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

Last year, 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!

 

 

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.

10 Michigan Destinations to Visit This Veterans Day

This Nov. 11, veterans, families and friends will come together in Michigan, and across the nation, to honor those who served and remember those lost their lives in ceremonies as part of Veterans Day.

In anticipation of this annual day of remembrance, we put together a list of 10 veterans’ monuments and events in Michigan where ceremonies will take place

1. Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial – Traverse City

Located at Eleventh Street and Elmwood Avenue in Traverse City, the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial was dedicated Sept. 18, 2011. It’s overseen by the Grand Traverse Area Veteran Coalition. Additional events in Traverse City include markets of those killed in action displayed at the Open Space from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with names being read at noon.

Photo Courtesy of the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial

Photo Courtesy of the Grand Traverse Area Veterans Memorial

2. Fort Custer National Cemetery – Augusta

One of two national shrines in Michigan, the Fort Custer National Cemetery is located on Dickman Road in Augusta. Originally Camp Custer, it was named after Michigan native Gen. George Armstrong Custer in 1917 for soldiers in World War I. It was designated as a national cemetery in 1981. For more information, call (269) 731-4164.

3. Veterans Memorial Park – Grand Rapids

Dedicated in 1926, the park includes several pillars that were erected in honor of those who served in multiple conflicts. The memorial is located at 101 E. Fulton in Grand Rapids. For more information, contact Grand Rapids City Hall at (616) 456-3000.

4. Plainwell Veterans Memorial

Located in Sherwood Park in Plainwell, the memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day in 2009. This year’s ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Nov. 16. For more information, call Plainwell City Hall at (269) 685-6821.

5. Veterans Memorial Park – Muskegon

Located on the M. Causeway of M-120 in Muskegon, Veteran’s Memorial Park is located on the Muskegon River. The memorial includes a walkway for visitors to observe memorials and plaques in honor of area veterans. For more information, contact Muskegon City Hall at (231) 724-6724.

6. Brighton Veterans Memorial

Including a plaque honoring veterans that was installed in Brighton in the 1950s, the memorial has been redesigned in recent years. It is located on Main Street in Brighton. For more information, go to www.brightonveteransmemorial.info.

Photo Courtesy of the Brighton Veterans Memorial

Photo Courtesy of the Brighton Veterans Memorial

7. Great Lakes National Cemetery – Holly

Veterans, families and the general public are invited to attend a Veterans Day ceremony at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. The cemetery is home to one of one of two national shrines in Michigan. The ceremony starts at 11 a.m. The cemetery is located at 4200 Belford Road in Holly.

8. Escanaba Park – Grand Haven

Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased to Grand Haven, the park is home to a memorial for the U.S. Coast Guard. The park was originally known as Kelly Park, but was renamed in in 1949 to Escanaba Memorial Park in commemoration of the loss of the USCGC Escanaba and 101 men when the ship sank in 1943.

9. Korean Memorial and Vietnam Memorial at Island Park – Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant, like many other communities, is home to many veterans. Of particular note is the Vietnam Memorial at Island Park, which was the first in the state to honor those who fought in Vietnam. These two memorials are a great way to honor veterans when visiting Mid-Michigan.

10. Withington Park – Jackson

Photo Courtesy of Mart Beth Kline-Stutzman

Photo Courtesy of Mart Beth Kline-Stutzman

Featuring the sculpture Defense of the Flag, Withington Park in Jackson is named after Gen. William H. Withington. The sculpture honors the 3,282 men of the Michigan Volunteer Infantry regiments who he commanded. The sculpture is also known as Jackson County Soldiers or Sailors Monument.

Many other Michigan communities pay tribute to our nation’s veterans and fallen soldiers. Consider a visit to the veteran’s park in Charlevoix, veterans statue in Port Huron, unknown soldier sculpture in Alpena, Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ypsilanti or one of the numerous monuments on the State Capitol lawn in Lansing.

Which of these destinations will you visit this Veterans Day?