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Old 07-16-2014, 08:12 AM
Location: Suburbs of Chicago
25 posts, read 25,803 times
Reputation: 10


My wife and I have been contemplating purchasing land/cottage somewhere nearby for a vacation retreat for a number of years now. However, we are having a difficult time finding an area that fits our criteria. Here is what we are looking for:

1. Within approximately 4 hours of the far west suburbs of Chicago. I know this immediately limits us in our choices, but anything further will severely limit the amount of time we can spend there. My grandparents have a place near Boulder Junction, WI (6 hours for us) and the drive is just too long.

2. On, or very near, a lake of some sort. Ideally it would be directly on a lake, but due to financials, some sort of nearby access may be the best bet. We would use the lake for fishing, tubing/skiing and swimming. Eventually we will buy a boat and/or pontoon boat so some sort of boat slip would be needed (if we don't have land on the water).

3. Near a town with a "small town" feel. We go every year to Door County (Pumpkin Patch Festival) and like the towns there. Unfortunately, the drive is around 6 hours.

4. Wilderness feel. This is where things get really difficult. We like a remote feel. But we also like somewhere nearby with activities (shopping, restaurants, festivals, wineries, etc). We have kids (and some day grand kids) so need to keep them in mind too. Basically, we like a woodsy feel (living in wide-open, flat, Illinois and want something different). Bugs are also an issue as Boulder Junction can be terrible with mosquitoes and black flies at certain times of the year.

So basically we are all over the board! LOL We like a place with a east coast, beachy, ocean type of feel (like door county). But this isn't all that conducive to water sports. And we like the wilderness feel of the northwoods but these places are too far away. I found the place below, but it is six hours away. It would be perfect (wilderness feel with lots of stuff to do....tennis, golf, beach, fishing, trails, near Eagle River) but is too far.

Any suggestions on places in the lower peninsula of Michigan that might be close to what we are looking for? Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:52 PM
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,154,155 times
Reputation: 2120
The stickler is "wilderness" which doesn't begin until northwards of Ludington or so. You might find a property inside or abutting a state game area which will, of course, have hunters at certain times but with very few lakeside properties available. There are homes in recreation areas as well, but in southern lower Michigan the rest is farmland or developed areas.
Something like this is typical of state game areas. There is a short drive to the Ely Lake campground and beach - not the best but it is rustic.

OK this is a general overview and I know you need specifics, but I have prowled southwest Michigan for years. Much of the area, and neat little towns like Three Oaks, have a heavy Illinois population and influence. Might be a good place to network.


Last edited by detwahDJ; 07-17-2014 at 12:04 AM..
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