This summer we decided to take our kids on a family vacation to Northern Michigan. We were looking for a spot on Lake Michigan where we could swim, see beautiful sunsets, and take in beautiful summer days unplugged. I have lived in Michigan my whole life and grew up in a beach town but had never been to Bay Harbor. I am so glad we took our kids there this summer. It was beautiful. Bay Harbor is just a few minutes from Petoskey.

One of the things I was worried about when planning our first family vacation with the twins was that it was going to be so much work with the babies that a trip wouldn’t be worth it. But, at the same time, I wanted to make sure that our 9-year-old didn’t miss out on remembering family vacations in the summer just because we had babies now. In fact, now that we are homeschooling, I want to travel a lot more with the family and experience so much together. So this was the beginning of that journey as well. We looked for a resort that would be family friendly and have everything that we would need so it would be easy to just stay in one place. This idea was the best decision.

We found The Inn at Bay Harbor. It was right on the bay, and it was just stunning. It definitely had the WOW factor with its architecture and its grounds. We felt like we were really outside of our everyday life and into an entirely new place. We went in mid- July, and the weather was sunny, high 70’s, and just beautiful.

Now that we are all home, we look back on our time at The Inn at Bay Harbor and know that this is a place we will want to go back to again and again. Here are the 6 reasons why we LOVED the Inn at Bay Harbor for our family vacation:

1. The Beach

The shore here is full of Petoskey stones. M had a fantastic time searching for them. We learned about these fossils before we left and she got to experience being a real life explorer while we were there. I was concerned there wouldn’t be any real Petoskey stones to find, but she found a bunch and was so excited! It was a great activity for her to do. She walked around in the water in her water shoes and searched for these amazing fossils.

There were tons of other beach activities as well including, kayaking, floating around on tubes, swimming, biking, walking the shore line. We will definitely do the kayaking next year!

2. The Pool

M had so much fun swimming in their beautiful heated outdoor pool which overlooked the lake. It was so picturesque. Even the twins got to swim with their baby floats. Right next to the pool they had an outside cabana where we were able to get sandwiches and drinks. Everything was just so close and comfortable. There was also staff who worked the pool deck. They helped us find some goggles for M, put up the umbrellas for us by the pool chairs, and brought us drinks from the bar. They were superb. I constantly had every need met by the staff and they were out of this world friendly.

3. The Food

We ate at the restaurant on the deck overlooking the lake, and it was incredible each time we ate there. The view was breathtaking. M was able to walk down the stairs of the deck and play lawn games while we waited for our food and watched her. We ate and watched the sunset, and the food was exquisite. It was delicious, timely, and beautiful. I was lucky to have both babies sleep through dinner one night in the stroller. THAT was the absolute best haha.

4. The View

I loved getting to watch this 9-year-old dance on the shore while watching the sunset and searching for Petoskey stones. It made my mom heart so happy. The views here were just breathtaking. I think the best part for me was the accessibility. We were able to roll the double stroller right up to the deck table for dinner while we watched the sun set. Then we were able to take the path down to the beach with the stroller. We were able to take the stroller over to the hammocks and the campfire pit. It was all just right there and available. M could run around and do all sorts of things while we were close.


5. Family Time

Spending time together where we are unplugged and engaged is so special. I value it so much. It has been a long year as we have adjusted to transitioning from a family of 3 to a family of 5. I often don’t give M enough credit for how well she has transitioned into her new role as big sister. She has given me lots of grace as I have taken the time to learn how to divide my time and energy towards 3 humans instead of 1. It has been a big year for all of us. Spending some quality time together was overdue and much needed. And now that we have spent this time together, I crave it even more. I seriously can not wait to plan our next adventure.

6. Family Activities

There were so many great outdoor activities for the whole family including swimming, kayaking, bike riding, trail walking, lawn games (which included chess and bean bag toss as well as others), campfires and smores, hammocks, and more. Additional to these, there were also kids events available that happened on a schedule. Different days of the week had different events planned. They looked like they would be a lot of fun. They had build a birdhouse, easel painting, sand art, kid movie, and much more.

Overall, our time at The Inn at Bay Harbor was fantastic. M said she never wanted to leave and I do wish we would have planned to stay longer and had time to experience more. We will definitely be adding this resort as must do family vacation each summer.

Where is your favorite summer vacation spot?

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