5 Indoor Staycation Destinations Around Michigan

Going on vacation is an incredible way to recharge. Studies suggest that taking a vacation is good for your health and can help boost your happiness, particularly when it’s cold outside.  While weeklong getaways to far-away destinations are popular, Michigan offers incredible staycation destinations that aren’t too far from home. If you need some ideas to get started, we’ve put together a few suggestions for your own Pure Michigan staycation.


Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth has a ton of attractions that are appealing to all ages. Bring your family and stay at the Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark. It offers great accommodations and suites perfect for larger groups. The waterpark  is mid-Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark and has over 50,000 sq. ft. of aquatic fun. There is no shortage of activities for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the pool area, Mushroom Grille concession area and locker rooms, the new Atrium Waterpark includes: A six story family raft ride, action river, The Super Loop – a thrilling 6-story speed slide, zero entry pool with water geysers, water basketball, private family cabanas and large family hot tub.

Even if you don’t enjoy the water, there are still  activities to partake in such as the expanded arcade with games that will keep you and your family entertained for hours.  If you’re more concerned about what food is available, fret not. Eat your fill with traditional All You Can Eat Family Style Chicken dinners at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth or visit the Marketplace for delectable goodies. Z Chef’s Café, located in the Marketplace, offers a unique dining experience as well.


MGM Grand Detroit

For the adults looking to get away, step inside MGM Grand Detroit for a whole new world of gaming and luxurious accommodations. There are over 90 table games and 4,500 of the latest slots and video poker to choose from. It’s easy to get recharged by staying in one of the 400 luxury rooms and suites. For restaurant fare, there is no shortage of options. Three signature restaurants from Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina provide an upscale experience. Add to that their creative new tapas concept, Palette Dining Studio, and a quick serve area, Breeze, and you’ll never be tired of the food.

For those who want to relax and rejuvenate, IMMERSE Spa is a great way to unwind after a long day of fun. There is even a personal spa concierge who can help you design a custom body treatment! If you decide to stay at MGM Grand, don’t forget to go out and explore Detroit! There are many must-see destinations such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Campus Martius and the Charles H. Wright Museum.

greatwold lodge

Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City

Take a trip to Traverse City with your family and have blast at Great Wolf Lodge! There are many accommodation options including suites with whirlpools or even a KidKamp suite, which includes a private tent for your children to enjoy. Of course, you can’t visit Great Wolf Lodge without splashing in the waterpark! With over 38,000 square feet of splash-loaded rides, slides and pools you’re sure to find a favorite. It features eight waterslides, five unique pools, a multi-story interactive tree house, and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket.

However, there are even more fun activities on land. Grab a wand and battle a dragon in MagiQuest or get an ice cream-themed manicure at Scooops Kid Spa before gathering your family in the Grand Lobby for nightly fireside Story Time. There’s plenty for the adults too with a full-service Spa, fitness room, and plenty of shopping and dining options like Camp Critter Bar & Grille or indulge in pizza at Hungry As A Wolf.

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark on Boyne Mountain


Your trip wouldn’t be complete without playing in the arcade with over 50 games and a redemption counter providing awesome prizes. After you’ve worked up an appetite grab a quick bite at the Snack Shack or fill up with a full menu at the Apres Ski Pub, both located inside the park.  And if you don’t mind the cold, Boyne Mountain is an excellent skiing location.Even further north is Avalanche Bay!It is the largest indoor waterpark in Michigan offering huge amounts of water fun no matter your age.

Centrally located at the heart of Boyne Mountain Resort, this waterpark is always 84 degrees and open all year ’round, making it the perfect vacation destination. Avalanche Bay features six exciting water slides, including the park’s newest thrill, The Big Couloir – a ProSlide SuperLOOP with the steepest drop in the industry, as well as a Rip Zone surf simulator, Splasherhorn Mountain interactive play structure, lazy river, children’s pool, relaxing hot tubs, and many other unique waterpark attractions.

Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire

Shanty Creek Resort has activities all year for any season. During the spring and summer, you can play 72 holes of championship golf on four different courses. Right now in winter though, it’s the time to ski! Shanty Creek has 53 ski runs on two mountains, Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain, along with 30km of cross-country skiing, a 6-lane alpine tubing park, winter sleigh rides, and Michigan’s most awarded terrain parks. You can also bike or hike in the resort’s 4,500 acres or explore the single track of nearby Glacial Hills trail system.

There are over 400 lodging choices including hotel guest rooms, suites, condos and private rental homes so you are sure to find the right fit! There are other amenities available for the whole family to enjoy including indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and wellness spa, tennis courts, and now FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf.

What staycation destinations did we miss? Tell us below!

Seven Pure Michigan Travel Resolutions for 2016

After a great 2015, the New Year in Pure Michigan is well under way! As we look forward to the many events, fairs and festivals that will happen across Pure Michigan, we put together a list of seven travel ideas to put on your 2016 ‘bucket list’ for fun around the Great Lakes state.

Read below for just a few suggestions and let us know which Pure Michigan destinations you plan to visit this year!

1.)  Cross the Mackinac Bridge. If you can believe it, 20 percent of Michiganders have never crossed the bridge! Though some might not realize it, winter is a great time to explore the Upper Peninsula and all of its glory. Arguably, the Tahquamenon Falls are just as beautiful in winter. With interesting cities like St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, Houghton, Ironwood, and countless more, there’s so much to explore north of the Mighty Mac.

Photo Courtesy of Tim Burke

2.) Go somewhere in the state that you’ve never visited before. Consider a trip to the Alpena-Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary and shipwreck tours by boat. Marquette is a cool university town with unique sandstone architecture and a beautiful waterfront with excellent trails for biking. The Keweenaw Peninsula is great for scenery, mine tours, history, kayak/canoe, biking, motorcycle tours and more.

3.) Do something that scares you…just a little bit. This winter, that could mean snowmobiling, ice climbing or even luge!  The Michigan Snowmobile Association website has a great list (available via the Michigan.org Snow Day page) of trails to explore. If you seek something a bit more tame, try Fat Tire biking.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @Mossemmallee

4.) Expand your horizons/loosen up: Try a spa. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “spa person”, relaxation is healthy for everyone. Give yourself a treat this winter and head to one of Michigan’s many resorts and take in the relaxing benefits of a massage or other spa treatment.  You’ll be happy you did. Some spas even offer couples massages and discounts, for you early Valentine’s Day planners!

5.) Bring your family and friends outside for a hike at one (or all!) of Michigan’s National Parks and Lakeshores.  These cost-effective trips offer spectacular beauty and are great for laying down a foundation of healthy habits for generations to come while enjoying the outdoors. Consider a trip to one of the 100+ free parks to choose from.

Isle Royale, Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

6.) Visit Detroit-America’s Comeback City. Detroit is on the move and worthy of visitation for so many reasons. Explore the culture through the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Motown ‘Hitsville’ Historical Museum, Michigan Science Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Fox Theater and more. Cheer on Michigan’s favorite teams, the Lions, TigersRed Wings and Pistons (Auburn Hills), enjoy delectable restaurants (more than 80-new to choose from in the last year and half) and the gaming scene with three casinos.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @Regalt

7.) Give yourself a Pure Michigan Snow Day. Remember the thrill you felt as a kid when you found out you had a snow day?  Now, as an adult, it’s good for your heart and soul to take some time off work, and many vacation days often go unused throughout the year. Channel your inner child and take a grown up snow day of your own, or take the whole family on a Pure Michigan adventure!

Already planning your Pure Michigan travel for 2016? Share the destinations you plan to visit below!

Use These Mobile Apps To Plan Your Perfect Pure Michigan Road Trip

To make the most of your Pure Michigan vacation, whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, it helps to know what the great finds in the area are. With these travel apps, you can find exactly what you’re searching for with one download!

Crisp Point Lighthouse

Crisp Point Lighthouse

Michigan Lighthouses

View, learn and visit over 120 Michigan lighthouses on 3,126 miles of coastline! For each lighthouse you’ll see photos, historical descriptions, which lighthouses you can visit, towers you can climb, museums to enjoy, lighthouse locations, phone numbers, times to visit, links to national parks, additional sites, and more. Click here for the Android version.

Michigan Road Trips

Venture away from the everyday norm and into the beauty of Michigan. Find a restaurant whose cherry pie is from fruit grown just down the road or where the chef finds local produce to serve. Discover kayaking along a fast moving river, snowboarding down a Michigan mountain, spending the night in a charming bed and breakfast, or peer through glass bottom boats at shipwrecks from the 19th century. The app takes you on 12 road trips covering 128 destinations each loaded with 5-10 recommendations. Click here for the Android version.

MI Art Tours

Discover the nearest public art to you, information about each piece, the artist, and directions to get there. The app from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs also has built-in tours highlighting multiple works. Tours can be local or statewide – with over 658 art works and 42 built-in tours. Click here for the Apple version.

The Wilds of Michigan

This app is a one-stop shop for travelers to find all they need to know about Ontonagon and Gogebic Counties in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan -from hikes and waterfalls to hotels and campsites. With in-depth information at your fingertips, the Wilds of Michigan app will be your guide. Click here for the Android version.

Visit Manistee County

Explore self-guided tours with turn-by-turn directions to over 500 Manistee County outdoor spots. Take advantage of a list of area events, shopping, dining and lodging – this app is a must when visiting Manistee County! Click here for the Android version.

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room

Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room

Michigan By The Bottle

Explore 70+ wineries, one bottle at a time. From the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsula of the north to the rural Lake Michigan Shore and Pioneer wine trails of the west, Michigan truly is wine country. These bloggers will guide you through opportunities available to wine lovers traveling to Michigan, or new spots for locals to check out. Get a glimpse into winery histories, specialties, tasting room atmospheres and more. With a variety of tours and wines to choose from, you’re sure to find a new favorite. Click here for the Android version.

Leelanau Club

Leelanau Club

Traverse Traveler

Traverse Traveler will help you plan, discover and navigate your way around the Traverse City, Michigan area. Whether you’re a foodie, wine lover, adventurer, history buff, or you are looking for family fun – Traverse City has it all. Find wine tasting, craft beer and spirits, restaurants and bars, attractions, accommodations, shopping, events and more. With geo-location enabled, you can find near-by dining, lodging and activities. Click here for the Apple version.

Greater Lansing Michigan

Discover hundreds of things to do in the Lansing area with this app. Plan a customized tour and use the “Nearby Me” feature to see listings of things to do, current events, dining, shopping and more, closest to your location. You can also share your experiences to your social networks through the app. Click here for the Android version.

Experience Alpena, Michigan

Located in Northeast Lower Michigan, Alpena is the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes, a place to relax, unwind, and refresh. Making the most of your trip to Alpena is made easy with this app – find libraries, parking, events, interactive tours, utilize a near me function and more. Click here for the Apple version.

Explore Frankenmuth

Find self-guided tours that provide suggested stops to make your experience in Frankenmuth unforgettable. Discover things to do depending on your specific interests – from family-fun to foodie stops to adventure. A historical perspective on familiar attractions along with hidden treasures you’ve yet to discover, offer great new ways to enjoy this fun town! With excitement year round, anytime is the perfect time to visit Frankenmuth, “Michigan’s Little Bavaria!” Click here for the Android version.

Michigan Mitt Maps Road Trip

Plan your road trip adventure, draw your route and place decals on the locations as you explore, discover and experience the ultimate Michigan road trip. This is a free Android app that lets you share your adventure with your family and friends through social media, email and more. Click here for the Android version.

For more ways to take full advantage of your Pure Michigan vacation visit michigan.org.

There are plenty of other great Michigan travel apps – Coldwater. Keweenaw Peninsula, and Pure Ludingtonfor example – to check out. What is your favorite Michigan travel app?