Cabin-Style Suites Above Massive Indoor Water Park
High above Fort Mackenzie—a four-story waterlogged treehouse that feels like it could be a part of The Swiss Family Robinson or Pirates of the Caribbean—a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Suddenly, the big bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. Heated to a balmy 84 degrees, Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City’s indoor water park and its more than 10 splash-filled attractions draw visitors looking for an aquatic getaway no matter the season. In addition to braving Fort Mackenzie, you can careen down the four-story Alberta Falls tube slide and unwind on a raft in the Crooked Creek lazy river.
The 39,000-square-foot water park is merely one of the many activities at the hotel's multi-entertainment campus. At the MagiQuest live-action adventure, kids wield magic wands and journey through a kingdom to meet mythical creatures, including a pixie and a dragon. More than 100 games such as skee-ball and virtual pinochle attract gamers to the Northern Lights Arcade, with prizes and games geared toward all ages. Scooops Kid Spa gives manicures and pedicures to pintsize patrons sitting atop ice-cream-cone stools and banana-split thrones—free ice cream happily completes each visit. Up to six kids and adults can comfortably sleep in Loft and Majestic Bear suites, where they can plan daily itineraries in the semiprivate living area.
What makes Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City eco?
- It’s a Green Seal–certified Silver property. Green Seal is a nonprofit third-party organization.
- Most of the water in the park is recirculated, facilitating water conservation.
- UV water-filtration system that minimizes chlorine use
- Its low-flow toilets, tubs, and showers reduce water waste.
- It has energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
- Food waste is composted.
Traverse City, Michigan: The Charming Cherry Capital of the World
One of USA Today ’s 10 Great Places for Local Wines, Traverse City draws visitors year-round with its fine riesling wines siphoned from grape gorges in the fertile Old Mission Peninsula. The proclaimed "Cherry Capital of the World,” tucked between the pinky and index finger on the hand-shaped state of Michigan, is bordered by scenic Grand Traverse Bay to the north and the sprawling Traverse City State Forest Area to the east. The town's downtown and waterfront thrive with gourmet restaurants and local landmarks such as State Theatre, a recently restored art-house cinema built in 1949; families can drop by for the $0.25 Saturday-morning matinee. A drive north up the peninsula eventually ends at the whitewashed Old Mission Point Lighthouse, a local relic originally constructed in 1870.