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Quiet Retreat in the woods, near Empire Beach

24 Reviews
Bedrooms 1
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

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Half Baths
Minimum Stay
2 nights


Empire House Rental Photos and Description

1 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath, sleeps 4

Our retreat is located on 120 acres of beautiful wooded land in Leelanau county. To arrive you drive on a well maintained two track through a lovely woods. When you step out of your car, you truly understand the notion of 'getting away.'

House is a 1200 sq ft timber frame,mortice and tenon frame, with stress skin panels. Custom made cabinets. House is a simple yet elegant design.

The kitchen is nicely equipped, with a nice collection of cook books. Also a nice collection of reading books. A good place for quiet contemplation.

The house comfortably sleeps four guests.

There is good hiking right out the front door!

We are located 9 miles to Empire Beach, and 18 miles from Traverse City.

This region is renowned for its natural beauty, the spectacular sand beaches of Lake Michigan, the vineyards and cherry orchards of Leelanau County. The closest golf course is four miles away. Empire is the gateway to the 70,000 acre national park, Sleeping Bear Dunes. No shortage of skiing, hiking, beach combing, canoeing, fishing and peace and quiet.

We are located only twenty minutes to Traverse City, which offers many fine dining possibilities as well as the newly renovated State Theater, home of the Traverse City Film Festival.

An additional timber framed guest cabin is available, a stones throw from the house. Please inquire for details.

If you are looking for the peace and quiet of the woods, this is an ideal place to be.

More Details
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • unsuitable for elderly or infirm

Hughthir White
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english, italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 24, 2016
Call Owner


based on 24 traveler reviews

Quiet Retreat in the woods, near Empire Beach
average rating of 4.9583335 based on 24 reviews
St. Clair Shores, MI

A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words? Not this time!

  • 5 of 5

Way to go Hughthir! We were wondering when you would decide that you should let the world know about this gem of yours. Folks, you can be assured that my wife Kathie and I are looking over our schedule for this summer ... and the fall ... to see when we can get the time away to enjoy this opportunity. I can tell you this from our many visits to the property over the past few years: This home and setting are magnificent, and extremely well priced for what you will be getting for your money. From the moment you pull off the road onto the two-track back into the woods you start to feel the serenity of nature at its best. Don't pass this one up folks. Take it from a city boy who is stuck in the hussle and bussle of the work-world WAY too much: This is it! And I can promise that once you do rent Hughthir's place you will ABSOLUTELY want to come back again and again. And that's just the way it really is!

  • Submitted: Apr 9, 2009
  • Stayed: Apr 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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3 1

Secluded and relaxing; beautiful surroundings

  • 5 of 5

We stayed just two nights in celebration of my husband's birthday. It was a long drive on a narrow, private, dirt road to reach the cabin--which meant we were staying back in the woods, alongside the lake, and away from traffic and other noise. The cabin was beautifully designed and spacious with many windows but no neighbors to look in. Artists must have been involved in the design, as everything was visually appealing. The kitchen was stocked with spices and even some supplementary foods. After a quick trip into town for groceries, we had everything we needed. There was no TV, but we had internet access as well as a record player, a CD player, and a variety of music on both LP and CD. There were all kinds of books, too--which I greatly appreciated, as my Kindle library service was down. The sauna was actually located in another, smaller cabin and took a couple of hours to heat up. (It is wood fired.) But Hughthir got it fired up for us while we were out, and it was a gorgeous sauna with colored glass embedded In the wall and small windows to look out. (Note: there is an extra charge for using the sauna, but it was well worth it.) Hughthir was the perfect host--available and helpful, but not hovering. We even had a visit from Felicia (the dog), who came up and slept on the stairwell landing for an hour or so. The tub in the main cabin is surrounded by beautiful tile work and a couple of rubber duckies are there to make bathtime fun. We both commented that we could quickly get used to living there. It was the perfect getaway. If there was any drawback, it was the full moon, which invited itself into the bedroom through the skylight--but you don't get that every night.

  • Submitted: Oct 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

Beautiful cabin!

  • 5 of 5

This property was amazing! Everything it was advertised to be. Quiet, secluded, beautiful, cozy. The perfect place to get away from it all. We were up in Empire to run in the Sleeping Bear Half Marathon and Hughthir left us a congratulatory box of donuts and Michigan cherry apple cider when we got back from our run. So thoughtful and kind. A great host who was available when we needed him but hardly noticed he was on the property otherwise. The workmanship of the cabin was top notch with so many beautiful built-ins and cozy nooks. We also enjoyed the sauna that provided much relaxation for our sore muscles and kept us toasty warm on a rainy weekend. We ate most of our meals in nearby Glen Arbor, which has several very nice restaurants. We also enjoyed exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore.

The road back to the cabin is a one lane dirt road, but we were able to navigate it with no problems in a small car.

  • Submitted: Oct 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

A great place to relax, breathe deep, and take in the beauty of nature!

  • 5 of 5

A uniquely beautiful property. The cabin, guest house and studio/barn were creatively designed, artistic, very clean and comfortable. The surrounding property felt like a nature preserve. Peaceful, pristine, a wonderful getaway. Hughthir is a great host, available if needed, but respectful of your privacy. We enjoyed our stay very much and hope to return. Highly recommend!

  • Submitted: Oct 21, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0


  • 5 of 5

Loved it. Very secluded, amazing architecture, very clean and perfectly kept. Nice lake view from the front porch. Host was great. Would absolutely stay here again. Thank you for sharing your special home with us.

  • Submitted: Sep 29, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Quiet Beautiful Sanctuary

  • 5 of 5

Although our visit was cut short due to circumstances beyond our control we found the place to be beautiful and private with an owner who was very friendly and eager to make sure we found the place and had a nice stay. The house had everything that we needed and it is in the perfect location to enjoy Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

  • Submitted: Aug 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0


Nearest Airport
22 Miles
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Empire House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Off Peak 2
Sep 8 2016 - Nov 15 2016
2 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 6.0%

This retreat offers the option to rent the guest cabin for an additional $75:00 a night. Ideal for two couples who share the main house for meals and bath facilities, and then have completely private sleeping quarters. The guest cabin has a wood fired sauna which can be fired up for a $25.00 fee. The guest cabin has no plumbing, but a port-a-potty is available. For parties of 5 guests, a one time cleaning fee of $60.00 will be added to your bill.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Empire House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Lake
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Alarm Clock
  • Internet
  • Local Maps
  • Telephone
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wood Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Freezer
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub
    Bathroom 2 - toilet
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
  • House has one master bedroom with queen bed. Two single sleeping options on main floor.
  • Books
  • Piano
  • Radio
  • Stereo
  • Toys
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Large Cooler
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Wood Deck
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • unsuitable for elderly or infirm
Pool / Spa:
  • Sauna
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing

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