Our favorite Midwest resort destinations range from cozy lakeside lodges to water park behemoths.
Dive in to check out our top picks for a fabulous Midwest getaway. Upscale Big Cedar Lodge on the southern tip of Table Rock Lake features hotel rooms in three lodges with rooms overlooking the lake, of course. Log cabins hidden among the pine trees are also a big draw. Wooden decks have their own gas grills, and room service will gladly provide all the fixings for a do-it-yourself barbeque, so you dine in seclusion while watching boats laze on the water below.
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If you want to do more than just relax, activities for both kids and adults will keep you entertained. Guests enjoy standup paddleboard yoga, yoga hikes, a foot luxury dinner yacht and kids' programs including Fun Mountain with 11 indoor adventures. Companion destination Top of the Rocks Ozarks Heritage Preserve features a golf course, two restaurants and a museum, situated to showcase every sunset over the lake.
Lake Shore's motor-inn vibe is the real deal—more than half a century after Joseph and Anna Milauckas built it in Andrew Milauckas is now caretaker of the property his grandparents created overlooking Lake Michigan, and as he has taken over the reins from his parents, he's completely renovated Lake Shore.
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New touches include sleek mid-mod furniture, lakeside yoga classes and meditation sessions. Free bikes, kayaks and breakfast create an all-inclusive feel. But the best parts of Lake Shore haven't changed, including the Lake Michigan views. Walk down to lounge by the waves—and stick around for sunset to complete the show. It's a pretty good getaway when you leave with a better understanding of how exercise, nutrition and de influence your health.
At the Fitness Core, trainers test your fitness, listen to your goals and produce a personalized workout plan. To ensure you have the energy to complete the workouts, Kohler's chefs lead classes in healthy cooking.
And to maximize your good mood, the Kohler De Center, an art gallery of a kitchen and bath shop, inspires soothing home spaces. Founded inQuarterdeck Resort got a major makeover in New owners renovated the lodge suites and added several cottages and beach houses, plus a new restaurant.
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The goal is to appeal to 21st-century travelers who want the throwback resort feels but not the quilted polyester bed covers. Every Main Lodge room has a lake-view balcony. Guests might come to Grand View Lodge for the three spectacular hole golf courses, but they stay for the quality accommodations and views. Choose from townhomes, villas, cabins or clubhouse suites; we love the red cabins lining Roy Lake. In addition to golf, the resort offers a beach, spa and indoor water park. This elegant Victorian-Era resort recaptures the days when guests wore starched collars and flowing skirts while rowing boats on Elkhart Lake.
Behind the classic white facade are modern amenities such as the luxurious Aspira Spa, a fitness center and an on-site culinary school. The all-suite Osthoff Resort also features indoor and outdoor pools and a small beach on the lake.
We recommend booking one of the 48 newer suites. Four historic lodges plus a variety of cabins nestle among 71, acres of mountains at Custer State Park. We enjoyed our stay at the State Game Lodge, a stone and wood masterpiece surrounded by ponderosa pine forest. Activities include hiking, boat rentals, horseback riding, safari jeep tours and a chuck wagon cookout.
Be sure to drive the spectacular, winding Needles Highway and walk around lovely Sylvan Lake pictured. For a glimpse of wildlife, ogle the bison wandering on the Wildlife Loop. A free hour shuttle transports resort guests between two hotels, three golf courses, two high-end spas, casino, horse stable and indoor sports complex.
The French Lick Springs Hotel is home to a casino as well as family-friendly activities such as movie parties and indoor and outdoor swimming. The Victorian-opulent West Baden Springs Hotel pictured offers upscale amenities, including a spa and fine dining. On the southeast end of Mackinac Island, Mission Point Resort begins where the island's main street ends.
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An expansive front lawn with unobstructed views of Lake Huron greets visitors and guests. Check into one of two lodges before exploring all the amenities, including an hole putting course, heated swimming pool, a health club and sauna. Dine at one of the four outstanding restaurants before catching a first-run flick at the island's only movie theater. Stucco walls, stone fireplaces, flat-screen TVs and large travertine-tiled baths with heated floors deck the 24 suites that opened to complement the on-site restaurant at The Villas at Gervasi Vineyard.
In the morning, guests brew Italian java and then enjoy fresh-baked breakfast treats delivered in a charming wooden box at the communal table in the shared living room. In Lutsen along Minnesota's North Shore, the four-season Lutsen Resort has plenty of draws for summer visitors, including scenic kayak tours, wildflower hikes, evening campfires picturedfly-fishing, horseshoes and bocce ball. Unwind along the rocky shoreline before settling into the Scandinavian lodge or a villa.
Choose from rooms, cabins or lakefront homes. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is all about amenities: trail rides, miniature golf, a driving range, a water park picturedpedal boats, theater performances and an ice rink in winter. The grounds are as manicured as a golf course, and the cabin clusters look like suburban subdivisions. The huge Peter Kiewit Lodge features motel-style rooms and a full restaurant with great views of the Platte River Valley.
This all-new destination's original building was the lake's oldest-known hotel, dating to —just one year after the Osage River was dammed, forming Lake of the Ozarks. Six lofts, including a six-bedroom penthouse, have cool details like headboards made of salvaged flooring itself legendarily recycled from the dam's construction. The restaurant has water views and is one of the hippest spots for a meal on the lake. A destination for all seasons, Crystal Mountain wows with its wide variety of lodgings and classy amenities.
In winter, ski out the back door of a mountaintop townhome. Summer allows for speedy runs down the 1,foot-long alpine slide. Nourish body and spirit at Crystal Spa, the only LEED-certified spa in the Midwest, and cap off the day at the on-site Thistle Pub and Grille, where regional ingredients flavor healthy high-end cuisine. Historic Madden's on Gull Lake lands the perfect balance between family fun and serious pampering.
Make your visit easy by booking an inclusive plan, featuring dining options at the resort's five restaurants. We love the lakeside Madden Lodge dining room. If you've ever wondered what "sophisticated rustic" looks like, book a room at the woodsy Garland Lodge and Resort in northeast Michigan. The massive Up North lodge includes accents like earthy tile floors and oversize stained-glass windows.
Four championship golf courses surround the cottages, villas and condos. If golf isn't your thing, saddle up for a horseback ride or explore the Au Sable river in a canoe or raft. Stress evaporates under the powers of Sundara, where robe-clad guests spend entire weekends in front of crackling fireplaces. The spa, which feels refreshingly apart from the bustling Wisconsin Dells thanks to acres of surrounding pines, asks guests to leave the kids at home and electronics in the guest rooms.
On-site dining robes welcome there, too focuses on healthy dishes with local ingredients. Yoga classes teach ways to keep the decompression going at home, and guests can swing away at the ading golf course.
Summer brings swimmers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts to this popular four-season resort. Ski lifts transform into scenic rides, and families enjoy Saturday night bonfires with s'mores. Boyne Mountain Resort boasts two world-class golf courses, Solace Spa, Zipline Adventures through the treetops, bike trails and even kids' wakeboarding clinics—as well as Avalanche Bay, Michigan's largest indoor water park.
Choose from a wide array of accommodations, including rooms, suites, condos, cabins and villas. Whether you come for the massive water attractions or the African-theme rooms, your visit to a Kalahari Resort will clearly be family-oriented. Indoor water parks at the resort's two Midwest locations are among the nation's largest.
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We especially enjoyed the unique Flow Rider surfing attraction pictured. With more than a half-dozen restaurants on-site, the resorts also offer plenty of eating options -- from by-the-pool grille to nicer eateries or room service. But be sure to try the pizza at least once; it's delicious and affordably feeds a family. Thirty apartment-style suites feature spacious bedrooms, a living area, Wi-Fi and outdoor living spaces.
On clear days, the steel roller coaster skyline of Sandusky's Cedar Point amusement park appears in the distance. Other amenities include a swimming pool and hot tub amid beautiful landscaping and bikes for exploring the 4-square-mile island with residents. Experience the best of the Root River Valley at this quiet resort near historic Lanesboro.