October 18, 2019

Winter Weekend Getaways

Dig in Up North
By Blair Yaroch | Dec. 15, 2018

Old Man Winter has always been a friend to northern Michigan, and this year, he started the party early. Instead of letting those extra winter days stretch dreadfully before you while you pout beneath an electric blanket, get out there and embrace them. Our beautiful neck of the woods is full of extrordinary nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. Here, eight Up North escapes to warm up the long winter ahead:
 
Crooked River Lodge
Situated smack dab between Petoskey and Harbor Springs sits Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge and Suites. This northern Michigan gem has it going on. Walk into the warm and cozy lobby, adorned with knotty pine and stunning stonework, and feel yourself slip into vacay mode. The lodge is equipped with snowshoes for guests to use and offers a walking trail lit seasonally with twinkle lights for added ambiance. If you are more of the fast and furious type, never fear, the lodge is located next to snowmobile trails and a snowmobile rental shop. After you’ve experienced the great outdoors, enjoy the year-round heated indoor pool and hot tub, or take a drive to the nearby towns of Petoskey or Harbor Springs for dining, shopping, and outstanding eats. End your day by stargazing at the outdoor fire pit (pictured). Bonus: Crooked River Lodge is offering holiday packages and will have ski packages available after the first of the year. Get room availability and info on their website, www.staffords.com/crooked-river-lodge
 
Neahtawanta Inn
Look toward the wintery skies on Old Mission Peninsula, and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the snowy owls or bald eagles that OMP neighbors often spot on quiet evenings. Neahtawanta Inn, nestled in the woods and just a stone’s skip from the water, is the perfect perch to watch for these winged wonders — or to feather your own nest. Located near Bowers Harbor, this nature centered bed and breakfast offers yoga and meditation classes, vegetarian (primarily organic) meals, gorgeous views of Grand Traverse Bay and access to all that is Old Mission Peninsula. Enjoy the inn’s impressive library and fireplace, nap and relax, or get out there and hit the wine trail for a few hours. Ice skate at Bowers Harbor, hike the trails at Old Mission Lighthouse Park, or grab a bite to eat at one of the Peninsula’s many delectable restaurants. The peaceful vibe of the inn will still be there for you when you return. Off-season rates and small-group hosting are available. www.neahtawantainn.com
 
Edgewater Inn
Nestled right on Round Lake in the charming town of Charlevoix is Edgewater Inn. Take advantage of a quieter season and affordable winter rates with the whole family. The kids can cannonball into the indoor heated pool while you relax in the hot tub or take a sauna. Enjoy cocktails and dinner at the French Quarter New Orleans Bistro, conveniently located on site. This delish and family friendly restaurant offers views of the beautiful Round Lake, as well as Charlevoix’s infamous drawbridge. For those that want to embrace the great outdoors, you are just minutes from Mt. McSauba Recreation Area, home to skiing, ice skating and sledding for the kids, and hiking/snowshoeing trails for the adventurer in you. Make sure to take in the majesty of Lake Michigan’s Icey shorelines and snow-covered dunes before you head on your way. www.edgewater-charlevoix.com
 
Hotel Walloon
For $125/night can you really afford notto visit the charming Hotel Walloon? This beautifully decorated inn is right in the mix of the Village of Walloon. Step out the front door, and you have access to groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, a park-turned-ice skating rink, local shops to browse, and, of course, the much-loved Barrel Back Restaurant. With easy access to Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Nubs Nob, and the nearby towns of Boyne City, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and Charlevoix, options are endless! Water parks, spas, skiing, and more are all just minutes away. In March, all military and first responders are invited to enjoy a buy one night, get the second night free deal, making Hotel Walloon almost too good to be true. www.hotelwalloon.com
 
The Hotel Frankfort
Frankfort is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Winter is no exception! Book a stay at The Hotel Frankfort and take advantage of their off-season packages. The “Run Away From Home” package is a steal! Reserve a two-night stay and receive a bottle of champagne, strawberries and chocolates for $325. Ski packages offering Crystal Mountain lift tickets are also available as well as in room spa services for a more relaxing vibe. Frankfort has plenty to do with Stormcloud, The Fusion, Oliver Arts Center, The Garden Theater and more just moments away from the centrally located Hotel Frankfort. Not to be missed in the coldest months of the year are the ice castles that surround the infamous Point Betsie Lighthouse.  Brave the cold temps and check out the stunning natural phenomenon that has been beckoning photographers and residents for decades. www.thehotelfrankfort.com
 
LeBear Luxury Resort and Spa
If decadence is calling your name during Jack Frost’s favorite months, look no further. LeBear Luxury Resort and Spa in Glen Arbor has everything you need to keep the winter blues far at bay. Spend your day delighting in our northern playground by taking a ranger-guided snowshoe at Sleeping Bear National Park, toboggan with the kids, ski, or go to Empire’s Black Horse Farms and take a sleigh ride in one of those most beautiful natural places in the world. When you return to LeBear, the indoor heated pool, hot tub, sauna and spa are all available to warm you up. Curl up by the fire with a glass of wine and allow the dreamy bliss to take over. For a truly unforgettable dining experience, treat yourself to a meal at the world-renowned restaurant, blu (open Thursdays through Sundays in the winter months). LeBear offers exceptional off-season rates with a minimum two-night stay. www.lebearresort.com
 
Song of the Morning Yoga Retreat
The noise and chaos of living in this fast-paced, digitally enhanced age can be, well … overwhelming. Especially after the holiday madness that inevitably consumes us all. Escape it! Free your soul for a weekend (or a week, if you’re really looking to get your zen on) and visit Song of The Morning yoga retreat. In the Pigeon River State Forest, about 60 miles from Traverse City, the retreat sits on 800 acres and offers a variety of workshops, classes, and even personalized programs in a gorgeous and peaceful setting to help you unplug, de-stress, and reconnect. There are trails for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and eagle-spotting, as well as vegetarian, locally sourced meals served daily. Namaste. www.songofthemorning.org

Bellaire Bed and Breakfast Murder Mystery Dinner
Interested in a night of delicious cuisine and suspicious intrigue? Book a stay at the award-winning Bellaire Bed & Breakfast for one of their noteworthy murder mystery dinners. Murder mystery dinners are held annually in March and November for the reasonable rate of $65 a person (in addition to the cost of a two-night stay), and to private parties of 6–10 anytime during winter months if you book a month in advance. You will dine on a delectable four-course dinner in the cozy and well-appointed B&B. Remember to trust no one while you work to solve clues and get to the bottom of the question on the mind of every guest: Whodunnit? This charming inn also offers a much-buzzed-about breakfast each morning, a wine happy hour, and homemade cookies next to your bed at the end of each day. Where do we sign? If you can’t make it for the murder mystery dinner weekends, check out the unique spa packages and other offerings throughout those chilly winter months. www.bellairebandb.com
 
 

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