Grand Traverse Resort, Michigan Family Vacation Offers
This family resort occupies 900 beautiful acres on Lake Michigan; photo courtesy of the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.

If everyone you know is headed to the beach this summer, remind them those lakefront resorts with crisp fresh water, lawns instead of sticky sand, and docks instead of paddleboards are where it’s at. Anyone who grew up with “Dirty Dancing” and the Catskills summer resort scene that this fun Checkin blog reminded us of, knows just how much clean fun a family can have on a lake.

If you’re living between two coasts you probably already appreciate the lakefront resort style, activities and touristy shops of Traverse City, Michigan. Away from it all and only about a generation old, The Grand Traverse Resort & Spa is popular with families for its diverse activities, recreation facilities, and seasonal programs for all ages to do together.

The full-service, year-round community is located on 900 acres along Lake Michigan’s East Grand Traverse Bay, featuring 600 rooms, suites and condominiums, enough meeting space to accommodate conventions, 54 holes of championship golf including courses designed by legends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, and an indoor waterpark to alleviate Yoopers’ (those living on the Upper Peninsula) winter blues.

From late spring to fall, lakefront watersports are big — the onsite concession has jetskis, SUP paddleboards, a water trampoline, motorboats for waterkiers, kayaks and more toys for rent. Beach babies will like the gold sand and gentle (we did not say “warm”) surf, and the inflatable rafts, slides and climbing toys just offshore.

There’s a deluxe spa and lots of fitness options, too, with Elliptigo bikes that you can pedal and run on being the latest craze. The concierge will even help you find dancing lessons if, in fact, there’s no dance instructor at the resort (and they are not commenting).

Once the Northwoods chill is gone, it’s time for a family getaway with fun, sun and water games. To cater to families, the resort’s 2015 package includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Welcome Amenity
  • Access to facilities including the 15,000-square-foot Indoor Water Playground
  • Four breakfast buffets daily
  • $50 resort credit to be used as you wish
  • 15% off per adult on spa treatments valued at $99 or more (not valid on salon services)
  • 20 tokens for the Video Game arcade
  • bulk candy & ice cream from Dylan’s Candy Bar

Pricing varies according to season, with starting rates for the two-night package in spring (April 10 – May 21, 2015) at $477 weeknights, $508 weekends. High summer (May 22 – September 5, 2015) two-night deals are $628 weeknights or $622 weekends. Rates drop a bit for the fall (September 6 – November 7, 2015), the best time to appreciate Michigan’s gorgeous foliage changing colors; they’re $546 weeknights and $549 weekends for a two-night stay with the above-mentioned perks. Note that this pricing does not include 11% tax and $14.95 nightly resort fee, and some restrictions may apply.

Do your math; if you’ve got golfers and spa-goers in the family, you may be better off with the resort’s other packaged deals, or just a nightly room rate. During winter, the resort is all about snow and cold and much lower rates for a getaway of cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing and indoor kids programs on the weekends.

Here are some other ideas for off property activities whenever you go to Traverse City: FTF’s Guide to Traverse City Family Attractions. Please visit Grand Traverse Resort to browse the complete listing of the resort’s special packages and call 800/236-1577or to book your stay.

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This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.