Who says cold weather has to put a stop to all the fun happening here in the Great Lakes State? When snow arrives in full force, we Michiganders remain adventurous, and we’ll always be game for a fantastic winter getaway. When you’re searching for your next vacation destination, check out this list of cold weather spots throughout the Great Lakes State.
1. Crystal Mountain Resort (12500 Crystal Mountain Dr, Thompsonville)
You could spend weeks at Crystal Mountain and never experience all that it has to offer. No matter what your age, interest, or athletic ability, you’ll find something to enjoy at this one-of-a-kind resort and ski locale in Thompsonville. Hit the slopes when the snow is fresh, head into the spa for a massage, or enjoy a glass of wine at one of the resort’s on-site eateries. What’s not to love?
Step into a Bavarian wonderland when you make the journey to Frankenmuth, which charms visitors throughout the year. Marvel at unique architecture, get in the Christmas spirit with a trip to Bronners, do a bit of shopping downtown, and warm up with a tasty chicken dinner at Zehnder’s. You’ll feel right at home as soon as you arrive.
3. Traverse City
This beloved city frequently tops "must-visit" lists here in the Great Lakes State, and with good reason! There’s always something to do and see in Traverse City, whether you’re catching a movie at the State Theatre, splashing at Great Wolf Lodge, or dining on unimaginably delicious Italian fare at Trattoria Stella. With beautiful natural scenery and friendly folks, it’s hard not to enjoy a weekend getaway to Traverse City.
4. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
You’ve likely explored Sleeping Bear Dunes during the summer months, but this beautiful destination retains its charm when snow is on the ground as well. Book a room in Empire or another nearby community before venturing out to catch marvelous views of Lake Michigan in all its frozen glory. Be sure to bring your hiking boots and toasty gloves: you’ll want to do some exploring at this unique Michigan locale!
5. Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain Resort (One Boyne Mountain Rd, Boyne Falls)
In addition to skiing and all sorts of other outdoor activities suited for wintertime, Boyne Mountain offers the state’s largest indoor waterpark! Kiddos and adults alike will have a blast pretending it’s summertime as they make their way down swirling slides and relax in hot tubs. When you’re looking for a chance to escape the freezing temperatures without venturing down south, Boyne Mountain has you covered.
6. Grand Rapids
Michigan’s second-largest city is always bustling with activity, and there’s a certain charm to visiting during winter months. When you arrive in Grand Rapids, you’ll be overwhelmed by options. Get in touch with history at one of the city’s many museums, warm up with a pint or two at Founders or another local brewery, or catch some live music at 20 Monroe Live. This is the perfect winter getaway destination for those who prefer a taste of the city life.
7. Mackinac Island
Yes, Mackinac Island is still accessible during the winter months, and its streets are far less crowded during the off-season! Limited ferry service to the island typically runs through mid-January, and visitors will find plenty of opportunities to cozy up with loved ones before appreciating the quaint, calm atmosphere of the island during wintertime. Indulge in a few slices of fudge, catch marvelous views of the Straits of Mackinac, and appreciate the novelty of your what will feel like your own personal island.
8. Tahquamenon Falls State Park (One Boyne Mountain Rd, Boyne Falls)
If you’ve never experienced the beauty of a massive frozen waterfall, you simply must make your way to Tahquamenon Falls. When you’re searching for the ideal day trip destination, this one simply can’t be beat, and you’ll want to bring along a camera to capture the falls’ fascinating appearance. Michigan’s nature often forms a real-life winter wonderland, and you’ll be utterly charmed.
This lakeside town has all the charms of a quaint Michigan community, so why not stop in for a few days? With plenty of lodging options and a bustling array of activities to explore, we’re sure you’ll love your stay here. Holland’s downtown area even features heated sidewalks that melt away falling snow and ice, so you can stroll without ruining your favorite shoes! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, make the journey to Holland State Park and explore the frozen beach.
Make the journey far northward to Munising, which offers access to the beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Even during colder months, this area offers endless hiking trails and access to frozen waterfalls that will certainly take your breath away. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, calm getaway or a stunning outdoor excursion, you’ll find it during wintertime in Munising.
11. Castle In The Country Bed & Breakfast Inn (340 M-40, Allegan)
Searching for a romantic vacation with your sweetheart? Castle In The Country is one of Michigan’s most delightful bed and breakfast getaways, and you’ll find plenty to do here during the winter months. Stroll down one of the area’s delightful pathways after a light snowfall, curl up with a glass of wine in your beautifully decorated room, or take a dip in your Whirlpool Tub. You might almost forget that the weather outside is frightful!
Okay, Michiganders: we want to hear from you! Where are your favorite wintertime vacation destinations here in the Great Lakes State? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below, and safe travels this holiday season!