We recently stayed at the Oakwood Resort in Syracuse, Indiana and had an amazing time! We were looking for a ‘getaway’ from home for a few days that was kid friendly, but with some fun perks for mom and dad as well. Oakwood definitely checked both of those boxes!
The drive was pretty easy – about 2 and half hours north from Indianapolis (would be about the same distance from Chicago). The resort is waterfront on Lake Wawasee and has it’s own private beach. The lake is massive – has about 25 miles of shoreline and is the largest natural lake in Indiana.
We booked a lake side King suite room, but there are many other options. The room was spacious, clean, and was more than enough room for three of us. Upon entering the room there was a breakfast nook complete with table, chairs, and a beautiful lake view. Past this was a huge living room with tall windows and again, a great view of the lake. Perfect for a morning cup of coffee and the sunrise!
Our bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was again, more than big enough for three of us. The bathtub was Eloise approved as well!
A quick elevator ride to the main floor and a few steps out the back of the hotel is its own private beach. There are chairs to lounge in the sun or under a tree, a fire pit, some games, and canoes for the hotel guests to use throughout their stay.
While not a huge stretch of sand, it was perfect for Eloise to build sand castles, dip her toes in the water, and watch tons of boats and jet skis go by. We did venture out in a canoe – which she really liked until she realized that she was a little too far away from the shore! We had forgotten a life-jacket, and were on our way into town to buy one, but the front desk has plenty for you to borrow if needed.
A 2 minute walk from this beach is the hotel’s restaurant: the Pier and Back Porch. Tons of boats pull in and out of this small cove – you can tell the residents of the lake love this spot for a drink, food, happy hour, and just to meet up with friends. There is a large outdoor patio with plenty of shade (or sun) – whatever you prefer. There’s also a huge indoor portion of the restaurant with a full bar and lots of space.
Everything we ate here was great! They have salads and sandwiches, steaks, fish, burgers, sushi, and some really fun appetizers. We’d recommend the Wawasee Shrimp to share. It’s breaded popcorn shrimp tossed in a spicy mayo. So good! They have a fun beer list, good wine, and some good cocktails as well. Bryan recommends the rum punch!
Between the restaurant and the beach is a corner of grass with benches, lounge seats and a gazebo overlooking the lake. I’m relaxed now just thinking about how peaceful this spot was after dinner to sit and watch the lake, sunset, and appreciate how beautiful of a spot this is.
(Tip: make reservations at the restaurant! It’s a happening spot and table started filling up around 5:30pm).
Eloise’s romper linked HERE
We didn’t venture out a ton as most of what you need is at the hotel – especially if you’re only there for a few days. We took a drive around the lake and were impressed at the gorgeous homes, fun restaurants, golf courses, and really relaxed vibe.
We made it to Joe’s for ice cream which was probably the highlight of Eloise’s trip. It’s about a 5 minute drive from the hotel and absolutely worth the trip. It’s an old school, walk up to the window and order, ice cream parlour. Believe me when I tell you, everything that comes out of that window looks absolutely incredible. Eloise ate every bite of her vanilla soft serve and asked for ice cream for days after we left. I’ll vouch for her – it was really, really good and a fun atmosphere – really reminded me of being a kid during the summer – just having an ice cream on a picnic bench and being beyond content.
To summarize – we’d highly recommend this place as a very relaxing getaway that is kid friendly and fun for the adults as well. We did not rent a boat or jet skis, or go fishing but you absolutely could – there are several places to rent equipment, and have a blast. The resort also has houses that are part of their property for rent – check the website as they have several different options.
See you soon Oakwood! We had an amazing time and will be back soon to enjoy your amazing property!