Exploring Michigan’s Boyne Mountain Resort


As we gently bobbed our way to the top of Boyne Mountain via chairlift, my daughter perceptively asked if Cinderella was also somewhere on vacation with us. Like the Fairy Godmother herself has sprinkled some sort of magic dust upon us all, we were transfixed by the perfect Michigan evening—wildflowers, song birds, and at least twelve field mice to carry a stage coach to a ball later that night.

View from the top of Boyne Mountain.

View from the top of Boyne Mountain.

One week into our Great Lakes Road Trip, the kids were fighting, the “maintenance” light was now permanently on in the minivan, and we were all one straw away from a total melt down. Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, Michigan was a perfect diversion in many ways. Feeling more like a trip to a chalet in Switzerland, Boyne Mountain has been a popular winter and summer vacation destination in upper, lower Michigan for 60 years.

Looking down on the commons.

View of the village and groomed lawn.

Guests in the Grand Lodge and Spa, we enjoyed spacious accommodations, including a full kitchen, living area, and deck overlooking the village and happy families playing games down on the groomed lawn. Popping popcorn and nibbling on hunks of apple-cinnamon bread from a local bakery, we enjoyed the gift of personal space for one night. “Awesomeness” confirmed by our oldest son, the kids strategically chose their respective bunk beds for the best Sponge Bob vantage in the Salzburg Suite Kids Chalet. Like a private “fort” just for them, the blue door remained closed to keep adults out (we all loved this idea).

Kids chalet room.

Kids chalet room.

Begrudgingly, we left our room to to enjoy a tractor-drawn hay ride, watch adventurous people zipping down the last of a ten-part Zipline Adventure course, spot the downhill mountain bikers who raced under our chairlift, and swim in both the resort’s indoor and outdoor pools. Tennis courts, disc golf, and complimentary paddle boats at nearby Deer Lake are on our “next visit” list.

Zipline course.

Zipline course.

Refreshed from a night where even the pillows were stacked like a mountain range, we donned our still-moist bathing suits and flip-flopped over to the attached Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, the facility boasts 88,000 square feet of aquatic fun, two eateries, and an additional 7,000 square foot arcade.

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark

With warm water and a decent sized toddler area, we shot baskets, squirted each other, and took turns taking the older two kids down the open and enclosed water slides. I even crossed one item off my personal “bucket” list with a trip town the Vertigo Cannonbowl slide (see photo above). A Michigan resident for many years, I’ve heard people near and far speak highly of Boyne Mountain, the ski area, waterpark, and resort. If you have plans to road trip through Boyne Falls, Michigan, add this stop to your vacation itinerary.


About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.