Weekend Getaways in Michigan

Introduction to weekend getaways in Michigan

It might not be the first getaway destination on everyone’s mind, but the Great Lake State is definitely worth considering. The many attractions, no less than 12,000 inland lakes, fascinating cities, and the largest US coastline outside of Alaska are just some of the draws.

  • Upper Peninsula: a mostly rural area that is being developed touristically, sometimes to the dismay of the local Michiganders. Home to no less than three National Forests.
  • Northern Michigan: across the Mackinac Bridge from the Upper Peninsula, very popular for any outdoor activity like fishing, golfing and sun bathing (albeit only in summer).
  • Central Michigan: home of the state’s capital Lansing and the Saginaw, Midland and Bay City Tri-Cities.
  • West Michigan: the shoreline of Lake Michigan is its best feature, as there are beach towns abound. One peculiar subregion west of Grand Rapids features a unique Dutch heritage, so if you are into tulips and wooden shoes, get your fix here.
  • Southeast Michigan: Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan and its Wolverines, is a laidback student city. Further to the east, the city of Detroit is the true grim but fascinating destination for anyone interested in cars, Motown music, or big city intricacies.
Michigan beaches are wonderful for weekend getaways

Michigan beaches are wonderful for weekend getaways

Michigan is a year round getaway destination, with ski resorts bustling in winter, and the beaches of Lake Michigan filled to the brim in summer. Spring makes an exceptionally good time for road trips, as does the fall, when the turning leaves lead to a truly spectacular view.

Lovely romantic getaways in Michigan

As a state of true natural beauty, it is no surprise the Great Lake State offers many romantic weekend getaways. The sand dunes, lighthouses, lakes and other landmarks form the perfect backdrop for weekend getaways for couples in Michigan. There are so many wonderful spots to spend with your loved one, that we are just providing a small sampling here:

  • Beautiful sunsets on the Keweenah Peninsula, especially at Copper Harbor. Another perfect viewpoint to watch the sun go down is the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan.
  • The Mackinac Bridge when the sun comes up, best viewed from Straits State Park, which also offers great lodging.
  • For the city dwellers, see the sun set in the Detroit River along the Detroit Riverwalk.

Rest assured that you will have no trouble looking for anniversary getaways in Michigan. The list of beautiful hotels and B&Bs is extensive. Some of the places below offer very nice packages during the different seasons, so make sure to check what they have on offer:

  • The Riverfront Hotel in Grand Rapids, a great base for exploring the Lake Michigan coastline, the Dutch heritage region and the town of Holland.
  • The Chelsea Comfort Inn and Village in Ann Arbor has special deals with local golf courses, so be sure to take a look. The college town itself is great for foodies as well, with many modern and hip restaurants.
  • If you like to take a gamble look no further than the MGM Grand Detroit, which has every table game on the planet and thousands of slots to choose from.
  • A great romantic place is the Fenn Valley Vineyards & Wine Cellar. Owned by a small family, it is open to visitors year round. Saugatuck is only a stone’s throw away.

Check out some of the romantic cabin getaways in Michigan as well. With all the state’s National Forests, there is almost too much to choose from.

Mackinac Harbor in the north of Michigan

Mackinac Harbor in the north of Michigan

Fun family getaways in Michigan

The Great Lake State caters to everyone, not in the last place to the youngest ones. Bring your family and experience all the great indoors and outdoors that Michigan has to offer. Some of our favorites include:

  • Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: a wonderful place for children ages 10 and under, the educational experience is centralized by allowing kids to roam and explore. Not to be missed.
  • Treetops Resort, Gaylord: sure, the three different golf courses with no less than 81 holes will keep you swinging for awhile, but your kids can really have their day at the award winning children’s center. Also offers fine dining and a gym.
  • The sleigh ride combined with elk-viewing at Thunder Bay Golf & RV Resort, situated in Hillman, will blow your kids away.
  • Visit the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, with fun exhibitions especially designed for children. And while you are near, why not visit the Detroit Zoo?
  • Do not miss out on Traverse City, a unique town with many fun indoor and outdoor activities, including paddling, sailing, fishing and swimming.
  • Aforementioned Holland and its Dutch Village is a fun day trip for the whole family. The Tulip Time Festival with concerts, Dutch treats, clog dancing and much more starts at the beginning of May.

A special mention goes to the Michigan lakes, which offer more entertainment than you shake a stick at. Take a glass-bottom boat tour, visit the USS Silversides near Muskegon, or just do what the Michiganders themselves do best: jump right in!

The Detroit Renaissance Center is a must see

The Detroit Renaissance Center is a must see

Other ideas for weekend getaways in Michigan

We are sure you are full of ideas and excited to plan your trip to Michigan. For those specifically looking for cheap getaways in Michigan, we can recommend the State Parks. Inexpensive cabins on the beach are available every summer. Another way to save is booking a family bicycling tour. Wolverine Village offers very good options for cabin getaways in Michigan, with 3-person cabins going at $65, while the huge 12-person cabins will only set you back $200.

In addition to cabins, campgrounds in itself are easy to find, and especially the ones to the North almost never fill up entirely, so you will not have to worry about finding a good spot for your RV or tent. The relative remoteness of the North provides a very laid-back old school atmosphere which works better for a lot of people we have spoken to. Pastry shops and honest diners and drive-ins abound, instead of the regular franchises you find everywhere these days. 

On the other side of the budget spectrum, those with more to spend will find no problem doing so. Spa getaways in Michigan are very popular, and more and more high end places are popping up. Some of the spas that we had recommended to us:

  • Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville: they offer additional packages like the Murder Mystery Dinner, massages and Chef Night.
  • Michigan Wine Country is littered with spas, and the combination with wine and champagne tasting is second to none.
  • One of the best bang-for-buck packages we have come across is the Relaxing Massage Escape at the Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant in Petoskey. Two nights in a beautiful cottage room with breakfast, massage and complete pampering come included!

In conclusion, Michigan is a wonderful place to visit, never matter if you are on your own, with your partner or with family in tow. We think the Great Lake State is one of the best kept secrets in the country. Spend your next getaway among the Michiganders and we are sure you will agree!

Make sure to check back to this page often, as we will be expanding with fresh tips and destinations. If you have a great Michigan getaway idea, please get in touch!

Planning an overseas trip? Check out our guide to traveling Europe on a budget here.

About the author

Steve