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Top Midwest Vacation Resorts
Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri; these are some of America’s Midwest states. And our Top Midwest Vacation Resorts list will help you figure out how these landlocked locales put the "heart" in "heartland." From the wide open prairies and fertile farmland, to the vibrant metropolises surrounded by freshwater lakes – get ready to experience the very best of the Midwest!

Blue Harbor Resort & Spa

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

View Website +1 (866) 940 - 1284

Wisconsin may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a trip. But if you're vacationing in the Midwest, Blue Harbor Resort & Spa in Sheboygan is a first-class destination for any type of getaway. From intimate romantic escapes to fun-filled family vacations – Blue Harbor has something for everyone.

Here on the shores of Lake Michigan, a cookie cutter vacation is nowhere in sight. Blue Harbor Resort & Spa has enough activities and amenities to fill every day of your vacation with something new and different. If you're vacationing with family, spend one day at Breaker Bay, one of the finest indoor waterparks in the nation and then spend the next at the beautiful lakeshore beach. If a romantic escape is your aim, how about a relaxing day at Reflections Spa, voted one of the best boutique spas in the state by Milwaukee Magazine. Or stroll hand-in-hand along the shores of Lake Michigan where you can see classic lighthouses in the distance and feel the breeze on your face. As with the rest of the resort, the accommodations at Blue Harbor are exquisite. Newly renovated guest suites offer a fresh, comfortable place to rest your head. Enjoy new bedding, linens, televisions, and more! Fun Family Suites are available, equipped with a microwave, mini fridge, and a patio or balcony. For a more luxurious stay, choose a lavish, fully-appointed two or four bedroom villa with a kitchen. Blue Harbor Resort & Spa is a classic lakeside vacation with added fun and luxury!


Breaker Bay™ Waterpark is over 54,000 square-feet of splash-tastic fun and a lifeguard is always on duty!

Related activities

Looking to hit the links? Grab your clubs and head to the nearby Jack Nicklaus-designed course, "The Bull" – one of Golf Digest's "Top 100 Public golf courses for 2011" or Whistling Straits, which has hosted the PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open and the Palmer Cup.

Related Onsite Offerings

To maximize your vacation, Blue Harbor offers a variety of packages including Spa, Waterpark, Romance, and Golf Packages.


Otsego Club and Resort

Gaylord, Michigan

View Website +1 (866) 694 - 4904

Discover a year-round Michigan retreat that's perfect for vacationers of all kinds. The Otesgo Club and Resort is not just a place to stay; it's luxury guestrooms and chalets, five onsite dining options, beautiful golf courses and endless winter fun all rolled into one, impressive destination. Here, you can escape the stress of your daily life and enjoy the refreshing setting of the surrounding Sturgeon River Valley however you like. If you're visiting during the summer, make sure to bring your clubs along for some championship golf. The resort features The Classic and The Tribute, 36 holes of breathtaking views and unique challenges perfect for golfers of all ages. If golf isn't your calling, then explore the resort's own hiking trails or cast your line at the onsite trout pond! Winter enthusiasts are in for a treat when the colder months arrive. Otsego's advanced snow-making technology guarantees perfect conditions every day so you can easily hit the slopes during your vacation. Their Professional Ski Instructor Association (PSIA) ski school offers lessons for beginners so you don't have to miss out on the fun. Plus, surrounding trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing if you'd rather spend a day on level ground!


696 M-32 East Main Street P.O. Box 556 Gaylord, MI 49734


Don't leave your furry friend back at home! Otsego offers a limited number of pet-friendly guest rooms for an additional charge of $25 per night!

Related Onsite Offerings

The Otsego Club features two Laykold tennis courts to enjoy during your stay!

View Website +1 (866) 835 - 0564

Travel to Brainerd Golf Trail in North Country – one of the world’s top golf destinations tucked within the wooded acreage of Minnesota’s unrefined landscape. And if the one-of-a-kind Cragun’s Legacy Courses can’t keep you occupied, Gull Lake will!

Designer and golf guru Robert Trent Jones, Jr., outdid himself on the Dutch Legacy, Bobby’s Legacy and the Reversible 9 golf courses. Each unique and challenging layout plays perfectly with the terrain, while the Audubon Signature Sanctuary, breathtaking lake vistas and rolling fairways offer a little something extra to both seasoned golfers and novices. Not a golfer? That doesn’t mean Cragun’s isn’t for you. Cast a line into Gull Lake and see if you can catch a largemouth bass, or enjoy the natural beauty of the North Star State by foot while strolling along the Black Tern Nature Trail lined with poplar, birch and oak trees as well as patches of wild strawberries and other sweet Minnesota fruits.


Cragun’s Resort and Hotel on Gull Lake is a full-service fishing resort!

Getting there

Cragun's Resort and Hotel is located in the heart of the beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area. Centrally located in Minnesota, Cragun's is less than a three-hour drive, or a 30 minute flight, north of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Fun facts

Cragun’s Resort and Hotel on Gull Lake – Minnesota's largest four-season resort – was rated as a "Top Ten Resort" by Midwest Living.

View Website +1 (888) 259 - 9285

If you're looking for a great vacation destination that has some history behind it, then make your way to Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior.

This resort has been family-owned since the very beginning. Wholesome, fun family vacations are guaranteed when you stay at Lutsen Resort. They offer a variety of well-developed kid's and adventure programs so your little ones can learn while they have fun. Other great family activities include kayak tours, scenic hikes, and disc golf. You can also enjoy the resort's pools and whirlpools! Is romance in the air? Rediscover the passion that brought you together on the shores of Lake Superior. Lutsen Resort has an unmistakable romantic ambience that is sure to put you in the mood. If you don't believe us, check out Minnesota Monthly, which named Lutsen as the "Most Romantic Resort." The two of you can enjoy fine lakeside dining, in-room whirlpools and fireplaces, massages, and lots of solitude. To top it all off, Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior has the largest selection of lodging in Minnesota, which ranges from historic lodge rooms to modern condominiums. With so much to offer, how could you go wrong?

Related activities

Activities you will find near the resort include biking, canoeing, fall color touring, fishing, golf at Superior National, hiking, horseback riding, live music and festivals, rock climbing, and much more!

Fun facts

First homesteaded in 1885, Lutsen was Minnesota's first resort!

Related Onsite Offerings

The resort has a long list of Specials & Packages that will make your vacation even better! Take advantage of Family Value, Romance, Honeymoon, Girlfriend Getaway, and Skiing Packages!


Grand View Lodge

Nisswa, Minnesota

View Website +1 (866) 758 - 4381

Make your way to the shores of Gull Lake near Nisswa, Minnesota. There, tucked away amidst tall pines and expansive green lawns, you will find Grand View Lodge.

When you arrive you'll wind your way towards the lake until you get to the historic Main Lodge. Upon checking in, you will make your way to your beautiful accommodations, whether it's a room in the upper level of the lodge, a cabin near the lake, or a superb golf villa. You'll find that every accommodation at Grand View Lodge has a distinct Northwoods feel combined with a high level of sophistication. Their variety of lodging makes it easy for families, couples, and friends to find the perfect place to spend their vacation. Many of the activities at Grand View Lodge revolve around the outdoors, and it's easy to see why once you arrive. The beautiful natural setting instantly puts you into a peaceful state of mind, making it easy to reconnect with Mother Nature. Spend time relaxing on the sandy beach and listening to the tranquil sounds of the lake. Kids will love the outdoor playground and being part of the Kid’s Club and Adventure Club. Adults, get ready for wine tastings, championship golf, and a luxurious spa. Discover the historic Grand View Lodge – one of Minnesota's best and most beautiful resorts!

Number of runs/trails/roads/etc.

The Paul Bunyan Trail located near the lodge offers more than 100 miles of paved trails from Brainerd to Bemidji.

Related activities

Gull Lake is famous for Walleye, Northern, Trout, and Bass fishing. Bring your boat or rent one from the lodge and cast your line for a trophy fish!

Related Onsite Offerings

Grand View Lodge has an indoor pool and water slide, plus a fun game room!


Big Cedar Lodge

Ridgedale, Missouri

View Website +1 (866) 306 - 1647

Reminiscent of a historic mountain lodge deep within the Adirondacks, Big Cedar Lodge mixes Lake of the Ozarks landscapes and luxuriously rustic lodging into a perfect medley, making our No. 6 Midwest destinations pick your first-choice Ozarks’ premier wilderness resort.

It would be wrong to describe Big Cedar Lodge as anything other that a wilderness resort, but we want to make it clear that this in not your typical woodsy retreat. The three distinctly different lodges, cozy knotty pine cottage and beautifully-crafted log cabin all look as though they should be gracing the pages of Midwest Living Magazine. And the Top of The Rock Golf Course, a certified Audubon International Signature Sanctuary, is the first Par 3 course to bear Jack Nicklaus’ name. Big Cedar Lodge is only minutes away from Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, featuring tumbling waterfalls and more than 29 hand-built stream crossings. But you don’t have to travel far to see natural Ozarks beauty. Just tour the grounds on the lodge’s walking trails showcasing eight onsite waterfalls.


Big Cedar is only a 10-minute drive from Branson!

Getting there

Check out the Devil’s Pool Swinging Bridge when you stay at Big Cedar Lodge. The name Devil’s Pool originates from an Indian term which means bottomless pit.

Related Onsite Offerings

Onsite restaurants, marina, spa, kids’ program, gift shop, pool, horseback rides, photography and meeting space.


Kabetogama Lake Association

Kabetogama, Minnesota

View Website +1 (866) 593 - 3020

While it may not be the flashiest destination on the list, a trip with the Kabetogama Lake Association gives you an opportunity to find peace and quiet in the solitude of Nature. In the Great Northwoods of Minnesota, amongst the stunning beauty of Voyageurs National Park, you'll find an amazing vacation waiting.

Considered the gateway to Voyageurs National Park, Lake Kabetogama has everything you could expect. Great beaches, and great chances for fishing and boating, it's a relaxing, memorable destination for the whole family! 25,000 acres of water invite you to cast a line for smallmouth bass and the Minnesota State fish: the walleye!


9707 Gamma Road Kabetogama, Minnesota 56669

Fun facts

Voyageurs National Park is named for the French fur trappers that first came to the area in the early 1800s.

Related Onsite Offerings

Rentals for fishing and biking make it easy to explore the area and get the most of a stay on the shores of Lake Kabetogama.


Grand Hotel

Mackinac Island, Michigan

View +1 (800) 334 - 7263

There isn’t a more truthful or better name for Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, because, well, it truly is grand! Built in 1887 as a celebrated getaway for summer vacationers, this pristinely-preserved Midwest hotel remains the queen of the horse-and-buggy island and a living example of everything grand!

Named by Travel+Leisure magazine as one of the Best Hotels in the World in 2008 and 2009, Grand Hotel knows just how to make your escape to the island an experience you’ll never forget. As soon as you see the brightly-hued geraniums, tulips and daffodils decorating the postcard-perfect lawns and famous front porch, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place to be pleased. You’ll be able to feel the rich history radiating from the walls of your guestroom, decorated by New York designer Carleton Varney, and when you take your tea in the Fort Mackinac Tea Room, a National Historic Landmark. Savor one of more than 50,000 Grand Pecan Balls – the hotel’s most popular dessert – consumed each season and then try a round of gold at The Jewel, adjacent to the hotel. Experience the bygone Mackinac Island lifestyle – we promise it’ll be grand!


At 660 feet, Grand Hotel's front porch is the world's largest, and is visible as you approach the Island from Lake Huron.

Getting there

Mackinac Island is served by the Pellston, Michigan Airport, 12 miles south of Mackinaw City. Commercial air service to Pellston is available daily through Northwest Airlink in Detroit. Ferries to Mackinac Island can be accessed by driving to Mackinaw City (on Michigan's lower peninsula) or St. Ignace (upper peninsula).

Fun facts

T+L Family magazine rated Grand Hotel as one of the best resorts in the U.S. and Canada for parents and kids.


Tan-Tar-A Resort

Osage Beach, Missouri

View Website +1 (866) 452 - 8662

Tan-Tar-A Resort pulls into our ninth spot on the Top Midwest Vacation Resorts list. We chose this Lake of the Ozarks destination because it lets you experience a little bit of everything in true, relaxed, Midwest-fashion. Fishing, swimming, golfing – it’s all here in the heartland!

Sweeping lake vista views abound at this 420-acre haven. Here you can cast a line at the marina and golf 27 holes of the onsite championship course highlighting the beautiful countryside in Osage Beach. Or simply relax in your room and wait for dusk, when the majestic skies turn from pink to orange to blue and reflect on the lake waters making it look like a painter’s palette. Tan-Tar-A Resort isn’t for those who are looking for the glitz and glam of a fast-paced city resort; it’s best enjoyed by those who appreciate natural beauty and the lazy lakeside lifestyle. We all need to slow down sometimes; why not at Tan-Tar-A?

Getting there

From St. Louis, take Interstate 70 West to Kingdom City. Take Highway 54 west through Osage Beach to State Road KK, north three miles to Tan-Tar-A Resort.

Fun facts

Tan-Tar-A Resort is a Midwest 3-Diamond Resort.

Related Onsite Offerings

Pools, mini golf, boat rentals, horseback riding, tours, paddle boats, parasailing, arcade, billiards, bowling, fitness center, tanning beds and tennis.


Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge

Deerwood, Minnesota

View Website +1 (800) 450 - 4545

Get out for an authentic lake weekend at Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge! This award-winning resort is the perfect place for families and couples to relax and have a bundle of fun all in a rustic country setting.

For more than 100 years, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge has welcomed families of all sizes, golfers of all ability, conference attendees, and fishermen with fantastic hospitality and amenities befitting a luxury coastal resort. Relax at the salon and spa, treat yourself to some fine dining, or grab your clubs and try your hand at the championship golf course! Or grab the family and make a day just soaking some rays by the lake, while the kids cannonball and splash in the crystal clear water. Come and make some memories!


25039 Tame Fish Lake Rd, Deerwood, MN 56444


As of 2013, the population of Deerwood is 525.

Total area

2.05 mi²