Sunday, January 20, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland... literally!

Talk about a real, live Winter Wonderland?!

If anyone is interested in a glorious winter getaway in Michigan, there is an awesome place in northern lower Michigan called “Garland Resort”. It’s just outside of the town of Lewiston, which is not far from the city of Gaylord; amidst huge, picturesque mature conifer trees (basically in the middle of nowhere) which happen to be spruce and pine forests, for those who were unsure. Although I am definitely NOT a “winter person” per se, I must admit that even I was tempted by the beauty of this log-style lodge to endure the great white snow covered fields, glistening icy lakes and streams, and all the groomed trails a snowmobiler or cross-country skier could ever ask for! Lots of whitetail deer, too!

The resort itself is rather large in size and cozy in style with a variety of types of accommodations available to choose from, ranging from the basic hotel-style room to spacious fireplace and jacuzzi suites, cabins, or condo rentals for the whole family. It’s an all-season resort that is located on a golf course for summer fun, but during the winter months the area becomes a different type of playground altogether, enticing all sorts of winter sports fanatics; and it’s still very family friendly. You can rent snowmobiles or cross country skis right onsite and peruse the hundreds of miles of groomed trails which are all neatly labeled for the novice (like me) for a day or for a weekend. It’s all very convenient. They have horse drawn sleigh rides if you’re looking for more of a romantic getaway, plus there are other ‘couples’ style packages available for purchase including a “Dr. Zhivago” weekend. You can rent ice skates and glide across the frozen pond, take quiet walks on their tranquil grounds, or attend the huge outdoor bonfires at night, which is fun for the whole family! Of course, you’re free to bring all your own gear and equipment, too, if you have it (which is a money saver)!

For the night life, there are a variety of small-town taverns open in nearby cities and some have live entertainment; or there’s a GREAT restaurant on-site called “Herman’s” which also has good live entertainment on the weekends. The all-you-can-eat dinner buffet there was scrumpdeli-icious (my term for scrumptious and delicious combined!) and included foods like prime rib, crab legs, smoked salmon, chicken, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and a ton of stuff I can’t even remember - desserts included; ALL very tasty and for a reasonable price. I was impressed with the value dollar-for-dollaras well as the high quality of everything ranging from the food to activities to accommodations. My husband and I will definitely be going back there again next winter!

So if you’re ever planning to be in the area, give them a try- you won’t be disappointed! Check out their site!

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