Pack Up the Kids for a Quick Weekend Getaway
Usually, by this time of the year, us Michiganders are pining for an escape to someplace warm. But with our mild winter, the thing I actually hear people longing for? SNOW!
And while here in West Michigan my kid’s sleds are collecting dust, our friends in Northern Michigan have accumulated enough snow to be declared a Winter Wonderland.
So if you’re looking for a white landscape, you’ll want to do what my family did: Pack your winter gear and make the three-hour drive north to The Leland Lodge. Or as I like to call it: The Place That Cured Our No-Snow Blues.
Read on to see how you can claim Leland Lodge’s special offer for our readers.
(Stay for 1 Night, Get the 2nd ½ OFF!)
Leland Lodge Helps you get into Vacation Mode
When we pulled up to the Lodge just after dark, covered in snow and twinkle lights, I could feel myself switch to vacation-mode.
Leland Lodge truly is the coziest, with their oak paneling, plaid carpeting, perfectly worn-in leather sofas, and stone fireplace. They’ve thought of all the details to make your stay as a family fun — from a cute nook with puzzles to yummy treats, like blueberry muffins and “The Best Cookies Ever.”
Rooms with Space for the Whole Family
With four of us staying at the Lodge (my husband, 6-year old twin daughters and I), we really enjoyed the set-up of the Deluxe Room.
A king-size bed, a pull-out sofa that sleeps two, and my favorite feature: unique twin Murphy bunk beds, gave the four of us plenty of space! Our upstairs room had a slider with a balcony (and views of all the snow), too.
Bonus! Leland Lodge has Good Eats
Bogey’s 19th Hole is the in-house restaurant at Leland Lodge. It was so nice to unpack on our first night and head right downstairs for dinner. Bogey’s has a great line-up of events, too. We were there for their live music night and the entertainment from Chris Smith Music really made our meal special!
Bogey’s is a kid-friendly spot with the same cozy vibe as the Lodge and they serve up some great food. Pro-Tip: Get the Leland Lodge Signature Salad (so good!).
How We Spent our Full Day of Winter Fun at Leland
The Leelanau area is an amazing destination with a lot to do no matter what the season, so we approached our only full day in Leelanau with a plan!
Feel free to follow our route, or freestyle it — either way, you’ll have an amazing time!
Pro-Tip: During the Winter Season, business hours may vary (i.e. some are only open on the weekends or have shorter hours). I’d suggest calling or checking their website before you go!
Day 1: Leelanau Keeps you Busy With Breakfast, Books, Sledding, Wine and Igloos
Trish’s Dishes Serves up Breakfast Specials
Start the day off by heading into Leland for breakfast at Trish’s Dishes. Just a few minutes in the car and you’ll be at the doorstep of this local breakfast and lunch spot. The cheery green walls and a relaxed atmosphere are just what you need on a cold morning! Order a hot beverage and fuel up for the day with a bowl of their oatmeal (topped with brown sugar, cherries, and toasted pears!) or one of their other breakfast specialties.
Leelanau Books is so Welcoming
Less than a ½-mile down the street, you can swing into Leelanau Books (and I highly suggest you do!). This independently owned book store is bright and welcoming and filled with great things, from books to puzzles and games.
My girls had the best time exploring the wonderful children’s section and then were treated to a read aloud by the owner, Paula. Paula also patiently showed the girls how to make their own special balloon characters — one of the highlights of their day!
Sled the BIG Hills Back at the Lodge
Sledding Time! Leland Lodge has an awesome sledding hill. And I mean AWESOME. It stretches for quite a ways, giving you the chance to really gain some speed!
Bonus: Leland Lodge provides tubes and sleds, which means less packing for you! And after you’ve tired the kids out, you can take them inside to warm up at the Hot Cocoa Bar.
Vineyard Break for Mom and Dad
Being on the Leelanau Peninsula means you are surrounded by excellent wineries — and like we found out, wine tasting for mom and dad can still be done (and enjoyed!) when you’re on a family vacation. So after sledding, journey to Boathouse Vineyards for a tasting.
At Boathouse Vineyards, Linus guided me through the different wines, taught me a few things, and helped me discover my favorite — the Boathouse Overboard.
After nibbling on a small charcuterie plate with the family, make your way to Blustone Vineyards. Set atop a hill with a beautiful view, you can sit by the fire and have a tasting. Or order a glass of their Winemaker’s Red like I did.
Pro-Tip for Wine Tasting with Kids: Pack a small backpack with a game or two, coloring and activity books. Add a snack and water bottle too! Also, consider going on a weekday afternoon when they might be less busy. My girls were able to sit at a table at both vineyards and play a game, while we did our tastings. It was a win-win!
Market 22 Serves up Delicious Pizza and More
Next up? Indulge in one of the joys of vacationing — eating well. And that’s just what you’ll do at Market 22! Known for their pizza, don’t hesitate to order up the Detroit Style, served square. The Sweet Lou is where it’s at. And please do your taste buds a favor and order the Cheese Breadsticks! This spot is sure to be visited by our family again.
Walk Historic Fishtown
With happy stomachs, you can meander back to Leland. During our visit, we were able to see Fishtown in Lights before landing back at Leland Lodge. All of the rooftops of the historic Fishtown shanties were lit with strings of lights — it was beautiful!
While the lights are no longer on, Fishtown is wonderful to walk around during this quieter season. While you’re there, make sure to snap a few photos by the iconic Joy tug boat.
S’mores in an Igloo is the Perfect end to a Day
To end your day of adventures, return to the Lodge and see the staff at Bogey’s. Ask to hang out in one of their igloos, which are heated and strung with white lights: perfection.
Pro-Tip: Order the tableside s’mores for the ultimate igloo experience — your kids will love it!
Get Breakfast at the Ice Cream Shop. Not a Joke.
This morning for breakfast, you MUST go to The Tribune Ice Cream & Eatery in Northport. About a 20-minute drive from Leland Lodge, The Tribune is a popular place and we found out why.
Their mouth-watering food, like the Huevos and French Toast (topped with house-made granola!), in a sweet cafe setting will have you scheming to make your return visit sooner rather than later.
Lighthouse Views at Leelanau Peninsula
We ended our adventures at Leelanau State Park and the stunning Grand Traverse Lighthouse, located at the very tip of the Peninsula. With 8.5 miles of trails good for hiking or skiing, you could spend an entire day here. We chose to explore the outside of the Lighthouse and throw snowballs into the bay — an excellent way to say farewell to Leland (for now)!
Are you Ready to Get Away?
Our friends at Leland Lodge are extending a special offer only for Grand Rapids Kids readers: Stay for 1 Night, Get the 2nd ½ OFF!
Plus a FREE upgrade to a Deluxe Room (depending on availability). Must book and stay before May 1, 2019. TO BOOK: Call the Front Desk at (231) 256-9848 and mention GRKIDS.