March ski weekends in Northern Michigan–spotlight on Shanty Creek Resorts

Shanty_Creek_Spring_RNorthThe best of snow and swimming pools. Longer daylight, cozy fires. Languishing over dinner’s dessert, skiing after brunch. Northern Michigan resorts shine brightly during March (read my list of 6 reasons why March skiing in Northern Michigan is best) . My family gathers up a group of friends every March to have a last hurrah with winter. Over the year’s I’ve learned a few ways to make the adventure fun for all. Last year’s adventure was at Shanty Creek Resorts, our second time there and we enjoyed the best of the season. (Read Diamond Ski Weekend at Shanty Creek Resort.)

Something for Everyone—most resorts are equipped with pools, spas and other outdoor sports, like snowshoe trails, cross country skiing and tubing. At Shanty Creek the new rental and lesson location at the gorgeous Cedar River Lodge puts rentals and lessons for new skiers conveniently near the purple lift.

One thing I really like about Shanty Creek’s pool at the Lakeview Hotel is the fireplace. The adults cozied up to the fireplace with cocktails, while keeping a watchful eye over the kinder in the water. I’m not sure which kids like better, skiing or swimming. In March especially, when afternoon skiing might be a little slushy, I like the option of having a pool for the kids.

Our families with really little ones enjoyed tubing while the rest of us enjoyed skiing both mountains, Schuss and Summit. The new tubing location by Lakeview Restaurant allows grandparents to watch the kids tube while finishing up dessert and drinks.

Entertainment Off the Slopes—On our March ski adventures we’ve seen the Accidentals and other great bands. We enjoyed Ron Getz performing dance and listening music ranging from Motown, Pop, Blues, Funk, Swing and Jazz after dinner at the Lakeview Restaurant. He’s one of my favorite local acts. Even the kids got into the music, dancing and having a blast.

Choice of Accommodations—In setting up this weekend, my friends were able to choose the King Suites at the Lakeview Hotel. Each family had their own full size kitchen which made breakfasts, lunches and snaking easy for the kids. Groups can certainly mix and match accommodations, so each family can fit budget and space to their needs, whether it’s a condo, hotel room or renting a house. You’ll want to check out package options for lodging and ski combinations; there are really good deals as the season starts to wind down.

Getting Out Around the Resort—Short’s Brewery Tour—No visit to Shanty Creek Resorts is complete without a visit to Short’s Brewery in Bellaire. My gang opted for the brewery tour on Sunday and it was the perfect post-checkout lunch adventure. (Make sure you get tour tickets online, ahead of time.) Most Northern Michigan ski resorts have cute towns and villages worth exploring and shopping. Each tour goer gets a souvenir glass and one can enjoy a pint while mulling over the multiple t-shirt options.

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