111 Pine River Ln.
Charlevoix Michigan 49720United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Built by a local-hero architect Earl Young, the fieldstone Weathervane Terrace Inn overlooks Lake Michigan in the heart of Charlevoix.
The Weathervane Terrace Inn, built in the mid-1960s by renowned Charlevoix stonemason and architect Earl Young, is a historic motor lodge that's half fairy-tale castle and half old-school motel. Tucked between Round Lake and Lake Michigan, its waterfront location is outstanding, and those lucky enough to have balcony rooms can sip a cool beverage while watching the bright orange sun do an NBA dunk into the water. Rooms here are affordable (from $77), but the savings comes from a sacrifice in room-quality. Although our room was clean, the decor (in particular, the dubiously tiled ceiling in the bathroom) felt a bit tired. The beds are comfortable, and the chairs spacious and well upholstered, but amenities are limited. The televisions, hung too high on the wall, invite neck craning. Of course, most people don't come to a busy beach town like Charlevoix to hide in their rooms, so maybe that's why they haven't bothered to update. People do come to Charlevoix to see the architecture of Earl Young, however, and this is one of the few public places to do it. His signature rustic style is in on display in the motel's lobby, where an enormous freeform fireplace, composed of local stones, dominates the room, and guests can sit around a swirling, oversize wood coffee table. Visitors also come to Charlevoix to soak up the harbor-town atmosphere, and the Weathervane Terrace Inn offers one of the best spots in town for that: a kidney-shape pool perched above the town's main drag. It's a perfect vantage point for watching the boats traveling on the channel between Round Lake's busy harbor and Lake Michigan. The daily Continental breakfast is simple but efficient, and the bright dining room invites an easy banter amid the guests; the adjacent Weathervane restaurant, though not officially affiliated with the motel, is a great, convenient place to grab a meal.