Whether you've got a three-day weekend coming up that you want to take advantage of or you're looking for a getaway from Ann Arbor, we have some suggestions to make the most of your weekend trip.
There is no place better for a perfect weekend getaway than Petoskey. Located in the northwest of Lower Michigan and on Little Traverse Bay the conditions are always ideal for snow bunnies who need their fix in the winter months. There are three ski areas that combined offer more than 160 downhill ski runs as well as cross-country ski trails and snowboarding courses. Resorts like the Inn at Bay Harbor in Boyne make it comfortable and easy to focus on one recreational area during your trip and return to comfortable dining and resort amenities after a day on the slopes. Your other option is to tackle a different a ski area each day of your trip at Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and Nub's Nob.
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.
There's no comparison to the nostalgia and slower pace of Mackinac Island for a weekend away. Sleep in and enjoy a leisurely walk to breakfast along the waterfront. Take a bike ride along the paved paths around the island and stop to rest in an Adirondack chair for a quiet moment to just listen to the birds and feel the breeze coming off Lake Huron. Plan a visit to tour the historic Fort Mackinac and go for tea at the Grand Hotel to see the famous movie backdrop of Somewhere in Time. This majestic hotel is a commanding sight as you take the ferry to the island; it's like a time capsule back to an 1800s kind of vacation.
The quaint town of Port Huron is a quiet retreat situated on the St. Clair River, ideal for a getaway weekend or one themed with nautical history. Walk the streets of the historic downtown district and visit the small shops and restaurants renovated from old buildings. Be sure to walk along the boardwalk at sunset or to catch a freighter going by during the day. Spend an afternoon or two visiting the museums in town that chronicle the history of the area, like the Huron Lightship, the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, and the Port Huron Museum. For an added touch of nautical historical flare, book a waterfront-view room at the luxury Huron House Bed and Breakfast.
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.