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Larry and Ruth Smith

Member since: 2004
Call Manager
Speaks: english

Charming Woodland, Garden Guest Home, remodeled June, 2012

25 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights

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Sleeping Bear Dunes House Rental Photos and Description

Charming 3BR2BA Guest Home, sleeps 6

Brook Song is perfect for a family adventure or a romantic weekend retreat with its king bed, four twin beds, and a futon. Central heat and air conditioning, a gas burning fireplace, surrounding decks, two balconies, satellite HDTV, VCR, DVD, Wifi, radio, washer and dryer, Weber propane gas grill, fully equipped GE Profile kitchen including coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher, dishes, pots and pans, quality linens and towels. We provide a plate of homemade cookies and a fresh bouquet on the dining table. Enjoy selecting vegetables and fruit from our organic gardens.

Bordering on the beautiful Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore Park (voted the 'Most beautiful National Park' by Good Morning, America), Brook Song is located six miles from Glen Arbor, 20 miles from Traverse City, and 0.7 miles from Big Glen Lake. The home is on the side of a hill overlooking a creek, extensive flower gardens, and a mature forest. Imagine waking up and walking out on one of two balconies to savor the woodland bird songs, waterfall music from the creek, and the peace of northern Michigan. Go for a stroll through the gardens or hike the trails on our 42 plus acres.

Remodeled 3 times since its construction.

Winner of the 'RATED EXCELLENT' Award 2011 and 2012 for Top Vacation Rental

We have abundant wildlife. Certified National Wildlife Federation Habitat, 2011. Certified bee habitat in 2014.

Nearby water recreation on Glen Lake or Lake Michigan includes swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, water-skiing, surfing, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Also you can fish for bass, perch, bluegill, whitefish, king salmon and trout. Boat rentals and a launch are available. Charter fishing is available in Glen Arbor, Leland, and Traverse City. Other recreation includes golf, tennis, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and ATV trails. Bicycle the 10 miles long Sleeping Bear Heritage Bike Trail from the Dune Climb to Empire.

Nearby Glen Arbor and Empire are charming tourist destinations with art galleries and boutiques. Fine dining and great casual restaurants will please anyone's palate.

Spa options are available in Glen Arbor, Empire, and Traverse City.

Concerts, symphonies, and dramas are available in Interlochen, Glen Arbor, and Traverse City. Museums are available in Glen Haven, Empire, and Traverse City

Amenities:: Side by side refrigerator freezer,


central air conditioning and heat,

overhead fans in living area, and bedrooms

continuous decks on four sides,

paved patio,

satellite HDTV and VCR, DVD, Wifi, and radio

washer and dryer,

handicap friendly shower,

handicap accessible,

ceramic top stove/conventional/convection oven,


quality china,

complete kitchen utensils and small appliances,

charming antique furniture,

comfortable beds,

quality linens and towels,

gas burning fireplace,

books and children's videos,

swing set for children

woodimals to delight all children and those young at heart

gas grill for outdoor cooking,

glass top table on a covered deck with skylight for outdoor dining and an additional glass top table on the west open air deck,

2 lounge chairs for sunning on the south deck,

2 additional lounge chairs for relaxing on the east deck,

2 chairs at the creek overlook

gardens, gardens, gardens, and an organic vegetable garden

fresh herbs for your own cooking,

trimmed hiking trails,

one bathroom has double sinks and a skylight,

hair dryers and other conveniences.

Fax machine available at owner's home

Wireless internet is available.

We have a newer 23 foot Cobalt motor boat on Big Glen Lake. Inquire with Captain Larry if you are interested in renting it.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible
Larry and Ruth Smith (Property Manager)
Member since: 2004
Call Manager
Speaks: english

About Larry and Ruth Smith

Larry and Ruth are retired schoolteachers. We love the area and its diversity of sports and recreation, the great restaurants, the local farming, the great people, the wonderful scenery, the fresh, clear waters of Glen Lakes and of Lake Michigan, the wide open and uncrowded beaches of the National Park, the quiet of nature, the festivals of the local towns and of Traverse City, the culture of both Traverse City and of Interlochen Music School. There is abundant and diversified good.

Larry and Ruth Smith purchased this house in 1988

Why Larry and Ruth Smith chose Sleeping Bear Dunes

Leelanau County is spectacular with spectacular scenery and awesome people. Leelanau means 'Land of Delight.' Roo's grandparents started visiting the area when the Model T's became available, and since then our family has been present. We love the freshness, openness, and freedom of this multi-varied topography.

What makes this house unique

The land is beautiful. Hills, gentle walking trails, steep hills, a creek that little ones might explore with water shoes on their feet, wildlife and wonderful abundant songbirds provide relaxing but invigorating joy. Our vegetable garden is all organic and when there is abundance, Brook Song guests are invited to help harvest some for their own use. Kids particularly like picking their own!

There is abundant parking and storage for quests who want to bring bicycles or watercraft toys.

Guests enjoy quiet and privacy, but if they need help, the owners are on site to care for eventualities promptly.


based on 25 traveler reviews

Charming Woodland, Garden Guest Home, remodeled June, 2012
average rating of 5.0 based on 25 reviews

Nature retreat in a great location!

  • 5 of 5

Brook song is the perfect place to get away from it all, but still be close to the cute downtown of Glen Arbor. Larry and Roo are the perfect hosts. They are helpful and kind and go out of their way to make you feel welcome, but also possess the perfect balance of reserve and allow you to explore their beautiful gardens and trails over their 42 acres as if they are yours. Their gardens are exquisite and you'll see humming birds and monarch butterflies during the day and tree frogs at night. The house is clean, well maintained and spacious and offers all of the amenities you need for a pleasant stay. I traveled with my sister, husband and parents (who have some mobility issues) and you could literally never leave the property and have the most fabulous vacation. From the numerous patios and balconies to enjoy morning coffee overlooking all of their gardens, picking fresh veggies and fruit from their gardens, hiking the trails on their property, having access to a full kitchen and grill for all of your meal prep and even a great fire pit for campfires at night and star gazing, my parents had plenty of options while my sister and my husband and I explored the surrounding lakes and parks. It's location is so convenient to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes and any of the neighboring towns that might be of interest (Traverse City, Empire, etc). Cannot recommend this place enough. We look forward to our next stay there.

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are happy and glad for the praise, and hope that you return. ( We offer a 10% discount to returning guests.) Our gardens have flowers that are natives and are known to be nurturing to pollinators:butterflies, especially the Monarchs, and to various non-aggressive bees, and to the hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are numerous here! It's been a great summer, and the fall looks like it will be a remarkable color event with some good temperate weather.
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  • 5 of 5

Larry and Roo's home was the perfect setting for our family vacation. We traveled with our three children (ages 16-22). Everyone had their own space to relax after a long day hiking, biking, and swimming in the surrounding area. We made good use of the well stocked kitchen having a hearty breakfast before heading out each day and then returning in the evening to a home cooked meal that we prepped before we left. Roo and Larry generously share from their garden and we enjoyed their lettuces, green beans and raspberries. Roo left a plate of cookies freshly baked and some beautiful flowers on the table for our arrival. Everything in the house worked perfectly. It is great that the house is just a bit off of the beaten path because it provides proximity to the national lakeshore but also a peaceful place to regenerate. The area as a whole was magnificent. Our family has enjoyed cape cod in the past but this was almost better. The area is not over commercialized, the beaches are clean, free from crowds, and very reasonably priced with a park admission being $10.00 for a week!! We enjoyed dinner one night at Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor otherwise we ate in, which is typical for our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you Larry and Roo for sharing your gem of a place with us. We hope to return again in the future, maybe in the fall to see the colors!!

  • Submitted: Aug 18, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Larry and I so appreciate your enthusiasm and review. We love this wonderful Leelanau Peninsula for its natural beauty of hills, clear lakes, lush vegetation, clean and gorgeous beaches, great bicycle trails, abundant wildlife, variety of activities, and its gracious peoples. Sharing this with others gives us great joy. You mention the fall colors. Yes, they are truly amazing, and fall here is absolutely satisfying.
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We loved our time at Brook Song!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at Brook Song with our 4 adult children (ages 23-18) and absolutely LOVED our time there! The house is immaculate and beautiful - attention to detail abounds: a hand stitched quilt on the wall, lovely photos displayed, pleasant furniture, thick (and abundant) towels, plush rugs, a well equipped kitchen, I could go on and on! We fixed all our meals there and enjoyed the fire pit and gas grill as well as the dishwasher and large capacity frig. We had rain one day, so the covered deck with skylights was a cozy place to grill and eat while staying dry. I loved walking the property - the flowers are amazing!! And there was plenty of room for us to play lawn games. Brook Song is very close to many fun activities: we kayaked the Upper Platte River, took multiple hikes in the Dunes, spent a day in the Leelanau Peninsula, and enjoyed North Bar Lake's beach. Roo has a large binder full of detailed ideas to enjoy your stay in the area, and we took full advantage of the maps and brochures she provided. Something unusual about our visit is the fact that 100 mph winds created havoc in Glen Arbor and the surrounding area 4 days before we arrived. Roo was extremely good about emailing us about the status of electricity and running water. She let us know that she and Larry would do anything possible to make sure we had a great time despite a possible lack of electricity - every room was thoughtfully equipped with multiple candles and flashlights/lanterns, and she promptly answered all my questions. When we arrived, we found that electricity had been restored - yay! Now that I've been on the property, I wonder how on earth Roo had time to answer all my emails - - she tends the most beautiful yard on earth, plus bakes cookies that are amazing, plus provides for every need her guests have. But she graciously talked to me throughout the day, and I so appreciate her kindness and level of customer service!! Larry and Roo are special people and we love the haven they've created to share with their guests!

  • Submitted: Aug 9, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are grateful for this praise! Yes, this amazing family arrived knowing they might not have electricity since the "Mega" storm blew through 4 days before and the massive clean up and power restoration yet continues. It's comforting knowing that the county road commission, energy companies, and local citizens, firemen, police are all so committed to care. What has been accomplished is truly incredible. We are so fortunate to live in a place that has so much abundant good and beauty, and we are so thankful for those who also love the resources here.
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Wonderful Week at Brooksong

  • 5 of 5

I believe the number of positive reviews says it all. This is a wonderful guest home in the Glen Arbor area. My family was warmly welcomed with fresh baked cookies, flowers, and two friendly and helpful owners.

The cottage is very clean, roomy, and has all the needed amenities. The outdoor area is a plus! My mother went into the outdoor garden and picked fresh raspberries everyday. My children loved the pond and the fire pit that was perfect for late night s'mores. I personally loved watching all the hummingbirds zooming around Roo's gorgeous flowers.

Brooksong is perfectly located by the Sleeping Bear National Park and we spent the week discovering a new beach every day. It is also a short drive to Traverse City if you are in need of city life. There are so many great outdoor options that my family was never bored.

The owners of Brooksong also make a huge difference. Roo and Larry are so friendly and helpful with recommendations that you feel like you've known them forever. If we are ever in the Northern Michigan area again, Brooksong will be our first choice of places to stay!

  • Submitted: Aug 5, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are grateful for our wonderful guests. Families have a variety of activities both at Brook Song and in the area. The young children enjoy the fish pond, the swing set, the paths through the gardens, and even sometimes harvesting raspberries and beans from the organic vegetable garden. It's a great time for families to be together at beaches, and in area activities, and at our guest home.
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A Wonderful Week at Brook Song

  • 5 of 5

Chalk up another five-star review for Brook Song. After our stay we can wholeheartedly agree with the previous reviewers. Roo and Larry were warm and gracious hosts, and Roo’s cookies are indeed fabulous. She even made a separate batch of chocolate chip cookies without nuts for one of our family members with a food allergy. They gave us all the help and information we needed to fully enjoy our stay.

The cottage was neat and spotlessly clean when we arrived. The kitchen, bathrooms, and linen closets were fully stocked and everything was in good working order. We really enjoyed grilling and relaxing on the covered deck looking out over the woods.

The gardens were beautiful during our stay and we picked fresh arugula for our salads one night and fresh raspberries almost every day. From the kitchen table, to the decks, to the view out almost every window we were surrounded by flowers.

Brook Song is conveniently located near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Traverse City, Leelanau and Mission peninsulas and all the attractions we came to see. This was a very relaxing and peaceful place to calmly begin each morning and to unwind at the end of each busy, fun-filled day.

This was one of the nicest vacation rentals in our experience and would be at the top of our list if we return to this area.

  • Submitted: Jul 28, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Very beautiful, clean, well-manicured; love it!

  • 5 of 5

We absolutely LOVED and adored this cottage which was spacious enough for my 2 children, my husband and I to honestly say that it felt more like a home rather that a cottage because of the spaciousness. Everything was A-1 top notch quality and worked well; very well maintained and kept-up. This goes double for Larry and Ruth whose hospitality and warmth were all quality as well. Can't wait to go back in July of 2017 again! These people are hands-on, right-there, for any needs that we had and more than willing to help us. They treated our kids and us as if we were family and went far and above to help us out in everything we needed. I would recommended this property to relatives/friends in a heartbeat. The location is fantastic being just 5 min. away from Glen Lake and the gardens are wonderful to stroll around and pick the day's fresh lettuce for an afternoon salad. At first, I was super sad that we could not book a place right on the lake but, after staying in this cute wooded garden of wonder, I would now prefer to stay here every time i go back to Glen Lake. I think Larry and "Roo" exude a warmth that is far beyond kindness. Great biking trails close by as well as hiking and boat rentals all right around the lake area make this an excellent location. Many great beaches to relax at too right near the property.

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your praise and for taking the time to write a review! You have a most precious family and we look forward to having you come again. I never thought that someone would prefer a woodland setting over a cottage on the lakes, but then you pointed out the privacy and quiet... There is that! Love to you, Larry and Roo
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Art's Tavern
Nearest Airport
25 Miles
Traverse City
Nearest Barpub
8 Miles
Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor
Nearest Ferry
30 Miles
Nearest Golf
3 Miles
Golden Valley Golf
Nearest Train
160 Miles
Grand Rapids
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
2 Miles
La Becasse in Burdickville
Nearest Beach
2 Miles
Big Glen Lake
Car: necessary

Brook Song is 0.7 miles from Big Glen Lake, one of the World's Most Beautiful Lakes, 6 miles from Lake Michigan, and above Hatlem Creek. We are about 26 miles from Traverse City's Cherry Capital Airport and about a half hour's drive from Interlochen, an international music school and the home of the National Music Camp. The National Cherry Festival is the second week in July, the Asparagus festival is in Empire in June, mushroom and fishing festivals abound from spring through the fall. Watersports, fishing, hiking, and bird watching in the National Lakeshore Sleeping Bear Park are some of the favorite sports. Black Horse Farm with carriage rides is 1 mile away.

Other Activities: carriage rides 1/2 mile from Blackhorsefarm

The Sleeping Bear Heritage bicycle trail has just opened its second leg. It now extends from Glen Arbor to the Sand Dune Climb and on to Empire. The trail is off road and safe! and beautifully done.

Boats from Leland to North and South Manitou offer exploration of these two gorgeous islands in the National Park.

Almost all of our towns have Farmers' Markets with wonderful produce and crafts. The area attracts many fine artists and fabulous restaurants. The State theatre in Traverse City has won the best theatre in the world!


Rates & Availability

Glen Arbor House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
May 14 2016 - Jun 24 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $16 per night, per additional guest
Jun 26 2016 - Aug 31 2016
3 night minimum stay
Sep 1 2016 - Oct 15 2016
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

$2000.00 /Week
Rates are $300.00 per night (for spring and autumn). We require a three night minimum stay. The rate for a week from a Saturday to a Saturday is $2000.00 (depending on the season). We take a $300.00 security deposit and 1/2 of the cost to reserve Refund of security deposit is within the week or at departure if owner can verify satisfactory condition. No pets and No smoking. Larger groups of more than 6 pay an additional $50.00 per person per stay. Groups can not exceed 8 without special permission.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
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Sleeping Bear Dunes House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Downtown ...
  • Golf Course View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Resort ...
  • River ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Firewood
  • Free Local Calls
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telephone ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , double sinks, sky light
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , single sink, handicap accessible
  • Bathroom on first level is handicap designed: raised toilet, grab bars by toilet and in the shower. Shower has a low level entrance. Bathroom on the second level has a sky light and 2 sinks.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
  • A crib is available on request, and the futon (in the living room) can be used as a double bed. Both upstairs bedrooms have walkout balconies. The 2 bedrooms with twin beds have one dresser each, and the master bedroom has 2 dressers, an armoire, 2 bed side tables, and an armchair. The upstairs twin bedroom has an extra space that delights the children. The downstairs twin bedroom also has an antique desk.
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
Communication / Internet:
  • fax
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Child's Swing
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Deck Furniture
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Tennis ...
  • Terrace
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Wood Deck
  • Yard
  • 18 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • autumn foliage
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • paragliding
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
The east deck is covered, has 2 sky lights, and includes a glass top table and 4 chairs. The gas grill is on the east deck. Additional chairs include 2 chaise lounges and 2 others. The west deck is open and also has a glass top table and 6 chairs for additional outdoor dining. The south deck has 2 lounge chairs for sun bathing. Free standing flower pots and hanging flower pots decorate the decks. Follow the path to the steps to the overlook of Hatlem Creek. There you will find 2 Adirondack chairs and a small table. On a quiet morning the deer and fawns drink from the creek. Birds sing, butterflies land on the flowers, and the peace relaxes one. The organic vegetable and herb gardens usually provide for the owners and the guests. As guests stroll the gardens, benches and chairs will be found for relaxing. Some of the benches are rustic and made on site. There are also creations to delight the child at heart: dragon fly, whale, harp, etc.

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