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Coming Soon- Spring Flowers, Beach Walking Weather, Golf and Sunshine!

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

Farmhouse, Lk Mi view/access, 3bdrm, 1futon, 2.5 Bath. Pet fndly. Ready to go.

Our summer is booked (there may be a week left, do check the calendar), however, Spring can be incredible and Thistledew makes a perfect home base for sight seeing, golfing, nature photography, winery tours, or just coming "home" to peace and serenity. Picture yourself escaping the pressures of work and life, retreating to a serene haven where life is easy and the toughest decision is where to find the most trillium, morel mushrooms or the county's best burger. Whether to drive or hike, or play golf in the spring weather, it's all good. Perhaps an evening fire inside or out, finish that great book sitting on the porch in the sun, or, you could put on a jacket and see if the sunsets really are more beautiful in the spring. Lots, or little to do.

Your well behaved four footed family is welcome to join you.

We are 15 minutes from several well marked nature trails, 20-30 minutes from the Manistee National Forest, and about an hour from Traverse City. Bring your jacket, hiking boots, golf clubs or favorite books and board games. Try out the local breweries or local wines, cash in the change you have been saving at the casino. The possibilities are limitless, the choices are yours.

Bring your camera to capture the incredible landscapes , the famous Pt.Betsie Lighthouse, secluded beaches, or even the turkeys in the back yard, or a fawn in the front yard.

For something a bit more sedate, The Little River Casino is 30 minutes away. If dining delights you Traverse City is becoming a 'foodie' destination. Storm Cloud brewery is only 25 minutes away with local brews and unique light food choices.

Please DO check the calendar function as weekends fill quickly. Or, come mid-week and find out what peace and tranquility are all about.

Off season, (Fall, Winter, Spring) at Thistledew could be just what you are looking for. With off season pricing Thistledew awaits, with everything in place. Check our calendar, see if there's something for YOU!

Summer sandcastles, sunshine, golf. Fall leaf peeping, salmon fishing, walks in the woods. Winter snow sports, s'mores by the fire, weekend get-aways. Spring morel mushroom madness, fly fishing, and check out the casino. These are just a small taste from your to-do list when you stay at ThistleDew, your sanctuary for peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of life, OR, your home base for all the best activities Michigan has to offer. ThistleDew is a remodeled Craftsman style farmhouse overlooking Lake Michigan. A minute's walk (or drive) finds you on 600 ft of private beach. Other than during peak season, the deserted beach offers long walks, serene sunsets and solitude, or for the more adventurous; kite boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing without crowds or hassles.

Forget buying salt and pepper, paper towels, firewood or laundry soap. Thistledew comes stocked with the comforts of home. Enjoy cooking in the updated kitchen, raid the spice rack and be creative, or head to one of the nearby restaurants for Friday fish fry, Asian cuisine, or gourmet delights. The first floor includes a master suite with a shower for two, a screened front porch (sleeping space for adventurous children, perhaps?), a living/dining area with a beach stone fireplace, a half bath, and laundry facilities tucked away in a closet. The back deck is a perfect place to sit with your coffee and watch for deer or read a good book. Take one step down to your picnic table and fire pit for evening enjoyment. With a short ramp, the first floor is handicap friendly. The second floor’s two comfortable bedrooms with double beds enjoy sunset views. It has its own bath with shower and an open space for games, DVD viewing or additional sleeping space. A book exchange, decks of cards, and jigsaw puzzles are waiting for those rare indoor, quiet days.

When you tire of sleeping in, lazing on the beach, and have finally been able to put down your engrossing mystery, wander outside and discover nature. Feel free to walk, snowshoe, or ski the “back 40”. Or, check out the surrounding National and State Forests, nature preserves, rivers and lakes for hiking, mountain biking, mushroom hunting, boating, swimming, or fishing. If solitude is not your preference, opportunities abound. Arcadia Bluffs (a world class) golf resort is less than 3 miles away. Crystal Mountain Resort (25 minutes) offers year round activities (snow sports, summer mini water park, alpine summer sledding, golf) as well as new gym/work out facilities and spa offerings. Little River Casino is only 20 miles away for the gamblers in the group. Interlochen Arts Academy (a 30 minute drive) offers concerts and entertainment year round. Antiquing, quilt stores and unique shopping draw those who enjoy investigating nooks and crannies. And, this only begins to scratch the surface, so many choices so little time.

We look forward to meeting you. Living next door, we delight in sharing our slice of paradise with you and your family. We hope this will be a vacation destination you will return to year after year, building those incredible memories you will look back on with special warmth. Your well behaved, four footed family can feel free to enjoy a vacation here as well, with room to run or swim in your company. Our dog Ace, a handsome Golden Retriever, (just ask him!), welcomes playmates, four footed as well as two footed.

Keywords: private beach, house, ski, snowshoe, Fall colors, Crystal Mountain, golf, fishing, pet friendly, woods, year round, fireplace, Arcadia Bluffs, casino, Manistee, Frankfort, Traverse City, hiking, dunes,snowshoe,Lake Michigan,dog, pet,

More Details

Barb, Jamie, and Ace the dog
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 18, 2017

About Barb, Jamie, and Ace the dog

I have been vacationing here since I was small, built sandcastles, hiked the woods with my Grandfather and loved the area enough to move here. After raising two wonderful sons, numerous dogs, cats, 2 fawns, and a few other critters while teaching in nearby Bear Lake I 'retired' in 1999. The next job was remodeling this rental property which has been an education, frustration and ultimately a joy for my husband and myself. We enjoy the outdoors, photography,geocaching, reading and volunteering with Red Cross and our church. We are easily distracted by all the opportunities this area provides, so retirement is never boring.

Barb, Jamie, and Ace the dog purchased this farmhouse in 1970

Why Barb, Jamie, and Ace the dog chose Northern Michigan

My grandfather purchased this property in the 50's so I have MANY wonderful memories of summering here. Living or vacationing here provides a different perspective.We are delighted that so many families return and we can watch their children grow up with their own memories.

Life is still a bit slower, a tad more laid back. Choices abound, friendships flourish, time may actually be slower. You know you're enjoying your vacation when you have to ask what day it is. While we cherish the peace and serenity of walking miles of beach and seeing no one, we also appreciate the availability of anything we really want within easy driving distance.

What makes this farmhouse unique

This area can let one feel isolated from the hustle and bustle of daily life, from the pressure to DO anything,(some cell phones STILL don't get good reception, no real TV, but the VCR works...) It's easy to get lost in the serenity of nature and silence, to escape the lights of civilization and truly see the constellations at night. All without being miles away from the nearest grocery store or golf course. Golf or ski some of Michigan's finest, canoe riffles on the river, or just soak in the leisure, read a book, hold hands with a loved one. Dare the slopes or the casino, land that world record brown trout. The choice is yours. We also try to keep Thistledew stocked with the basics you would find at home. No need to bring or purchase staple items such as dish soap, mustard and ketchup, or firewood. If it's not there, wander over and ask. We'd be happy to give you a cup of sugar or loan you our book of Wildflower identification!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Dear Ace,

Thank you for letting us stay at Thistledew. We LOVED it! You are one lucky dog to live here! We will tell our friends that they need to come visit you too.

Take it easy and stay away from skunks.

Selli , Duff and their humans.
Sep 2014
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Bear Lake Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Lake View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Ski-Out ...
  • Water View ...
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Computer Available ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Master bath - toilet , shower , Handicap friendly, no step shower for two!
    Downstairs powder room. - Cute nook across from hidden washer/dryer.
    Upstairs full bathroom - toilet , shower , Former tiny bdrm, has a dressing table, and full shower.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Blue beedroom - 1 double , 1 baby crib , Lovely lake view from the alcove in this upstairs bedroom.
    Master suite - 1 queen , Handicap friendly with a no step shower for TWO!
    Yellow bedroom - 1 double , Upstairs room with a view of the old fountain and the lake.
    Activity area - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Great place for the kids, comfy Q-futon, couch and VCR.
  • Queen size Beds (1) The queen bed is in the master suite., Double beds and crib are located in the upstairs bedrooms. There is a twin mattress stashed under a bed as well. Please let us know ahead. We do have a pack-n-play as well. A comfortable queen size futon, is in the upstairs area. The sleeping porch can be used with an inflatable mattress when the weather is comfortable.
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • alternative lifestyle
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • paragliding
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • racquetball
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
600 ft private beach , outdoor fire ring, firewood, picnic table. Ready to go, no need to buy common household items such as mustard, ketchup, TP, or coffee., Walking path out the back door, board games, puzzles, book exchange/library,


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(27 traveler reviews)

Coming Soon- Spring Flowers, Beach Walking Weather, Golf and Sunshine!
average rating of 5.0 based on 29 reviews

Amazing Beach and Wooded

  • 5 of 5

We have stayed at Thistle Now for the past two years. Every winter we come for a long weekend and love the warm, cozy charm this place has. It has private beach access across the street with a wooded back yard and fire pit. The place has enough room for 3 couples/families with privacy. There is plenty to do around the area. Green Point Dunes is a great hike not a far dives away. Barb, the owner, is super nice and non intrusive. All they want is for you to have a great time!!! Will be coming back!

  • Submitted: Feb 19, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Welcome back! We enjoy all of our guests but those who return are extra special. In this case watching the kids grow up from year to year makes our "job" a pleasure. Watching cousins play in a remaining snow bank, turning it into a mini jungle complete with play animals was such fun. Doubly so as this group brought sunshine (!!!) and weather warm enough to be outside in sweaters.
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Great house! Everything we could need and more!

  • 5 of 5

Perfect get away up north. We could hear the waves crashing on the shore day and night. The trails behind the house were fun to explore, as was the frozen beach.

The house is cozy and well stocked. The tap water is delicious, as it comes from a local aquifer.

The owners live on the same property, so would be quick to respond if there was an issue, but we had none.

We would stay again in a second- maybe in the summer!

  • Submitted: Feb 26, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for the lovely review. We want guests to find Thistledew warm and welcoming, like stepping back in time to Grandma Jane's lake home. She would have enjoyed your family, Gretel the fur baby and friends. Having guests who leave "her home'" neat and tidy always makes us happy. We would welcome you back any time.
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Ann Arbor

Tranquil, serene, beautiful, quiet, private, easy.

  • 5 of 5

Thistledew is a charm. First of all, it isn't often that you find a place that welcomes your four footed family members, and even has treats in a jar on the counter for them! Our two greyhounds had a lovely week, taking long walks on the beach, wading in the surf, and sleeping in the grass. There are enough sleeping spots for many two footed family members in this lovely old house, with interesting nooks and crannies, all lovingly decorated from times long ago. I especially love the upstairs, with a special area that welcomes young readers. I wish I were young again, to sit down and pull out the interesting books and read in the warm, lovely sitting area. The view from inside and outside Thistledew is stunning. You can watch the sun set from the dining table, the couch, the front yard, or you can stroll down the road just a short way and down to the private beach and sit back comfortably in a chair in the pergola, start a nice bonfire, and watch the sunset from there. The waves roll in, the friendly neighbors may stroll by and you can chat or is lovely. Now that we have found this gem, we will be back! It is a low-key hide-away. Don't expect to spend your day on your computer or watch tv. This is a place for serious relaxation and time away from your work life. Cell phone signals are spotty and wi-fi is only available from the front yard of the owners (who were away when we stayed but are very friendly and welcoming and invite you to sit in their yard for the wi-fi if you want it). I shunned the wi-fi but my husband couldn't stay away. I recommend staying away and enjoying your time away from the electronic world. Groceries are a short drive away and there is a complete and great kitchen for cooking (and grilling outside). We highly recommend Thistledew!

  • Submitted: Sep 12, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for such a gracious review, Sarah! I think you captured exactly the spirit we have worked to provide. We all hope that we will be able to meet you and your greyhounds next time you and your family choose to step back in time and relax at Thistledew.
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Another great stay...

  • 5 of 5 ThistleDew! What a memory making week for our little granddaughters-dinners prepared in the immaculate and fully stocked kitchen, rock combing on the beautiful private beach, eagle spotting, bonfires and s'mores courtesy of our gracious hosts-it was a wonderfully relaxing get away for four generations of our family. Thanks again, Barb, Jamie, and Ace for sharing your piece of paradise with us. Till we meet again...

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Four generations, what an incredible treat all the way around! One of the absolute best parts of sharing Thistledew is the people we have the joy of renewing our friendships with each summer. Jamie was privileged to do a family photo shoot when Great-grand Shirley turned 80, two years ago, such incredible memories. Sand, sun, s'mores, and summertime. Life IS good!
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Aurora, IL

Great family style rental!

  • 5 of 5

First off Barb was very easy to work with . Barb, Jamie and Ace were so friendly and my dog dexter loved playing outside with Ace . Ace would great me at the door in the morning and make himself at home .

The house is kept with the essentials you need for your stay , plus odds and ends that help make you more comfortable and keep you from having to drive the 6 miles to a grocery store . I even needed some cream for my morning coffee and Barb gave me some from her own home .

The home is large and perfect for big groups . The BEACH is so beautiful. I've stayed on Lake Michigan in other parts of the state and this is by far the best . There is s fire pit with wood ready for your stay and s little bungalow with chairs to relax and watch the sunset .

The property is kind of away from everything and it take a little getting used to . I found awesome shops , honey makers , and when driving to Frankfort - fell in love with beers from stormcloud brewing ! Barb told me I had to visit saint Ambrose meadery (honey wine) and she was right. Some of the BEST mead I have had .

The only negative point was that I had no cell phone reception and the home didn't have wifi. Barb and Jamie were awesome and let me hang out in their yard to use the wifi! I think that wifi is in the works for the cottage in the future .

This is a great place if you want to get off the grid, explore the small friendly towns off the coast , and spend time on one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.

  • Submitted: Jun 5, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the great comments from Dexter and his Owner. We're glad you enjoyed and checked out some of the spots of interest in the area. We DO enjoy Stormcloud Brewery as well as St. Ambrose Meadery. Mead is a unique drink for those who haven't had a chance to experience it yet, highly recommended. We ARE exploring WiFi for Thistledew, but until then we have the 'internet cafe' on out front lawn 24/7 weather permitting. Our covered deck is available for rainy weather. Part of the charm of living off the beaten path is the ability to lessen the pull of the 'electronic tether' for some folks. We hope Dexter brings his human back, we enjoyed their company.
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The Perfect Vacation!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I were looking for a little R&R on Lake Michigan, and found the perfect place at Thistledew. The home is gorgeous...I couldn't stop looking at All the details that Barb & Jamie lovingly put into the home. The kitchen is beautiful and Very well-thought-out. Everything I wanted had been thought about and provided. The first morning I looked out kitchen window and watched a wild turkey meander through the yard. Although we didn't make a camp-fire or a fire in the awesome stone fireplace, there were S'mores making materials provided in case we did. When we got up in the morning, the first thing we did was have coffee and sit by the living room window and watch the lake. It was mesmerizing. Something about water never gets 'old' and especially Lake Michigan. A couple of days we were out and about, but when we were there, we resumed our positions at the front window (or at the end of the front walk) and watched the ever-changing and beautiful sunsets. We strolled up the lane one day, and enjoyed looking at properties, the lake and myriads of Trillium that were in bloom. Another time we went down the lane and the access road to the beach. What stunning views of the shoreline from the quiet beach. We were the only ones there. The upstairs is equally as captivating and well-thought-out, but since it was just the two of us, we lived on the one level. The master bedroom, a full bath and half bath and laundry are all there. I understand there are a lot of 'things to do' within easy driving distance. But, since our purpose was just rest and relaxation, other than a day trip up M-22 (also with stunning views and nice little towns and parks), we spent our time in the house, or in the lawn chairs reading and watching the lake. It was just what the doctor ordered! I already knew Barb - an old friend from years ago - and it was fun to reconnect in person (not just on FB!) and to meet Jamie for the first time...we had fun reminiscing and talking. They are wonderful people; I'm sure you will agree! Ace...well...he had us trained the first day. He'd come bounding across the property from their house to ours, and wait for us to give him his treat. Sometimes he'd hang out with us, sometimes not. But he won our hearts - a big, loveable fur ball! I would encourage anyone to spend some time at Thistledew. By the time we left, we were relaxed and happy, and ready for the next adventure. You can bet we will come again! :-)

  • Submitted: May 26, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It's incredible how years and distance disappear between 'best ' friends. This visit from Laura and her husband proved that. We were so delighted that Thistledew managed to work her charms on the two of you, the weather cooperated, the spring flowers were beautiful, the years since highschool just didn't exist. We are certainly looking forward to a return visit. Consider Thistledew for a family reunion, a best friends get together, or just a place to regroup, enjoy the sunsets, and reconnect with friends or loved ones.
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Nearest Airport
16 Miles
Manistee Blacker Airport (MBL)
Nearest Barpub
6 Miles
Grill 44 (Bear Lake)
Nearest Ferry
48 Miles
Ludington to Milwaukee
Nearest Golf
3.04 Miles
Arcadia Bluffs
Nearest Train
100 Miles
Muskegon MI
Nearest Motorway
1.33 Miles
M 22
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Several bar/restaurants
Nearest Ski
20 Miles
downhill/ cross country Crystal Mountain
Nearest Beach
0.01 Miles
Directly below you.... 3 min walk (down)
Car: recommended

Mushroom hunting, casino, canoeing, photography, alpaca farm, geocaching, fishing charters, several farmer's markets, a real drive in movie, summer concerts in local parks, and frequent local 'festivals'.


Rates & Availability

Bear Lake Farmhouse Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Winter/Spring 2017
Jan 2 2017 - May 26 2017
2 night minimum stay
Summer 2017
May 27 2017 - Sep 9 2017
7 night minimum stay
Fall/Winter 2017
Sep 10 2017 - Dec 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 6.0%

There is a 6% MI use tax that will be added to your rental fee.
The cleaning fee IS included in the basic rental amount.
There is an additional cleaning fee for more than 3 pets of $50.00-100.00 dependent upon the number of extra pets.
All rates are subject to change until deposit is confirmed.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

Enter dates for accurate pricing


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