Looking for a change of scenery? That’s exactly what I was after when I recently escaped to Sand Valley, the storied Top 100 Golf destination resort situated in central Wisconsin. This is the first winter the property has been open to guests during the off-season, and it’s official: Sand Valley is the ultimate four-season Midwest getaway.
Upon its 2017 debut, the resort quickly became a fan favorite among golfers. Co-owners Michael and Chris Keiser (sons of developer Mike Keiser of Bandon Dunes and Cabot Links fame) tapped Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to create its first course tucked among the area’s incredible sand dunes. Today, the property boasts an award-winning golf experience, with two Coore & Crenshaw–designed courses and a third, Mammoth Dunes, by David McLay Kidd.
Wintertime visitors can enjoy wide open spaces as well as supreme seclusion thanks to private four- and eight-bed cottages thoughtfully sprinkled across the property. Sand Valley’s idyllic 10,000 acres of quiet natural beauty along with miles of trails make it the perfect playground for outdoor winter activities like hiking, sledding, skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat tire biking and even ice-fishing.
Located just a few hours’ drive from the Twin Cities near the city of Nekoosa, the resort sits on the former site of an ancient glacial lake that covered much of central Wisconsin. Around 16,000 BC, the ice dam protecting that 150-foot-deep lake burst, causing a massive flood event that emptied the entire body of water in just two days. That act of nature created what is now the Wisconsin Dells and left behind an exposed sandy lakebed that over time blew into the 80-foot-high dunes and valleys that make up the scenic vistas of the aptly named Sand Valley.
“We’re incredibly excited to introduce guests to the raw beauty and unique landscape of central Wisconsin throughout all four seasons,” Chris Keiser says. “This year more than ever, people are looking for a safe way to escape with their family and loved ones. With a plethora of outdoor adventures to explore and a cozy indoor setting with roaring fires, we feel that we’re well-positioned and prepared to give guests that perfect Midwest getaway.”
Sand Valley’s well-appointed private cottages let guests luxuriate in utter solitude and relax in a plush, tranquil setting complete with panoramic natural views and amenities like full kitchens, cozy fireplaces, outdoor fire pits and more. Those full kitchens mean you can bring in your own groceries and make your own meals or even request curated meal kits using local ingredients and recipes. Don’t feel like cooking? No problem — the nourishing farm-to-table fare from onsite eatery Aldo’s Farm & Table (named after renowned American environmentalist and prominent Wisconsinite Aldo Leopold) can be delivered right to your doorstep day and night. And dog lovers can bring the whole family for some much-needed R&R thanks to the resort’s pet-friendly accommodations.
With its expansive natural landscape, secluded accommodations and plethora of outdoor activities, Sand Valley is ideal for a winter weekend escape, whether that’s a family excursion, a romantic retreat or a solo creative stay in inspired surroundings. What has for years been known as one of the Midwest’s premier golf destinations has officially established itself as the ultimate four-season getaway.