Tired parents can rest and recharge at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, in northern lower Michigan. Situated on 900 acres just outside of Traverse City, Mich., the resort has something for everyone – even the kids, should you bring them along.
Relaxation at the Grand Traverse Resort
My husband and I traveled to Traverse City between seasons – the autumn leaves had mostly fallen, but the snow had yet to arrive. Even with less than picture-perfect weather, there was still plenty to do in and around the resort. The property has an indoor waterpark with water slides for the kids, a 100,000-square-foot health club with five indoor tennis courts, four indoor/outdoor pools, and three golf courses are all located on site.
Wine Tours Near Traverse City
Next, we drove up the Old Mission Peninsula to Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. In October, many of the area vineyards host harvest celebrations; we attended the celebration at Brys Estate. For $5 each, my husband and I received a souvenir wine glass and were invited through the tasting room, barrel rooms, and winery cellar to take a peek at the inner workings of the winery. Several stations were set up with wine and food pairings, some even with recipes for the foods presented. Although the foods were mostly prepared in advance and couldn't be modified, the person at one of the stations was able to accommodate my severe food allergies with cheese that hadn't yet been coated in walnuts – a nice and unexpected touch.
Romantic Dining at Aerie at Grand Traverse Resort
After the tasting and a scenic drive up and down the peninsula, we were ready for dinner.
There are five restaurants in the resort, which vary from casual and family-friendly to more upscale. We had dinner reservations at Aerie, which sits atop the tower on the 16th floor and has panoramic views of the grounds and Grand Traverse Bay.
Our three-course dinner began with an amuse bouche, a tiny taste of what would probably be the fanciest dinner we'd share since becoming parents. After appetizers and a spectacular sunset, our main courses arrived – rack of lamb for him and Asian salmon for her. The hotel sources its produce locally, which means the menus change seasonally. The freshness was evident in each dish – from the slaw accompanying my salmon to the greens in the salads.
The baked apple tart and coffee were the perfect ending to the meal – a warm tart topped with creme fraiche ice cream, honey caramel and candied maple bacon.
Teresa J. Shaw write about work and travel for Traveling Mom. Visit her blog Working Traveling Mom and follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.
Disclosure: TravelingMom was hosted at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for the purpose of this review. The views expressed here are solely those of the writer.