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11 Best Weekend Getaways in Michigan

Michigan is made up of two peninsulas, which creates some surprising and beautiful beach areas. Then there are some incredible skiing and other snowsport opportunities to check out in the winter. Here you’ll also find scenic drives, rugged paths, lush forests, and cultural attractions in the urban areas.

Its location in the U.S. makes Michigan an easy place to take a road trip and explore all the quaint towns you’ve never heard of before. No matter the season, here are Michigan’s top weekend getaway destinations for a quick break from routine and a new world of exploration.

Allegan Downtown Allegan
Credit: Downtown Allegan by David Wilson via Flickr


Allegan is an ideal weekend getaway in Western Michigan for outdoor lovers. The town is in the Allegan State Game Reserve, a haven for fishermen, boaters, hikers, and swimmers. It has a historic small-town charm, and one of the biggest county fairs in the entire U.S. occurs here. Visit the Allegan Farmers Market, catch a live music performance at the riverfront gazebo, or check out one of the Christmas events if you visit in December. The Allegan Antiques Market, Wild West Ranch, and Something Sweet is worth stopping by in town.

Tecumseh Tecumseh
Credit: Tecumseh by mytecumseh.org


Take a weekend trip to Tecumseh for another lovely example of small-town America. Here you’ll find a scenic landscape, historic homes, and a downtown shopping district that keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive. Tecumseh has been called the best-kept secret in Michigan, but now the secret is out! Festivals take place here, too, including an art walk in the spring and a harvest festival in the fall. There are several friendly B&Bs in Tecumseh, including the Chicago Street Suite and the Loft. Chicago Boulevard is a great place to take a walk and window shop. The suite is over the Daily Grind Sandwich Shoppe and sleeps up to five, while the loft sleeps three.

Frankenmuth Town of Frankenmuth
Credit: Town of Frankenmuth by Ken Lund via Flickr


Experience traditional Bavarian hospitality right here in Michigan! Frankenmuth is one of the top-rated destinations in Michigan, perfect for those looking to recharge and experience something different, even if only for a weekend. Families with kids enjoy the indoor water parks, foodies love sampling the German specialties, and everyone loves a good festival. Couples can take a horse-drawn carriage ride or a wine and chocolate boat tour to add a little romance to the weekend. Make sure to spend time at the Frankenmuth River Place Shops and do a tasting at St. Julian’s Winery. Plan to stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge when you’re in Frankenmuth, which has elegant European-themed guestrooms and the most prominent family fun center in any Midwest hotel.

Ann Arbor Ann Arbor
Credit: Ann Arbor by Dieon Roger/shutterstock.com

Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is best known for being a college town, but it’s also a great place to visit for people of all ages. You’ll find plenty of exciting and eccentric things, like visiting unique art galleries and festivals. There are many independent shops in town, gourmet restaurants, and lovely parks. Ann Arbor has many public art sculptures, including the Bookstore Mural, The Wave Field, The Cube, and fairy doors downtown. Plan to stay at the Bell Tower Hotel during your weekend getaway to Ann Arbor. It’s located downtown and within walking distance of shops, theaters, and restaurants. Complimentary continental breakfast and valet parking are included.

Mackinac Island View of Mackinac Island
Credit: View of Mackinac Island by bigstock.com

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is a place to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. The Victorian landscape here has withstood the test of time, and bicycles are the best way to get around. Sample some homemade fudge, visit Fort Mackinac, play around with water sports, or go horseback riding on Mackinac Island. One of the best places to stay here is the Grand Hotel, a third-generation, family-owned hotel that overlooks the water from the world’s most extended porch. Guests enjoy afternoon tea, nightly dancing, and uniquely decorated rooms.

Saugatuck Saugatuck ferry boat
Credit: Saugatuck ferry boat by Paul Wilkinson via Flickr


Saugatuck is sometimes referred to as the Art Coast of Michigan. This is where artists have flocked for many years because of its natural beauty with white beaches, grassy dunes, and incredible sunsets. One of the most fun things to do here is to go on a dune ride, which is excellent for the whole family. Make sure to spend time at Oval Beach, shop and dine on Butler Street, walk at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, and take in the views from Mount Baldhead Park. The Starlite Resort is recommended to stay in Saugatuck because of its retro-modern rooms and close location to downtown Saugatuck on the Blue Star Highway.

Bay City Morning Sunrise Over Michigan Harbor
Credit: Morning Sunrise Over Michigan Harbor by bigstock.com

Bay City

Bay City is a Michigan town at the base of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. This easy weekend getaway trip from Detroit is only about 90 minutes away. Historic 19th-century buildings are home to many antique shops, restaurants, and pubs. The Riverwalk Pier and Bay City State Recreation Area are beautiful places to spend weekend days. When you visit Bay City for the weekend, stay at the Historic Webster House. It was renovated in 2009 and is a lovely venue for an intimate wedding. There are just eight rooms and suites here, some with in-room Jacuzzis and an on-site spa and sauna room for relaxation.

Traverse City Traverse City theater
Credit: Traverse City theater by Paul Wilkinson via Flickr

Traverse City

Traverse City is located at the head of the Grand Traverse Bay and is a fun place to visit for couples and families any time of the year. There are miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan for relaxing, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is nearby too. This is an excellent place to visit for craft beverage lovers because there are many craft breweries and wineries in the Traverse City area. Chateau Chantal is a perfect accommodation pick for your weekend in Traverse City. It’s an old-world B&B stocked with fine wine and an ideal place for wine lovers.

Gaylord Downtown Gaylord
Credit: Downtown Gaylord by Dan Perry via Flickr


Gaylord is known as Michigan’s Alpine Village, and it has an Alpine-themed shopping district that’s quaint, clean and has lots to offer weekend visitors. The North Central State Trail runs from Gaylord to Mackinaw City and is perfect for hiking and biking. This is also an excellent destination for golfers because 15 championship-caliber golf courses are here. Stay at Benjamin’s Beaver Creek Resort when you visit Gaylord with your family. Onsite you’ll find a kids’ center, adventure golf, a giant waterslide, a fitness center, and a five-acre fishing lake.

Bay Harbor Bay Harbor view
Credit: Bay Harbor view by Lola Audu via Flickr

Bay Harbor

Bay Harbor is located within five miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline and is a favorite spot among vacationers. Here you can take a riding lesson at the Bay Harbor Equestrian Center, sail at the Bay Harbor Lake Marina, or play a game of golf at the Bay Harbor Golf Club. One good recommendation in Bay Harbor is to stay at the Inn at Bay Harbor, part of the Autograph Collection Hotels. On-site dining options are the Vintage Chophouse & Wine Bar for lunch and dinner, the Sagamore Room’s breakfast buffet, the Inn Café for light fare, and the Cabana Bar for poolside and cocktails.

Harbor Springs Harbor Springs
Credit: Harbor Springs by bigstock.com

Harbor Springs

Harbor Springs is a Michigan waterfront community on Little Traverse Bay with excellent watersport opportunities. Visitors come here in the summer for the wine festival and the watersports and in the fall for the vibrant foliage colors on a drive through the tunnel of trees. Winter offers snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, and spring brings cyclists for the Zoo-de-Mack ride. Boyne Highlands Resort is a top pick for places to stay in Harbor Springs if you plan to ski. The Main Lodge has an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, dining options, and some rooms are pet-friendly.

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