There are so many ways that a weekend getaway in Michigan can evolve into one of the most memorable getaways of your life. From the old Victorian charm on Mackinac Island, where life runs at a slower pace, to the breathtaking excitement of running on the sand dunes in the summer along Lake Michigan and the urban revival of Detroit, every Michigan experience is unique. You can enjoy a themed weekend based on food or aquatic adventures, or make your plans by location to explore a place you may have never been before. From the historic allure of Jackson to the sports and adrenaline scene in Ann Arbor, here are some of the top weekend getaways in Michigan:
1 Traverse City
The attraction of Traverse City in every season is that it makes the perfect road trip. Spend your weekend wandering the back roads, and stop at a sidewalk cafe. Take a picnic lunch and head to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where you can experience one of northern Michigan’s favorite pastimes, climbing the sand dunes. Spend your afternoon walking the Lake Michigan shoreline and enjoy the many species of wildlife that call the area home. Take a day to go up to Leelanau Peninsulaor the Old Mission Peninsula and visit the Mission Point Lighthouse. The peninsula extends 16 miles into Grand Traverse Bay and boasts some of Michigan’s most vibrantly colored trees in the fall. Traverse City is perfect for a couple’s getaway, a solo retreat to indulge in farm-to-table delicacies, or a family getaway where you can stay at a resort like Great Wolf Lodge and take advantage of activities that both kids and parents enjoy.
3 Grand Rapids
To satisfy your artsy side, plan a themed weekend getaway in Grand Rapids, where the public art, music, and food set a creative mood. In the evenings, check out the diverse music scene with more than 100 live music options. Round out your Grand Rapid arts weekend by experiencing some of the creative culinary dishes at one of hundreds of local restaurants that focus on farm-to-table meals along the Grand Rapids Food Trail. For extra savings, you can pick up a three-day Culture Pass GR with savings to seven attractions in the area. Settle in for the weekend at the elegant and artistic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel that features iron and wood sculptures and décor throughout. It sets the scene for your artistic getaway as you explore the three art museums in Grand Rapids, including the incredible Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and peruse the public art in the city.
5 Ann Arbor
Your quest for a more active weekend getaway should steer you to Ann Arbor, where sports and culture reign supreme. The University of Michigan is closely intertwined in the community, offering museums in archaeology and art, theater and music, and of course, athletic events. To complement your themed weekend, plan a stay at the Graduate Ann Arbor, located across from the University of Michigan in downtown Ann Arbor, where the collegiate décor and tone will make you feel like a college student again. Customize your sports and culture weekend with the menu of options at U-of-M and spend a day downtown perusing the galleries and boutiques featuring an array of art forms. For an added treat, plan your trip during the annual Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, which takes place every summer.
6 Mackinac Island
8 Port Huron
9 Bay City
Spend a weekend on the water in Bay City, Michigan where everything from dining to recreation includes an aquatic element to take advantage of the area’s most prized attraction – the freshwater Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. This waterfront city awaits you with an invite to step on board Bay City Boat Lines for an excursion on the water. You can take a tour by boat or book a dinner on board for a sunset cruise or stargazer cruise. To extend your time on the water, plan a trip on board BaySail’s Appledore Tall Ships, where you can enjoy an unforgettable sailing experience and also contribute to the company’s conservation efforts for the Saginaw Bay and the Great Lakes. When you are ready for some things to do land, try out the Sunrise Pedal Trolley, where you will meet several new friends on your getaway, and don’t forget to enjoy the fresh seafood at the waterfront restaurants.
If you have not been to Detroit lately then you have not seen the vibrant transformation of the Motor City, worthy of an action-packed weekend getaway. Your urban excursion starts with the cultural side of Detroit with visits to The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, the Motown Museum, and the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. Then, spend some time at the famous year-round Eastern Market in downtown Detroit. You can visit on your own or take an organized tour of the district by foot or on bike. Enjoy the local vendors, artists, culinary expressions, and the history of the neighborhood. Spend another day as a local and take in a Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park and enjoy a famous Detroit Coney dog. You can get a D Discount Pass for discounts to major tourist attractions in the city.
If your weekend getaway is about scenic views or photography, then you will want to spend your time in Munising, which is one of the most picturesque areas in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Your weekend will be filled with unscripted visits to Pictured Rocks, Hiawatha National Forest, Horseshoe Falls, and Laughing Whitefish Falls. You will want to plot your day trips before you go to be sure and capture as many scenic spots in one area as possible. For a spectacular winter getaway, plan your trip around the Munising Ice Fest, which brings in nearly 1,000 ice climbers to the area to climb the ice walls that form on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
A weekend away in Mohawk Michigan can be both outdoor adventure and history combined. The area is defined by its mining roots with the Mohawk Mining Company that settled here in the late 19th century. You can spend part of your getaway exploring this unique part of the Upper Peninsula with a mine tour at the Delaware Copper Mines and visiting the Central Mine Museum. For some outdoor activity in the area, spend the second part of your trip on nearby Mount Bohemia, where you can hit ski slopes in the winter and spend a day hiking, biking, and kayaking in the summer.