For over 100 years, generations of my family have been traveling to Northern Michigan each summer to enjoy the fresh air, lush greenery, towering pine trees and crystal clear blue waters of Walloon Lake. It’s a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily routines. It’s a time to hit the pause button, take deep breaths and relax outdoors in the company of loved ones.
Just a few minutes away from our cottage, nestled between mountains and rolling green pastures lies Boyne Mountain Resort. The architecture and hand painted detail of the buildings set against the backdrop of the mountains make you feel as if you are vacationing in a quaint Austrian village.
For years, my family has been enjoying all that Boyne Mountain offers guests in the winter. We ski, snowboard, drink hot cocoa and eat delicious, hearty meals while we warm our hands and feet from the cold.
This has been a winter tradition that we cherish. Honestly, I hadn’t considered visiting the mountain in the summer.
When we arrive at the lake, we usually have compiled a list of things we want to try while we are there and rarely do those things happen because the lake beckons and we can’t seem to leave the comfort of the cottage or the lure of the water.
This year, we left determined to try something new and amazingly enough – it actually happened.
We decided to give Boyne Mountain a try in the summer and I am so glad we did. I’m not the only one in my family who feels this way. In fact, after nearly three weeks of being up north, I asked the kids what their favorite part of vacation was and all four of them said our time spent at Boyne Mountain.
Boyne Mountain Resort offers nine different lodging accommodations to choose from during your visit including: condos, villas, cabins and a variety of lodges. With so many options, there are plenty of places to choose from for families and groups of all sizes.
We stayed in one of the coolest (if not the coolest) places we have ever stayed on vacation. We spent the night at the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa in the Salzburg 3-bedroom suite. At over 1,300 square feet, this suite sleeps 10 guests comfortably. The suite is two levels with a full kitchen, living room and pull-out sofa on the lower level. Upstairs, you find three bedrooms – one with a king size bed, the other with a queen and the third is a kid’s dream come true with two sets of bunk beds nestled inside of a room that is painted to look like it’s own little house. They freaked out when they saw their accommodations for the evening and I’m not going to lie – I was pretty excited for them too. The suite we were in adjoins to a 4-bedroom suite that is over 1,700 square feet making this a fantastic spot for a multi-family vacation.
Our room had a balcony with a picturesque view of the mountain,
and one of the many zip lines offered.
After getting settled in our room, we had a scrumptious lunch at one of the restaurants on property. There are quite a few to choose from (click here for dining options on property), including the Eagle’s Nest restaurant perched atop Hemlock mountain, offering guests a place to fill their bellies while taking in the stunning view.
Included with our overnight stay were: chairlift rides, wagon rides, Deer Lake Beach access, use of paddle boats and kayaks, fly casting clinics (on Saturdays), bonfire s’mores, outdoor family movie screenings, story time, use of the paved bike and mountain bike trails, swimming, tennis, disc golf course and lawn games featuring corn hole, giant Jenga and more.
The kids had so much fun swimming back and forth between the indoor and outdoor pool.
We took a ride up and down the chair lift (holding on tight of course.)
We rode the wagon ride that took us all around property. (In the winter, they offer free horse drawn carriage rides for guests.)
After the wagon ride, a trip to the Avalanche Bay Arcade was a must.
We had planned to watch the family movie that was showing outdoors, but opted to hang out in the room instead. We were beat after a long day of fun and the room was so cool that the kids wanted to spend as much time in their bunks as possible. (This was possibly the first time they actually wanted to get to bed on vacation – or ever for that matter.) On our way back to the room we saw lots of people laughing, playing and having fun with the outdoor lawn games. We were tempted to join in, but kept our focus and made our way to the room as planned. We had a big day ahead and needed to get some shut-eye.
Our second day at Boyne Mountain was just as much fun as our first. We spent the day on property at Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, Avalanche Bay. This was the first time at a waterpark where all six of us could do almost everything together and it was an absolute blast. We spent the day floating on the lazy river and taking multiple trips down the larger slides.
Our son, who just turned five, was able to do all but one slide – The Big Couloir. The Big Couloir is not for the faint of heart. Both my husband and I tried this thrill ride and loved it, but the kids wanted nothing to do with it (I have a feeling that will change in the next couple of years.)
This is an indoor water park geared toward all ages. They have a large water play structure with multiple water slides.
And a smaller play structure with age-appropriate slides for the younger ones.
Over and over again, we let our competitive juices flow as we raced down the slides to the finish line.
The girls faced their fears and tried surfing on the Rip Zone surf simulator (warning: large waves may be known to rip off your bottoms – riders hold tight to your drawers.)
This two-day trip at the mountain was filled with the perfect mixture of excitement and relaxation and went on the books as one of our all-time family favorites. It was nice to get away and just be together as a family.
I had no idea Boyne Mountain had so much to offer outside of the ski season. And there is still a lot that we have yet to try that we want to in the future, such as: golf, horseback riding trails, segway tours, multiple ziplines, paint ball, a spa and so much more.
Maybe you are the adventurous type who wants to zipline through a forest or maybe you are someone who prefers to spend the day lounging by the pool or getting a massage at the spa. Who knows? Maybe you’re the type who likes a little bit of both. Whatever your personality – Boyne Mountain has it all and I can say with confidence that we will definitely be back next year. And the next. And the next……..
Boyne Mountain Resort is located at 1 Boyne Mountain Road in Boyne Falls, Michigan. For information on lodging and to book your stay today, please visit their website or call 855-688-7024. Another resort in the area to check out is the Boyne Highlands Resort located at 600 Highlands Drive in Harbor Springs, Michigan. For more information on this resort, please visit their website or call 855-688-7022.
Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet, kind and sometimes a bit wild children. She has a passion for the written word and thinks libraries and bookstores are the coolest places ever. When not hanging out with family or writing, she can be found enjoying a good cup of coffee, running, spending quality time with friends, working on some type of project around the house, planning the family’s next trip to her favorite destination – Walloon Lake, Michigan, or very possibly – reading a book.
Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and outings with her children for Indy’s Child as a freelance writer and blogger and keeps a personal blog, www.trulyyoursjen.com, that she has fun writing when time permits.