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The Homestead

The Homestead
1 Wood Ridge Road


In the early 1920's a young St. Louis couple - William and Cora Beals - searched the Great Lakes to find the region's most beautiful beach. When they arrived at the point where the waters of the Crystal River flowed into Lake Michigan they knew they had found it.

They purchased the property in 1924 and started a camp offering wholesome outdoor experiences. Within a few years, satisfied parents asked the Beals to add a boarding school.

Construction on the school started in the summer of 1929. The Great Depression followed, as did hard times. Barter became the currency of the day.  In spite of the challenges, the "homestead" was completed in 1932.

For decades, students used The Homestead in the winter and "resorters" in the summer. With time, the Beals' successors decided to relocate the camps, contract the school and sell The Homestead.

A Michigan family purchased the resort in 1975 and spent a year researching and planning. They identified and studied a new type of resort that offered a wide range of recreational and housing choices while emphasizing protection of the natural environment. That work had strong impacts on the master plan that was prepared and the development that followed.

Today, much and little has changed. The beaches are still beautiful. Wholesome outdoor experiences are still the order of the day. Students are studying at the school next door. Resorters are enjoying luxurious facilities with commanding views of Lake Michigan, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the Crystal River Valley.

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Explore the National Lakeshore by Snowshoe or Cross Country Ski
Long-time cross-country skiers will find miles of groomed nordic skiing trails filled with challenging ascents and thrilling descents. Most of all, they’ll find a breathtaking view around every bend in the trail. If you’re new to the sport, you’ll find expert instruction, quality rental equipment, and a fun way to stay fit and enjoy the beauty of winter of Northern Michigan.

Anyone who loves the great outdoors is sure to love the snowshoe trails that winds through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. One of the trails, Bay View, is just steps from the resort’s Village. There are also several other snowshoe trails just a short drive away. For a map and more information, visit the Front Desk.


Whether you want to explore the coast of the Dunes in a kayak, push the limits of your fitness on a stand-up paddleboard, or just lounge around in a good old-fashioned paddle boat, we’re here to help. No matter which you choose, you’ll be enjoying the stunning scenery of the Sleeping Bear Dunes from the comfort of our Beach Club, where a cold drink and a warm welcome will await your return. One thing our resort does not provide are power craft. Unfortunately, we’ve found that renting them from the Beach Club disturbs some of our waterfront guests. Fortunately, we have friends who can help you with that, too


Resort Golf Near the Sleeping Bear Dunes
This is golf the way it was meant to be played– with the people you care about and surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Mere steps from the Village, you’ll find our resort’s par-3 course Mountain Flowers. The views are breathtaking and the nine holes are spectacular.


Anglers call them the “holy waters”. They’re special places, where the fishing is good and the chance to wash away the stress of daily life and remember what a beautiful world we live in comes with every cast. A charter fishing trip will help you experience the majesty of Lake Michigan and is a great way to spend time with friends or family. The Orvis Michigan Fly Fishing School is a more intimate experience that takes place on a custom built pond, designed to help you learn the basic skills of this ancient sport on some of the more hidden and beautiful stretches of river in Leelanau County.


It’s hard to imagine what could be better on a warm summer’s day, than a dip in the cool clear waters of Lake Michigan. Unless it’s to stroll along the pristine beach – or making a sand castle by the shore. Or a trip down the waterslide at the Village Pool, the cascading waterfall at the Beach Club’s Pool, or the stunning views at the Spa’s private pool. If you or your kids don’t know how to swim, or just want to brush up your backstroke, we can help you with that, too.


Experience Clay Courts Overlooking Lake Michigan
For experienced players, our clay courts will provide a new challenge. For new players, they’re friendly on the joints and great for improving your racquet skills. No matter how long you’ve been playing, you’re sure to enjoy the stunning lakefront views and the easy access to all of the amenities of the Beach Club. Our wide range of private and semi-private lessons, as well as clinics for both adults and children, are the perfect way to hone old skills or develop new ones. Just call 231.334.5235 to reserve courts, rent equipment, or book lessons at the resort.