When I headed out to visit Crystal Mountain Resort in Western Michigan, I really did not know what to expect. I knew that it was a ski resort, but it was August and I don’t ski. It had 36 holes of golf, but I don’t golf. I knew that it advertised itself as a”family-fun” destination but I am not a fan of amusement parks. What I didn’t know was that Crystal Mountain is a year-round wonderland for all ages.
Let’s Go Learn Things about Crystal Mountain Resort……
Serene Mountain Village in Western Michigan
This self-contained, serene mountain village felt like Breckenridge. Quiet streets with more pedestrians than cars. The beautiful mountain backdrop and lush golf courses embraced the comfortable retreat. Although every building and facility was modern, nothing felt garrish. It was if every individual guest and their unique desires had been anticipated.
Try Everything or Nothing At All
Hiking, biking, paintball, lap pools, water park, alpine slide, chairlift rides
Climbing wall, golf, tennis, pickleball, zipline course, disc golf, archery
58 ski runs, cross-country skiing, fat tire biking, horse-drawn surrey rides
All this just for starters!
And a Spa…ahhhhhh.
Or Nothing at all!
Dining and Lodging
As I was booking my stay, I was slightly overwhelmed. There were so many options and I couldn’t picture the layout. Hopefully, I can shed some light on the details for you. I promise, you can find exactly what you want at Crystal Mountain.
As you can see on the map, the entire facility covers a large area (over 5 miles). There are housing options away from everything or right in the Crystal Core.
Traditional Hotel Rooms
Within the Crystal Core there are traditional hotel rooms in the Inn at the Mountain. This is the central building, with a marketplace, cocktail lounge and registration. The Crystal Colony and the Hamlet also offer standard hotel rooms and studios with a small kitchen. These are all within steps of the base of the ski hill.
There are chic condo units available in the Kinlochen which houses The Thistle Pub & Grille, the golf pro-shop and cross-country ski center. Pinehurst and WinterGreen are other condos designed with an “Up North” feel.
The MountainTop and MountainSide townhomes are fully equipped for larger family and friends gatherings. With capacities of 8-14 guests, proximity to skiing and a separate pool in the summer these are perfect for any year-round wonderland experience.
Bungalows and Cottages
Bungalows and cottages feature a variety of bedroom options, a living room with gas fireplace, full kitchen and dining area, walkout deck, and washer and dryer. These homes away from home are scattered strategically around all of the activities. The Cottages at Water’s Edge cluster around the waterpark and zipline course. The Bungalows at Crystal Glen provide ski-in and ski-out accessibility to the mountain in the winter.
This is a brief overview of the many accommodations available at Crystal Mountain. Obviously there are options and packages created in anticipation of every guest. The reservation agents are eager to help you understand and make selections. I have included some screenshots below of the online reservations page. This is for an hypothetical visit in late October. As with many destinations, late fall and early spring are shoulder seasons for Crystal Mountain and can offer some very reasonable pricing.
Western Michigan Highlights
Even as a Wisconsinite, I fell in love with Western Michigan. Below are some of my favorite highlights. The links will take you to a full post with plenty of details.
Michigan Legacy Park
Deep in the woods on the Crystal Mountain property you can find this Nature/Art Trail. The family owned resort allows the Michigan Legacy Art Park Foundation to use this 30 acres. Crystal Mountain Resort has been instrumental in the creation and success of this gem. As with most of the activities at Crystal Mountain, it is open to the public, without being a resort guest. See the post Connecting Art and Nature for more details and pictures of the 50+ sculptures.
In my quest for craft beer venues I often run into the alternative, craft distilleries. A quick bike ride from my darling cottage found me at Ironfish Distillery. They call themselves a “full-line farm distillery”. That means that the entire process, from growing the grain, to milling it and finally distilling the spirits, is done right on their farm. I met one of the two couples running the farm, Sarah and Richard Anderson. They have come to farming/distilling as a second career and you can see and most importantly, taste, that this is a love project.
It was mighty difficult to pull myself away from the idyllic setting of Crystal Mountain. But as usual, I had to Go Learn Things… So a mere 20 miles northwest took me into the beachtown of Frankfort. What makes a perfect beachtown? How about a Main Street lined with a coffee shop, candy store, ice cream parlor, bookstore, movie theater, craft brewery and a couple of supper clubs. Then of course that Main St runs right into the sand dunes, an expansive beach and a set of light stations for sunset photo ops.
Leelanau county and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
The residents of Leelanau County are very proud of their picturesque peninsula. Leelanau County is one of the most beautiful sections of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Always on the lookout for scenic byways, I discovered the M-22 Scenic Drive just outside of Frankfort and followed it up and into Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. All along this beautiful route were beach towns, dunes, pristine lakes, lazy rivers and stately lighthouses. Sleeping Bear Dunes is part of the National Park Service. I stopped off at Riverside Canoes for a relaxing kayak along the Platte River and through the Park.
For more regional attractions check this complete post on Western Michigan
Discover Crystal Mountain Resort Soon!
You will find yourself in the center of all of this wilderness wonderland at the Crystal Mountain Resort. Anytime of the year it beckons visitors to stop in for an extraordinary vacation. Right now, with the woods painting the region in autumnal color is the perfect time to visit!
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*Disclosure: I did enjoy a complimentary stay at Crystal Mountain. All opinions and impressions stated are mine alone.