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Best places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes: cabins, hotels, B&Bs, …

Considering a holiday in the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan? Here we have some of the best places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Hailed as one of the most beautiful places in America, it is no surprise that Sleeping Bear Dunes is an area of stunning landscapes and amazing views.

Overlooking Lake Michigan and featuring forests, dune formations, and beaches, Sleeping Bear Dunes is an amazing choice for a relaxing holiday.

Here we have collected some of the best places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Wondering what towns are close to Sleeping Bear Dunes? Here you can find an overview of the closest towns near Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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Overview of the best places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes

Here’s a comparison table of all the hotels, resorts, cabins, and B&Bs that we cover in this post.

Read on for a short description of all the properties.

Best places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes

Type Amenities Town Price
Cabin near Sleeping Bear Dunes All Seasons Log Cabin Rental

Cabin

  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Treadmill
  • Fire pit

Empire

$$$$
Affordable cottage on Big Glen Lake!

Cabin

  • Wi-Fi
  • Fans
  • Parking
  • Pet-friendly
  • Washer & Dryer

Maple city

$$
Cedar Ridge Cabins

Cabin

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • BBQ facilities
  • Fire pit

Honor

$
Historic restored caboose

Caboose

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Fire pit

Empire

$$$$
Great hotel near Sleeping Bear Dunes Hotel Frankfort & Restaurant

Hotel

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking

Frankfort

$$$
Empire Lakeshore Inn

Inn

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Terrace

Empire

$
M22 Inn Empire

Inn

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Parking
  • Pets are allowed upon request (additional charge)

Empire

$
bed and breakfast near Sleeping Bear Dunes The cottonwood Inn B&B

B&B

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Outdoor furniture

Empire

$$
Sylvan Inn Bed & Breakfast

B&B

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Outdoor furniture

Glen Arbor

$$
Chimney Corners Resort

Resort

  • Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • Sun terrace
  • BBQ (select rooms)
  • Kitchenette (select rooms)

Frankfort

$
Resort near Sleeping Bear Dunes The Baywatch resort

Resort

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Fitness
  • Balcony

Traverse city

$

Sleeping Bear Dunes lodging

Cabins near Sleeping Bear Dunes

One of the most popular accommodation types near Sleeping Bear Dunes are cabins.

Here we have listed some of the best Sleeping Bear Dunes cabins.

All Seasons Log Cabin Rental

Entire Cabin hosted by Bruce, Premier Host

  • 4 guests, 1 bedroom, 2 beds (1 king, 2 twins), 1 bath
Cabin near Sleeping Bear Dunes
Photo credits VRBO

This log cabin is located near the small town of Empire.

Surrounded by nature but within easy access of the town makes this a convenient base while exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes area.

It has lakeshore views and is perfect for meals overlooking the lake.

There is a kitchenette equipped with all the necessary utensils and equipment for home cooking and a treadmill for those who want to keep up their workout routine while away.

The cabin doesn’t have Wi-Fi, which allows visitors to truly relax into the surrounding nature and get away from the fast pace of modern living.

There are many birdhouses around the property that attract a wide variety of bird species, perfect for the keen birdwatching enthusiast.

The cabin has one main bedroom and two single beds in an alcove off the main living area.

VRBO Rating: 4.9

Extra Amenities:

  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Treadmill
  • Fire pit

This cabin would be a great choice for small families looking to get away into nature but still be close to the essentials of the city.

Check prices and availability:
VRBO

Affordable cottage on Big Glen Lake!

Entire Cabin hosted by Jodie Dodson, Premier Host

  • 6 guests, 2 bedrooms, 4 beds (1 Queen, 1 bunk bed, 1 pull-out sofa), 1 bath
Photo credits VRBO

This cabin is part of a group of three cabins located on the southwest shore of Big Glen Lake, close to Glen Arbor.

The cabins are well-spaced apart to allow privacy while staying in this area. It is just a short walk to the dock on the lake and beautiful lake views.

The cabin has outdoor seating and a charcoal grill, perfect for evening barbequing.

It’s pet-friendly.

It is important to note that while linens are provided, visitors need to bring their own towels.

During the peak season of summer, the cabin does week-long stays, while during the rest of the year 3-night stays are accepted.

There is no TV, allowing for a ‘charming simplicity’ as noted by a previous guest.

However, there is Wi-Fi, so it is possible to set up your own entertainment means.

VRBO Rating: 4.9

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Fans
  • Parking
  • Pet-friendly
  • Washer & Dryer
  • BBQ

This cabin would be ideal for a small family looking to enjoy the colours of nature and beautiful surroundings.

Check prices and availability:
VRBO

Cedar Ridge Cabins

Cedar Ridge Cabins is a collection of cabins located on the Platte River, about 15km from Sleeping Bear Dunes.

They are well-located for exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes and surrounding area. It is just a short walking trail to the nearby river.

The cabins have a range of sizes, from those intended for two people up to some suited for families of up to 5.

They all come with a flat-screen TV, cable channels, and Wi-Fi, so entertainment is fully covered.

The cabins have a simple kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker, however, there is no cooktop.

There is access to outdoor seating, a fire pit, BBQ facilities, and backyard games, making it perfect for enjoying the outdoors. 

Previous guests enjoyed the rustic and cozy atmosphere, the outdoor facilities, and the convenient location.

Booking Rating: 9

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • BBQ facilities
  • Fire pit

These cabins would be a great choice for couples or families who enjoy the security and convenience of a group site.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Historic restored caboose

Entire property hosted by Leelanau Vacation Rentals, Premier Host

  • 2 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 1 bath
Photo credits VRBO

The final property of this section isn’t actually a cabin but is so unique and interesting that it would be amiss to not include it.

Here we have a vintage train caboose, remodeled as accommodation.

The caboose has room for two with a small bathroom, kitchenette, and dining area.

Many of the original features and fittings are still intact, making for a charming vintage experience. There is also outdoor seating with a gas grill and fire pit.

It is located right at the base of Sleeping Bear Dunes, on the property of a separate house, but still maintaining privacy with natural surroundings.

It is also close to the Heritage Trail, making it perfect for hiking, cycling, or skating.

Previous guests found the caboose perfectly located with close proximity to the dunes, hiking trails, and town. They also enjoyed the unique concept of the property.

VRBO Rating: 5

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Fire pit and picnic table
  • Cable TV

This would be ideal for a couple looking for a truly unique getaway.

Check prices and availability:
VRBO

Hotels near Sleeping Bear Dunes Michigan

Hotel Frankfort & Restaurant

Great hotel near Sleeping Bear Dunes

Located in the town of Frankfort this hotel is just a few hundred meters from the nearby Elberta Beach.

Hotel Frankfort is an 88-year-old boutique hotel. It has a beautiful traditional exterior, imbuing a sense of Old World charm. However, the interior is modern and comfortable.

The hotel has maintained some of the original fittings, allowing for a perfect combination of old and new.

You will stay in spacious rooms all fitted with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, and cable channels. Some of the larger rooms also come with a jacuzzi tub and/or sauna and some are spread across two floors.

There is an on-site restaurant and bar, both of which are very popular.

The hotel boasts 17 guest rooms, spread across different floors. There is no elevator, which may be a consideration for some visitors. The hotel does specify that they can help with luggage when going to the higher floors.

Previous guests found the staff to be friendly and helpful and the rooms to be spacious and comfortable.

Booking Rating: 9

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking

Hotel Frankfort would be great for travellers who prefer to stay in town while still be close to Lake Michigan and other nature attractions.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Empire Lakeshore Inn

Empire Lakeshore Inn is located in Empire, just 3km from Sleeping Bear Dunes. It is also just a short drive to the nearby winery, Black Star Farms, and a 5minute walk from Empire Beach.

The hotel has a charming and cozy exterior with a beautiful and modern interior. The rooms are spacious with large beds.

All rooms have a flat-screen TV with cable channels and air conditioning, perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring the area.

The rooms have a refrigerator and coffee maker and the hotel is within easy access of a range of restaurants and cafes.

Read Also:

Here is an overview of the best Sleeping Bear Dunes restaurants.

Previous guests found the rooms comfortable and particularly enjoyed the very convenient location.

Booking Rating: 8.3

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Terrace

This hotel would be great for couples, solo travellers or some small families who are looking for a great all-rounder option – close and convenient to everything.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

M22 Inn Empire

The M22 Inn is located in a quiet area of the town of Empire on Glen Lake, close to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

There is lakefront access and the hotel offers kayak rentals.

You will stay in cozy and comfortable rooms with a good amount of space. All rooms have a private bathroom and some have a kitchen or kitchenette. A good compromise for those who sometimes want to make their own meal.

There is also a fire pit to enjoy the evenings outside.

The hotel allows pets upon request, although there are additional charges for bringing pets.

Previous guests enjoyed the peaceful location and comfortable rooms. Some guests had issues with the Wi-Fi connection. Others mentioned that the look of the place is a little dated, however, others found this added to the quaint charm of the hotel.

Booking Rating: 8

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Parking
  • Pets are allowed on request (additional charge)

This hotel would be great for couples or families looking for a quiet and peaceful area to stay right on the lakeside.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Bed and breakfasts near Sleeping bear dunes

The cottonwood Inn B&B

bed and breakfast near Sleeping Bear Dunes

The Cottonwood Inn is located on the outskirts of Empire, in a quiet and relaxing area and within walking distance of the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center.

The house has been designed and maintained beautifully, with a comfortable and cozy home-away-from-home atmosphere.

There are a number of Sleeping Bear Dunes highlights nearby, including the Empire Bluff Scenic Lookout and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Driver.

All rooms include a flat-screen TV and cable channels. Some rooms include a private patio or balcony, which is great for enjoying outdoor meals.

The breakfasts are extensive and vary from day to day, which many previous guests noted and appreciated. Previous guests also enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and peaceful location.

Some noted that there are some squeaky beds which can be inconvenient for light sleepers and some very steep stairs, which may be a consideration for some guests. The room we stayed in was also rather small, only 12 m², but you can relax in the common areas of the house. If you’re lucky you will see deer passing through the garden.

Booking Rating: 8.5

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Outdoor furniture

This would be a great option for a relaxing couple’s getaway, or a possible option for a family with one or two small children.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Sylvan Inn Bed & Breakfast 

The Sylvan Inn B&B is located in Glen Arbor, close to Glen Lake, and convenient for canoeing and kayaking. It is also close to hiking trails and other outdoor activities.

It is in a quiet and peaceful location, while still being within easy access of town. There is a large garden to add to the relaxing charm. Both continental and a la carte breakfast options are offered.

Guests can enjoy breakfast on the front porch, as well as simply relaxing and enjoying the view. The staff is very friendly and helpful with any issues that may come up.

The B&B is a great option for enjoying the historical aspect of the town, with traditional furnishings and decor.

Previous guests enjoyed the relaxing locations and the friendly staff service. The unique character of the house was also popular with guests.

Booking Rating: 8.7

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Outdoor furniture

This would be a great option for a solo traveller or couple looking for a convenient and relaxing getaway option. It could also be suitable for a small family.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Resorts near Sleeping Bear Dunes

Chimney Corners Resort

Chimney Corners is a beautiful resort located in Frankfort, right on Crystal Lake.

Many of the rooms available offer stunning lake views and the accompanying sun terrace and the outdoor areas of the resort are a beautiful way to enjoy the scenery.

The resort has its own private beach and fishing is allowed on the lake. As a guest of the resort, you can also use the tennis courts, paddleboards, or go kayaking on the lake.

There are a number of hiking trails nearby as well as several other sights of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The resort has an on-site restaurant and bar, along with a shared lounge area.

Some rooms include a fireplace and there is an on-site outdoor firepit which all rooms have access to. Some rooms do not include a TV, to help provide a relaxing, back-to-nature appeal.

However, they all do include Wi-Fi for all your online necessities.

Previous guests loved the beautiful location and enjoyed the spacious and comfortable rooms.

Booking Rating: 9.1

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • Sun terrace
  • BBQ (select rooms)
  • Private kitchenette (select rooms)

This resort would make a great relaxing getaway option for couples and families.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

The Baywatch resort

Resort near Sleeping Bear Dunes

This beautiful resort is located in Traverse City overlooking the bay, close to the Traverse City State Park, and a few kilometers from the East Bay Park Beach.

The rooms are cozy yet modern and spacious. They come with a balcony overlooking the bay, perfect for enjoying the view with a morning coffee.

The hotel has access to a private beach with beautiful clear water for swimming. There is also an on-site fitness center for those who wish to keep up their fitness routine while away from home.

The resort offers a daily continental breakfast. The resort also has accessibility facilities, including visual aids in the form of Braille, a toilet with grab rails, and wheelchair-accessible rooms.

Previous guests enjoyed the beachside location and all the benefits that this brings. Many guests also mentioned the clean and comfortable rooms along with the friendly and attentive staff.

Booking Rating: 8.7

Extra Amenities:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Parking
  • Fitness
  • Balcony

This resort is perfect for travellers looking for a beachside experience while still being able to explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes and surrounding forests.

Check prices and availability:
Booking.com

Pet friendly accommodation near sleeping bear dunes

The above-mentioned M22 Empire Inn and the cottage on Glen Lake are both pet-friendly accommodation options and allow dogs to accompany their owners on vacation.

Camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes

There is a range of camping sites in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. These vary in terms of location and amenities available.

The Platte River site includes electric hookups, hot showers, and flush toilets year-round, while the D.H. Day Campground is more rustic, with vault toilets and only tents allowed, rather than tents and RVs. For backpacking and camping, the Manitou Islands are a popular choice.

All campsites range in price from $20 – $50 per night.

Here you can find more info about the campgrounds in Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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Cities near sleeping bear dunes

Wondering which towns are close to Sleeping Bear Dunes? Here is a description of the towns located closest to the park including the accommodations that are located there.

Empire

Empire is often considered the ‘gateway to Sleeping Bear Dunes’ and at just, a 10-minute drive from the center of town is within very easy access.

Empire is on Lake Michigan and is known for its beautiful lakeside views.

The beach and park are very popular places in town among both locals and visitors. The beach is home to beautiful sunsets and a picnic pavilion.

Nearby there are many charming local restaurants and shops to explore.

The town is named after a schooner that was trapped in ice near the area in the mid- 19th C and has clung to its title as the unofficial capital of the Sleeping Bear Dunes area.

Accommodation in Empire

Lake Michigan near Sleeping Bear Point
Access to Sleeping Bear Point right off Glen Arbor

Glen Arbor

Glen Arbor is a charming town located further north, in between Lake Michigan and the Glen Lakes.

Surrounded by so many lakes, there is no shortage of places to explore and beautiful scenery to observe in Glen Arbor.

It is also a very good location to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes.

There are some wonderful wineries to explore and as the town is a popular tourist destination, there are many great restaurants and cafes.

The town is also home to the Cherry Republic, a store offering an extensive list of cherry products.

Along with this, there are many private galleries that can be a true adventure to explore.

Accommodation in Glen Arbor

Maple city

The charmingly named Maple City is located on the opposite side of Glen Lake to Sleeping Bear Dunes among a grove of maple trees.

Despite being on the opposite side of the lake, it is still only a 20-minute drive to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Maple City is surrounded by many beautiful farms and orchards. It was originally named Peg Town but was renamed in 1875 to reflect the hundreds of acres of maple trees growing around it.

It is quaint and full of character with some fun traditional businesses to display this.

It is also close to Lime Lake and has some beautiful areas to explore nearby.

Accommodation in Maple city

The Pt. Betsie lighthouse near Frankfort
The Pt. Betsie Lighthouse near Frankfort (credits: daBinsi)

Frankfort

Frankfort is the southernmost town of the area and is also the largest town, in conjunction with its twin city Elberta. Frankfort and Elberta are separated by Betsie Lake.

Frankfort is located south of Sleeping Bear Dunes, well-located to visit the southern parts of the park such as Platte Lake, but a 40-minute drive to popular sights such as the Dune Climb and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

Frankfort is most well-known for its beautiful sandy beaches which are great for swimming and enjoying the walkway and pier. Frankfort has many picturesque streets with traditional houses and huge maple trees.

It is so named due to German settlers comparing it to the beauty of Frankfurt in Germany.

The downtown area maintains a quaint traditional charm and has many great restaurants, cafes, shops, and galleries.

Accommodation in Frankfort

The Cherry Bowl Drive-in Theater in Honor
The Cherry Bowl Drive-in Theater in Honor (Photo credits: Wingerham52)

Honor

The small village of Honor is located close to Platte Lake south of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

It is close to Frankfort and approximately a 30-minute drive to the Dune Climb and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, two of the main attractions of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Yet it is only about a 10-minute drive to the Platte Plains Trail and other places in Southern Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Honor is a beautiful area for experiencing the outdoors with Platte Lake and the surrounding forested areas. Platte Lake is very popular for canoeing and kayaking and it is a great area for hiking.

Honor is also well-known for the Coho Salmon Festival which has been running since 1967. Coho salmon were introduced in 1966 into the river and have been celebrated ever since.

It also has the popular historic Cherry Bowl Drive-In Theater which has been open since 1953. It has updated equipment and shows two movies each night on one ticket, making it a great way to spend an evening in Honor.

Accommodation in Honor

Traverse city

Traverse City is located on the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay. It is the closest city to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a 40-minute drive away.

Along this route are many beautiful areas to explore, making it perfect for putting together multi-stop day trips.

Traverse City has a range of beautiful wineries which work well together with the many great restaurants in town.

There are a number of traditional architectural attractions, including Grand Traverse Commons, a former mental asylum that has been converted into a modern shopping and eating area. You will also find many sandy beaches accessible from town with beautiful clear water perfect for swimming.

There are also a number of historic lighthouses to visit which is a great way to experience the history of the area.

Accommodation in Traverse city

Conclusion

Sleeping Bear Dunes is a wonderful natural paradise overlooking Lake Michigan.

It is praised by all travelers who visit and has been acclaimed as one of the most beautiful lakeshore areas.

If you’re considering Sleeping Bear Dunes for your next holiday, here we have compiled some of the nearby cities and some of the best places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes.

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