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James Smith

Member since: 2013
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english
Bedrooms 6
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights

Contact the Owner

James Smith

Member since: 2013
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 24, 2015
Tell the owner when you would like to travel.
Call Owner
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Pay with confidence
Pay with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.

Smittys ~GA~

Bedrooms 6
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


Glen Arbor House Rental Photos and Description

Quiet comfort with room to move. 6BR - 4 Bath (Sleeps 14)

Smittys GA is a unique home situated on a very private seven acre wooded site, surrounded by flower gardens, featuring neo-classical inspired architectural elements uncommon to the area.

For a great look at what we are offering please make sure to take the virtual tour:

The main home features 3 bedrooms (1K,2Q), 2 loft bedrooms (1Q, 2T), 3 bathrooms, 2 spacious living rooms with 20' ceilings , an exercise room complete with a flat screen TV, stereo, universal weight machine, Precor elliptical glider and yes a ceiling fan. The home also features a screened in, fully finished, heated (hopefully not needed but there if it is) 3 stall garage with an all-weather ping pong table which can safely be taken outdoors, Tournament Foosball table (indoor only), stereo and also a lighted, marked, outdoor (driveway) 1/2 court basketball court also with stereo.

Inside the home the dining room opens to the formal living room (living room one) which runs the length of the house from Northern to Southern exposures. To the North the living room opens through double doors onto an airy enclosed screened porch featuring a 20' ceiling. The screened porch in turn, opens through double doors onto the rear of the homes two spacious decks. The rear deck overlooks a large and active organic fruit and vegetable garden which abuts the balance of the properties acreage. There are approximately 5 acres behind the home which in turn adjoin the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park land. The property is surrounded by another 28 acres of land held in the Leelanau Land Conservancy.

Returning to the main home, the formal living (East end of home) room opens to the south (front of home) through double doors onto a sunny 320sf redwood front deck. This deck is in the feature thumbnail picture and is surrounded by flower gardens so don't forget to use the zoom feature on this one.

The middle door in the photo is the mainly used entrance on the front of the home. It enters into a large foyer and mudroom built to separate the house into two zones where, for instance, kids could watch an action movie in one living room and parents could read a book in the other or vice versa. The foyer leads to the mudroom and both also feature Brazilian terra cotta tile as an aesthetically warm but thoroughly protective flooring area and space to shed the shoes. Here you will find a thoroughly stocked walk in pantry. You will also find multiple closets built to accommodate our (multiple kids).

Through the mudroom turning to the right leads to the kitchen. Left at the mudroom leads to the second living room which intentionally incorporates many of the trim design elements of living room one. The spacious second living room was built to feel more casual and features high knotty spruce ceilings, two ceiling fans, an eight foot tall sliding window wall on the northern exposure and a spiral staircase to the 2nd loft bedroom as well cushy comfortable Natuzzi leather sofa, loveseat and chair and a Denon surround system.

Continuing west through the second living room takes you to the third bedroom featuring a queen bed, skylight for those spectacular starry nights and a sliding doorwall to the north deck. Continuing on you pass across the 'pass-through' which is the door nearest the garage. The 'pass-through' was designed to allow quick access between the front yard and the back yard. Accordingly this area also features Brazilian terra cotta tile and a place to 'kick off your shoes'.

Continuing on westward takes you past the 3rd bath and into the exercise room. Here you will find a universal weight machine, a Precor glider, flat screen TV, wet bar, a second refrigerator, and entrance to the garage which was described early on.

The finishes in the home were selected for both durability and comfort with floors being 75% hardwood, 15% quarry tile and 10% carpet. You will find carpet only in the master suite and the two loft bedrooms. The home features knotty spruce ceilings in both the 2nd living room and the exercise room. Countertops are ceramic tile in the kitchen and granite on both the kitchens breakfast bar countertop and the wet bar in the exercise room.

Appliances include a 2nd refrigerator just off the exercise room and front-load washer and dryer just off the kitchen. The kitchen features a Fridgidaire slide-in 4 burner range, over the range microwave, Kitchenaid dishwasher, blender, Bunn coffee maker and grinder, etc.

Above the garage is another 800 sf of living space which may be rented separately before and after the main season. It is, or will soon be, listed separately as “Little Smittys GA”. This “carriage house” apartment features hardwood throughout, one bedroom with a queen size pillow top bed, 1 bathroom with a shower stall, apartment sized “stacked” washer/dryer laundry unit, an open kitchen with a Jenn-Air electric range, Kitchenaid refrigerator, appropriate cooking and dining utensils, skylights, a ceiling fan, flat screen TV and bar seating and an open dining area which together would easily seat 6 adults comfortably.

Currently the carriage house also has two additional sleeper sofas for additional sleeping space one of which may be substituted with a second queen bed for a small additional fee.

More Details
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
James Smith (Owner)
Member since: 2013
Call Owner
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 24, 2015

About James Smith

My wife and I are were both born in Detroit and grew up in the area with Denice graduating from Wayne State and myself from Ferris State . We met early in 1996, were married in may of 1997, sold our homes, left our jobs, got new jobs, combined two families, bought this home and moved up here to start one new life together in August of 1997. Thinking back it makes us tired just to tell the story

James Smith purchased this house in 1997

Why James Smith chose Glen Arbor

Go out on the deck at midnight on a clear summer night and look up - you will begin to understand.

What makes this house unique

I am allowed 2000 characters to explain why and its probably not enough. Maybe it was the tree frog stuck to the glass of our front door during a warm summer rain. Maybe it was the distant howling of coyotes deep in the woods late at night or then again maybe it was the cement trucks buried in the mud up to their fenders a hundred yards into a forest (our front yard) during construction.

Or maybe it was just the countless other construction projects done for others or the days, weeks and years of us working out of town to make this all possible.

In the end it simply comes down to the land, the magnificent water that abounds in the area, the unpredictable climate and what we have gone through to tame this land and build a home that provides us constant comfort in an unpredictable changing climate.

We have slowly over 15 years time, carved our homestead out of what, after a storm has knocked out power for few days, sometimes seems like pure wilderness. This is such a beautiful place but when a late November windstorm roars in from the West, and the leafless trees are swaying 10 feet at the tops or a mid-winter snowstorm from the North drifts 3 feet of snow on the deck the day before the temperature plummets to zero, we are reminded that our presence at our quiet little place in the woods is up to the good graces of mother nature.

And that's okay we prefer it that way.

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 6
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights
Pay with confidence
Pay with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.


based on 18 traveler reviews

Write a Review
Smittys ~GA~
average rating of 4.9444447 based on 18 reviews
Grand Rapids, MI

An absolutely wonderful vacation.

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I rented this house along with nine of our cousins. For having such a large group, the space was shockingly accommodating for us. Every couple had their own room, and there were plenty of bathrooms to handle the busy mornings. The owner was very nice and extremely helpful in answering all of our questions. We spent most our time relaxing, watching movies, hiking at Sleeping Bear Dunes, cooking, hot tubbing, and went to a nearby casino. This house has enough personal touches in it to be warm and inviting, but it is kept quite clean and provides plenty of space to spread out. My only critique would be the lack of blinds or curtains. My husband and I stayed in the master bedroom [GREAT space by the way] which had curtains, but the rest of the rooms had nothing to cover the windows. This was particularly disappointing when everyone was changing, and had to wait for bathrooms to get some privacy. Regardless, we enjoyed the space quite a bit. We would definitely go back, and would recommend any of our friends to go.

  • Submitted: Feb 5, 2015
  • Stayed: Jan 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Jackson, Michigan, usa

Great winter escape!

  • 5 of 5

We rented this awesome house with 2 other families and found it to be perfect in every way!

There was more than enough space and privacy for 3 families, yet great space to cook and enjoy each other's company. The kids loved the heated 3 car garage, which gave them a place to run around. The hot tub was great. We appreciated having all the cookware and kitchen utinsels to prepare our own dinners. The setting is private and beautiful. The ski resort is just minutes away. The owner of this property is very helpful and accommodating. We will definitely be returning!

  • Submitted: Jan 18, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway

Beautiful, Spacious and Comfy - Amazing!!!

  • 5 of 5

Our family has been traveling to Glen Arbor, MI for 15+ years. We have stayed in various places over the years. Smitty GA is by far one of our most favorite places that we have stayed. Pulling into the driveway, we were overwhelmed by the colorful, rich landscape and magnitude of the size of the house. We walked around to the back of the house and it was just as beautiful. The owners had a full veggie garden well underway that we were welcomes to use. Not only was the outside amazing but the interior didn't disappoint either. Very spacious and comfy. We were a rather large group and this property made it possible to spread out for some quiet space as well as have space where the family could enjoy a nice meal, make puzzles and play games. James was incredibly attentive and went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable and well taken care of. We love this place so much in fact, that we just booked another week in 2015. Can't wait to go back to Smitty GA!!

  • Submitted: Dec 14, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Grandville, MI

Perfect Wedding Weekend

  • 5 of 5

The moment we found Smitty's GA on VRBO, we knew it was the perfect place for our family to stay for a weekend of fun while celebrating our wedding. From the moment we arrived, we were not disappointed. James (the property owner) met us upon arrival and showed us around. When he saw our 6 boy's enthusiasm for sports, he responded promptly to fix a basketball hoop that had recently broken. The house was well-appointed with beautiful decor and had plenty of space for us to sleep and relax. The kids had a fantastic time playing in the game room and exploring the surrounding nature. During the day, we were just a short drive from some of the most beautiful scenery and at night we enjoyed roasting marshmallows around the bonfire and soaking in the hot tub. One of our best memories was on the evening of our wedding, after returning from the reception, we were in the hot tub star gazing and several barred owls began chattering at one another for over 15 minutes! We will definitely return to this property in the future. Thank you to the Smiths for providing a beautiful property to make beautiful memories at.

  • Submitted: Oct 5, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway

Truly Wonderful!

  • 5 of 5

We've only been back to work for a few days and we already miss Glen Arbor. The location of this house is stellar! It's close enough to for a quick bike ride into town but just far enough away that you don't feel bad indulging in a little ice cream at Cherry Republic if you took a leisurely stroll in to town. We also loved that the location allowed us to run to the grocery store if we forgot something, but also feel like we were miles away from anything while enjoying the WONDERFUL fire pit in the back yard (complete with cozy chairs and a massive supply of firewood).

The list of amenities for this property is huge. The ping pong table, basketball court, and hot tub were welcome bonuses and would be a huge hit for anyone traveling with tweens or teens. We loved hunting for beans and cucumbers in the garden and our family enjoyed devouring the bounty! Even though the weather wasn't the greatest, we still had a lovely time, thanks in large part to the wonderful home base this house provided for our stay.

Having rented many private homes for vacations before, I was blown away by the amount of pantry and toiletry items provided by the home owner. In most places you're lucky to find crusty salt and pepper and a singular roll of toilet paper. Not so at Smitty's! This house was stocked and it was highly appreciated! It even had a crockpot and TURKEY ROASTER! We didn't use them this time, but might have to take advantage of them for our next stay.

As others have mentioned there is a bit of privacy issue with the lack of curtains, but we were able to shuffle people around a bit before settling in to make everyone feel comfortable. But I do think curtains would be welcomed addition to the house.

While the spiral staircase to the open loft with the queen bed might be a bit unconventional for some (or difficult for others), my sister confirmed the home owners' claim that it is the best bed in the world and worth the climb! So many places have terrible beds that really hamper an otherwise excellent vacation, but Smitty's is full of lovely beds. Whether you like ulta-soft or something more firm, you'll have your choice. That being said, two of the 6 bedrooms are lofts that are fairly open. If you can't sleep without full privacy, these might be difficult rooms for you. We felt the benefits of being able to host our large group under 1 roof was well worth dealing with the privacy concerns.

All in all this house is an EXCELLENT value!! Book it!!

  • Submitted: Aug 29, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: KC, It was an absolute pleasure meeting you folks and having you stay. I particularly appreciated your keen observations and helpful suggestions for making the place a better place to stay. We are constantly looking for renter feedback for this purpose. On that note we have incorporated your seating arrangement for the outdoor wicker on the screened in porch. We had rearranged that furniture 10 times and just couldn't come up with a configuration we liked. We came home after you left and were like, wow! Perfect! thats it. Thanks again, James and Denice Smith

Lovely wooded setting in Sleeping Bear Dunes area

  • 5 of 5

Our 3-generation family spent a week at Smittys Ga in mid-August, 2014. The home is as lovely and unique as the descriptions on-line indicate. The house was clean and ready for us upon our 4pm arrival. It is nicely decorated with a lot of "extras" like books about the Sleeping Bear area, music collection, sporting equipment, beach chairs, etc. The gardens are wonderful and the whole setting is very tranquil and peaceful. The main house includes both a family room and a living room separated by the kitchen. Having two "gathering spots" worked really well for our group. We also spent a lot of time in the hot tub and on the spacious deck overlooking the gardens and woods. Watching for deer by day and listening to the coyotes howl at night was heaven for us city folk!

The home was a perfect spot for day trips to the dunes, canoeing, hiking trails, tubing down the Platte River and more. The little city of Glen Arbor is also within walking distance of this home. We particularly loved Cherry Republic & Leelanau Coffee! And Traverse City is only about 30 minutes away.

Jim, the owner, was very accommodating both prior to and during our stay. We had a ton of questions about the house and the area which he very patiently and accurately answered. He was also responsive to a couple of requests we made during our stay. He was great to work with!

I highly recommend Smitty Ga for large families and those wanting to vacation in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area!

  • Submitted: Aug 18, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway


Nearest Airport
30.74 Miles
Cherry Capitol Airport, Traverse City MI
Nearest Barpub
1.05 Miles
Nearest Ferry
92.98 Miles
SS Badger Ludington, MI
Nearest Golf
7.55 Miles
Dunes Golf Club
Nearest Train
159.91 Miles
Amtrak Grand Rapids MI
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1.05 Miles
Nearest Ski
3.21 Miles
Nearest Beach
2.75 Miles
Public beach Glen Haven, MI

The property is located on a very private 7 acre wooded lot on a scenic drive near the heart of Glen Arbor's scenic Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore area. Cycling, hiking, swimming, beach combing, boutique shops, winery's, art galleries, great restaurants - it's all here. Relaxation is what we do.


Rates & Availability

From $345 Per night

Glen Arbor House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
2015 Late summer/ Fall
Aug 29 2015 - Oct 16 2015
3 night minimum stay
2016 Standard Rate
Oct 17 2015 - May 6 2016
3 night minimum stay
2016 Early Summer
May 7 2016 - Jun 17 2016
7 night minimum stay
2016 Mid- Summer
Jun 18 2016 - Aug 26 2016
7 night minimum stay
Late Summer/Fall 2016
Aug 27 2016 - Nov 11 2016
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee $300.00
Property Damage Protection $99.00
Notes Off season and weekend rates possible. Please inquire with owner.

Cancellation Policy

Policy available by contacting owner when booking.
Enter dates to see total


Glen Arbor House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 4000 sq. ft.
  • 1 story
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 4 - toilet , shower , Carriage house bathroom with acrylic shower stall
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , Master bath and shower, custom glass doors, kohler fixtures
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Tile bath and shower, custom glass doors, kohler fixtures
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , Tile bath with kohler acrylic shower, custom glass door
  • 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 14
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Features pillowtop mattress
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen , Loft bedroom features pillowtop mattress
    Bedroom 6 - 1 queen , Guest Apartment BR features queen pillowtop mattress
    Bedroom 5 - 1 queen , 2 twin/ single , Bedroom 6 features queen pillowtop mattress
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single , Loft bedroom 3 features two twin beds
    Master Suite - 1 king , Kingsize Pillowtop
  • DVD Player ...
  • Foosball
  • Game Room ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • marina
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • hunting small game
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
Sorry no pets, no smoking in the rental

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2 - 7 night min stay
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