Island Escapes

Pack your bags and cast away to distinctly different vacation spots.
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Namaste island cabin
Namaste Island - Photography courtesy Linda Fletcher

“There’s something magical about stepping onto an island — you feel a special energy the minute you arrive,” says Linda Fletcher, who rents her renovated, historic cottage on one of Michigan’s least-known islands: Namaste. Heavily wooded and situated in Bass Lake between Traverse City and Interlochen Center for the Arts, this private 7.5-acre retreat has provided a peaceful oasis to many noteworthy guests such as pianist Van Cliburn over the years.

“The moonlight and stars reflecting on the lake, which can be seen from your bed, defy description,” Fletcher notes. “And in July, there are wild blueberries for picking.”

Rates for this serene seven-acre getaway: $3,100/week; $450/per night (231-929-1837; vrbo.com/236809).

You may have never heard of Harsens Island, either. Nestled at the mouth of the St. Clair River, it’s another lesser-known speck but memorable destination on Michigan’s map, offering about half-dozen rental cottages that go for an average of $1,000 a week.

Of course, popular islands like Drummond, Mackinac and Beaver aren’t as secluded, but they offer a lot more getaway options and plenty to do, from biking and kayaking to snorkeling and fishing. Many rental cottages provide their own equipment for guests’ enjoyment, too.

A nice compromise between populated and private might be Bois Blanc. Located in Lake Huron just off the coast of Cheboygan, it covers about 34 square miles, most of which is state-owned. So it’s still very pristine, offering only the basics: a grocery store, a pizza and ice cream shop, a gas station, a tavern and a church. Larger cottages here can be enjoyed for less than $1,200 per week.

Explore more Michigan island rentals at homeaway.com, vrbo.com and rentalbug.com. — Keasha Palmer, Michigan BLUE Magazine. 

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