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MAKE IT A MECCA SUMMER

Five things that make visiting the Gaylord Golf Mecca in the summer the best trip ever!

1. TREE-MENDOUS GOLF

For 33 years the top golf courses in the Gaylord area have been marketed together as the Gaylord Golf Mecca and gained a great reputation. It’s because the area truly offers one of, if not the best, combination of quantity and quality of golf in the Midwest, right in the heart of Michigan’s beautiful land of lakes and trees. There are multiple courses in multiple places to fit any group. Check out The Loon Golf ResortTreetops ResortOtsego ResortThe Natural at Beaver Creek ResortGarland Lodge & Golf ResortLakes of the NorthThe Pines at Michaywe’Black Lake Golf ClubIndian River Golf Club and Gaylord Golf Club (totaling 20 different courses).  Robert Trent Jones, Tom Fazio, Rick Smith, Jerry Matthews and even the legendary Wilfrid E. Reid designed holes in the Mecca. The Gaylord Golf Mecca is a true tour of exceptional golf.

2. LOTS OF LODGING OPTIONS

The Gaylord Golf Mecca has 20 lodging partners, who together count over 1,300 rooms, which means you can have anything you want or desire, from luxurious to rustic, from traditional to modern, from campfire to a fireplace that starts with the flip of a switch. Start with the resorts, where at Black Lake and Treetops Resort you will find recently remodeled rooms; the Loon Golf Resort, which offers perfectly designed options for golf groups; Garland Resort, a wonderfully modern lodging option and we can go on and on. Prefer hotels? Baymont Inn & SuitesFairfield Inn & Suites and Hampton Inn among others are partners. Prefer something completely different? Just tell the folks at Pine-Cone Vacation Rentals and they will make it happen.

3. PLACES TO EAT FOR ANY AND ALL

In the handy Northern Michigan Golfer magazine you can pick up at the Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau, 319 West Main, there are over 40 restaurants listed in the dining section. Gaylord has it all, and the list includes many options at the golf resorts and courses, along with the suddenly extra-large selection of downtown dining destinations. A quick five among my favorites in alphabetical order follows, though I must confess I have not hit all on the big list yet:  Alpine Tavern and Eatery is essentially a casual American fare sports bar, which fits a casual American like me. Big Buck Brewery, under new ownership, has returned as a perfect spot for a golf crowd or even a couple. Michaywe’ Inn The Woods, which is, well, back in the woods and perfect for a relaxing dinner. Snowbelt Brewing Company is downtown, offers multiple handcrafted beers and flagship beers, and some good eats, too. They had me at beers. The Summit Grill At The Ridge, part of the Loon Golf Resort properties, has hand-tossed pizzas, great wings and other options. On the deck is a perfect after-golf spot.

4. LAKES FOR A SPLASH OF FUN

Michigan is the Great Lakes State, and Gaylord holds up its end of the bargain with Big Bear LakeBig Bradford LakeBig LakeDixon LakeThumb LakeOtsego Lake and of course short trips to Burt Lake, Black lake, Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix and more. Swim, water ski, do all types of fishing, relax on a pontoon, canoe, kayak or jet about on watercraft of all sorts. These are just some of the water sporting adventures available. Otsego Lake County Park and Otsego Lake State Park are sweet places to check out, too.

5. EXTRA-LONG DAYS FOR ACTIVITY – AND DID WE MENTION THE GOLF?

Play golf until almost 10 p.m. We are not kidding. Gaylord is located in the heart of Northern Michigan and in the Eastern Time zone where Daylight Savings makes you wait just a little longer for a beautiful sunset over the many lakes and golf courses in the region. Those sunsets are worth it, especially after a great round of golf. We suggest sitting on one of the decks that overlook the world-class collection of No. 18 holes at the member courses of the Mecca. Oh, and there is hiking on trails in the Pigeon River Country State Forest and even one called Deadman’s Hill. Yikes!  There are five campgrounds in the area, too, if that is your style. Come visit. Learn more AND PLAN YOUR TRIP at gaylordgolfmecca.com

By Greg Johnson

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