Weekend Getaways in Michigan: Eight Top Spots

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Eight Perfect Weekend Getaways in Michigan

If you live or near Michigan, the call of the wild is hard to ignore, so were sharing eight perfect weekend getaways in Michigan. Surrounded by so much beauty, its only natural to want to escape for a weekend to one of the amazing vacation destinations our state offers!

From dramatic shorelines towering above wild surf to quaint small towns to scenic islands, Michigan is full of fun places to explore.

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Weekend Getaways in Michigan: Our Favorite Spots

We’ve curated a list of our favorite vacation ideas in Michigan, a list of top weekend getaways and vacation destinations, including some Michigan hotels worth staying at if you’re planning overnight trips.

Whether you’re planning a spring or summer trip, a fall color tour weekend or a winter getaway, we’ve got a spot for you.

Read on to discover our favorite spots for your BEST Michigan weekend getaway.

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Petoskey

Petoskey easily ranks among the greatest getaways in Michigan.

Arriving in town feels like a whole new world as the sight of Little Traverse Bay, with Petoskey and Bay Harbor on the shore opposite Harbor Springs, comes into view.

As far as Michigan vacations go, you can’t go wrong with Petoskey if you’re looking for family fun or a romantic weekend alone.

Being a northern Michigan town, the charm and beauty of Petoskey in all seasons is stunning and there is plenty to do in the area.

Summer is perfect for exploring the town’s Gaslight District where the shopping and dining experience is independent and unique.

Take a walk along the beaches in search of Petoskey Stones, or find a trail to hike along or race a fat tire bike through.

Winter is just as exciting in Petoskey as the warm summer months. The nearby Boyne Falls is home to Boyne Mountain, a favorite ski destination. The Boyne Highlands Resort is one of the most favored ski resorts in Michigan.

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You can also explore nearby Charlevoix, also known as “Charlevoix the Beautiful.”

This charming community is just a short drive from Petoskey and offers both a lovely downtown shopping area and stunning Lake Michigan beaches. No matter what time of the year, Charlevoix is always a beautiful spot to visit. Discover the best things to do in this charming northern Lake Michigan resort town.

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Traverse City MI

Situated on the sparkling blue waters of the Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is the perfect pure Michigan trip any time of year.

In Traverse City there is plenty to do, including an abundance of outdoor activity options where the best views of Grand Traverse Bay can be discovered.

Festivals mark the calendar for summer in Traverse City, including the National Cherry Festival and the Traverse City Film Festival.

There’s still plenty of winter activity options in the area too, such as skiing at nearby Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.

Wineries dot the Old Mission Peninsula, including the well-known and well-loved wineries like Black Star Farms and the magnificent castle in the country known as Chateau Chantal.

Any wine lover should consider adding this to their list of must-visit getaway destinations.

Sleeping bear dunes overlook is one of the top things to do in Michigan Sleeping bear dunes overlook is one of the top things to do in Michigan Sleeping Bear Dunes Overlook

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Dramatic sand dunes overlooking a sparkling, blue Lake Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the country’s most beautiful spots. learn more about the magic of the dunes here.

A day trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is another must-do during a northwestern Michigan weekend getaway.

The bluffs at Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan build to immense heights, creating sand dunes unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Sleeping Bear is perhaps the most iconic Michigan beach of all, and it’s well worth the trip.

See pictured rocks national lakeshore, one of the things to do in michigan See pictured rocks national lakeshore, one of the things to do in michigan Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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Pictured Rocks

Let’s get one thing straight: the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in northern Michigan’s Alger County is not just one of Michigan’s greatest treasures, it’s one of the most picturesque spots in the United States.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is home to the most stunning rock formations in Michigan.

This National Lakeshore covers a stretch of the Lake Superior coast on the Upper Peninsula and is home to year-round activity that beckons travelers from all over.

Kayaking along the rock formations or hiking trails is popular during the warm months, but as the landscape freezes over, people visit for the ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and ice caves that form in northern Michigan’s intense winters.

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Discover Tahquamenon Falls

Explore the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls and take in the natural beauty of this scenic wonder in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

While you’re exploring the UP, taking a detour to see Tahquamenon Falls is a must.

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Tahquamenon Falls State Park is home to one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, making it a marvel of Michigan’s natural landscape, much like Pictured Rocks.

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Port Austin

The Lake Huron coast often goes underrated and underappreciated, but don’t be fooled by it’s underrepresentation, Port Austin proves the magnificence of Lake Huron.

Port Austin is a jewel of the Great Lakes Bay Region at the tip of Michigan’s thumb along at the mouth of the Saginaw Bay and is one of the best getaway destinations on the Lake Huron coast.

The quaint town of Port Austin has plenty to offer visitors. This romantic getaway in Michigan has plenty of activities and sights that any couple would love.

Horseback riding is a popular activity among tourists and there are plenty of sights to see, including a couple of historic lighthouses and the unique rock formation called Turnip Rock.

Kayaking along the waters of Lake Huron to reach Turnip Rock is a great way to spend your time in Port Austin, and for an added bonus, head down scenic M-25 to the summer resort town of Caseville.

The best part of visiting this charming town? It’s just about a two-hour drive from metro Detroit.

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Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids MI has everything you could want from a big city in a compact, easily navigable community.

From outdoors recreation to art installations, music, and other tourist attractions, the largest city in west Michigan has it all, conveniently close to downtown.

Between the abundance of local and international artists showcased here and the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids proves itself as a creative hub with plenty of artistic spirit.

Spirits and craft beers are also flowing throughout GR at their variety of breweries.

West Michigan is a beer haven, with breweries dotted throughout, but Grand Rapids has plenty of the favorite Michigan beers at places like Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Atwater Brewing Co., or Founders conveniently within the city.

The proximity to the Lake Michigan coast is also a massive bonus. If the city becomes a bit too overwhelming, take a day trip to one of the charming Lake Michigan coastal towns like Grand Haven or South Haven.

University of Michigan Campus in Ann Arbor Michigan University of Michigan Campus in Ann Arbor Michigan

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Ann Arbor

Among Michigan’s unique cities is Ann Arbor. With an abundance of cultural attractions and the massive University of Michigan driving the city’s spirit, there is so much to do and see here.

It’s convenient location, within an hour of Detroit, makes Ann Arbor a perfect day trip for anyone in southeast Michigan. Much like other big cities, the shopping and restaurant scene is incredible.

Local boutiques and restaurants line the streets with plenty of variety and diversity around every corner.

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Look into the Zingerman’s community of businesses or discover something totally new while exploring the city.

Ann Arbor’s hip atmosphere with youthful energy will inspire you. This artistic community is home to a fantastic art museum on U of M’s campus and in the summer the Ann Arbor Art Fair brings artists from all over to show and sell their one-of-a-kind wares.

No matter what interests you, Ann Arbor has something for everyone, making it a perfect place to spend a day.

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Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is one of the most unique destinations in Michigan.

While there are plenty of activities to do and sights to see year-round in Frankenmuth, the winter months are particularly popular.

Frankenmuth is undoubtedly the Christmas capital of Michigan, and a visit during the Christmas season makes for quite the romantic getaway.

If you plan on making your visit a weekend trip, consider staying at one of Frankenmuth’s charming hotels. Be sure and have a world-famous chicken dinner, too.

Hotels like the Bavarian Inn or Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel offer fun for the whole family with plenty of amenities, but the charm of smaller hotels like the Drury Inn or the Marv Herzog Hotel simply can’t be beat.

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Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is the quintessential weekend getaway in Michigan.

From the charm of a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Mackinac, to the fun of biking all around the island, Mackinaw is both the perfect Michigan family vacation and one of the most romantic weekend getaways in the state.

Offering sophisticated opulence at the Grand Hotel or the quaint charm of a bed and breakfast, the island has more lodging options than you may know.

Explore the island by bike, carriage, horseback, or even kayaks and boats to see all of the beauty Mackinac Island has to offer.

From natural wonders like Arch Rock to historic forts and Victorian style architecture.

Shopping and restaurants in downtown Mackinac contribute to the cute and charming vibe of the whole island, offering tourist treats and souvenirs without losing the heart of what makes Mackinac Island special.

Mackinac isn’t the only island in northern Michigan, though. Consider exploring other islands while you’re in the area, such as Beaver Island or Round Island.

If you take a trip to Mackinac Island, use our guide to the best places to stay on Mackinac Island.

Explore the beauty of Mackinac, Michigan’s Island gem. Learn more about this charming spot and plan your visit to Mackinac Island now.

About the Author Bella DiMascio is a Content Editor for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland and later attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in English: Writing. Creative writing has been a hobby and interest of Bella’s since she was in elementary school and she is thrilled to be using her talents to highlight the Great Lakes State. Outside of writing, Bella enjoys getting outside with her two Australian Shepherds, playing video games, and binging shows on Netflix.

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