Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon

Fall leaves are enchanting, so it's time to think SNOW and plan a winter trip.

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

Farmhouse, Lk Mi view/access, 3bdrm, 1futon, 2.5 Bath. Pet fndly. Ready to go.

Summer dreams are being made, so, believe it or not Fall and Winter adventures are in our thoughts. Fall can be incredible and Thistledew makes a perfect home base for leaf peeping, golfing, nature photography, winery tours, or just a place to call "home" with peace and serenity.

Picture yourself escaping the pressures of work and life, retreating to a serene haven where life is easy and the toughest decision is where to find the brightest leaves, or the county's best burger. Whether to drive or hike, or play golf in the fall weather, it's all good. Perhaps an evening fire, inside or out, finish that great book sitting on the porch in the sun, or, you could put on a jacket and see if the sunsets really are more beautiful in the fall. Lots, or little to do.

Your well behaved four footed family is welcome to join you.

We are 15 minutes from several well marked nature trails, 20-30 minutes from the Manistee National Forest, and about an hour from Traverse City. Bring your jacket, hiking boots, golf clubs or favorite books and board games. Try out the local breweries or local wines, cash in the change you have been saving at the casino. The possibilities are limitless, the choices are yours.

Bring your camera to capture the incredible landscapes , the famous Pt.Betsie Lighthouse, secluded beaches, or even the turkeys in the back yard. (Maybe even that 50 point buck ;-)

For something a bit more sedate, The Little River Casino is 30 minutes away. If dining delights you Traverse City is becoming a 'foodie' destination. Storm Cloud brewery is only 25 minutes away with local brews and unique light food choices.

Please DO check the calendar function as weekends fill quickly. Or, come mid-week and find out what peace and tranquility are all about.

Off season, (Fall, Winter, Spring) at Thistledew could be just what you are looking for. With off season pricing Thistledew awaits, with everything in place. Check our calendar, see if there's something for YOU!

Summer sandcastles, sunshine, golf. Fall leaf peeping, salmon fishing, walks in the woods. Winter snow sports, s'mores by the fire, weekend get-aways. Spring morel mushroom madness, fly fishing, and check out the casino. These are just a small taste from your to-do list when you stay at ThistleDew, your sanctuary for peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of life, OR, your home base for all the best activities Michigan has to offer. ThistleDew is a remodeled Craftsman style farmhouse overlooking Lake Michigan. A minute's walk (or drive) finds you on 600 ft of private beach. Other than during peak season, the deserted beach offers long walks, serene sunsets and solitude, or for the more adventurous; kite boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing without crowds or hassles.

Forget buying salt and pepper, paper towels, firewood or laundry soap. Thistledew comes stocked with the comforts of home. Enjoy cooking in the updated kitchen, raid the spice rack and be creative, or head to one of the nearby restaurants for Friday fish fry, Asian cuisine, or gourmet delights. The first floor includes a master suite with a shower for two, a screened front porch (sleeping space for adventurous children, perhaps?), a living/dining area with a beach stone fireplace, a half bath, and laundry facilities tucked away in a closet. The back deck is a perfect place to sit with your coffee and watch for deer or read a good book. Take one step down to your picnic table and fire pit for evening enjoyment. With a short ramp, the first floor is handicap friendly. The second floor’s two comfortable bedrooms with double beds enjoy sunset views. It has its own bath with shower and an open space for games, DVD viewing or additional sleeping space. A book exchange, decks of cards, and jigsaw puzzles are waiting for those rare indoor, quiet days.

When you tire of sleeping in, lazing on the beach, and have finally been able to put down your engrossing mystery, wander outside and discover nature. Feel free to walk, snowshoe, or ski the “back 40”. Or, check out the surrounding National and State Forests, nature preserves, rivers and lakes for hiking, mountain biking, mushroom hunting, boating, swimming, or fishing. If solitude is not your preference, opportunities abound. Arcadia Bluffs (a world class) golf resort is less than 3 miles away. Crystal Mountain Resort (25 minutes) offers year round activities (snow sports, summer mini water park, alpine summer sledding, golf) as well as new gym/work out facilities and spa offerings. Little River Casino is only 20 miles away for the gamblers in the group. Interlochen Arts Academy (a 30 minute drive) offers concerts and entertainment year round. Antiquing, quilt stores and unique shopping draw those who enjoy investigating nooks and crannies. And, this only begins to scratch the surface, so many choices so little time.

We look forward to meeting you. Living next door, we delight in sharing our slice of paradise with you and your family. We hope this will be a vacation destination you will return to year after year, building those incredible memories you will look back on with special warmth. Your well behaved, four footed family can feel free to enjoy a vacation here as well, with room to run or swim in your company. Our dog Ace, a handsome Golden Retriever, (just ask him!), welcomes playmates, four footed as well as two footed.

Keywords: private beach, house, ski, snowshoe, Fall colors, Crystal Mountain, golf, fishing, pet friendly, woods, year round, fireplace, Arcadia Bluffs, casino, Manistee, Frankfort, Traverse City, hiking, dunes,snowshoe,Lake Michigan,dog, pet,

More Details

Barb and Jamie
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 18, 2018

About Barb and Jamie

I have been vacationing here since I was small, built sandcastles, hiked the woods with my Grandfather and loved the area enough to move here. After raising two wonderful sons, numerous dogs, cats, 2 fawns, and a few other critters while teaching in nearby Bear Lake I 'retired' in 1999. The next job was remodeling this rental property which has been an education, frustration and ultimately a joy for my husband and myself. We enjoy the outdoors, photography,geocaching, reading and volunteering with our church. We are easily distracted by all the opportunities this area provides, so retirement is never boring.

Barb and Jamie purchased this farmhouse in 1970

Why Barb and Jamie chose Bear Lake

My grandfather purchased this property in the 50's so I have MANY wonderful memories of summering here. Living or vacationing here provides a different perspective.We are delighted that so many families return and we can watch their children grow up with their own memories.

Life is still a bit slower, a tad more laid back. Choices abound, friendships flourish, time may actually be slower. You know you're enjoying your vacation when you have to ask what day it is. While we cherish the peace and serenity of walking miles of beach and seeing no one, we also appreciate the availability of anything we really want within easy driving distance.

What makes this farmhouse unique

This area can let one feel isolated from the hustle and bustle of daily life, from the pressure to DO anything,(some cell phones STILL don't get good reception, no real TV, but the VCR works...) It's easy to get lost in the serenity of nature and silence, to escape the lights of civilization and truly see the constellations at night. All without being miles away from the nearest grocery store or golf course. Golf or ski some of Michigan's finest, canoe riffles on the river, or just soak in the leisure, read a book, hold hands with a loved one. Dare the slopes or the casino, land that world record brown trout. The choice is yours. We also try to keep Thistledew stocked with the basics you would find at home. No need to bring or purchase staple items such as dish soap, mustard and ketchup, or firewood. If it's not there, wander over and ask. We'd be happy to give you a cup of sugar or loan you our book of Wildflower identification!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Dear Ace,

Thank you for letting us stay at Thistledew. We LOVED it! You are one lucky dog to live here! We will tell our friends that they need to come visit you too.

Take it easy and stay away from skunks.

Selli , Duff and their humans.
Sep 2014
  • 1 of 2


Bear Lake Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Max. adults: 10
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Lake View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Ski-Out ...
  • Water View ...
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Computer Available ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Master bath - toilet , shower , Handicap friendly, no step shower for two!
    Downstairs powder room. - Cute nook across from hidden washer/dryer.
    Upstairs full bathroom - toilet , shower , Former tiny bdrm, has a dressing table, and full shower.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Master suite - 1 queen , Handicap friendly with a no step shower for TWO!
    Yellow bedroom - 1 double , Upstairs room with a view of the old fountain and the lake.
    Blue beedroom - 1 queen , 1 baby crib , Lovely lake view from the alcove in this upstairs bedroom.
    Activity area - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Place for the kids, comfy queen-futon, couch and VCR.
  • Queen size Beds (2) One queen bed is in the master suite. We have upgraded to a queen (and crib) in one upstairs bdrm, a double bed in the other. We do have a pack-n-play as well. A comfortable queen size futon, is in the upstairs area. The sleeping porch can be used with an inflatable mattress when the weather is comfortable.
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • alternative lifestyle
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • paragliding
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • racquetball
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
600 ft private beach , outdoor fire ring, firewood, picnic table. Ready to go, no need to buy common household items such as mustard, ketchup, TP, or coffee., Walking path out the back door, board games, puzzles, book exchange/library,


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(35 traveler reviews)

97% Complete
2% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Fall leaves are enchanting, so it's time to think SNOW and plan a winter trip.
average rating of 4.9714284 based on 37 reviews

Great place to get away from it all

  • 5 of 5

Barb and Jamie have a great rental in an awesome location along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. The home is spacious and well equipped and had everything we needed for our visit. The snowy surroundings were great and we had a very relaxing trip. We would love to come back during the summer or fall months to enjoy the beach more. Highly recommended.

  • Submitted: Jan 6, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We certainly do hope that Mark and Alli do return. They had so much enthusiasm about everything, which in turn refreshed our outlook. The post White Christmas was beautiful (and continues!!!) and is perfect for those who ski, snowshoe, love winter photography, or want a scenic view while sitting in front of a cozy fireplace. Just remember to bring those WARM clothes, because "Baby it's COLD outside!" Though next week may be back in the 30s....Pure Michigan.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Great location, very clean and easy to work with!!

  • 5 of 5

Barb made the process super easy and the location could not have been better!!

  • Submitted: Oct 23, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so pleased that this worked out. Our fall weekends tend to fill up and leave the quieter mid week days empty, (we tried to get into a winery on a Saturday, standing room only, yipe!) We're glad this worked out for these dedicated golfers.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Loved it!

  • 5 of 5

Loved the home, property & owners Barb & Jamie! Very comfortable, clean & cozy! Many little extra touches they put into their home to make at a great place to stay! Will definitely stay there again!

  • Submitted: Oct 15, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Guests like these make our business a pleasure. We enjoyed meeting them and listening to their ideas for the long weekend. When I wandered over to let them know that a late checkout was available they were enjoying a family (all adults) game night. With a window open they were wondering if they were being too noisy...nope.. happy sounds always delight us and we really can't hear them from our home next door. We do hope they will join the ranks of those who return.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Just like a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's 'Up North' home...

  • 5 of 5

We totally enjoyed everything about Thistledew. Even asked Barb and Jamie to adopt us. They are the nicest hosts we've ever encountered. Our visit was only two days but we loved every minute of our stay. Miss Daisy, our dog daughter, was welcomed with open arms and she gave big wags of her tail when she spotted Barb and Jamie outside. The farmhouse is warm and welcoming and stocked with things you don't get at most rentals. Great wooden floors, comfy beds, modern showers, a kitchen stocked full of anything you could possibly need for meals. Books, games, firepits, a zip line which we didn't try, picnic tables, and s'more supplies... The lack of television was a definite plus as we had family chats and conversations that can't happen when the tube is on. The sunset down at the beach was beautiful and a perfect setting for a photography nut. Too many great things at Thistledew to mention in a short review..try it you'll love it! We did!

  • Submitted: Oct 1, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Miss Daisy, Thank you so much for bringing your family to Thistledew. We would LOVE to have you all back, maybe next time your 'dad' will catch a fish or three, and it will be warm enough for an outdoor fire and s'mores. Your headline said it all, that is exactly what we want everyone to feel...home, warm and welcome. We absolutely appreciate the fact that you noticed things and flagged us, the clean coffee pot light is off, the water on the sink is still a mystery,'ll have to come back so we can solve the mystery. Miss Daisy, the treat jar will be full for you, anytime!
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Beautiful location, beautiful home!

  • 5 of 5

This home was perfect for our stay! Walking steps to the beach, heat and a/c, large kitchen and bathrooms PLUS the original floors. We had a lovely time and the owners were more than accommodating. Highly recommended!

  • Submitted: Sep 25, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for noticing the floors! We worked hard to keep them and hope for another good long life for them. We were absolutely delighted that you had such great fun on the beach. It is RARE to have so much sun and swimable water in September. We DO appreciate your leaving Thistledew in great shape, everything was back where it belonged and starting laundry was a bonus for us. Hope to see you again for your next women's weekend.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Awesome property

  • 4 of 5

All the comforts of home. Would consider returning and staying longer.

  • Submitted: Sep 17, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are always delighted to have returning guests so,we do hope Lucky brings his family back. We especially enjoyed Lucky coming over to visit as we miss our dog. Glad you all had a good time around the campfire, and thank you so much for inviting us to share a bit of that time with you. Let us know when you would like to return!
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


Trattoria Stella
"Looking for really FINE dining in a casual atmosphere? Just thinking about our dinner here m..."
Crystal Mountain
Arcadia Bluffs
"Certainly top of the top in golfing. If you want to just enjoy and not golf try a sunset dri..."
The Fusion Restaurant
Frankfort North Breakwater lighthouse
Nearest Airport
16 Miles
Manistee Blacker Airport (MBL)
Nearest Barpub
6 Miles
Grill 44 (Bear Lake)
Nearest Ferry
48 Miles
Ludington to Milwaukee
Nearest Golf
3.04 Miles
Arcadia Bluffs
Nearest Train
100 Miles
Muskegon MI
Nearest Motorway
1.33 Miles
M 22
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Several bar/restaurants
Nearest Ski
20 Miles
downhill/ cross country Crystal Mountain
Nearest Beach
0.01 Miles
Directly below you.... 3 min walk (down)
Car: recommended

Mushroom hunting, casino, canoeing, photography, alpaca farm, geocaching, fishing charters, several farmer's markets, a real drive in movie, summer concerts in local parks, and frequent local 'festivals'.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

There is a 6% MI use tax that will be added to your rental fee.
The cleaning fee IS included in the basic rental amount.
There is an additional cleaning fee for more than 3 pets of $50.00-100.00 dependent upon the number of extra pets.
All rates are subject to change until deposit is confirmed.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

You might like these similar properties