The original resort that inspired Kellerman’s resort from the classic 1987 movie Dirty Dancing might have sadly burned down in 2013 but lakeside resorts are still thriving. These resorts make the perfect summer holiday for families and couples alike– never lacking in events and activities, join in the fun and make some new friends. Go ahead — have the “Time of Your Life” at these classic American lakeside resorts.
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
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 word of the three championship goal 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.
Photo courtesy of the Grand Traverse
BOLTON LANDING, NY
Photo courtesy of the Sagamore
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 calender of events, it could have very well subbed-in as the Kellerman’s resort in Dirty Dancing.
Photo courtesy of the Sagamore Facebook page
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO
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.
LAKE PLACID, NY
The Whiteface Lodge
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!
SAN MARCOS, CA
The Lakehouse Resort & Hotel
The Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is perhaps more modern and sleek than the classic homey lakeside resorts but it lacks no fun. Located across 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 lake shore in summer!
The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
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.
Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton
SENECA LAKE, NY
Geneva On The Lake Wine Country Villa & Resort
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 its no less charming and without an ounce of stuffiness!
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, WY
Jenny Lake Lodge
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.
Mill Falls at The Lake
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 sun set.
ELHART LAKE, WI
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 water craft 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.