Discover a selection of 392 vacation rentals in Empire, MI that are perfect for your trip. Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or even pets, Vrbo vacation homes have the best amenities for hanging out with the people that matter most, including swimming pools and air conditioning. Prices start at $203 per night, and houses and cabins are popular options for a stay in Empire. Either way, you'll find a rental for everyone's needs.
Top rated rentals — Empire
Destination guide

Empire is a charming lakeshore town

Nestled on the eastern shore of mighty Lake Michigan, the enchanting small town of Empire is the gateway to the jaw-dropping Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Visitors from far and wide flock to this blissfully unspoiled national park to stroll along its soft, sandy beaches, clamber up its undulating sand dunes, and take in panoramic vistas. Empire's charmingly compact downtown area is a pleasure to wander around, with treasure-filled antiques and gift shops to explore, and an array of friendly, family-run eateries to try out. Empire vacation rentals range from cozy cottages to luxurious family houses, so you're sure to find something to suit all your requirements.

Things to do

Activities and attractions in and around Empire

Are you hoping to discover attractions to visit in the city? Venture out of your vacation home and experience everything that makes Empire a fun spot to vacation. Here are some of the top attractions to explore, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city center:

  • Crystal Mountain (20.2 mi / 32.6 km)
  • Historic Fishtown (20.7 mi / 33.3 km)
  • Great Wolf Lodge Water Park (20.9 mi / 33.6 km)
  • The Crown Golf Club (19.5 mi / 31.4 km)
  • Hickory Hills Ski Area (19.5 mi / 31.5 km)
  • The Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms (21 mi / 33.7 km)

Sand dune climbing and deep-sea diving in Empire

The Sleeping Bear Dunes are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all persuasions. Top of the agenda for many is an energizing scramble up the mighty, wind-blown dunes themselves. At the top you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the verdant, forested shores of Glen Lake. Run or roll back down to the bottom, and you can enjoy a family picnic whilst marveling at the region's breathtaking rugged beauty. In the warm summer months, the sandy shores and crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. And within easy reach lies the mesmerizing Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve, a hotspot for shipwreck diving.


Enjoy all the seasons in Empire

The summer months form Empire's peak visitor season. Days are long, sunny, warm, and generally dry. Naturally, Empire vacation rentals are in high demand during this period, so it's a good idea to book well in advance. Spring and fall are also great times to visit. Fresher temperatures make strenuous hikes and bike rides more enjoyable, whilst the changing foliage ensures an abundance of natural spectacle. You'll need to wrap up warm if you're visiting in winter, but plenty of snowfall transforms the region into a hotspot for cross-country skiing.

Natural features

Animal encounters near Empire

Empire sits amidst a diverse ecosystem which will captivate nature lovers. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore is home to an abundance of animals, such as white-tailed deer, spritely red foxes, and adorable otters. Birdwatchers are also in for a treat. Keep an ear out for songbirds like warblers and thrushes, and your eyes peeled for majestic bald eagles, hawks, and great horned owls.

How to get there

How to get to and around Empire

The nearest airport is in Cherry Capital Airport (TVC), located 24.2 mi (38.9 km) from the city center.

What are the top vacation rentals in or near Empire?

The heart wants what the heart wants, and right now it's craving a vacation. Now's the time to pack your suitcase and escape to one of these top vacation rentals in or near Empire:

  • Make the most of amenities including towels and coffee and tea making facilities at "Cozy Cabin In A Quiet Wooded Setting". Located around 17 miles from Empire, this vacation rental has 1 bedroom and is a hit with guests.
  • Alternatively, unpack your suitcase at "Peaceful Cabin In Quiet Wooded Setting". Located around 17 miles from the heart of Empire, it has 1 bedroom and comes with a barbecue grill and cookware, dishware and utensils.

For even more great options, use the search bar at the top of the page to find the perfect Empire vacation rental for you.

What are the best tiny house vacation rentals in or near Empire?

Punching far above its weight when it comes to character and ingenuity, a tiny house vacation rental in Empire promises big adventure. Unplug all your gadgets and turn your focus to outdoor fun at one of these pint-sized stays:

  • Take time off and reenergize at "Perfect For Two A Little Hideaway In The Woods. Tiny House". Located in Sawyer, a DVD player and an oven are just two of the amenities offered here.
  • "Gorgeous, Vintage, Crystal Mt Tiny Home" comes with plenty of conveniences, such as heating and a stovetop. Located in Benzie County, you'll be able to live large in this small but well-designed home.

Can I find log cabins to rent in or near Empire?

There's something inherently cozy about relaxing in a log cabin with a cup of tea and a good book. Leave the world behind and spend a couple of nights or more at one of these log cabins in Empire:

  • Book a stay at "1936 Lakefront Log Cabin - Historic Big Glen Lake Family Retreat Dunes Lakeshore" in Empire and during your waking hours enjoy cycling and golf and your nights unwinding in comfort in your cozy cabin.
  • Another charming option is "Log Cabin With Hot Tub Located Near Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes And Tc". With fun activities such as mountain biking and snowmobiling close by, this Maple City getaway will be perfect if you love the outdoors.

What are the top-rated vacation rentals for weekend getaways in or near Empire?

Clock out on Friday afternoon and then forget about your worries. If you're ready for some fun and relaxation, these rentals in and around Empire are the ideal weekend getaway:

  • Located 17 miles to the east of central Empire, "Cute Cabin In A Beautiful Wooded Setting" is a good match for nature fans and adventure lovers. Make sure you visit nearby attractions, including A-Ga-Ming Golf Resort and Christmas Cove Beach. Then, try your hand at activities like water skiing or cross-country skiing.
  • Alternatively, leave your worries behind at "The Bay View Brick - Stunning View Of Bay". Stay in and enjoy its creature comforts, or be adventurous and try windsurfing and snowmobiling. When you're ready to explore some nearby attractions, visit Grand Traverse Natural Education Reserve and Crystal River. This attractive vacation rental is around 18 miles east of Empire.

Can I find studio apartments for rent in and around Empire?

Typically small in size, easy on the wallet and conveniently located, it's hard not to succumb to the charms of a studio apartment. Get comfy in one of these options and experience the culture of Empire up close:

  • Throw your bags down at "Cozy Cabin In A Quiet Wooded Setting". Amenities including a fridge and beach towels will make you feel right at home here.
  • Another inviting choice is "Peaceful Cabin In Quiet Wooded Setting". Take advantage of off-street parking options, a nearby casino and other convenient amenities during your getaway.

There are many highlights around Empire to add to your agenda. Feed the culture vulture within with a visit to Kresge Auditorium and Michigan Legacy Art Park.

Can I find short term rentals in or near Empire?

Whether you're looking for a comfy cottage or a house with enough space for the family, you'll find the ideal place on Vrbo. Squeeze in a quick break at one of these retreats in or near Empire:

  • Close to the center of Empire, "Cute Cottage - - Walk To Town And Restaurants. Close To Bike Trail" rolls out the welcome mat for short-term guests. When you're not chilling out in your cozy digs, get out and explore all the cool stuff around you.
  • "Large Family Home, Perfect For Entertaining" is also well located. Bunk down here and discover why many guests rate this property as one of their favorites.

What are the best romantic weekend getaways in or near Empire?

Nothing says "I love you" quite like a romantic weekend together. If you want to spend a couple of nights away with your significant other, we've got some romantic getaways in and around Empire that will sweep you off your feet:

  • Put on some mellow music and slow dance the nights away at "Cozy Cabin In A Quiet Wooded Setting". Around 17 miles from Empire, this property has everything you could want for a romantic weekend away, including a fireplace and winery tours.
  • Alternatively, spend a few days sipping wine and canoodling at "Peaceful Cabin In Quiet Wooded Setting", around 17 miles from Empire. Beauty services and winery tours will help set the mood for romance.

What are the best large group vacation rentals in or near Empire?

Sneak a peek at these large group vacation rentals in or near Empire where you won't have to leave anyone off your invite list:

  • You'll have loads of space to sprawl out at "Beautiful Betsie River Cabin Mins From Crystal Mtn. Rst 5bd+2ba+loft+game Rm+a". Around 25 miles south of Empire, this impressive retreat has 5 bedrooms and sleeps up to 15 guests. Top amenities include a swimming pool and a garden.
  • Invite as many as 13 of your dearest friends to "Gorgeous Lemon Lodge 1/2 Mile To Crystal Mtn" and fill its spaces with love and laughter. This top option has 4 bedrooms and is around 20 miles to the south of Empire. It's packed with features to keep your large group comfortable and content, such as a water park and a swimming pool.

What are the best houses for rent with a pool in or near Empire?

Of all the conveniences a vacation rental can offer, a pool is one of the most desired. Check out these houses for rent with a pool in or near Empire and spend your days splashing about. Just remember to bring your inflatable unicorn:

  • Pack your swimming gear and make a booking at "On West Grand Traverse Bay - Private Carriage House". There are plenty of other appealing amenities here, including a fridge and a garden.
  • "Cozy House On High Lake, Near Tc" is the sort of place you go to leave it all behind and enjoy your surroundings, starting with its pool. Nearby ecotour services and a TV are also on hand to make your visit nice and comfy.

Curious what the weather is like in Empire? It has a humid continental climate, with average temperatures in summer ranging from 55 ºF to 70 ºF. If you'd like more inspiration on places to stay in this epic destination, use the search bar at the top of the page and adjust the filters to browse through our entire selection of Empire vacation rentals.

What are the best large family vacation rentals in or near Empire?

Nanny and Pop-Pop, Uncle Elijah ... You can put them on your invitation list when you escape to a large family vacation rental in or near Empire. Get everyone you love under the same roof at one of these spacious retreats:

  • With 5 bedrooms that sleep up to 15 guests, "Beautiful Betsie River Cabin Mins From Crystal Mtn. Rst 5bd+2ba+loft+game Rm+a" gives you space to connect with the family. It's around 25 miles south of Empire and features amenities that'll keep your group content, such as childrens activities and a swimming pool.
  • Also check out "Evergreen Cottage In Lake Ann". It's around 10 miles to the southeast of Empire, has 3 bedrooms and can accommodate up to 10 guests. Useful amenities here include a living room and cable/satellite TV services.

We know it's tempting, but don't spend all your time socializing with the fam indoors. Get out and discover some nearby family-friendly attractions, beginning with Adventure Island Family Fun Park.