Five Michigan Honeymoon Getaways That Won’t Disappoint

Photo by Andrejka Photography

Photo by Andrejka Photography

Did you know that February is National Weddings Month? You plan and prep for months and months, but once the big day is over and you’ve said your ‘I do’s,’ it’s time to unwind and spend some quality time with your other half. Michigan’s sandy beaches, dramatic waterscapes, romantic sunsets and small town charm make the perfect backdrop for a perfect honeymoon.

These five Pure Michigan honeymoon getaway ideas won’t break the bank and certainly won’t disappoint!

1. Mackinac Island

Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island. Photo by Julie Christiansen

Grand Hotel – Mackinac Island. Photo by Julie Christiansen

There is no place quite like Mackinac Island. Enjoy a relaxed vacation on the island where everything moves a little slower (No cars are allowed!). Whether you travel by horse and buggy, bicycle or foot, you’ll take in beautiful scenery surrounded by water. Immerse yourself in a quaint downtown atmosphere, shopping and all of the fudge you can possibly eat. Complete your honeymoon getaway by staying at the famous Grand Hotel or choose from the multiple unique bed and breakfasts around the island.

2. Traverse City

Traverse City is a four season travel destination, you can choose between winter and summer sports galore. In the winter, there are plenty of opportunities for your favorite winter sports. In the summer, climb mountains of sand at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which will provide breathtaking views seen from the dunes and forest. After all of the exercise you deserve to enjoy some delicious eats. Dining in Traverse City will be a culinary journey with plenty of restaurants for sampling amazing food and Michigan craft beer. Round out your trip and toast to your new life together with some romantic wine tasting on the Leelanau Peninsula. 

3. Michigan’s Gold Coast

Michael Johnson Grand haven

Grand Haven Sunset. Photo by Michael Johnson

From Saugatuck to Holland and Grand Haven to Silver Lake Sand Dunes, you can’t go wrong on 3,000 miles of sandy shoreline.  

Named one of  USA Today’s Best Summer Weekend Escapes, Saugatuck’s grassy dunes, white sand beaches, unique shops, fine dining and exquisite lodging lure visitors from far and wide. This beachtown has maintained the charm of small-town rural America and is the perfect place for a easygoing getaway with your sweetie.

Holland is a small, historic town with so much to offer. Take a stroll on the cobblestone sidewalks or a bike ride on the scenic lakeshore. Ride your horse to the finish on an antique carousel. Watch windmill blades pinwheel through the sky. This is a perfect option for a low-key honeymoon where you just want to enjoy each others company. Here, you’ll fall in love with Holland and each other all over again.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Photo by Jennifer Lilienthal.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Photo by Jennifer Lilienthal.

One of Michigan’s featured beachtowns and a renaissance city, Grand Haven has become a beacon for those looking for simplicity and natural beauty. From its roots as a highly commercial port-of-call for ferries and passenger liners, Grand Haven has evolved to become a place of serene enjoyment, hosting lively outdoor recreation, a thriving downtown, history, culture and festivals on the shores of Lake Michigan and the Grand River. Grand Haven is also home to the world’s largest musical fountain, boardwalk, beautiful beaches, lighthouses, historic downtown, and more.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a beach paradise! Nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan and Silver Lake you’ll find massive sand dunes, beach buggies—with the only sand dunes in Michigan where you can drive your own ORV—and miles of pristine shoreline beaches designed for pure fun. Spend the morning on the dunes, the afternoon in the water and finish your day in one of the dunes’ charming villages for a relaxing dinner at a locally owned restaurant.

Lover's Leap at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo by Dave Duchaine

Lover’s Leap at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo by Dave Duchaine

4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

If you want an experience you will never forget, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the place to go. Multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, streams, forests and wildlife comprise this scenic area on Lake Superior. Activities include sightseeing, camping, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, fishing, picnicking and boating. For the more adventurous couple, paddling is one of the best ways to see this magnificent shoreline. Take a photo together at Lover’s Leap to truly capture the moment.

5. Michigan Resorts

Nothing sets the stage for a luxurious vacation quite like a Michigan resort. From shopping to fine dining, luxurious spas to beautiful mornings along fairways, Michigan resorts have it all. Here you can relax, have fun and live it up. A five-star night in one of Michigan’s resorts can be a honeymooner’s dream come true. Challenge your sweetie to a round of golf on one of many championship golf courses throughout the state. You won’t want to miss this elegant, yet rustic getaway.

Where in Michigan would you go on your dream getaway? For more on popular Michigan attractions and destinations, visit michigan.org/hot-spots.

Try to Pronounce the Names of 9 More Tongue-Twisting Michigan Destinations

A few months ago, we challenged our fans to pronounce the names of 12 cities within the state that could be considered Michigan tongue-twisters. Since our fans didn’t break a sweat, we’re taking the gloves (or mittens) off and offering another challenge.

Can you correctly pronounce the names of these nine unique cities and towns in Michigan? Test your skills below!

Ocqueoc River Falls - Photo by Patti Potts

Ocqueoc Falls – Photo by Patti Potts

1. Ocqueoc Township
Ocqueoc is home to the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula. In addition to the falls, there is access to the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway, which includes loop lengths from six miles to three miles where you’re free to hike, cross country ski or bike. “Ah-key-ock” is the perfect place to get lost and explore the beautiful nature of Pure Michigan.

2. Ontonagon
Ontonagon County on the south shore of Lake Superior includes the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park , created in 1945. Famous locations in the park include the Lake of the Clouds, one of the most scenic spots in all of Michigan and Summit Peak Observation Tower, one of the highest points in found in the state. For history buffs, there are self-guided trails to old mining sites on the Union Mine Scenic Trail, and the Nonesuch Mine location. A trip to “On-ten-ogg-en” should be on every Michiganders bucket list!

3. Quanicassee
For fishing enthusiasts, a trip to “Qua-kna-ca-see” might be a Michigan angler’s paradise. You might catch walleye, perch or bass or even have northern pike, sunfish or catfish tugging at your line. Camping and boating options are available all along Saginaw Bay, from Bay City west of Quanicassee to Unionville heading east from the town. Check out charters and fishing guides also operate on these waters!

Michigan Iron Industry Museum

Michigan Iron Industry Museum

4. Negaunee
The discovery of iron ore by an exploratory mining party near the shore of Teal Lake in 1844 launched the birth of of “Ne-gaw-nee”. Native Americans who had long resided in and traversed the area led the explorers to the massive outcropping of ore. Their heritage lives on in the name of Negaunee, which means “pioneer” in Chippewa. Consider visiting the Michigan Iron Industry Museum and explore the first iron forge in the Lake Superior Region.

5. Sebewaing
“See-ba-wing” is a perfect summer destination as it annually hosts the Michigan Sugar Festival in June. The village features a marina, County Park, museums, shops, restaurants and bed and breakfast accommodations, among much more. Sebewaing is a great place for a weekend excursion and is known for great walleye fishing, too!

6. Onekama
In 1845, Adam Stronach built a lumber mill on the channel between Lake Michigan and Portage Lake. “Oh-neck-a-mah” (the Native American name for Portage) was settled and soon had two major railroads; the Manistee and the Northwestern. Today, the village consists of many prospering businesses including restaurants, lodging facilities, retail stores and a marina. The Historic Portage Point Inn along with other Victorian style cottages offer a glimpse back in time when tourism first started and this great resort town was developed.

Naubinway, MI - Photo by Edward Shotwell

Naubinway, MI – Photo by Edward Shotwell

7. Naubinway
Here’s an easy one. Naubinway, or “naw-bin-way”, is the northernmost community on Lake Michigan’s shoreline and the largest commercial fishing port on the Great Lakes in the Upper Peninsula.  A unique treat for visitors is the chance to purchase fish caught locally, buying the fish directly off the dock. The Native American name Naubinway means Places of Echoes. Pack up the van and spend a weekend at Hog Island Point State Forest!

8. Onondaga Township
The small town of “on-on-dah-gah” is located near Lansing in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The township and community were named after the Iroquois nation of Onondaga, historically based in New York. A post office was first established at the place about 1844, with Perez Howland as the first postmaster. In 1847 Perez Howland built a grocery, where the post office was operated out of. Today, Onondaga offers man home-town restaurants and taverns for visitors to enjoy.  If you’re looking for something sweet, check out Balzer Blueberries of Onondaga, a U-Pick Pure Michigan treat!

Charlevoix - Photo by Alan Leese

Charlevoix – Photo by Alan Leese

9. Clio
Clee-oh? Cly-oh?  Clio, pronounced “Cli-oh”, is located near the northern border of Genesee County. The area functions as an adjunct community to the greater Flint area and has a significant amount of manufacturing and small businesses. If you’re looking for a place to unwind, visit Buell Lake County Park and drop in a line!

Too easy? Give these a try: Charlevoix, Fort Gratiot, Kewadin, Bois Blanc, Ponshewaing, MenonaquaTopinabee

How many of these could you name without missing a beat? Let us know below! For more information on unique Michigan cities and attractions across the state, visit Michigan.org.

Calling All Parents! Combat Cabin Fever With These Family Fun Activities

Has your family come down with a case of cabin fever? When you can’t brave the elements for a Pure Michigan snow day, there are plenty of other exciting ways to beat the winter blahs. Get the kids out of the house with these fun indoor activities that are sure to put a spring back in their step.  For more indoor family fun, visit michigan.org

Swim, Bounce, Play and Create

Michigan Waterparks

With a number of indoor water parks right here in our state, there’s no need to travel far far to make a splash! Make it a day trip or a full weekend getaway. Indoor waterparks in Michigan include the Fairview Beachfront Inn & Waterpark in Mackinaw City, The Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark in Frankenmuth, Soaring Eagle Water Park and Hotel in Mount Pleasant and others.

See what kids have to say about their Pure Michigan waterpark adventures in the video below.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park – Multiple Locations

This is a reason to jump for joy; Sky Zone Trampoline Park is high energy family fun! Their goal is to promote fun fitness while flying through the air. The parks offer open jump, a SkySlam court to test your basketball skills, SkyRobics fitness classes, ultimate dodge ball and a foam zone. Sky Zone is a safe and fun way to use up all of that stored energy. Jumps times start every 30 minutes.

Glow Golf – Multiple Locations

Practice for summertime putt-putt with a glow-in-the-dark twist! Enjoy 18 holes of miniature golf that will truly test your putting ability. Aim for a hole-in-one with just the glow lighting leading you through the course. Some courses also offer laser tag for an even bigger interactive challenge.

Paint a Pot – Holland

Cater to your creative side and pick out a piece of pottery to make all your own. This is a fun activity to do with kids when you only have a short amount of time. Once you have your piece, pick out the paint colors and get creative. The process is very simple and the atmosphere is inviting. It’s art therapy for every age! Paint a Pot is located in Holland, with other similar attractions located throughout the state.

Animal Lovers

Bat Zone – Bloomfield Hills                              

Take a personal, behind the scenes tour with a bat expert at the Bat Zone. You will experience bats in flight, flying squirrels, owls, a two toed sloth and the largest species of bat in the world. The tour themes change each season so you are able to learn more throughout the year. Also, don’t miss your chance to get a glimpse of a T- Rex and spend some time learning at the Cranbrook Institute of Science Museum.

Photo courtesy of SEA LIFE

Photo courtesy of SEA LIFE

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium – Auburn Hills

The Sea Life Aquarium located at Great Lakes Crossing Mall will transport your family to an underwater experience they won’t forget. Come nose to nose with sharks, walk under the underwater ocean tunnel and encounter more than 5,000 creatures. You can even hold a crab or touch a sea star in their Touchpool Experience. Enjoy fun talks and feed shows throughout the day. Make a day of it by eating at the Rainforest Café or stopping at Jeepers! for arcade games and mini rollercoasters.

Great Lakes Zoological Society – Ann Arbor

This is a conservation-oriented zoo and rescue center. The center houses a 5,000 square foot indoor exhibit area focusing on reptiles and amphibians, as well as birds and invertebrates. There are over 90 animals and over 60 species from around the world.

Learning and Discovery

Michigan Museums

Keep your family’s curiosity alive. A visit to Michigan’s art, science and history museums can bring a richer appreciation for the world around us.  With over 400 museums in Michigan, one may be closer than you think. Children’s museums like the Grand Rapids’ Childrens Museum or Ann Arbor Hands On Museum are educational but also hands-on, which can be fun for both children and their parents.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Detroit is home to a number of world class museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts, which features over 100 galleries with art from ancient to modern times, as well as The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn. The Henry Ford boasts four one-of-a-kind attractions, 200 acres including Greenfield Village (closed during the winter season) and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, that will bring you through the ages. Notable treasures such as John F. Kennedy’s Limousine, Rosa Parks bus, and Abraham Lincoln’s chair, plus experiences such as Model T Rides and an assembly plant walking tour make your visit to The Henry Ford truly unique. The Henry Ford offers a glimpse inside centuries of American life with hand-on activities for the kids throughout!

If you ever catch yourself looking up at the stars, searching for the big dipper or just gazing into space, Longway Planetarium  and Sloan Museum in Flint offers the largest indoor star gazing facility in Michigan!  The shows last for about an hour where you will be transported to a sky full of stars, while an expert gives you an astronomy lesson.  You can also explore the Sloan Museum which features exhibits for all ages. This winter, check out Videotopia, an exhibit on the art, science and history of video games!

Candy Tours 

ohmylilliIs your sweet tooth calling? Indulge in some comfort food while experiencing how some of Michigan’s sweet sugar confections are made.  Oh My Lolli in Brighton lets you  behind-the-scenes.  Get a personalized tour through the production experience – from the molten candy to the folding and rolling, and finally to the finished product! Don’t forget to grab a lollipop of your own for the car ride home.

Morley Candy Makers in Clinton Township is the place where Sanders chocolate and desserts are created. Morley Candy Makers free factory tour is perfect the family and available Monday through Friday. The journey begins with the story of chocolate, how chocolate is made and how Sanders and Morley Candy Makers got their start in Detroit. Observe Michigan’s largest candy maker create delicious treats in the 100 foot observation walkway, enjoy a chocolate sample and visit the unique candy shop to put the finishing touch on your visit.

What indoor activities do you and your family like to do during the winter months?