Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Gaylord, MI

  • Published 2023/02/27

Gaylord is a city in Michigan, United States.

It has been regarded as “Alpine village,” owing to its chalet-style or alpine-themed architecture, and is considered the ski capital of Michigan.

Host to several tourists, Gaylord is a popular vacation destination during the summers and attracts many ski-lovers during winters because of its abundant snowfall every year.

It is an excellent refuge for golfers, having some well-established golf courses across the whole city.

Gaylord has everything to offer to a vacationer, from a reveling holiday retreat to a quiet one.

It includes art, music, festivals, shopping, golf resorts, and some of the finest lodgings comprising hotels, cabins, and condos.

So, if you plan to tarry off to Gaylord for a holiday, here are some things that you can do to make your vacation worth the time.

Visit the Otsego Resort

Otsego Resort

Edmurray13, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Otsego Resort in Northern Michigan is known for its meticulous ski-hills and the extensive “Tribute Golf Course” around the Sturgeon River Valley.

With a family-friendly alpine ambiance, the Otsego Resort provides the best of experiences.

It features downhill skiing, snowboarding on 8.5 miles (ca.14 km) of well-groomed trails, snowshoeing, or winter rafting.

During summers, you can go canoeing, fishing, or golfing, followed by an evening of entertainment and fun.

Otsego Resort’s Duck Blind Grille is a savory experience for food lovers, with an excellent view of the valley and the finest dining.

Otsego Resort is an excellent choice for a satisfying holiday with the best accommodation facilities and ample outdoor and indoor activities.

Visit the Call of the Wild Museum

Depicting the North American wildlife, the Call of the Wild Museum is an amusing place to be if you are visiting Gaylord with your family.

It is a family-run museum that boasts an elegant display of many animals like the whitetail deer, polar bears, the elk, black bears, and many more.

The animals are displayed in their natural habitat with built-in sound effects and artificially crafted backgrounds.

It also has a theater and an attached gift shop for you to buy souvenirs and gifts for your family and friends.

Take a Tour of the Aspen Park

Close to downtown Gaylord, Aspen Park is open throughout the year to give you a wondrous experience.

You can choose to spend your time on several sporting activities that the park has to offer.

It features many biking trails and tennis courts and is a perfect balance for tranquil and outdoor activities.

Be it a simple walk down the woods or spending the evenings watching the sunset from the benches, it provides the quiet get-away that we sometimes crave in our bustling lives.

It has some paved trails through the park with a great view of grazing elks as it shares its boundaries with Elk Park.

If you are into mountain biking, then Aspen Park is a perfect choice.

It has one of the “dirt” trails that have been developed in association with the Northern Mid-Michigan Chapter of Michigan Mountain Biking Association (NMBA).

During the winters, visitors flock the Aspen Park for cross-country skiing through well-groomed trails across the wooded terrains.

Gaylord Golf Mecca

Gaylord is a perfect destination for golf lovers.

It boasts some of the most sophisticated and elaborate golf courses in northern Michigan.

Designed by America’s top-most designers, it has about 17 golf courses with excellent lodging facilities and first-rate resorts.

The golf courses are set in a backdrop of lush greenery and lakes and rivers.

The golf courses provide golfing lessons for beginners and have excellent dining facilities and scenic views that allow you to take your families along.

Golfers return every year for this unique golf experience that Gaylord has to offer.

View the Elks at Gaylord’s City Elk Park

One of the things that could bring tremendous wonder to a visitor is watching the elks found abundantly in the Northeastern part of Michigan.

People from all around the US visit Gaylord to view this astounding animal of the deer family.

The Gaylord’s City Elk Park is a nature park where hordes of elks move around naturally.

Visitors can enjoy beautiful vistas of elks grazing gracefully from the Elk’s Lodge, close to the Elk View Park.

The children are always excited to view the elks from their cars whenever they see one.

Vacation at Treetops Resort

Golf sign in Treetops Resort, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Treetops is one of the finest resorts in Gaylord.

Gaylord is known for golfing.

Treetops boasts five expansive golf courses, a perfect get-away for golfers.

It is situated 3 miles (4.83 km) from the I-75 corridor in Gaylord and accessible from all points.

It has 238 hotel rooms and condos and is a perfect destination for a family trip.

Treetops Resort features several activities like skiing, fall color tours, mountain biking, fishing, riding, playing tennis, and golf.

Golf ball at Treetops Resort

Dan Perry, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is also a perfect destination for weddings and other meetings and conferences, with an area of 25,000 sq. ft. for holding functions alone.

It has a spa and a salon, hot tubs, and pools, which are all the perfect retreat you are looking for.

Treetops also hold summer camps for children and has an award-winning licensed Children center.

It is known for providing one of the top five golfing experiences in the whole of Michigan.

Visit the Otsego County Historical Society

The Otsego County Historical Society is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of the region.

When you walk across a city, you must wonder what the history of this place is.

A visit to the Otsego County Historical Society will answer all your questions and curiosities.

It has a wide collection of materials, scripts, and articles entailing where the people came from, their origin, and their culture.

Bike Your Way

A quick getaway with one exciting destination for the bikers can be Gaylord.

Gaylord is fast becoming one of the top biking destinations in Michigan.

There are paved and unpaved trails that give the bikers a thrilling experience.

The North Central State Trail is a famous trail in Gaylord that runs 73 miles (ca. 117 km) from Waters to Mackinaw City.

It wounds its way through picturesque countryside and can be a lovely retreat for bikers out for an adventure.

There are tougher trails like the High Country Pathway that pose exciting thrills and challenges for advanced bikers and are sure to give you a one-of-a-kind experience.

Take a Massage at the Holistic Spa

A holiday break is complete with a much-needed massage of the muscles sore with over-work and bending all day long from the computers.

A replenishing massage at the Holistic Spa can be the exact thing you need to relax your body and your mind.

The Holistic spa provides different spa experiences ranging from massage therapy to aromatherapy to Reiki and different holistic services.

They also conduct holistic workshops to help you get a life of balance and good health, which best-trained practitioners lead.

A walk into the Holistic Spa in Gaylord could be a revitalizing experience.

Visit the Up North Blueberry Farm

If you want to delve away from the city life and take a tour of a quiet farm, the family-owned Up North Blueberry Farm is the absolute go-to.

Up North Blueberry Farm was founded in the year 2011.

You can handpick the berries and stroll through the beautiful acres.

You can also see how the berries are cultivated, a sure way to vacate your mind and soak in the wonders of open space and raw lands.

The farm grows eight different types of blueberries, and you can get your own pick of jams, honey, and pie-dips along with chocolate-covered blueberries that the farm offers.

Enjoy Romantic Sunsets at Otsego Lake State Park

Otsego Lake State Park is a beautiful and tranquil park established in 1920 at Gaylord, Michigan.

The Park is adorned with tall and dark maple trees, oaks, and pines and offers a majestic view of Otsego Lake.

It has one of those ‘to-die-for’ sunsets and can be an excellent retreat to spend a quiet evening with your loved ones.

It has sandy beaches around the lake that can be an excellent site for recreation or enjoying picnics with families and friends.

Spending an evening watching the sunset behind the tall oaks overlooking the lake can help you make the best of memories in Gaylord.

Stop at BJ’s Restaurant

Talk about vising a new place, and the first thing we look for are good eateries that carry with them the flavors of the place.

If you are in Gaylord, then a visit to BJ’s is a must.

It is a family-owned restaurant that has been up and running since 1972.

BJ’s has several options to choose from with an elegant ambiance and eating good food with your family while on vacation.

BJ’s offers various options from breakfast to lunch to dinner, from snacks to sumptuous main course meals.

It comes with mouthwatering, homemade appetizers, and snacks.

If you want to spend some time sitting and relaxing in the good company of food and friends, BJ’s is your place.

Visit the Big Buck Brewery

A fun and a quick visit to the Big Buck Brewery while in Gaylord can be exciting.

They have some of the best beers that Michigan has to offer.

Experimenting with new types and blending the flavors of the old and the new, they have come up with brews of bolder tastes.

They also have a regular food menu with takeout options.

A quick tour of the brewery can give you an insight into how they have managed to keep the older traditions alive.

They also organize several events from time to time, and if you are lucky, you can also get a chance to be part of those events.

Shop at the Gaylord Farmer’s Market

When you are out to visit a new place, the one place that could give you the local feel is the farmer’s market.

If you are one of those tourists who like to mingle with the place’s locals, then you must visit the Gaylord’s Farmer’s Market.

The Farmer’s Market is a bustling place of people buying and selling vegetables, fruits, and other home-grown or homemade organic products.

The farmer’s market can give you the actual feel of the place.

Interacting with the locals while tracing your way through vendors selling fresh vegetables and fruits can be a very different yet exciting outdoor experience.

Enjoy a Quiet Sojourn in the Opal Lake Cabin

The Opal Lake Cabin is a log home that overlooks Opal Lake.

Opal Lake is one of the cleanest lakes in Northern Michigan.

It is the perfect place to get away from the city.

It has adequate lodging facilities complete with bedrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a huge deck with a grill.

The cabin offers a good collection of books to relax during the weekend.

By the lake is a canoe that you can use to glide across the lake and see the scenery around.

It has two mountain bikes with the required biking gears, and you can go mountain biking if you are up for it.

In the evening, you can relax on the outside porch and enjoy the firewood light under a quiet starry night.

A vacation to the cabin during the weekend by the sandy beaches of the lake can replenish your soul and give you a happy boost to carry on with life as it goes.

Work Your Mind at Escape the Cabin

Sometimes, a little brain work can be just the thing to relax and unwind after a long day.

Escape the Cabin is a fun and challenging escape room experience in downtown Gaylord.

The place offers two escape games—Jail Escape and Halloween Castle Escape—that offers different challenges and mechanics.

Players must use their problem-solving skills and teamwork to solve puzzles and beat the game within a set amount of time.

Escape the Cabin offers various game scenarios, each with unique challenges and puzzles, making it a fun team-building activity for families, friends, and co-workers.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and engaging way to spend your time, be sure to check out Escape the Cabin and get your brain working!

Refine Your Golf Game at Natural Golf Course

Enjoy the beautiful Michigan weather and play competitive golf at the Natural Golf Course.

Natural Golf Course is a beautiful and challenging 18-hole championship golf course located in one of the most scenic sites in Northern Michigan.

The course is set amidst natural beauty with rolling hills, towering trees, and pristine lakes serving as the backdrop.

Designed by renowned golf architect Jerry Matthews, Natural Golf Course offers a fun and rewarding golf experience for players of all skill levels.

So, if you feel like testing your golf game, check out Natural Golf Course and enjoy a great day of golfing.

Enjoy a Family Night Out at Gaylord Bowling Center

No activity gets the whole family together than a night at the bowling alley.

The Gaylord Bowling Center is among the most popular spots for a fun, affordable family night out.

This family-friendly bowling alley features 16 lanes and state-of-the-art automatic scoring.

There’s also a snack bar that serves all of your favorite comfort foods, including pizza, burgers, fries, and more.

Gaylord Bowling Center is great for spending a rainy day or a fun evening with friends or family.

Learn About Local Art at Gaylord Area Council For Arts

While not known for its art scene, Gaylord has some great art galleries and talented local artists that are worth checking out.

The Gaylord Area Council for Arts is the perfect place to learn about local art and meet talented artists from around the area.

The Gaylord Area Council For Arts is a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports the arts in Gaylord, Michigan.

The council sponsors a variety of arts events throughout the year, including art exhibitions, concerts, theater productions, and more.

The council also provides grants and scholarships to local artists and students and works to promote arts education in the community.

Shop for Unique Items at Old Spud Warehouse

If you’re looking to buy souvenirs to take home, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Old Spud Warehouse.

Old Spud Warehouse is a boutique housed in a historic building located in downtown Gaylord, Michigan.

Built in the early 1900s, the building was originally used to store potatoes for shipping.

Today, the Old Spud Warehouse is home to a vibrant boutique that sells a variety of bits and bobs that make perfect keepsakes and souvenirs.

They sell everything from home decor, fashionable clothing, quality furniture, antique items, and much more.

The building’s historic charm and unique architecture make it a popular destination for visitors to Gaylord.

So, if you’re looking for great souvenirs or unique items, stop by the Old Spud Warehouse!

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