|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
Charming historic home nestled on 2 shaded lots in the village of empire. It's just a short walk or bike ride (we've stored a few bikes in the garage for you!) to Empire's quaint main street and to one of the world's most beautiful beaches.
Our cottage has two bedrooms, each with a queen bed. Additional sleeping spaces for up to 4 people are provided by a futon and a sleeper sofa in the living room. Both the dining room (seats up to 10) and the living room (seats up to 11) are light-filled, spacious and sport newly refinished pine floors. Fully furnished, with WiFi (in summer season), a flat screen television, dishes, cookware, bed linens and bath towels (please provide your own beach towels).
Enjoy climbing the dunes, paddling the shoreline, biking the Heritage Trail or simply walking to Empire's tavern, art galleries, ice cream shop and library. Venture out or get cozy at the cottage where you can use the outdoor charcoal grill, piece together a puzzle at the game table in the living room or stroll to the beach to watch a sunset overlooking Lake Michigan.
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore park was voted 'most beautiful place in America' by ABC Good Morning America. Come see why!
Two families share this vacation cottage. Both couples became fast friends in grad school at the University of MI in the 90's. Both families now include children. Together we've camped, skied, traveled across country, and dreamed of owning a little spot in northern MI where we can explore the woods, walk the beach, paddle the shoreline and ski the trails.
Kim Wade purchased this cottage in 2012
We fell for this cottage on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Empire. The idea seemed just crazy enough, and we loved Empire's quirky, laid back atmosphere. Case in point: Empire hosts an annual Asparagus Festival each spring! That was incentive enough. Plus the breathtaking beach, a handful of really great art galleries & antique shops, Sleeping Bear's new Heritage Trail and Visitor's Center (complete with ranger-led programs), and even a hand-made chocolate shop (The Grocer's Daughter) . . . All this is literally right outside our cottage's doorsteps.
(1) BEACH! Our cottage is a mere 3 blocks walk (or bike ride) from Empire's public beach. We love this beach because it provides spectacular views of both the Empire Bluffs (which you can walk to the top of via the Bluff Trail) to the south and Sleeping Bear's massive sand dunes to the north.
Also, the beach let's you enjoy two lakes: Lake Michigan to the west and the much smaller South Bar Bake to the east. South Bar Lake stays considerably warmer than the big lake and is an especially great spot for young children.
(2) VILLAGE! Empire itself is charming, quiet and walkable with a grocery story, a few well-appointed shops, friendly tavern (on a cold evening, grab the table right next to the wood stove and order the wings), and a newly renovated public library (which our kids have spent hours in playing games and reading during rainy days).
(3) NATIONaL PARK! Empire is surrounded by sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore, a 50,000 acre national park that boasts 64 miles of lake Michigan beaches, two islands, 26 inland lakes, and the iconic sand dunes. Sleeping bear's visitor's center, located just 3 blocks from our cottage, has interpretive displays and is a great jumping off point for exploring the rest of the park.
Dear fellow vacationers,
This house is the perfect house to rent. We had it for Memorial weekend and it went by like a flash. There is so much to do here. We rode our bikes to the beach, there's a grocery store right down the street, we walked on the beach, and we got ice cream (the best kind there is the Birthday Cake)! Oh, I forgot to tell you, the beach is PERFECTLY safe and is so fun. The backyard is awesome for playing games as a family. There are some dunes not too far from here and it is fun. The owners are very very nice as well. I really loved it here and wish to come back.
Wilce Cottage is the best place to go to get away for a weekend. Empire offers such versatile activities. From beach walks to dune climbs, bike rides and quiet time. There is something for everyone. I stayed at the cottage in early October. The leaves were changing and Wilce Cottage was the perfect place to curl up and get cozy. I love the homey decor and cottage feel. This was my second time staying there and I am planning another trip up there for next year. I highly reccomend this cottage to anyone who wants to escape their busy lives and be able to relax and enjoy all the things Empire has to offer. Enjoy!
My wife and I stayed at the cottage for two nights in late September. The owners have obviously put a lot of time and love into refurbishing the place while maintaining its historical charm. They even left us a gift of locally made cherry jam! It's a very short walk to a grocery and a cozy restaurant and bar, and the incredibly beautiful beach is just a few blocks away. If you want a luxury stay where everything is plush and brand new, keep looking. If you want a clean, quaint, charming home base for exploring the Sleeping Bear and the rest of the Leelanau Peninsula, this is the place for you.
My adult sons and granddaughter and I convened from New York and San Francisco for a wonderful family reunion in Empire. The house was clean and comfortable. We felt very much at home, especially sitting around the round oak table in the dining room. We were a couple minutes walk from the library, downtown Empire and maybe ten minutes from the beach. We would go back in a heartbeat!
We had a great stay in empire. The cottage is right in town in a convenient location. It's very clean and decorated nice. The only problem was the beds...the mattresses are old and hard as boards, which made sleeping difficult. If we had any questions, the owners were very nice and responsive.
If you like nature and want to be close to the beach, its a perfect place. Definitely recommend it, just bring mattress pads!
My family enjoyed the comforts of this cottage that is a stone's throw from one of the best beaches we discovered in Northern Michigan. Empire avoids the tourists traps of other beach towns, yet has all the amenities and quietness of a small town! The cottage is so lovely and made our home-away-from home complete on our vacation. The complimentary bikes saved us money on rentals, so we took advantage of some of the wonderful paved trails in the area. We couldn't of found a better place to stay on our vacation and we'll be back to your wonderful cottage by the lake. As first-time Michigan vacationers, thank you for answering our many questions and for your politeness, and making our stay so wonderful and memorable!
Empire, Michigan is a delight! And my family loved LOVED staying in this cottage!! We felt at home the moment we walked in the door. "Retro cool" is how I would describe it. We cooked our meals here (and how great that the town's grocery store is right around the corner!) and ate together in the dining room. This cottage helped us have EXACTLY the vacation we were hoping for. There are games on the shelf and even hooks in the entryway for the damp towels when you walk back from the beach.
I wholeheartedly recommend this cottage! So clean. So comfortable! So perfectly located. Great value for the price with lots of extras -- like the bikes to ride and the very handy washer/dryer downstairs. It seemed so clear to me that the owners have young kids themselves (or a very good memory.) We had several questions before our trip and Kim W. (?) was incredibly responsive and helpful.
Location is ideal and the beach is such a gem -- boys played basketball on the court overlooking Lake Michigan for hours every single day of our trip. After dinner we'd all wander back to the beach to watch the sun set over the water.
Suggestions (in addition to the Dunes): the ice-cream shop, the darling locally-owned stores (more for moms than kids) and the IRIS FARM a few miles outside of empire. Enjoy!
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Summer season (June-August)=$1200/week
Off Season (September-May)=$150/night; $900/week
Multi-week discounts available
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.