13 Best Resorts in Michigan for Family Fun

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Michigan resorts: Inn at Bay Harbor
Photo credit: Marriott, Inn at Bay Harbor

Michigan is more than just a cozy getaway spot by the Great Lakes – it’s a breathtaking state brimming with endless outdoor activities such as hiking the sand dunes, snowmobiling or horseback riding. You can explore Detroit’s rich car-making history and indulge in its thriving culinary scene or even take a tour of an iconic sporting venue like Ann Arbor’s famous “The Big House.” Whether you prefer a summer island escape or a serene winter retreat, Michigan offers it all. And with its abundance of craft beer and lakeside wineries, we’ll go as far as naming it one of our top year-round vacation destinations.

To find the perfect resort for your next getaway, our expert travelers have pulled together their top resorts in the following easy-to-browse guide. And yes, the entire family can get excited about this Michigan vacation because some of our top picks even have their own waterparks!

1. Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City

3575 N US Highway 31 S
Traverse City, MI 49684

michigan resorts: Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City
Photo credit: Great Wolf Lodge

The Great Wolf Lodge is a super resort for families with young or tween kids! They offer daily activities, passes to the resort water park and kid-friendly dining options. Plus, you can book a camp-themed suite with a separate bunk bed room just for the kids.

Why It Works for Families: 

  • Families can choose between standard suites or themed suites with bunk bed camp rooms just for the kids!
  • The resort water park is a family favorite with waterslides, a lazy river, surf simulators, hot tubs and more.
  • Stay busy during your stay by playing at the resort bowling alley, MagiQuest, laser tag park, arcade and more.
  • Resort dining options are kid-friendly and offer menu items like pizza and sandwiches.
  • Free wifi.

SheBuysTravel Tip: While staying in Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is only a day trip away! Find out everything you need to know with this Guide to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan.

2. Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire

5780 Shanty Creek Road
Bellaire, MI 49615

Best family resorts in Michigan - sunset over back lawn and outdoor pool at Shanty Creek's Lakeview Hotel.
Sunset over the back lawn and outdoor pool at Shanty Creek’s Lakeview Hotel. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

Shanty Creek is best known for its winter sports and skiing, but this rural area is beautiful all year round, whether you’re golfing in spring, swimming or boating in summer or leaf peeping in autumn. The resort contains lodging in three separate villages: Summit Village, Cedar River Village, and Schuss Village, which together offer over 275 different places to stay.

SheBuysTravel writer Deb Steenhagen spent a July weekend at the Lakeview Hotel in Summit Village – the standard hotel lodging option, with an attached conference center. Here are her thoughts.

As part of my daughter’s youth group conference, I was able to get a room at their rate for two nights. I brought along my 17-year-old and a friend. The room was very spacious and comfortable for the three of us. Having a microwave and fridge helped with meal options since both kids are picky eaters. We also ordered pizza from a local restaurant, who delivered right to the room.  

The kids loved the gaming room, arcade and both pool options (indoor and outdoor). There’s a hot tub by the indoor pool and the outdoor pool has a beautiful western view (perfect for sunsets!) down the slope of what is a tubing run in the wintertime, overlooking Lake Bellaire. Overall it was a very peaceful vibe and a wonderful escape from everyday life.

Best family resorts in Michigan include Lakeview Hotel at Shanty Creek Resort.
The Lakeview Hotel side facing the trees and water. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

Why It Works for Families:

  • Various lodging options in the full resort – hotel-style rooms and suites plus condominiums and vacation homes.
  • Multiple pool options and available recreational opportunities such as rentable bikes and e-bikes, sand volleyball, tennis, golf, disc golf, cornhole and more.
  • Plenty of nearby inland lakes, offering beach access, pontoon, canoe and kayak rentals, fishing gear, and other water sports for summertime fun. 
  • Free parking and wifi.
  • Multiple dining options during ski season, plus local Bellaire eateries nearby year-round.
  • The Lakeview Hotel has:
    • Arcade and gaming room
    • Available pet-friendly rooms
    • In-room microwave and refrigerator
    • CoffeeBAR open year-round, with Starbucks coffees, snacks, pastries and lunch items

3. Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

286 Grand Avenue P.O. Box 286
Mackinac Island, MI 49757

michigan resorts: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
Photo credit: Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is an iconic getaway spot that dates all the way back to 1887 when it first opened its doors as a summer retreat for vacationers. Today, families flock to this luxury island resort to enjoy afternoon tea in the Parlor, horse-drawn carriage rides and historic area attractions.

While there are plenty of fun things to do as a family at the resort, the surrounding Mackinac Island area also includes several family-friendly experiences to discover. Be sure to drop by any of the island’s numerous homemade fudge shops and grab a slice to try (or just breathe in the sugary chocolate smells). You’ll thank me later.

Why It Works for Families:   

  • The pool area with cabanas also includes a family zone with zero-depth beach entry, a water jet play area and a waterslide.
  • You can rent bikes at the resort for use around the island (or bring your own bike).
  • Feeling competitive? Head over to the pickleball and tennis courts (rental equipment is available).
  • Enjoy the island sunshine while you play a round of croquet or bocce ball lawn games.
  • Participate in family-friendly resort activities, such as movie night!


4. Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls

1 Boyne Mountain Rd.
Boyne Falls, MI 49713

michigan resorts: Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls
Photo credit: Boyne Resorts

Well-known as a winter ski getaway, Boyne Mountain Resort near Petoskey is fun for families year-round! During the winter months, you can rent snow bikes to ride around the mountain trails, play on the Boyne Mountain ice rink or hit the slopes, among other adventures.

When the snow melts and the warmer weather breaks, find family fun playing disc golf, ziplining around the resort property, swimming, fishing, bike riding and more. Plus, no matter what season you visit, you can always make plans to experience the onsite Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark!

Why It Works for Families:   

  • Lodging options include traditional hotel rooms, suites or condos with full kitchens and space for large families.
  • You’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy year-round, including skiing, biking, fishing, and more.
  • Kids will love the onsite waterpark!
  • Kids can enroll in Fritz’s Adventure Camp for supervised fun.


5. Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth

1 Covered Bridge Ln.
Frankenmuth, MI 48734

michigan resorts: Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth
Photo credit: Bavarian Inn Lodge and Restaurant

Located in Michigan’s “Little Bavaria”, the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth is a resort full of family-friendly fun! Kids can spend their days splashing around at the resort’s indoor waterpark or playing and earning rewards at the Family Fun Center game room. After a full day of adventure, you can wind down with a filling meal at one of the resort’s famous German-style restaurants or cozy up in your family suite!

Why It Works for Families:   

  • Families can choose between a standard room or a family suite with room for up to 8 people.
  • The indoor waterpark includes four swimming pools, three whirlpools and multiple waterslides.
  • The Family Fun Center is where to go for games, air hockey and pool tables.
  • Challenge your kids to a game of indoor miniature golf at the resort’s Bavarian-themed mini golf course.
  • Everyone in the family can learn how to make homemade pretzels by booking a course in pretzel rolling (a local favorite)!
  • Free wifi.


6. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Traverse City

100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd.
Traverse City, MI 49684

michigan resorts: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Traverse City
Photo credit: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Located in Northern Michigan, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is a golf resort that offers families a variety of accommodation types and activities. Aside from the resort’s three championship golf courses, this family vacation destination also offers multiple pools and an amazing entertainment hub with a bowling alley, escape room and more.

Why It Works for Families:   

  • Families can choose between a wide variety of accommodation types including traditional hotel rooms, suites, condominiums with kitchenettes or resort homes with full kitchens.
  • The resort has two indoor pools and one outdoor pool, plus a family-friendly hot tub, indoor waterpark and private beach access on Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay.
  • Experience an arcade, bowling alley, escape room, virtual reality and more at The Den, located inside the resort.
  • Indoor and outdoor tennis courts, plus a fitness center.


7. Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center, Drummond Island

33494 S Maxton Rd.
Drummond Island, MI 49726

michigan resorts: Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center
Photo credit: Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center

One mile off the eastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Drummond Island is the perfect natural landscape for the Drummond Island Resort & Conference Center. During the winter months, you can rent winter sports equipment and head out on the ice skating rink, tubing hill or cross-country ski trails.

Summer experiences include biking, kayaking, tennis, volleyball, swimming and more. For year-round fun, hit a hole-in-one at the resort’s indoor, 9-hole Junior Rock Putt-Putt Golf Center or paintball course.

Why It Works for Families:  

  • Families can choose between lodge-style hotel accommodations or vacation rental cabins with full kitchens and space for up to 18 people.
  • Kids can play at the onsite playground or participate in the family-friendly activities offered on Drummond Island.
  • Onsite family-friendly dining is available.
  • Pet-friendly


8. Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island

One Lakeshore Drive
Mackinac Island, MI 49757

michigan resorts: Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island
Photo credit: Mission Point Resort

Voted one of the top resort hotels in the Midwest by Travel + Leisure, Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island sits on 18 acres of waterfront property. After a day of touring the historic island setting by bike or horse-drawn carriage, your family can take a dip in the resort swimming pool, play in the arcade or participate in one of the resort’s complimentary kids activities.

When it’s time to eat, you can walk downtown to one of the island restaurants or save money by eating at the resort where kids 12 and under eat free during your stay.

Why It Works for Families:

  • Families can choose between a traditional room or a family suite with two bedrooms and space for up to 6 people.
  • Kids 12 and under eat free at Mission Point restaurants.
  • Resort activities include an outdoor swimming pool, an 18-hole putting course, bike rentals, arcade, movie theater and more.
  • Complimentary kid’s activities can be booked at the resort concierge.
  • Free wifi.
  • Dog-friendly.


9. Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville

12500 Crystal Mountain Dr.
Thompsonville, MI 49683

michigan resorts: Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville
Photo credit: Crystal Mountain Resort

Located 30 minutes drive from Traverse City, this family resort is great for snow sports like skiing, snowboarding or enjoying outdoor activities like bike riding or hiking during the warmer months. There are also plenty of accommodation options at Crystal Mountain Resort so even large families can find the perfect spot to stay.

Why It Works for Families:

  • Families can choose between a variety of accommodation types including standard hotel rooms and condominiums.
  • Complimentary resort activities include an indoor swimming pool with a family play area, a playground with a sandpit and a scavenger hunt.
  • Your family can also purchase passes to Crystal Mountain’s Park at Water’s Edge, the resort’s one-acre, outdoor water playground.
  • Families can book extra resort activities such as archery, outdoor laser tag, fat tire biking or horse-drawn surrey rides.
  • Kid-friendly dining options are available onsite.


10. Otsego Club & Resort, Gaylord

696 E M 32
Gaylord, MI 49735

michigan resorts: Otsego Club & Resort, Gaylord
Photo credit: Otsego Club & Resort

Ostego Club & Resort is a family-friendly ski-in/ski-out resort located in Gaylord, Michigan. During the warmer months, families can enjoy the resort golf course, swimming pool or book a fishing or canoeing excursion with a local rental company.

Why It Works for Families:  

  • Families can choose from standard hotel rooms or pick a two-bedroom chalet with more space and a kitchenette.
  • Your family can book a one-hour private ski lesson at the resort.
  • Activities such as snowshoeing, fishing and canoeing can be booked.
  • Free wifi and parking included.
  • Pet-friendly.


11. Treetops Resort, Gaylord

3962 Wilkinson Rd.
Gaylord, MI 49735

michigan resorts: Treetops Resort, Gaylord
Photo credit: Treetops Resort

Even if your family is new to skiing, the Treetops Resort in Gaylord is a great choice for a winter Michigan vacation. During the winter months, kids ski free at the resort and can participate in ski clubs (booked lessons) with other kids their age to learn how to ski or ski better. After a day on the slopes, you can relax in the resort swimming pool or grab a sweet treat at the lobby candy shop.

During the summer months, families can enjoy outdoor activities like rafting and canoeing.

Why It Works for Families:   

  • Kids ages 6 and under ski free and get a coupon pack at check-in.
  • Families can book additional activities such as tubing, sleigh rides and age-appropriate ski lesson clubs for kids.
  • Candy Bar 81, located in the hotel lobby, has sweet treats, ice cream and drinks.
  • Indoor/outdoor swimming pool.


12. Breakers Resort and Beach Bar, Saint Ignace

927 N State St.
Saint Ignace, MI 49781

michigan resorts: Breakers Resort
Photo credit: Breakers Resort

Located on the shores of Lake Huron, this beachfront resort comes with amazing balcony views of this Michigan Great Lake. After enjoying a free breakfast, your family can take a dip in the heated indoor pool, head out to the beach or spend the day exploring day trip-worthy attractions such as Tahquamenon Falls State Park (known for its breathtaking waterfalls) or Mackinac Island. In the evenings, cozy up by the fire pits on the beach for some quality screen-free family time.

Why It Works for Families:

  • Families can choose a standard room or a family suite with space for up to 6 people.
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Nightly bonfires on the beach.
  • Heated indoor pool.
  • Free shuttles to Mackinac Island ferry services and discounted tickets are available at the resort front desk.


13. Inn at Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor

3600 Village Harbor Drive
Bay Harbor, MI 49770

michigan resorts: Inn at Bay Harbor
Photo credit: Marriott

With most rooms featuring a balcony view of the lake or Quarry, this relaxing family vacation spot is a great summer choice. Families can play on the beach, in the resort pool, with the lawn games or participate in the resort’s kid-friendly activities.

Why It Works for Families:

  • Families can choose between a standard hotel room or a one-, two- or three-bedroom suite with a kitchen or kitchenette.
  • Seasonal outdoor heated swimming pool.
  • Bike rentals.
  • ​Lawn games and activities for kids.


SheBuysTravel Tip: This is a Marriott property, so join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty club before you book to get the best deals and accumulate points for perks on future stays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Michigan?

A: Michigan is known for its outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, and skiing. The state is home to over 100 state parks, which offer a variety of outdoor adventures for families.

Q: What are some kid-friendly attractions in Michigan?

A: Michigan has several kid-friendly attractions, including the Detroit Zoo, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. The state also has several water parks, amusement parks, and indoor play areas for families to enjoy.

Q: What is the best time to visit Michigan?

A: The best time to visit Michigan depends on what you want to experience. If you’re looking for an island getaway, late April through October is the best time to visit. If you enjoy winter sports, the winter months are the best time to visit.

Q: What are some must-see destinations in Michigan?

A: Michigan has several must-see destinations, including Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the Henry Ford Museum. The state also has several iconic sporting venues, such as The Big House in Ann Arbor.

Q: What are some family-friendly resorts in Michigan?

A: Michigan has several family-friendly resorts, including Great Wolf Lodge, Crystal Mountain Resort, and Boyne Mountain Resort. These resorts offer a variety of activities for families, including water parks, skiing, and hiking.

Mary Moore is the retro ­loving mother of two young children who enjoys the freedom of driving the open road in search of adventure. She and her family are working their way through the backroads and cities of America in their seafoam green 1950s Bel Air. You can read more about their lifestyle and adventures on the blog Raising Dick and Jane.
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