check navigate-up

Kim Wade

Member since: 2013
Speaks: english

Charming Cottage In Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Near Lake MI Beach

12 Reviews
Sleeps6
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 7 nights

Pay with confidence

Your booking will be backed by our Book with Confidence Guarantee when you complete your reservation online and finalize payment on HomeAway.

Learn more

Overview

Sleeping Bear Dunes Cottage Rental Photos and Description

Cottage, 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, (Sleeps 6)

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!

More Details
Suitability:
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Kim Wade (Owner)
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english

About Kim Wade

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

Why Kim Wade chose Sleeping Bear Dunes

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.

What makes this cottage unique

(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.

Guestbook comments from the owner

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.
May 2013
  • 1 of 1

Reviews

4.6
based on 12 traveler reviews

Charming Cottage In Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Near Lake MI Beach
average rating of 4.5833335 based on 13 reviews
Midwest, USA
5

Bliss in Empire

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I spent the week after our wedding exploring Empire and surrounding areas. We loved Wilce Cottage! The perfect home away from home. So charming and cheery! We wanted the opportunity to both relax AND be adventurous...that is exactly the type of vacation that Empire and Wilce provided.

Wilce Cottage is adorably furnished and within walking distance of all that Empire has to offer. We enjoyed walking from the cottage to the beach, the grocery store, the library, and the ice cream shop. On a rainy day we perused the collection of books and games in the living room. The cottage was clean, comfortable, and packed with necessities. The owners have gone above and beyond to provide for their guests with plenty of suggestions on ways to enjoy your stay.

The highlights of our trip included building a fire on the beach and hiking the bluff-top trail on the edge of town at sunset. What spectacular views!!! We also loved driving through the nearby New Neighborhood and eating chocolates from The Grocer's Daughter chocolate shop. When we wanted to take a short drive we hiked up The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and ate a tasty dinner at Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor. Go on a Wednesday to try Art’s Chicken Jalapeño Soup. YUM!

We appreciated the prompt service from the owners and the cottage exceeded our expectations! The owners even arranged for a litte honeymoon gift basket to be delivered. So sweet! After sharing photos of our trip, my mom is already dreaming of and planning her stay! Wilce Cottage will not disappoint. Do yourself a favor and unplug for a week at Wilce. Work will wait. Relax. Explore. Live like it's 1994 :)

  • Submitted: Apr 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
5

Bliss in Empire!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I spent the week after our wedding exploring Empire and surrounding areas. We loved Wilce Cottage! The perfect home away from home. So charming and cheery! We wanted the opportunity to both relax AND be adventurous...that is exactly the type of vacation that Empire and Wilce provided.

Wilce Cottage is adorably furnished and within walking distance of all that Empire has to offer. We enjoyed walking from the cottage to the beach, the grocery store, the library, and the ice cream shop. On a rainy day we perused the collection of books and games in the living room. The cottage was clean, comfortable, and packed with necessities. The owners have gone above and beyond to provide for their guests with plenty of suggestions on ways to enjoy your stay.

The highlights of our trip included building a fire on the beach and hiking the bluff-top trail on the edge of town at sunset. What spectacular views!!! We also loved driving through the nearby New Neighborhood and eating chocolates from the chocolate shop. When we wanted to take a short drive we hiked up The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes and ate a tasty dinner at Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor. Go on a Wednesday to try Art’s Chicken Jalapeño Soup. YUM!

We appreciated the prompt service from the owners and the cottage exceeded our expectations! The owners even arranged for a litte honeymoon gift basket to be delivered. So sweet! After sharing photos of our trip, my mom is already dreaming of and planning her stay! Wilce Cottage will not disappoint. Do yourself a favor and unplug for a week at Wilce. Work will wait. Relax. Explore. Live like it's 1994 :)

  • Submitted: Apr 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Ottawa Lake, Mi
4

Cottage Getaway

  • 4 of 5

This place was really inviting. The views are absolutely breathtaking and would recommend going to this cottage. We will be returning for the summer months :)

  • Submitted: Oct 15, 2015
  • Stayed: Oct 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Grand Rapids, MI
5

Best Kept Pure Michigan Secret

  • 5 of 5

I don't want to review this cottage because I want to keep it a secret forever and ever, but the owners are so nice they deserve the income from it, so here I go.

First things first, make no mistake about it, this is a cottage. So that means, no air, a bathroom that is basically a hallway, a musty basement (like you would expect in a house built in the 1800's) and what we would in 2015 refer to as "primitive" wifi (meaning: it could be on or off based on the village of Empire's capacity to supply it-so don't plan a "working vacation" or you might be in big trouble).

With that out of the way, the things I love are numerous:

1. Spacious living quarters. I didn't feel like I was on top of my family or our guests.

2. Full kitchen. We could spend money on groceries and time prepping meals together.

3. Ability to do laundry - I don't know how/why men use so many towels, but it was nice to wash them a few times in a week after I scooped them off the floor and such.

4. Location is basically perfect: shaded, quiet, a stone's throw from the beach and several bars and a quick drive to other more populous regions if you are so inclined to travel to say Frankfort or Traverse City. Also, chatty neighbors made it feel like home.

5. Affordable. So many vacation rentals are just not possible in my modest house-hold budget this one was.

6. Owners. Very quick to reply and not just for payment either. They emailed back within a day or two when we were prepping to go there and when I returned with a new booking date.

7. Disconnect. If you are going to take a vacation and want to be away from the masses, Empire is kinda a lost village. I mean, the beach is always packed but nothing else really seems to make it feel touristy [except the sky high priced "antiques" shop].

8. Adventure. Want to walk and bike everywhere for a week? Swim, paddle or frolic in a great lake with reasonable water temps in the summer? Want to climb a sand dune? Come to Empire. You won't be sorry.

9. Clean. Have you ever been to a rental and you feel the sand still in the carpet? You won't get that here. I feel like the added age of the property would make it hard to clean but it felt very, very clean when we arrived, despite windows always open I'd imagine (no AC).

Without reservation I'd recommend this property. I tried to book next summer while I was still in the house THIS summer.

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow, thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough review of our cottage! I think you've really described it accurately for future renters: our little house is great for folks wanting to stay in a classic "up North" Michigan cottage. We've painted all the walls and woodwork and have refinished the dining and living room floors, but have kept many features original to the house (i.e. hardware, kitchen cupboards, etched glass windows). This cottage is not upscale, and it lacks some modern amenities (like a dishwasher). So it's best suited to folks who want to slow down and take a little step back in time. (Although, we are taking on an exciting updating project: we were selected by Michigan's electric utility company, DTE Energy, to participate in their SolarCurrents program. By next summer, photovoltaic panels will be installed on the south-facing garage roof, and our cottage will be generating its own electricity, while still being connected to the main grid. We're excited, and we think it will be fun for guests too!)
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0
3

Cute cottage, needs upgrades

  • 3 of 5

We found it pricey for the area. The towns outside of Empire had more to offer. The grass was not cut and was too long to actually enjoy the yard at all. Better curtains are needed for the bedrooms to keep light out at night. the Wi-Fi in Empire does not work well at all, so don't plan to get online if you need to. The beach was wonderful.

  • Submitted: Jun 30, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Robin, Thanks for staying at our cottage, for leaving your kind note in our guestbook, and for your feedback here. We've taken your advice and have added room darkening curtains to both bedrooms (in addition to the blinds that were already there). And our apologies for the lawn not being freshly cut for you; we were repairing the lawn mower that week. It's back up and running AND we have contracted with a back-up lawn service. This is the second full year that Empire has had it's own WiFi service, and we subscribe to it year-round. The service is improving with fewer glitches each season (we are actually at the cottage this week and it's running fast and smoothly. Building it's own village-wide WiFi system is an ambitious project for this small town of fewer than 400 residents (a couple of local citizens decided to tackle it in order to provide service cheaper than what the large for-profit service-providers were offering area residents). We're quite proud of Empire for undertaking it, and we expect it to get better and better! We are unabashed, head-over-heels, utterly and completely forever-fans of Empire. You can walk out our door and in just 3 blocks be watching the sunset on Empire's public beach (the LOVELIEST in Michigan in our opinion) OR hiking along a bluff-top trail OR seeing exhibits at Sleeping Bear Dunes visitor's center OR biking along the brand new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. We are in the middle of a national park in a small village that is quiet, delightfully quirky (Asparagus Festival?!), and heart-warmingly friendly. Give Empire a little love, and it loves ya right back!
Did you find this review helpful?
3 0
5

Empire Memories

  • 5 of 5

Our stay at Wilce Cottage in Empire was wonderful! Our days were filled with hiking, biking, shopping, grilling, and exploring. We refreshed by the shore of Lake Michigan, hunted for beach rocks, visited the Leelanau Lighthouse. After our busy days we enjoyed the peaceful evenings at the cottage catching up on our reading and quiet family time. It was all and more than we had hoped it would be!

  • Submitted: Jun 26, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

Map

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Gallery
"Full to brimming with artwork from area artists. We stopped in one afternoon and got to meet..."
The Misers' Hoard
"This shop is full of delightful finds. The shop owners are super friendly and laid back."
Cottage Book Shop
Grocer's Daughter Chocolate
"The chocolate is handmade on-site and the staff is so friendly! Lots of samples. We love com..."
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
Robert H. Manning Memorial Light
Joe's Friendly Tavern
"On a cold evening, grab the table right next to the wood stove and order the wings."
Tiffany's Cafe
"The portions are huge! We buy the child's scoop 'cause it's plenty big, and take our ice cre..."
Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theatre
"Bring sleeping bags and pillows and prepare to curl up in the back of your vehicle for a dou..."
Cherry Republic Grand Cafe
"Wonderful store for finding gifts to take home to friends."
Art's Tavern
"Save room for Art's homemade cobbler."
Cedar Sol Hydro Farm
"Their fish tacos are really good. Actually, it's all good. Love the chorizo,"
Empire Area Museum
"We were blown away by how much info and artifacts are in this museum. The exhibits are reall..."
Nearest Airport
28 Miles
Cherry Capital Airport, Traverse City, MI
Nearest Barpub
0.2 Miles
Friendly Tavern
Nearest Ferry
83 Miles
Ludington, MI
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Dunes Golf Club, 6464 W. Empire Hwy (M-72)
Nearest Motorway
0.1 Miles
Highway 72
Nearest Restaurant
0.2 Miles
Friendly Tavern
Nearest Ski
30 Miles
Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI
Nearest Beach
0.3 Miles
Lake Michigan Beach Park, Empire, MI

Photos

Rates & Availability

Empire Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
 
My Standard Rate

Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
$1,300
 

Additional information about rental rates

Summer season (June-August)=$1300/week
Off Season (September-May)=$150/night OR $950/week
Multi-week discounts available

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates to see total
Send a Message
Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)
Unavailable

Amenities

Sleeping Bear Dunes Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
Meals:
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
Theme:
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
Bathrooms:
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Long, narrow space.
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
  • Bedroom 1 contains a queen bed, antique dresser, cozy reading chair and large closet. Bedroom 2 contains a queen bed, small dresser, comfortable reading chair and large closet.
Entertainment:
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
Outside:
  • Bicycles ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • 8 garden chairs
Suitability:
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Attractions:
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing

Partner Offers

Other Vacation Properties