Mountain top dining is popular at ski resorts in the west. But, there are a handful of resorts scattered around the Heartland that offer distinctive mountain top dining experiences as well.
At the top (no pun intended), is Aonach Mor Moonlight Dinner on top of Boyne Highland’s North Peak. The mountain top lodge is set aglow by candlelight and an acoustic guitarist plays softly in the background. Dinners are available on Saturday nights during January, February and early March for $72 per person, plus a 20-percent gratuity. Included is a 15-minute sleigh ride up to the lodge and back.
The beautiful lodge has wall-to-wall windows and high pine ceilings. White linen covered tables and a crackling fire greet diners. On clear nights you can see the lights of the Mackinac Bridge about 30 miles away, which joins Michigan’s two peninsulas.
At Shanty Creek, we have the Lakeview Restaurant and Lounge at the top of the Summit Slopes. It offers incredible sunset views over Lake Bellaire and, at night, skiers and riders romp on the slopes below. Executive Chef Michel Newton and his staff serve innovative regional fare, Michigan’s finest craft beers and award-winning homemade desserts. Dinner is served nightly.
Hanging on around the Great Lakes, Indianhead Mountain, an upside-down resort with its village and lodging on top of the mountain, offers the newly renovated Sky Bar & Grille and Lodge Restaurant. Sunset views stretch as far as the eye can see over an endless forest all the way to Lake Superior, which can be seen as a glint on the horizon. The Lodge is located in an authentic swayback barn that was part of the original homestead dating to the 1930s. It is only open weekends.
Along Minnesota’s North Shore is Lutsen Mountains’ and Papa Charlie’s Nightclub, which overlooks Moose Mountain, the Poplar River valley, Eagle Mountain and Lake Superior. It’s located in the mountain village on Eagle. A laid back atmosphere, it’s considered one of the top music venues north of the Twin Cities and also one of the top restaurants along the North Shore. Before the music heats up enjoy dinner as the sun sets behind the surrounding mountain tops.
Overlooking another body of water is Chestnut Mountain’s and Sunset Grille where the dining experience and the view are equally spectacular. Perched high on a bluff above North America’s largest river, the mighty Mississippi, the view stretches across three states, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and the upper Mississippi River Valley. Ski slopes look like they might run into the river, and sunsets are spectacular.
These five resorts offer dining experiences a mountaintop away from the every day.
Photos: Top -- Aonach Mor at Boyne Highlands offers a moonlight dinner (Boyne Highlands); Left -- Sunset Grille at Chestnut Mountain overlooks three states (Chestnut Mountain/Facebook); Below: Papa Charlie's overlooking Moose Mountain at Lutsen and is a top music venue (Lutsen Mountains/Facebook)