[R463R, The Homestead], which calls itself Michigan's fresh water resort, is offering a couple of attractive lift and lodging packages. One package is all-inclusive with meals and even includes a national park pass. Book 21 days ahead and receive a complimentary breakfast.

A holiday lift and lodging package, available Dec. 26 through Jan. 2 from $76 per person, per night, based on double occupancy, requires a two-night stay, dinner one evening at the resort's award-winning restaurant Nonna's, and park passes to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. You can add skiing and riding, good from the night you arrive through departure, for $50 per person. This same package is available during the non-holiday winter season starting from $61 per person, per night and skiing and riding can be added for $44 per person.

Lift and lodging, available from opening day Dec. 18 through the rest of the season, starts from $79 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The package includes skiing and riding from the moment you check in. Book a stay 21 days in advance and receive a complimentary breakfast each morning. A two-night stay is required for the package.

The Homestead is 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 view. The Manitou Islands seem to bob on the horizon.

It's one of 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 the wonderful view without worrying about an overcrowded slope. The ski area offers a 375-foot vertical drop, three chairlifts and 15 or 16 named runs. Did I mention the view from the top?

The Homestead will be open weekends starting Dec.18 through March 6. During the holidays, from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2, the resort is open daily. Adult lift tickets range from $33 to $40 regular season and $36 to $44 on holidays; juniors (9-17) and seniors (65+) lift tickets range from $25 to $35; and kid's (8 and under) range from $10 to $16.

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