The Petoskey area in Michigan is full of fascinating stories. I was so intrigued by the generations and generations of families who are summer residents in the Bay View Association. Bay View was founded in 1875 as a retreat for members of the Methodist church and later became a part of the Chautauqua movement.
Imagine the setting of any movie with a “family camp” story, like Dirty Dancing. Educational and arts programming take place from May through September. Children take swim lessons, learn to sail, acquire their first job, meet up with long time summer friends. Adults take in music performances, festivals and life lectures. If this is your scene, consider renting a cottage for your trip.
After the hustle and bustle of an active summer, the entire town shuts down from October through April. Shutdown is no exaggeration–the post office closes, the two hotels and all of the community buildings and meeting spaces. In fact, every single one of the over 400 cottages and homes cannot be occupied during this time, it’s the local law.
Boyne Mountain is a culture all in itself. Outdoor recreation lovers flock to the mountain year-round for season specific activities and family time is readily available. The family that plays together definitely thrives at Boyne Mountain.
Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing. Zip-lining, mountain biking, disc golfing, paintball, chairlift riding, hiking, horseback riding and water sliding. Golf courses, spas and swimming pools. Each of these assets contributes to the lifestyle of sporty, active, fun-loving families.
During our visit in the summer, we experienced s’mores on the grass outside of the lodge at the base of the mountain, lawn games, family movies and storytimes. With cottages, condos and resort accommodations, there’s an ideal lodging situation for every personality and life stage.
The three bedroom Salzburg Suite at the Grand Mountain Lodge was a dream for our family of five and perfect for a family with young children — a 4 bunk bed room with a castle facade and little window peek throughs was a hit with my daughters. The slope view master bedroom was perfect for watching activities taking place at the village at the base of the mountain, all the way on up to the top of the slope.
As someone who planned group retreats and travel in my past career, the Elvyn Lea Lodge is perfect for a winter sports team, a multi-generational family trip and even a single family. Featuring comfortable rooms, en-suite bathrooms and grounds that are beautifully kept with hiking trails, a large open field for activities and events and within close proximity of so many enjoyable places.
A stay at Elvyn Lea Lodge would be wasted if you didn’t get out to enjoy the outdoor spaces. You’ll be able to identify wildflowers, trees and bird-songs on the extensive trails. If you prefer, cozy up to the large fireplace in the Great Room or get lost in a book in the lounge.
I love the stories held in the chapters of the Elvyn Lea Lodge, especially the name. Elvyn Lea means “meadow of elf friends,” which is perfectly summed up by owners, Michael and Monica Farrier as like “the enormous lawn on the property … a place to gather together, share, and experience life more fully in community.”
Really, this is what lodging in the Petoskey area is all about, enjoying everything around you — the people, the environment, the recreation and the comfort. Soak it in, learn what you can, teach what you know and feel comfortable and alive while you do it!
Our family was hosted at one or more of these locations for the purpose of sharing the experience with you. All opinions are true and honest and not influenced by any comped experiences. I was not compensated to share this information with you.