For your next island getaway you may find yourself heading north. The Midwest might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of island resorts.
But, with the Great Lakes and Northwoods as your backdrop, you’ll find beautiful islands all across the Midwest that are home to these incredible resorts:
- Ludlow's Island Resort
- Stout's Island Lodge
- Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island
- The Inn on Madeline Island
- The Four Seasons Island Resort
So while you’ll likely encounter far fewer tiki torches, heading to an island resort in the Midwest offers breathtaking vistas and allows you to experience the lake life at its best.
Ludlow’s Island Resort
Step away from crowded tourist spots and enjoy your own private island getaway at Ludlow’s Island Resort. Situated on Lake Vermillion in Cook, Minnesota, the resort is tucked away surrounded by pine and birch trees, offering guests a secluded spot to recharge and relax.
Ludlow’s can only be accessed by the resort’s shuttle boat, giving guests the feeling that they’re going on a true vacation away from it all. The island is for guests only, making it private and safe for families and for kids to explore.
Once on the island, Ludlow’s offers a variety of one-of-a-kind, classic Northwoods cabins with multiple baths, wood-burning fireplaces, decks, and screened porches. Each cabin is positioned at the water’s edge offering picturesque views over Lake Vermillion.
Guests can enjoy a slew of water activities with a climbing iceberg, zip-line, waterslides, kayaks, hydro-bikes, stand-up paddleboards, world-class fishing, and more.
Ludlow's Island Resort is Northern Minnesota's only 3 Diamond, AAA, and Forbes rated resort, ensuring immaculate facilities and a luxury vacation hidden in the Northwoods of Minnesota.
Stout’s Island Lodge
You’re on island time when you step off the ferry to Stout’s Island Lodge. Located approximately 2 hours from the Twin Cities on Red Cedar Lake in Birchwood, Wisconsin, Stout’s Island Lodge offers a haven for slowing down, unwinding, and reconnecting.
Stout’s Island Lodge was originally built in the early twentieth century as a grand summer estate for lumber tycoon Frank Stout, and the resort retains its rustic charm combined with modern luxury. Upon arrival to the original boathouse guests will be transported back in time. Visitors will experience one-of-a-kind gardens that have been tended to by the Island’s gardener, Kelly, for over 25 years, and can also cross a bridge with steel that was given to Frank Stout by friend and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
Guests are free to choose from a variety of lodging options ranging from cabins to main lodge rooms to further remote accommodations on smaller private islands Knapp Island and Van Reed Island, which are new lodging options in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Unique to Stout’s, the resort features Midwest Regional Cuisine that uses indigenous and cultivated ingredients from the American and Canadian Midwest, and the menu changes regularly based on what’s in season.
Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan is a National Historic Landmark, holding a long, rich history and tradition with several U.S. Presidents coming to stay as well as the filming location for the 1947 film This Time For Keeps and the 1980 film Somewhere In Time, starring Christopher Reeve.
But, truly, that is almost the least impressive aspect of the Grand Hotel.
The hotel boasts the world’s longest front porch, spanning 660 feet before entering the hotel to be met with a spectacular, colorful interior that reminds guests of old-world hospitality and charm. No two rooms at the Grand Hotel are the same. Each has its own design and theme, providing guests with a singular and memorable experience.
You can only reach the Grand Hotel by ferry or plane. No cars are allowed on the island. Guests can walk, bike, or travel by horse-drawn carriage. During peak summer months, there are more than 500 horses, rivaling the 600 year-round residents who live on Mackinac Island.
While guests can enjoy the usual activities like golf, swimming, and pickleball, the hotel also offers afternoon tea in the parlor and live music all day long, creating nostalgia for a by-gone era.
The Inn on Madeline Island
Surrounded by the beautiful waters of Lake Superior, The Inn on Madeline Island in Wisconsin is in the perfect spot for the nearly 90,000 visitors that visit the island every year in search of outdoor adventure, history, and scenic beauty.
You can reach The Inn via the Madeline Island Ferry Line, private boat, or by plane. Once you arrive, you’ll either be staying in a deluxe hotel suite in the Lightkeeper’s Lodge right on the beach facing Lake Superior, or opt for more privacy in The Bungalows, nestled in the woods a few blocks up the road.
The Inn is right in the heart of Madeline Island, making it easy for guests to navigate local attractions and activities as well as snag prime views of incredible sunsets over the water.
The Four Seasons Island Resort
The Four Season Island Resort is enfolded in thick woods on the 100 acre Miscauno Island on the Menominee River in Wisconsin, which straddles the Wisconsin and Michigan border. The resort offers a serene oasis with plenty of privacy and seclusion away from the busyness of life as guests must travel across The Four Seasons’ original one lane, 100-year-old bridge before opening up to reveal the resort's grand entry.
The resort preserves its historical facade, architecture, and design features while providing guests with updated, modern amenities in their 55 all-suite hotel.
They offer a variety of lodging options to accommodate couples on a romantic getaway and families there for summer fun. Guests can play on their 9-hole golf course, relax in their salon and spa, take a dip in their indoor saltwater pool, play a game of tennis or volleyball, or go for a peaceful pontoon cruise on the river.