USA Michigan Lake Leelanau Empire Listing #76513

Wilce Cottage - Empire, MI

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8 reviews
Max. occupancy: 6 2 Queen Bed, 1 Sofa Bed 2 bedrooms 1 bathroom 1 dog max 
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Charming vintage cottage close to beach, walkable village & Sleeping Bear Dunes

Welcome to charming Wilce Cottage, built in the late 1890s, just about the time the Village of Empire was incorporated. This family- and dog-friendly home sits just three blocks from Empire’s public beach, which offers spectacular views of both the Empire Bluffs, which you can visit via the Bluff Trail to the south, and Sleeping Bear's massive sand dunes to the north.

Inside the cottage, you’ll find a homey, vintage atmosphere with all the modern conveniences. Use the full kitchen (no dishwasher) to whip up meals for the group, and serve them in the adjacent dining room, which seats six. The cozy living room features several spots to gather, including comfortable couches and armchairs, perfect for a night in streaming your favorite shows on the flatscreen TV. If you’re looking for more together time, there’s a chess board and lots of board games on hand, and a foosball table downstairs. The Wilce Cottage is powered by fourteen grid-connected solar panels located on the south side of the garage and operating through Consumers Energy utility.

When it’s time to explore, the walkable Village of Empire features a few well-appointed shops, art galleries, antique shops, a tavern, and a newly renovated public library. Grab the empty root beer growler sitting on the shelf in the bathroom “pantry” and take it to Joe’s Friendly Tavern or Empire Village Pizza to be filled with homemade tap root beer for $5, then visit Grocer’s Daughter, a specialty chocolate shop on M-22 with lots of treats and delicious hot cocoa. The newly renovated Glen Lake Public Library, a block from the cottage, offers a temporary library card for $10, which enables you to check out books and rent videos for $1 each.

Empire is surrounded by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the park’s visitor's center is located just three blocks from the cottage. Featuring several interpretive displays, it’s a great jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the park. Two mountain bikes are also available for guests who want to explore on two wheels. With a charming interior, cute, walkable village, and outdoor pursuits galore, the only thing missing from the perfect Empire getaway is you.


You must be 21 years or older to rent this property.



Children's games

Common areas

Game room


Washer/dryer : Private

Heating & cooling

Central AC
Partial AC

House rules


Kitchen & dining








DVD library

DVD player

Wireless router

Netflix streaming

Nearby activities & attractions

Golf nearby

On-site activities

Adult bikes

Board games

Foosball table


Beach chairs

8 reviews

John B. Oct 2022
A really nice cottage that’s the perfect get away. Beds are comfortable, plenty of room and the location in Empire is excellent.
Brian M. Aug 2022
The town is nice and the house is decent however one whole night was spent exterminating bats from the premises. A job I was not paid for which basically cost me a night of vacation.

Additionally, the basement including the pictured game room is in bad need of a dehumidifier. It might not completely remove the musty smell but it would sure help. Kinda suprised this simple feature has not been implemented long ago.

The place seemed clean including the furniture and linens. A bat was in the oven/stove so just keep that in mind.

My daughter loved the books including a llama llama she did not have. And she actually wasnt super afraid of the bats. She keeps telling people that the bats were watching tv with us and they go "flutter flutter".

Location is great.
Manager response:
Thank you for your review, Brian. We apologize for the experience you had and appreciate you reaching out for assistance. We thank you for your suggestions and feedback and passed it to the owner to make the necessary adjustments for the future. Thank you!
Joe L. Jul 2022
Perfect location, lots of hot water, and a great cottage for a family getaway. Perfect cottage for enjoying the Empire area.
Joy B. Jul 2022
We love staying in Empire, MI. We were within walking distance to trails, shops, restaurants and the beach. Great location.
Katherine G. Jul 2022
This house was perfect for a family gathering. The bedrooms were comfortable and the whole house was clean and well-furnished. The living room is spacious and great for gathering with family and friends. There is a shelf full of board games and books. We especially appreciate the basket of kids' books.
Dan and Ginny L. Jun 2022
We loved everything about the cottage and the charming village of Empire. It’s a perfect place to stay with the family while enjoying Sleeping Bear Dunes. The house was equipped with everything we needed and it provided us with a cozy place to relax between outings. The WiFi worked well for my son who had to work. We loved making family memories sharing meals and playing games in a home where it’s obvious that generations have done so before us. This place has lovely energy.