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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Bays Inn on Arbutus Lake

Bedrooms 1
Space 700 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 4

Cozy cottage for 2 in a woodland setting with the lake a short walk down an old stone stairway. There is a deck by the water. Small cottage with cozy fireplace, small kitchen area, and the comfy double bed makes this a restful and pleasant place somewhere in time. You can bike on the dirt roads, hike through the woods and forage for wild blackberries, blueberries and spring morels. Swim and kayak in this small lake but make your way through the channel for access to bigger lakes. Fish off the dock, sunbathe on the floating dock, or just float for a relaxing afternoon. Star gaze to your heart's content with no city lights to obstruct your view of the heavens. Traverse City is just 10 miles away. This location is the best of both country lake living and the many events and shopping of Traverse City. Bonus: Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes are 40 minutes away. In the winter, if snow is something you enjoy, we are very near a portion of the VASA trail and Lake Muncie XC ski trails. Crystal Mountain is 45 minutes away.

Susan Bays
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 21, 2018

About Susan Bays

After raising a family and working in Ann Arbor Michigan for many many years, it became time to relax and enjoy northern Michigan, where my heart has always been. I moved to Arbutus Lake in 1992 but just began renting the guest house, now called Bays Inn, in 2014, We've enjoyed many summers with family here and now its time to share with others. If you're interested in history, I wrote a little book about Arbutus Lake called A Century of Summers. Ask for a copy.

Susan Bays purchased this cottage in 2014

Why Susan Bays chose Traverse City

Arbutus Lake is designated a wild and scenic lake with 25% of the shoreline undeveloped. Fish, swim, sail, ski, tube, kayak, canoe, or just float and enjoy this precious resource. It is quiet here and beauty is everywhere if you look for it. After a day in the city, I always begin to relax as I near the cottage.

What makes this cottage unique

The 1940's stonework adorns the outside of the cottage from the back wall to the 50 steps down to the lake. The stonework is prevalent in the neighborhood and I am told that the stones came from farm fields in the area. My friends tell me this cottage makes them feel like they are in the movie, "On Golden Pond."


Traverse City Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 700 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Towels Provided
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 2 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • Full bath with tub and shower
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • The cottage is an open floor plan with a double bed sectioned off by a half-wall.
  • Television
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • swimming


Excellent! 4.4/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

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Bays Inn on Arbutus Lake
average rating of 4.45 based on 20 reviews

A wonderful serene place

  • 5 of 5

Thank you for sharing your cabin. I found everything to be as promised. The serene setting and access to the lake enhanced my stay. It is a great place to get away from TC and, at the same time, TC is only a short drive away.

  • Submitted: Jul 30, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Cozy lake cottage

  • 4 of 5

this small one bedroom cottage near the lake was perfectly located for us to explore Traverse City and the upper Peninsula. Everything worked and it was clean and neat. I would recommend it to friends.

  • Submitted: Jun 27, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We enjoyed having you stay at Bays Inn. Please come back again.
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What a cozy weekend retreat! We would highly recommend this rental.

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I and our dog stayed in the cabin for a weekend at the beginning of November. It was so cute and cozy and inviting, we would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quiet retreat in a beautiful landscape. The owners were wonderful, they welcomed us as soon as we arrived and made us feel right at home. Not only was it a beautiful area in the woods, but a perfect short drive to the heart of Traverse City. We will definitely be back!

  • Submitted: Nov 11, 2016
  • Stayed: November 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Special touches won me over

  • 4 of 5

The kitchen was not great and it was a long walk to the lake, but the special care that Susan gave to make sure it was comfortable and relaxing made all the difference .

  • Submitted: Oct 13, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Not What We Had Expected

  • 2 of 5

All of the reviews were very deceiving. If the cottage had been free of cobwebs, large dead spider in bed, mice droppings and had a front door you could actually close without fear of breaking a window, it would have been pleasant. Most nights we left the door unlocked for fear of being responsible for a broken window. The changed description of what was included was not accurate. There was no coffee as previously stated and no toaster oven. A toaster was provided after a request was made. We thought the cottage would be more secluded. The steps to the lake are hard for anyone to navigate. If you are bringing a dog, be aware that the owner has a large dog that she walks right by the cottage. The photos of the listing do not depict that most of the amenities, i.e. fire pit, steps to lake, are very close to the owner, not the cottage. Not as private as we had anticipated. I'd recommended this property for hunters, with very little food to put in the teeny, tiny refrigerator.

  • Submitted: Sep 30, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your review. We welcome your comments and will continue to make improvements for future guests. I am happy that we could provide you with coffee and a toaster from our residence.
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2 0

nice little cottage conveniently located to a variety of interests

  • 3 of 5

We had a very pleasant stay. The cottage was clean and moderately furnished. The location was convenient for sightseeing in the Traverse city area. We were pleasantly greeted on our arrival and provided info which was helpful. Only detractions were steps to cottage were slightly out of balance,not easy for someone with balance issues. Steps leading to boat dock were also hard to navigate. Overall we had a very pleasant stay. Peegeo's has good food not far away.

  • Submitted: Sep 18, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
15 Miles
Cherry Capital Airport
Nearest Barpub
5 Miles
Nearest Ferry
26 Miles
South Mainitou Ferry (Leland - South Manitou)
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Elmwood Golf Course
Nearest Train
150 Miles
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Nearest Restaurant
5 Miles
Nearest Ski
45 Miles
Crystal Mountain
Nearest Beach
17 Miles
Lake Michigan
Car: necessary

The Traverse City area is known for its natural beauty. It is located on the shores of Lake Michigan's West and East Bay. Forty minutes away is our beautiful Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore voted one of the most beautiful places in America. Outdoor activities abound from kayaking on the big lake to paddling around inland lakes as well. Downtown Traverse City is high energy with restaurants, the famous State Theater (home to the Traverse City Film Festival), and boutique shops. Don't miss golf on one of over 20 golf courses in the region. Each season has its own set of magic. My favorite, after summer, is the Fall with its spectacular jewel-like colors. A trip up Old Mission Peninsula for a winery tour in the Fall is a memory-making event. In winter, we have snow and plenty of skiing, both Nordic and Alpine. Winter has its own beauty in Traverse City with its downtown white fairy-lights twinkling on the lamp posts and store windows.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning $30
Pet Fee $30

Please call for additional information. 231-946-7240
Not handicap acceptable.
Lake access requires 50 steps up or down stone stairway.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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