Cure Your Cabin Fever! Five Reasons to Take a Vacation Day and Head Outside

According to the U.S. Travel Association, U.S. workers only use 77 percent of their paid time off, resulting in nearly 169 million forfeited vacation days and $52.4 billion in lost benefits! Luckily, PTO days can be used any time during the year, and a quick winter trip is sure to cure any cold-weather blues. Here are six reasons to use those vacation days and explore what a winter day in Pure Michigan has to offer.

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1. There’s plenty of fresh powder! 

With more than 51 ski areas, 260 chairlifts, 1,000 runs, 50 terrain parks and an annual snowfall of more than 100 inches, Michigan offers some of the best ski and snowboarding slopes you can find in the Midwest. In-state resorts like Boyne Mountain Resort and Crystal Mountain are perfect for weekend away to shred some fresh powder or even take your very first lesson. Many resorts offer tubing and sledding fun, too!

2. Wineries are less crowded in the winter.

Take a winter winery tour! Many think that all Michigan wineries hibernate during the winter season, but some stay open all year long  for you to enjoy! One popular winter activity among foodies is to warm up with a glass of wine/small bites from a trio of wineries along a 7.5-mile ski and snowshoe path on the Leelanau Peninsula. The only question is, do you prefer red or white?

3. Trying something new can be thrilling!

Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is a wild winter adventure. The hot breath of the huskie pack fogs the crisp winter air as they pull you with focused determination across the glistening landscape. Imagine you’re racing against another team, over the same frozen terrain that explorers did long ago! Dog sledding is a fun activity for the whole family and can create memories that last a lifetime.

Iceclimbing

Ice Climbing
One of winter’s newest silent sports, Ice climbing, combines challenge and adventure. With ropes and harnesses, ascend stunning icefalls, cliffs and rock slabs, all waiting to be conquered. Swing your axe into the ice, hold on tight and inch your way up the frozen ladder. Be one of the first people to know to say you climbed a frozen waterfall!

Ice Luge
Did you know that one of lonely three luge tracks in the United States can be found right here in Michigan? Located near the shores of Lake Michigan in the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, you’ll be able to fly down the track just like the winter Olympians do.

4. There’s always time for quality time.

Photo courtesy of Zehnder's

Photo courtesy of Zehnder’s

Romantic Getaways
Sweep your sweetie away on a romantic getaway. You don’t have to go far to find a perfect weekend getaway with that special someone in your life. Some romantic packages include champagne dinners, in-room Jacuzzi’s and wine tastings while others let you relax with spa treatments or special in-room amenities. There’s no wrong choice when surprising a loved one with a romantic getaway in Michigan.

Family Fun
If you’re experiencing some cabin fever, we bet the kids are too! Family-friendly waterparks can be found all over the state, just waiting to wash away the norm. Whether you splash in the shallows with the little ones, or race each other for bragging rights down the twisting water slides, nothing brings families closer together than a Pure Michigan water park adventure. 

Ice Fishing5. The fish still bite during the winter. 

During the winter, Michigan’s four Great Lakes, more than 11,000 inland lakes and hundreds of rivers and streams provide anglers with the perfect location to ice fish for bluegill, perch, pike and walleye. Whether you’re a master angler or don’t quite know your way around a reel yet, fishing in Michigan is fun for everyone. Make sure to mark Free Fishing Weekend (Feb.14-15) on your calendar and check out our Winter Angler’s Ultimate Packing List before hitting the ice!

How would you spend a winter day off in Pure Michigan? Share your photos enjoying the snow using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday.

Five Ways to Stay Active and Hydrated This Winter (Plus a Giveaway from Absopure!)

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New Absopure Pure Michigan Winter Packaging

To celebrate the winter season and their new Pure Michigan packaging, Absopure shares five fun ways you can stay active and hydrated while making warm memories with your family this season. Plus, learn how you can win a Northern Michigan Winter Getaway to Boyne Mountain from Absopure. To enter for your chance to win, visit the Absopure (un)Filtered blog.

It’s no secret that Michigan has some of the best summer vacation spots in the country, but there’s something about a fresh blanket of snow that transforms our great state into a winter wonderland. But just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you have to hibernate at home.

Here at Absopure, we’re passionate about empowering others to lead healthy, active lifestyles year round. Whether you enjoy shredding the slopes, snowshoeing across the countryside or dancing on ice, there are plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy the season.

Here are five fun ways to stay active and create warm family memories this winter.

Hit the slopes
Home to some of the Midwest’s best ski resorts, Northern Michigan provides a steady stream of snowfall and fresh white powder for skiers and snowboarders alike. Ranked second in the nation for the total number of ski areas, Michigan’s ski slopes are great for any skill level. Boyne Mountain is no exception. Whether you’re a beginner or a black diamond pro, Boyne Mountain has plenty of fresh powder and a variety of terrains to match anyone’s abilities. You can even try your hand at other fun outdoor activities, like tubing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and even snowshoeing, while you’re there.

Go sledding
You don’t have to spend big bucks to have fun on the slopes. Sledding can be just as fun and is an activity the entire family can enjoy! Similar to sledding, snow tubing has become a popular winter pastime for Michigan residents. If you’re looking for the perfect sledding hill, look no further! Pure Michigan has your ultimate guide to the best sledding and snow tubing hills.

Ride the trails
Have a need for speed? With more than 6,500 groomed trails, Michigan has one of the most extensive systems of interconnected snowmobiling trails in the country. Grayling alone has more than 300 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails that wind through rolling hills and vast forests. So the next time you decide to go for a ride, take the path less traveled and feel the rush of cold winter air against your face as you race through Michigan’s snowmobiling trails.

Lace up your skates
Whether you pick up a game of pond hockey or visit one of Michigan’s many outdoor skating rinks, it’s time to lace up your skates and get moving. Ice-skating can be a great way for the entire family to have fun and stay in shape.

Absopure-Northern-Michigan-Winter-Getaway-BoyneCross-country skiing
If you’re not afraid of the cold and ready for a good full-body workout, cross-country skiing might be your thing. It might not be easy, but it’ll get your adrenalin pumping and work your arms, core and legs at the same time. Plus, you’ll enjoy scenic views of Michigan’s spectacular snow-covered landscape—a sight that only comes once a year.

As you’re out enjoying all that our great state has to offer this winter, remember to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated during the winter months is just as important as it is during the dog days of summer. Even if you’re not feeling thirsty, make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body running its best.

Win a trip to Boyne Mountain! 

Create your own Pure Michigan adventure this winter! Visit the Absopure (un)Filtered blog for your chance to win a Northern Michigan Winter Getaway to Boyne Mountain. Complete with a Ski, Stay and Splash Package for a family of four, including two night’s lodging in the Clock Tower Lodge at Boyne Mountain Resort with breakfast, two-day unlimited lift tickets for four, plus two-day waterpark passes to Avalanche Bay, Michigan’s largest and best indoor waterpark, the winner will experience and enjoy all that Northern Michigan’s winter wonderland has to offer.

How do you stay active and what activities does your family enjoy on a Pure Michigan Snow Day? Share your photos enjoying the snow using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday.

The Winter Angler’s Ultimate Packing List

In what seems like the blink of an eye, snow and ice have transformed Michigan into a winter angler’s dream. Despite the cold, the fishing stays hot in Pure Michigan as ice fisherman ready their tackle boxes for this timeless Michigan fishing tradition.  

IceFishing1In celebration of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Free Fishing Weekend February 14-15, 2015, we’ve put together this handy packing list to ensure a successful day of fishing.

Don’t forget to check out the Pure Michigan store for items that will help you keep warm on and off the ice!

What to pack

Many Michiganders know how to handle the cold, but knowing how to dress for long hours on ice may not be so easy. Since you’ll be spending some quality time outdoors, consider layering up with these tips.

A hat, pair of gloves and jacket might seem obvious to pack, but there’s a lot more that can keep you comfortable when ice fishing. Consider layering with long underwear as a base under fleece and a windbreaker. Add some thermal socks and a scarf to stay toasty. Don’t forget to pick up a pair of boots specifically made for the cold, too!

One thing to avoid when layering up is cotton. No matter how cold the weather is, wearing layers causes sweating. There’s nothing worse than being damp on the ice as cotton clothes absorb and hold onto moisture.

What to bring on the ice

AugerWhen it comes to fishing, everyone has their own strategy – and that definitely applies when you’re about to head onto the frozen lake! Whether you choose to sit in a shanty or simply an overturned paint bucket, don’t forget these essentials to avoid being frosty.

Imagine you’re bundled up, bait in hand, walking out to that perfect spot on the ice. And then it hits you – your pole is sitting at home! With all the planning it takes to get ready for a day of ice fishing, sometimes even the most obvious things can be forgotten.

Remember to grab your fishing pole, bait, auger and something to sit on so you don’t freeze to the ice. If you’re heading out any other time but free fishing weekend, make sure you have your fishing license in hand, too.

The little things

OntheIceWhether you’re a perennial ice-fisher or this winter will be your first time, we’re willing to guess you’ll be spending more than just a few minutes trying to catch that prized fish. If you are committing a day, or even a few hours, to drop a line, don’t forget these small necessities to keep you safe and happy.

Remember to bring a few bottles of water to keep you hydrated (in a place they won’t freeze!), snacks to give you energy and your cell phone – in case anything goes wrong.  You’ll also want a camera ready when you reel in that monster under the ice.

When ice fishing, a few small items can make or break a trip. Remember to dress right, be safe and have fun when drilling into another Pure Michigan winter adventure. For more ice fishing tips, check out this post from the Michigan DNR.

What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day? Share your photos enjoying the snow and ice using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday.