $12 a person and includes a ball. Just don’t forget to set up a “tee-time”.
Biking is another one of many activities offered at Shanty Creek. Whether you enjoy fast paced mountain biking, or taking in the scenery, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Take a ride through the Glacial Hills forests, or head over to Torch Lake Drive and take in the beauty of Torch Lake’s turquoise blue waters. Don’t worry about bringing a bike, E-Bikes and standard bikes can be rented at the Lakeview Fitness Center.
2. Boyne Mountain:
Much like its sister resort Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain also has quite a few activities to participate in when the lifts aren’t running.
If you enjoy horseback riding, saddle up at Boyne. Take a guided trail ride through some of the resorts most beautiful, remote terrain. Trail rides typically last around an hour and cost $54 a person. Rides are available Friday-Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm.
Boyne Mountain is also home to Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. Located in the heart of Boyne, this year round water park is perfect for vacation any time of year. Avalanche Bay features six different waterslides for you to choose from, including the brand new Big Couloir – Michigan’s first ProSlide SuperLOOP (it also has the steepest drop in the industry). Avalanche Bay also has relaxing hot tubs, a RipZone surf simulator, Splashorn Mountain and a variety of other waterpark activities.
If that isn’t enough to entice you to visit, Boyne Mountain is also home to golf, tennis, zip-lining and more. They even have a full service salon and spa, if you want to pamper yourself after a day full of activities.
1. Boyne Highlands:
I know we’ve mentioned golf quite a few times on this list, but there is nothing quite like golfing at Boyne Highlands. Recent accolades include: Top Ten Favorite U.S. Golf Resorts for Value (#1), Best Resort Courses, Premier Resort Gold Medal – Golf Magazine, Best Courses in the State and America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
With four different courses to choose from, golfing at Boyne Highlands has something for everyone. Take a lesson from the Boyne Golf Academy or kick back for a cold one at the Country Club of Boyne to add to your experience.
Aside from golf, Boyne Highlands also offers biking (both cross-country biking and mountain biking), Segway tours, horseback riding, zip-lining, hiking and more. You’ll even find tons of options for shopping and dining.
Whew – that was a long one. There you have it guys, our top picks for Michigan ski resorts you must visit in the off season. Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.
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