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Searching for Snow: Crystal Mountain

Posted by on February 10, 2014

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The first “Searching for Snow” article is HERE and the second is HERE. And our adventure continues.

The Great Snow Trip of 2014.

The Great Snow Trip of 2014.

Resort with Snow RevisedThere were things we adored about every single one of the destinations we visited on our snow trip but the accommodations at the lovely Crystal Mountain are at the very top of the list.

Although just about every place we visited offered skiing, Crystal Mountain was the only true ski resort that we visited and we loved the deep snow everywhere at this gorgeous place. And, even though we are not skiers, we loved watching the skiers flying down the slopes and just soaking up the whole we-are-at-a-ski-resort atmosphere.

You can ski on 48 downhill slopes, cross-country ski on 40+ kilometers of groomed trails and snowshoe over 80 acres of wooded hills and valleys.

Yes, all of that was wonderful and we had every snow experience imaginable but our cottage. Our cottage.

We loved it.

After a drive along quiet country roads with more snow lined up along the shoulder than we had seen on our entire trip, we pulled into the perfectly charming resort grounds and checked in. We were directed to the White Tail cottage, one of the Cottages at Waters Edge which were just about half a block from where we were. We pulled up in front of our absolutely darling two bedroom cottage and one of us squealed with delight. Tom has a tendency to get excited.

Oh, I kid. I’m the one who was the most excited about our cottage although once we trekked through the snow to check it out, we were both thrilled. This little neighborhood of two and three bedroom cottages is apparently surrounded by flowing streams and waterscaping which I am sure is just lovely in the summer but was covered in deep snow during our visit. That was fine – we were both excited about the deep snow. The cottage had a full kitchen, roomy living room with a cozy gas fireplace, a washer and dryer, a screened porch and sun deck (which would also be nice in the summer) and one bedroom downstairs and one up, each with two full baths, one with a huge tub which I always appreciate.

LOVE.

LOVE.

 

Cottages at Waters Edge in Summer. Photo courtesy of the resort.

Cottages at Waters Edge in Summer. Photo courtesy of the resort.

Our deck was not technically usable when we were there.

Our snow covered deck chairs.

Our snow covered deck chairs.

We didn’t move our truck until we left and then had to deal with the accumulated snow – something we are definitely not used to in Kentucky!

Our snow covered truck!

Our snow covered truck!

We unloaded the truck, then Tom pulled around back to park and we walked over to meet Rex O’Connor who was taking us on a tour of the resort. One thing that really impressed us on this trip to Michigan was the fact that every single person we met was just so wonderful, friendly, nice and genuinely seemed to love the jobs. Crystal Mountain was no exception and was actually one of our favorites as we met and ate with several different members of the staff, all of whom were just lovely.

Rex spent a good portion of the afternoon showing us around the resort and his obvious pride in the place made us like it even more, if that was possible. Crystal Mountain is an all-season resort and, even though they offer a ton of winter sports and there were plenty of people enjoying them, it really stays busy in the summer. There is an amazing variety of accommodations and you can even ski in and out of some of them right onto the slopes, like the Mountaintop Condos where we had a twinge of jealousy, wishing we were staying there.

Mountaintop Condos.

Mountaintop Condos.

But once we spent some time at the resort, we realized they had placed us in the Cottages at Waters Edge for a reason; we were able to easily walk to everything we wanted to do except snowshoeing and there was a convenient trolley for that. We spent a great afternoon with Rex, then relaxed in our cottage for a while before walking over to the Thistle Pub & Grille for dinner. Located in Kinlochen which also has fabulous condos upstairs with a Scottish castle theme, and a ski shop, The Kinlochen Pro Shop, as well as a very comfy lobby and fireplace area where we warmed our toes in front of the fire.

Cozy fireplace in the lobby of Kinlochen.

Cozy fireplace in the lobby of Kinlochen.

We had dinner and lunch the next day at the Thistle Pub & Grille and thoroughly enjoyed both. I may have become just a trifle obsessed with one of the appetizers, a Mini Pork Taco, that was crispy and delicious and quite, quite fabulous. I had it for dinner and lunch the next day and would have eaten it cheerfully again, given the opportunity.

Mini Pork Tacos

Mini Pork Tacos

I also had a delicious chicken dinner that was excellent but did not compare to the tacos. YUM.

Tender, delicious chicken.

Tender, delicious chicken.

I have to add that Tom had another crushing disappointment re: microbrews at the Thistle Pub & Grille. We had visited the North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City and they suggested he try one of their brews but the restaurant was out of it. Our waiter suggested another popular local choice so he was somewhat satisfied.

We also had breakfast at the Wild Tomato Restaurant and Bar both mornings and grabbed sandwiches for dinner one night from The Little Betsie Bistro and Grocery where they have pizza, chicken wings and salad and a small shop that sells a variety of grocery items including beer and wine. Our breakfasts were wonderful, especially the hot chocolate. I guess a ski resort with cold skiers knows how to make good hot chocolate but this was amazing. Each morning, they asked if I wanted whipped cream or marshmallows or both. I chose whipped cream but now I think I should have tried it with both!

Scrumptious hot chocolate.

Scrumptious hot chocolate.

 I also had waffles for breakfast which were hot, fresh, and yummy. That bowl in the back? Full of whipped cream for my waffles! Fabulous.

Waffles and ham - perfect!

Waffles and ham – perfect!

And now I have used up almost 1,000 words telling you about where we stayed and what we ate and haven’t told you anything about what we did, which was basically everything! So that will have to wait for another post. If you are making plans to visit a resort in Michigan either this winter or really any season, we absolutely recommend Crystal Mountain. We are thinking about heading back there in the fall to see the leaves change color, which I’m sure is spectacular.

And just think.

I can have more Mini Pork Tacos. Truly a dream come true.

Full disclosure: Our stay was provided by Crystal Mountain but as always, we will share my honest opinions about any travel experiences we have.

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10 Responses to Searching for Snow: Crystal Mountain

  1. noel

    Wow what a beautiful stay and all that snow, it’s amazing!
    noel recently posted..A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii, Travel Photo Mondays #31

    • Jan Ross

      We were truly amazed at all the snow. They said recently they had received 185 inches of snow so far this winter.

  2. Patti

    Looks to be idyllic and I love the photo of the cottage under the blanket of snow!
    Patti recently posted..I Half Expected to See Scarlett O’Hara ~

  3. Suzanne Fluhr

    Isn’t it amazing how different an experience snow is at a resort than at home when you have to figure out how the &#$53 you’re going to get to work? Nice review and helpful photos.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted..Say What??? Southeast Asia Signs

  4. Marilyn Jones

    Looks so cold outside and so cozy inside; great article and photos!

  5. Nancie

    The snow is gorgeous! However, I run from snow.. Must have something to do with all the shoveling I did when I was at home in Canada :)
    Nancie recently posted..Chiang Mai: Khao Soi for Foodie Tuesday

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