Getting together

If you want to meet family and friends up at the cottage — but don’t have one of your own — there are some different ways to go.
Crystal Bungalow Family Bonfire
Bungalows at Crystal Glen - Photography Courtesy Crystal Mountain

One one-of-a-kind reunion destination no one would soon be likely to forget: Sunrise Bay Vacation Estate in Christmas, Mich., near Munising. Blanketing 10 acres along the shores of Lake Superior, this private estate features a main lodge, two guest cottages and a carriage house that combined provide 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms and accommodate up to 24 guests.

Crystal Cottages Backyard View
Crystal Cottages Backyard View – Photography Courtesy Crystal Mountain

Available weekly as one property during the months of June and July, each of these accommodations comes comfortably, fully furnished and includes a modern kitchen (with three of the four retreats equipped with a fireplace, as well). But the best aspects of renting Sunrise Bay are its proximity to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the pristine beauty and privacy of its location on Lake Superior, says property manager Julie Wisniewski.

Sunrise Bay Cottage
Sunrise Bay Cottage – Photography Courtesy Sunrise Bay

“Guests enjoy kayaking, swimming, sailing, hiking, mountain biking and campfires on their own private beach,” she notes. “Grand Island National Park is just across the bay. Plus, the multiple cottages here offer room for large groups to gather, while still providing opportunities for privacy.”

Sunrise Bay Great Room
Sunrise Bay Great Room – Photography Courtesy Sunrise Bay

While you can enjoy more secluded R & R, sweeping Great Lake views and on-your-own adventures here in the Upper Peninsula, you can choose, too, to put a more structured (and luxe) spin on your big “cottage” get-together at one of Michigan’s year-round signature resorts.

Sunrise Bay interior
Sunrise Bay interior – Photography Courtesy Sunrise Bay

Crystal Mountain Resort’s myriad accommodation options include two such inspired choices: The Cottages at Water’s Edge and Bungalows at Crystal Glen.

Clustered around a traditional village plaza, three- and four-bedroom Bungalows featuring a gas fireplace, washer and dryer, full kitchen, walk-out deck and master bedroom with king bed among other amenities connect to other gathering spots at the resort like the Fitness Center, Crystal Spa and Peak Pool with landscaped walkways.

Beaches at Sunrise Bay Cottages
The Beaches at Sunrise Bay Cottages – Photography Courtesy Tom Buchkoe

Situated within an abundance of garden blooms and winding creek, an intimate neighborhood of two- and three-bedroom Cottages at Water’s Edge are also designed to foster a special sense of home-away-from-home. Screened porches, sun decks, gas-log fireplaces or gas woodstoves are all details that lend classic cottage appeal.

Crystal Mountain Bungalow at Night
Crystal Mountain Bungalow at Night – Photography Courtesy Crystal Mountain

But perks of checking in to these retreat rentals also include (if so desired) on-site assistance through Crystal’s Team Adventure planning fun and unique activities for the entire clan. “There’s something here for every age to enjoy, either together or on your own,” says Chelsea Chapin, catering and events sales manager for the resort.

Family Olympics, a golf outing or float trip down the river are just a few ways to get reacquainted. 

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— Lisa M. Jensen, Michigan BLUE Magazine.

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