Re-Live Dirty Dancing At These Lakeside Resorts

By Natalia Kvitek,

Pack the station wagon with snacks, juice and your dancing shoes for a quintessentially American Memorial Day weekend at the lake. Taking a nod from Kellerman’s resort from the classic 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, these resorts are the perfect summer vacation setting, packed with events and activities for families and couples alike.

Go ahead — have the “Time of Your Life” at these classic American lakeside resorts.


Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

WILLIAMSBURG, MICHIGAN
Grand Traverse Resort
Photos courtesy of the Grand Traverse
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With 900 acres of space along Traverse Bay, you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. Golf fanatics will be pleased when they catch wind of the three championship golf courses, but don’t spend your whole vacation putting away on the greens. You can also jet ski, paddle or kayak on the waters of Lake Michigan, play tennis or romp around in the indoor water playground. The Grand Traverse is all about indulging yourself in the summer activities of your youth while relaxing in splendor.

Grand Traverse Resort

The Sagamore

BOLTON LANDING, NEW YORK
Lakeside Resorts

Photos courtesy of the Sagamore.

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Re-live the days of yore by fishing right off the docks at the Sagamore on Lake George. Looking for a bigger catch? You can join a chartered fishing boat, or be adventurous and try parasailing, wakeboarding or waterskiing. Blow off some steam on the 18-hole golf course, or head to the spa to get your stress massaged out of you. The historic hotel was built in 1883 and with their huge calendar of events, it could have very well subbed-in as the Kellerman’s resort in Dirty Dancing.

The Sagamore, Bolton Landing
Looking for the “Big Catch”?

Umstead Hotel and Spa

CARY, NORTH CAROLINA
Lakeside hotels North Carolina

Photo courtesy of the Umstead Hotel and Spa.

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Retreat to another world with a stay at the Umstead Hotel and Spa. A perfect, pet-friendly weekend getaway from Raleigh, this sustainable hotel is located on acres of windy wood trails. Glass balconies allow for clear views of the lush landscaping from the tastefully decorated rooms. Join fellow guests for yoga on Saturday and Sunday mornings or take to the trails on two wheels with complimentary bike tours and rentals. A seasonal outdoor pool and adjoining bar have guests making the most of the sunshine months. The hotel’s onsite restaurant, run by James Beard Semifinalist chef Steven Greene, focuses on locally sourced cuisine including their personal one-acre culinary plot. Don’t miss afternoon tea in the lobby lounge, furnished with Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and harp accompaniment.


The Broadmoor

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

The Broadmoor Colorado Springs

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The Broadmoor is perfect for those who want to do more on their vacation. Set over 3,000 acres in the Rocky Mountains on the shores of Lake Cheyenne, you can try your hand at a whole slew of activities both in the water (fly-fishing, canoeing and kayaking) and on land (rock climbing and horseback riding). Three hundred days of sunshine a year means you can literally stay outside morning till night, filling your days with painting the stunning mountain backdrops, mountain biking or white water rafting. For fishing enthusiasts, note that the resort is very close to one of the top fishing spots in Colorado, Chico Basin.

The Broadmoor Colorado Springs
Photos courtesy of the Broadmoor.

 Mission Point Resort

MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN
Mission Point Resort exterior night

Photos from trivago.

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Step back in time with the Lake Huron sunrise at Mission Point Resort. This charmingly traditional property offers guests a slew of activities including a golf course, pools, bike rentals, croquet & bocce ball lawns and even a classic video game arcade that will thrill kids and adults alike. Come evening, stroll across the expansive front lawn that leads down to the lake before setting down in a classic Adirondack chair. A turn of the century movie theater screens films to round out your dinner date at one of the four onsite restaurants. Many rooms have hot tubs and some are pet-friendly.

Mission Point Resort lobby fireplace

Is soaking the night away in your private hot tub just what the doctor ordered? Check out our favorite hotels with jacuzzi in room.


The Whiteface Lodge

LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK
Whiteface Lodge Lake Placid
Photo courtesy of the Whiteface Lodge.
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Reminiscent of summer camp, the Whiteface Lodge is built in a charming and rustic log cabin style. The camp atmosphere doesn’t end with the decor- guests can swim in the lake or ride around on boats, canoes and paddleboards. Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, the camp fun at this lakeside resort doesn’t end with summer- there are options to ski, snowshoe and even dogsled during the winter as well as swim indoors. The Lodge is also close to incredible golf courses and the Olympic village. In fact, the whole lodge was built by a former Olympian with several recent Olympians on staff!


The Lakehouse Resort & Hotel

SAN MARCOS, CALIFORNIA
Lakehouse Resort San Marcos
Photos courtesy of the Lakehouse.
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The Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is perhaps more modern and sleek than the classic homey lakeside resorts but it lacks no fun. Located on 250 acres along the shore of Lake San Marcos, there are ample opportunities for fun in the water on itBike water bikes, kayaks and fishing (although it’s catch and release). The Resort is also close to the heart of San Diego’s emerging microbrew scene and the hotel provides free shuttles to many local breweries. Nothing like a cold one on the lakeshore in summer!

Lakehouse Resort San Marcos

Chase on the Lake

WALKER, MINNESOTA
Chase on the Lake Resort Exterior

Photos from trivago.

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Located on the banks of Leech Lake, Chase on the Lake has returned to its 1920’s heydays following an extensive renovation. Fisherman can rejoice at the prospect of getting a tour of the Leech Lake hotspots in the company of a fishing guide and tournament tested fishing gear. A private bowling alley might bring out that competitive streak in your family but is sure to bring some laughs. A sandy beach leads down to the beautiful lake whose waters begets the rental of pontoons, waverunners, kayaks, and paddleboards that are available for guest. If the tranquility of the property can’t unwind those knots from your shoulders, the Copper Door Aveda Spa certainly can with treatments like the Chase Signature Chakra Massage, which heals your sore spots and restores energy.

Chase Lake Resort al fresco dining


The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

TRUCKEE, CALIFORNIA

Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe

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While it may not actually be a lakeside resort, the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a mere 10 minutes to arguably one of the most stunning lakes in America. This ultra luxurious resort still has all the lakeside amenities you could want- including stand-up paddle boarding, fly fishing and kayaking. Miles of hiking trails surround the property offering ample opportunities to enjoy some time in the wild. Don’t think you’ll be roughing it too much though- this is the Ritz-Carlton after all! An onsite spa, floor to ceiling windows and handcrafted marshmallows around the campfire round out this very stylish experience.

Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe
Learn why we’re oozing over this hotel…

Geneva On The Lake Wine Country Villa & Resort

SENECA LAKE, NEW YORK
Geneva On The Lake Wine Country Villa & Resort
Photos courtesy of Geneva On The Lake.
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The Geneva On The Lake Inn was built in 1914 and modeled after the Villa Lancellotti in Lazio, Italy, home to Sardinian kings. This romantic resort is right inside the Finger Lakes Wine Country, bringing you, in spirit, across the pond to Italy. Whether you want to horseback ride, swim, take in some culture or sample the local bounty of wines, the resort is the perfect home base from which to explore this luxurious corner of New York state. Impeccably decorated, this may be a step up from the classic lakeside resorts Dirty Dancing brings to mind, but it’s no less charming and without an ounce of stuffiness!

Geneva On The Lake Wine Country Villa & Resort

Jenny Lake Lodge

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING
Jenny Lake Lodge
Photos courtesy of Jenny Lake Lodge.
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Want to escape somewhere a bit more wild? Visit the Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. This eco-resort is located right inside the national park, melding luxury with pristine and untouched corners of nature. You can book a private cabin, complete with wood beams and hand-made quilts, but most importantly, the food is heaven sent. Join other lodgers in the beautiful dining room for a seasonally inspired five-course dinner that’s included in the booking price! And, since you’re staying in the heart of a National Park, there is no lack of activities to fill your days.

Jenny Lake Lodge Wyoming

Mill Falls at The Lake

MEREDITH, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Mill Falls at the Lake, Meredith NH
Photos courtesy of Mill Fall.
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The Mill Falls at The Lake Resort is almost a small town in itself. Made up of four inns, seven restaurants, an international award-winning spa as well as abundant shopping for such a small town, the resort is also set on the shore of the sparkling Lake Winnipesaukee. It is one of many quintessentially New England lakeside resorts and has tons of recreational boating activities and lots of Adirondack chairs to curl up with a book and watch the sunset.

Mill Falls at the Lake, Meredith NH


Osthoff Resort

ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN
Osthoff Lakeside Resort
Photos courtesy of the Osthoff.
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Splurge on the camera ready view of Elkhart Lake at the Osthoff Resort. The Resort doesn’t only offer stunning views – 500 ft of lake frontage just begs you to take a watercraft out for a spin. If the weather isn’t to your liking, take a French cooking class. Join in the evening bonfires and let the smell of burnt marshmallows bring you back to your childhood. You can also rent bikes to take for a spin or make friends (or enemies, depending on your level of skill) at the tennis courts. The Osthoff guarantees you won’t run out of things to do- but don’t forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the stunning scenery of this lakeside resort.

Osthoff Resort