The Redwood Motor Lodge (3111 N. U.S. 23, Oscoda, 989/739-2021, $54–127 d) offers both standard motel rooms as well as cottages near Lake Huron.
Also on Lake Huron, the Rest-All Inn (4270 N. U.S. 23, Oscoda, 989/739-8822, www.restallinn-oscoda.com , $59–109 d) has clean motel rooms (some with microwaves and refrigerators), a beach, and a playground.
In West Branch , stay at the LogHaven Bed, Breakfast, and Barn (1550 McGregor Rd., 989/685-3527, www.loghavenbbb.com ), where you’ll find comfortable rooms, private baths, hearty country-style breakfasts, and a place to stable horses. It’s a perfect home base for exploring the area’s hiking, horseback-riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing trails.
Michigan’s state parks offer consistently good campgrounds. Tawas Point State Park  (686 Tawas Beach Rd., East Tawas, 989/362-5041, state park vehicle permit required, $27) is no exception, with 210 campsites and a large sand beach.
Order up a homemade brew at Wiltse’s Brew Pub and Family Restaurant (5606 N. F-41, Oscoda, 989/739-2231, www.wiltsebrewpub.com , 8 a.m.–12:30 a.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun., $12–27) to wash down the chicken dishes and steaks cut to order.
While you won’t find any gourmet hideaways in the area, restaurants offer good, stick-to-the-ribs food in generous portions. They tend to be family-style, including Genie’s Fine Foods (601 W. Bay, 989/362-5913), a lakefront spot that serves up a country-style breakfast and a gluttonous evening buffet. Champs Food and Spirits (444 W. Lake St., Tawas City, 989/362-8080, 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily, $7–18) offers steaks, seafood, and lighter fare with fine views of Tawas Bay.