Tranquil Lakeside Hotel near Hart-Montague Trail State Park
Hart-Montague Trail State Park spans 22 miles of orchards, farms, and a portion of Manistee National Forest as it proceeds down Michigan's western coast to the town of Montague. At one section of the trail stands one of the world's largest weathervanes, a 48-foot sculpture of a Great Lakes schooner that sank in 1901; this piece serves as the namesake for The Weathervane Inn. Overlooking the placid White Lake and just steps away from the Hart-Montague Trail, the inn embodies the tranquility of the area, which is far removed from the busier ports farther south.
A boardwalk and gazebo adjoin the hotel, and all 23 guest rooms come furnished with a fireplace and in-room jacuzzi. The lake-view rooms feature balconies that face the marina, and some rooms also come with a full kitchen or kitchenette. Each morning, you can enjoy a spread of fresh pastries and warm waffles.
Montague, Michigan: Quaint Lakeside Town with Biking and Seasonal Snowmobiling and Sledding
Montague sits on a hill on White Lake's north side. It's a quaint cluster of antiques shops and community bookstores that host author meet-and-greets and live music by local bands. In summer and fall, bikers pedal on the Hart-Montague Trail through Oceana County, the "asparagus capital of the world," which holds an annual celebration with a parade and crowning of the Asparagus Queen. Along the bike trail, you may spy deer milling about the many farms and orchards lined with cherry, peach, and plum trees.
During the winter, 175 miles of snowmobile trails link the White Lake region to Blue Lake in the east. About 20 miles south, at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, sledders can careen down a family-friendly luge, hitting up to 25 miles per hour. Coaches at the complex assist beginning sledders in navigating tricky sections of the track and avoiding jaywalking snowmen. With more than 1.5 acres of ice, the complex also includes an outdoor skating rink and wooded cross-country ski trails.