Two championship golf courses weave up and down Crystal Mountain, a four-seasons resort located about 20 miles away from the western shoreline in northern Michigan. The Mountain Ridge course climbs to high elevations, allowing players to take in panoramic views of the resort. The Betsie Valley course, which recently underwent a $1 million renovation, tests the mettle of experienced golfers. Together, the courses contributed to FamilyCircle magazine declaring Crystal Mountain one of the nation’s Best Ski Towns for Summer Vacations.
A variety of accommodations allow for custom vacationing. Hamlet and Crystal Colony are conveniently located in the heart of the resort, close to the indoor pool and fitness center. Both are just steps from the mountain, as well as from the 18,500-foot Crystal Spa. The Pinehurst residence is located steps from the core area, ensconced in pines along the 18th fairway of the Betsie Valley golf course.
Two parallel, 1,700-foot-long slides, called the Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide, curve down the length of the mountain. Riders sit on a specially designed sled with built-in speed control, rounding high-bank turns and taking in views of the valley. Elsewhere, the Park at Water’s Edge outdoor pool features a 4,200-square-foot pool with an aquatic playground and zero-depth entry.
Thompsonville, Michigan: Resort Town Lined with Hiking Trails
Thompsonville is a small town in northern Michigan’s Benzie County, best known as the home of Crystal Mountain. Luckily, the 1,500-acre resort offers a wide range of attractions. Thirty of those acres are the dedicated site of the Michigan Legacy Art Park, home to more than 40 sculptures, poetry stones, and an outdoor amphitheater, as well as 1.6 miles of hiking trails. Additional hiking trails on the property include the easily accessible 22-mile Betsie Valley Trail, which can also be bicycled, rollerbladed, or West Side Story dance-fought. There’s also an abundance of offsite activities.