Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Lake Michigan: please help me pinpoint a vacation spot

Lake Michigan: please help me pinpoint a vacation spot

Feb 23rd, 2008, 08:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,660
Lake Michigan: please help me pinpoint a vacation spot

I'm looking for a really beautiful place to spend some time on Lake Michigan. (the michigan side) We are a family of four (kids 15 and 18). We have never been to Michigan. We would be traveling in mid August or posssibly mid June.

I've been overwhelmed reading through all the posts here, and am hoping for some specific advice. here are some things we're looking for:

1. excellent golf
2. cute/quaint town
3. shopping opportunities
4. kayak or other water sports
5. natural beautiful surroundings

big question -- i keep reading about the great beaches and swimming... how COLD is the water?

dina4 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,934
If you're willing to take Holland/ Saugatuck as an indicator, you can see the water temperature offshore for the last year on the following website:
Just pick your date. Pick the temp right offshore, as the temps further out will be lowered by the upwelling of cold water from the depths.
Mid August might be more fun, as the salmon might start schooling by then (if you'd be interested in a charter).
tomboy is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Check out The Homestead in Glen Arbor. I always rave about this place.

My family of 4 went in August and we hated to leave!

We stayed in a condo 1 bdrm condo, with a full kitchen, deck & fireplace.

We did everything on your list except golf. We even rented bikes and took a 12 mile bike ride through town.

The water was about...79-80 degrees and yes we swam in Lake Michigan. It is actually quite refreshing.

Let me know if you have any other questions, I would be glad to answer.
ruwithme is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 247
We love the Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, Petoskey and Harbor Springs area.
You'll be fine to swim in the lake. We love staying at Bay Harbor. You can stay at Bay Harbor Resort and Marina or the Bay Harbor Renaissance resort. Both are wonderful and it is a short drive to a national park beach, just gorgeous. All four towns are great and just a few minutes drive either way. Harbor Springs is super cute! Let me know if you need more help. We go to Bay harbor every summer. There is also lots of golf, from very expensive to inexpensive. Our favorite course is Little Traverse Bay in Harbor Springs. It has a great restaurant as well.

jallard is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,425
The further north you go the prettier the scenery.

Not sure what your budget is but there is a beautiful area called Epworth Heights in Luddington - about 2 hours north of Douglas. Gorgeous large cottages. There are some great restaurants and cute shopping.... However you probably would have needed to rent by now. You may run into that problem at many on the nicer areas.

I agree with what Jallard says too - those areas are some of my favorites too!!!

YOu will probably need to book soon - as some of the places we like book a whole year in advance.
annesherrod is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,685
If you plan to swim in Lake Michigan, pick August over June.

I also like the Glen Arbor area. Besides Lake Michigan, you have the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Glen Lake for activities. Also Traverse City is just a short drive.

Have fun deciding!

SuzieTrue is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 10:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,660
Thanks so much!

unfortunately, I won't know for sure if we can do this trip until mid or late April, so it sounds like it might be difficult to book something that late.

Either way, i am compiling notes and ideas.

Sounds like we can't go wrong with either the Glen Arbor area or the Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, Petoskey and Harbor Springs area. Also glad to hear the water is warm in august!

two questions, though:

1. I kept reading posts from 2006 about polluted water from some factory leakage? Are things better now?

2. Anne - is there a resort/hotel in Epworth Heights in Luddington, or are the cottages you mention private rentals?

Thank you, everyone, for your enthusiastic comments. Sounds like a very beautiful and beloved area of the country.

I will come back with more specific question after i research a bit...

dina4 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,425
The cottages are private rentals. Many of these areas have realestate co's that help with rentals and/or the local newspapers can provide ads with info ...

In our local newspaper in STL there are always ads for rentals because soooo many people who live here have vacation homes up there. That is how I have found rentals - Maybe your city/town has the same??

Enjoy planning - that is half the fun!
annesherrod is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 247
About the water issue - a few years back the Detroit Free Press printed a large article on the front page about their being contamination.
We have been there several times and it is all cleaned up.
The area is beautiful, no worries.
You could also look into The Perry Hotel in Petoskey. It is very cute and has a nice restaurant. The hotel is a Stafford property and their are other Stafford hotels in Charlevoix and Bay View. You can also look into renting a home in these cities. Have you tried VRBO?
Also, Boyne Highlands is a nice resort with lots of rental condos, homes and there is also a hotel with a nice pool.
jallard is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1
hello! ...i have lived in michigan all my life amd i must say please do not miss going to macinac island!!! www.mackinacisland.org or www.mackinac.com ...and i have to agree will jallard -->my family loves the Charlevoix(www.charlevoix.org), Bay Harbor(www.bayharbor.com), Petoskey (www.petoskey.com), and Harbor Springs (www.harborsprings-mi.com)area. ck out the website: www.michigan.org and
depending on how much time you have you might want to look into seeing frankenmuth, michigan as a nice side trip (www.frankenmuth.org, www.zehnders.com, www.bronners.com) ..no i do not live in frankenmuth but truly enjoy the town! hope this helps!
cpe031756 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1

Definitely plan for August, as the weather is PERFECT for a vacation! You can't go wrong with anyplace around Traverse City for all the activities you are looking for.
leelanaulover is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,981
If you can take a day trip and ferry over to Mackinac Island you will never be sorry. It fulfills your request for a quaint town! No cars allowed. Your can rent bikes and ride around the entire Island or take a horse drawn carriage or just walk.
cd is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,660
Thanks again, everyone!!
dina4 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,474
Yes, I was definitely going to suggest a day trip to Mackinac Island. I got married there.

Are you driving or flying? Where are you coming from?

Sleeping Bear Dunes are an amazing natural phenomenon that needs to be seen at least once in a lifetime.

Excellent golf is found everywhere. Michigan has tons and tons of wonderful courses. My absolute favorite is Little Traverse Bay Golf Course.


Basically you play downhill with sweeping views of Little Traverse Bay. It is amazing.

If you don't want to go too far north, Saugatuck is very cute and lots of shopping.

The golf course on Mackinac Island is wonderful too. You might want to do an overnight there. There are tons of b&b's. They fill up, but you could find something mid-week.

The area is popular in the summer of course, but still not terribly crowded. You should still easily be able to book things in April.

Also try http://www.vrbo.com for a condo rental directly on the lake.

A cool thing to do in Cheboygan is tour the Coast Guard ship. If it is docked, all you do is pull up and ask for a tour.

If you want to go even farther north, Tahquamanon (sp) Falls is beautiful to see. I haven't been to the Pictured Rocks, but that is supposed to be amazing too.

It is an amazing area and you will fall in love with it.
kelliebellie is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Aug 7th, 2007 02:27 PM
United States
May 12th, 2007 06:48 PM
United States
May 15th, 2006 01:18 PM
United States
Jun 20th, 2005 06:37 PM
United States
Sep 13th, 2004 02:44 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:02 AM.