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Summer Resorts in Northern Wisconsin
Last Updated: 7/8/2013
Ah...summer in northern Wisconsin... Pine scent hangs in the fresh air, the woods beckon and diamond light dances across clear, deep lakes where fish are plentiful. These delightful resorts make great Northern Wisconsin vacation bases.
Grand Pines Resort
What do you get when you mingle the crisp summer smells of a grove of white pine with the lip-smacking aroma of fresh-cooked barbecue? Some clues: Tall pines. Clusters of dark brown split-log cabins. A nearby scenic lake—and Dave. This is the setting at Grand Pines Resort east of Hayward on Big Round Lake. It’s “nostalgia with a touch of class” combined with top-shelf barbecue eats at the original Famous Dave’s restaurant. Boasting 22 cabins on one of two lakes, Grand Pines is a premier Northern Wisconsin resort and has that special North Woods ambience of rustic coziness. Cabins are furnished in similarly woodsy antique themes, with aged tools and toys from logging and fur trading days. Most cabins offer three bedrooms, and all but two include a whirlpool bath; the two-story versions have a second fireplace in the loft master bedroom.
Spider Lake Lodge
The only way in to Spider Lake Lodge near Hayward is down a scenic six-mile road. It’s perched at the end on a hillside amid huge old-growth pines, shrouded in age with dark brown tamarack and cedar log walls. A squat, gabled entrance opens to the lodge’s great room, highlighted by hefty log beams in the shape of the letters “T” and “M,” in honor of Ted Moody, who built this special place in 1923 with the help of area lumbermen and Native American craftsmen. A large common area serves as space for dining, lounging or reading at a separate small library. Each of the lodge’s seven guest rooms—with such names as Hemingway, Moody’s Camp and Bear’s Den—has its own personality.
The lodge’s setting is stunning. A short walk down the bluff leads to Spider Lake’s clear waters and squiggly shoreline. Bald eagles and white-tailed deer are common sights at this gorgeous summer getaway in Northern Wisconsin.
Recess time at Lenroot School meant frolicking along the scenic banks of the Namekagon River. Guests at the Lenroot Lodge in Seeley can enjoy recess all day long—and skip out on the homework. In fact, school’s out for summer. The lodge’s brawny log columns and stout beams are built around the early-1930s one-room schoolhouse. Four of the lodge’s 10 guest rooms are in the former classroom. The original floors remain, as do the chalkboards with ghosts of the ABCs. The lodge’s exterior features recycled material as well, including huge log columns rescued from blow-down areas, heavy beams from the town’s former garage and telephone poles that now serve as handrails.
Rooms include a main floor bedroom and bathroom, and a spiral staircase to a bed loft. Five rooms have postcard views of the river. One room is specifically set up for wheelchair accessibility.
Dillman's Bay Resort
Lac du Flambeau, WI
Dillman’s Bay Resort, situated on a breezy peninsula in Lac du Flambeau’s White Sand Lake in Northern Wisconsin, can accommodate groups large or small. Its 40 cabins and cottages feature kitchens and one to four bedrooms; many also have a fireplace, deck or are lakeside. Motel rooms have efficiency kitchens and many feature baths with whirlpool tubs, while the guesthouse has private rooms and baths that share a kitchen and common areas. This Northern Wisconsin resort is known for its summer artists’ series; each week, May-Oct., Dillman’s Creative Arts Foundation hosts a different accomplished visual artist to lead workshops. On the premises are a restaurant, marina, tennis courts, playground and beaches. Massages are available, too.
Inn at Pinewood
Eagle River, WI
Eagle River’s Inn at Pinewood is a former classic hunting and fishing lodge that’s now a bed and breakfast. The burnt sienna log walls of the original 1934 building positively glow and the hulking fieldstone fireplace no doubt has overheard its share of fish tales. In the commons area you’ll find a game-filled room and enough antiques—plenty of musical instruments to form a band, a wedding dress and a crosscut saw that reminds of the area’s logging heyday—to make you think you’re in the local historical museum. Out back the hill slopes down to Carpenter Lake, favored by ospreys, loons, eagles and walleye. Book one of the nine rooms or suites in the main building or one of three bedrooms in the adjacent home for your summer getaway in Northern Wisconsin. No children under 6.