Voyager Village – A Sort Of Golf Resort
By E. Nolan
I keep calling it a resort, no matter how many times Director of Golf and Assistant General Manager, Ryan Christopherson, tells me they don’t actually have lodging. Is it semantics if there are all sorts of cabins and houses around the property listed on VRBO and HomeAway? That’s how I first visited Voyager Village some five or six years ago, and that’s how I keep going back there. We find a place on a lake big enough to fit our family, with all the comforts of home but better views, and we book it for 3 to 5 nights. Then, while we sleep in that lake home each night, we basically live at Voyager Village during the day. That’s where the pool is at, the miniature golf course, the basketball and tennis courts. That’s where the food is at. And that’s where the golf is at – 27 holes of golf for that matter. Yes, Voyager Village for all intents and purposes is a golf resort. They just don’t have lodging on-site. Tom-A-to, Tom-Ah-to.
Voyager Village is technically located in Danbury, Wisconsin on Birch Island Lake and surrounded by several other lakes. Though they claim their 5,200-acre property to be “Northwest Wisconsin” it feels more like an extension of Minnesota, especially given that it’s only 100 miles from the Twin Cities, and Danbury is essentially ON the state line. Vacationers visiting Voyager Village from the Twin Cities can bulk up on trip bonuses to and from by making stops at Fawn Doe Rosa and Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls or Tobies Bakery in Hinckley, depending on your preference of route and age/interests of travel companions. I don’t say that because you won’t have enough to occupy your various senses at Voyager Village (you will), but because a great road trip has mini-detours worth checking out, and I’m always eager to share those!
Voyager Village celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year. “Celebrated” may not be the right word – COVID tempered the festivity a bit – but the “rain check” on that party is this year and (like many other popular resorts) they scarcely need to advertise their existence to stay packed. “We obviously wish a lot of things had been different last year,” Ryan acknowledges. “But with that slight lull we were able to repave our airstrip and add GPS to all of our golf carts.”
Let me pause there a second. In case you missed it, he mentioned the word “airstrip.” Voyager Village is unique among golf courses in Wisconsin with its assortment of amenities, but it is also unique in that people don’t just drive in from all over to play… they FLY in. The “airstrip” Ryan mentioned literally splits the golf course. For fun, on our last visit, my son waited until a plane was about to take off next to our tee box then bombed a drive parallel to its path as it lifted off. In case you’re curious, planes travel faster than golf balls.
Lest you think the airstrip is the primary highlight of a Voyager Village round, you’d be vastly mistaken. All three nines have an assortment of fun “signature” holes worth a picture and/or a replay.
Let me pause there another second. Yes, I said “all three nines.” Voyager Village has a championship 18 and a super fun 9-hole Par 3 course along the lake, perfect for families, gamblers, tiebreakers and ace-seekers (open to FootGolf and Fling Golf too). That’s 27 holes in all – all sorts of variety – perfect for every level of golfer. That’s why golf groups book out nearby houses (like we’ve done) and coordinate their events here. Voyager Village builds great 27-hole golf packages for those groups and has food/catering to complete the package.
Voyager’s Bar & Grill has one of the better dining menus within an hour in any direction, overlooks the golf course and runway (with a great patio), serves lunch and dinner and hosts events like Trivia Night, Ping-Pong tournaments, meat raffles and… they have a fabulous Sunday breakfast.
This place was built for golfers and their families (or families and their golfers). There are so many amenities and events planned for all ages through all seasons, from Arts & Crafts Fairs to Fall Fest, Easter Egg Hunts and more. There are biking and hiking trails, an indoor pool and fitness center, playgrounds, picnic areas and lakes/beaches just across the street. You can come up here to “just golf,” but if you want to do it right you come up here for the “resort plan” – to stay, play, eat and vacay for a few days.