If you've never skied or ridden at The Homestead, Michigan's fresh water resort, than you've missed one of the Heartland's most scenic resorts. Nestled among towering sand dunes along the Lake Michigan coastline, it offers incredible panoramic views from the top of the ski hill; which is actually the top of a towering perched dune.
You can trace the gentle curve of the shoreline far below. A broad expanse of steely blue water, often filled with ice floes, fills the frame and the Manitou Islands bob on the horizon. It honestly looks as if you could schuss right into the lake. You don't, but it's hard to take your eyes off that view and pay attention to the slope. Fortunately you don't have to worry, because The Homestead does an excellent job of grooming, and limited traffic helps keep it that way.
This is one of a very few Midwest ski areas to limit lift ticket sales, and it's done to provide an un-crowded ski and snowboard experience. It allows you to experience both the great skiing and riding and that wonderful view without worrying about an overcrowded slope. Throw in a sunny, spring day, and it's an unbeatable combination. The ski area, not overly big by even Midwest standards, offers a 375-foot vertical drop, three chairlifts and 15 or 16 named runs. But, did I say the view from the top is to terrific?
"Couples looking for a romantic winter getaway and families with young kids helped us become Northwest Michigan's most civilized snowsports destination," says The Homestead's Jamie Jewell. "As a way of saying thanks to all those patrons we've come up with some special 25th Anniversary Packages."
A couple can enjoy a romantic two-night stay for as little as $164 a night, and a family of four can stay for as little as $197 per night.
The Homestead recently opened its new Spa Amira to further pamper guests. It's a total mind and body wellness center offering tranquil outdoor gardens, relaxation pools, massage, pedicures, and more. Add to that the award winning cuisine found at the resort's top end restaurant, Nonna's, and it doesn't get any better. The Homestead's a resort with the soul of a fine B&B, and it would make a wonderful romantic getaway for Valentines Day weekend.