6 Reasons to Make Central Michigan this Summer’s Golf Getaway Destination

Michigan is quickly becoming known as America’s summer golf capital, with courses and programs growing bigger and better with each passing season. Across the state you’ll find championship courses forged from the states beautiful landscapes and decorated with miles of natural forests, rivers, and breathtaking shore lines. With an entire state of amazing golf possibilities, how do you choose where to start when planning your summer golf trips? Megan Molloy from Michigan’s Central Swing shares why Central Michigan should be your next golf getaway destination!

1. Location, location, location: One aspect that makes for a great golf trip is heading somewhere that’s easy to get to for everyone in your group and doesn’t require extensive travel time. Michigan’s Central Swing golf program is run out of Mt. Pleasant, which is just about two hours from anywhere in the state, not to mention an easy drive from surrounding states and even Canada. Not only is it easy to get here, but once you’re here, all of our courses are within 30 minutes of Mt. Pleasant. Being centrally located in the state, you can spend more time golfing and less time traveling.

2. Course variety: Sometimes it can be difficult to find a course or courses that fit everyone’s needs and skill sets. Whether you’re looking for classic layouts, championship challenges, or a weekend oasis of golf, Michigan’s Central Swing has it all. The Central Michigan area offers 11 different courses, including Bucks Run, PohlCat, The Pines, Eagle Glen, and even the Mt. Pleasant Country Club. With so many options, it’s never been easier to plan something for everyone.

Bucks Run Club House, Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

Bucks Run Club House, Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

3. Lodging variety: Like our courses, Michigan’s Central Swing offers a wide range of lodging options. Our 12 properties range from resort style villas to charming bed and breakfasts and luxurious hotels. These properties offer amazing amenities ranging from breakfast and dinner service, pools, fitness facilities, casino shuttles and more!

4. Customizable packages: There are few things in this life that are more frustrating than trying to plan and coordinate a trip. Michigan’s Central Swing takes hassle out of planning your golf getaway so you can get back to practicing your swing. All you have to do is call or visit our website to request a quote. Tell us where you want to stay and play and we take care of the rest. Plus you can take advantage of discounts for customer appreciation weeks, returning golfers, and groups of 16 or more.

Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

Bucks Run Golf Course, Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

5. Golf with a twist: Central Michigan doesn’t just offer great classic courses, the area also offers a number of variations on the sport. While in the area, you can try your hand, or foot I should say, at the new, fun sport called FootGolf. Riverwood Resort offers a section of their course to be used for FootGolf, a game in which you kick a soccer ball down the fairway instead of driving a golf ball. You can also be a kid again at the area’s Golf Center putt-putt course or really practice your putting game on Bucks Run’s 18-hole natural grass putting course. Even in the winter months you can still keep your game strong at Bucks Run’s virtual golf simulator as well.

Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

Photo Courtesy of Megan Molloy

6. More than just golf: After a long day on the course try your luck at Soaring Eagle Casino or visit one of the area’s many bars and restaurants. Enjoy a fantastic night life in this Midwestern college town created by a combination of great local bars, unique dining, gaming options, and world class performances. No matter what your group’s interests, there’s something fun for everyone to discover! Use this website to plan your perfect Mt. Pleasant day!

MeganMegan Molloy is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a degree in English and Media Design and now works at the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as their Digital Marketing Coordinator. She is a native of Metro Detroit, loves drawing, good food, snowboarding, and of course anything Michigan made! Check out her Facebook page and website!

6 Unique Places to Stay in Michigan on Your Next Trip

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Expedia.com shared some of the best hotels all across the Great Lake State.

A variety of eclectic cities with vivid scenery, cultural attractions, and scrumptious cuisine are sewn into the state of Michigan. We can’t get enough of the Wolverine State, from the islands in the north to the coastal spots overlooking Lake Michigan, so at Expedia.com we compiled some of our favorite hotels across the state. Whether you start in the south and work your way north, or dedicate a separate vacation for each of these cities, Michigan’s fantastic fudge and bubbling brewery scene are sure to impress.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
If you’ve heard of Mackinac Island, then you’re probably familiar with some of the best fudge on the planet. Venture to this northern island resort, and eat your weight in sugary goodness on the world’s longest front porch, located at Grand Hotel.

The historical 1886 hotel stands pretty like a dollhouse with Americana charm; all it’s missing is a white picket fence. Dive into a five-course meal at the Main Dining Room that overlooks the Straits of Mackinac and splash around in the Esther Williams swimming pool, named after the actress that starred in “This Time for Keeps,” which was filmed at the hotel property.

Photo Courtesy of Traverse City Toursim

Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City
As one of Michigan’s largest destinations, Traverse City is overflowing with things to do. In the warm months, get some rays and stake a claim at Clinch Park Beach or set sail along West Grand Traverse Bay. But if snowflakes are falling, the ski slopes at Crystal Mountain are only 30 miles southwest of the city.

Regardless of the temperatures outside, it’s always summertime at the Great Wolf Lodge, which features a 38 thousand square foot indoor water park. With water slides, wave pools, and a four-story tree house water fort, this lodge is perfect for the young and young at heart. The family-friendly hotel also provides spacious suites and on-site eateries.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

The Inn at Harbor Shores, St. Joseph
Who needs France when you’ve got the “Riviera of the Midwest?” Hugging Lake Michigan, St. Joseph is a waterfront town sprinkled with sand dunes along the coast and orchards and vineyards in the countryside.

Once you’ve spent the day shopping at the boutiques and canoeing on the lake, retreat to The Inn at Harbor Shores in time for complimentary happy hour. Showing off views of St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan, the hotel includes an indoor and outdoor pool, spa, and even an art gallery. During your stay, create some friendly competition on the sand volleyball court—loser buys the first round at Plank’s Dockside Bar!

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

The H Hotel, Midland
It may not be unchartered territory, but the “City of Modern Explorers” is definitely worth a visit. Home to the immaculate Dow Gardens and Michigan’s oldest brewery, Midland belongs on your travel itinerary. Find some peace and quiet in one of the city’s 72 parks or get tickets to the symphony orchestra at Midland Center for the Arts.

When it’s time to relax, The H Hotel offers a tranquil retreat. Take a dip in the indoor whirlpool and swimming pool, or tempt your taste buds at the hotel’s high-end restaurant, The Table. The inviting accommodation also features a business center, fitness room, and shuttle service.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids had us at “beer.” Local breweries like Founders Brewing Co. and Brewery Vivant entice our hoppy side, but it’s the up-and-coming foodie scene that makes linger in this town.

Loosen your belt buckle after hitting local favorites, such as Grove and Cult Pizza, and then sleep off that food coma at the Amway Grand Plaza. Ready for round two? The hotel has five eateries, including the elegant Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and the Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. You’ll have access to The Spa and Salon, Lumber Baron Bar, and the Garden Court Lounge, too.

Photo Courtesy of Expedia

The Inn on Ferry Street, Detroit
If its automobile history is the only thing that comes to mind when you think of Detroit, then it’s time to broaden your horizons. Weave through the stalls at the Eastern Market, sipping and sampling the local eats. Artwork and fresh flowers brighten the rows, while local musicians color the air with sound.

After scooping up some fresh produce and slipping into the local bars that surround the market, put your feet up at The Inn on Ferry Street. The property is unique in that it spans four Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. Discover the charm and history at this accommodation, which serves as a bed-and-breakfast, hotel hybrid. Wake to up to complimentary breakfast and hop in the free shuttle that services anywhere within 5 miles.

North, south, east, west, and everything in between, Michigan just might surprise you. Set your sights on this state and spend your next vacation exploring it from the bottom of the mitten to the very tip of the UP.

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As a staff writer for Expedia, Chloe Mulliner is dedicated to providing top travel tips for your jaunts around the world. She believes there are adventures to be had on every inch of the globe from surf spots on the Peruvian coast to the charming villages of the English countryside. Chloe specializes in showcasing all the must-see attractions on your travel wish list. She lives by the belief that every adventure is a story worth sharing.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Blue Water Area

Are you looking for a new area to explore in Pure Michigan? The Blue Water Area is a getaway to be discovered along the eastern shores of the Great Lakes state. Guest blogger, Danielle Kreger from the Blue Water Convention & Visitors Bureau shares seven things you didn’t know about the Blue and its 140 miles of shoreline.

1) The Blue has six lighthouses to visit; some locations offer a guided tour and tower climb while others simply pose for great photo opportunities.  The nautical stories and current duties of each light station are different, however they have all stood their ground, placed for the purpose of guiding ships and their crew through rough waters.

Harbor Beach Lighthouse Tour, Blue Water Area CVB

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Kreger

2) The Blue has a nationally recognized water trail. The Island Loop Route National Water Trail, is a 10.2-mile looping water trail and is well suited to recreational paddlers, kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. It is the first nationally recognized water trail in Michigan and one of only 14 in the nation. The trail navigates through rivers, canals and lake and passes the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse amongst other favored locales.

3) The Blue has a dark sky preserve.  Port Crescent State Park, in Port Austin, has a designated area where no electric light exists for miles, giving star-gazers an unobstructed view of the night sky.  The dark sky preserve is located in the day-use area where there’s a charge for parking, but no overnight reservations are needed.  Sit back and enjoy the wonders of the universe right in the Blue.

4) The Blue hosts an incredible amount of festivals, free waterfront concerts and summertime events to enjoy like when 300 or more sailboats gather in the marinas of Port Huron to compete in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race.  On race day, it is a continuous flow of sailboats as they pilot into Lake Huron in a race to Mackinac Island.

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Kreger

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Kreger

5) The Blue has a 54-mile paved pedestrian/bike path that runs along the water’s edge as well as a bit inland, winding around parks and neighborhoods.  The Bridge to Bay Trail begins north of the Blue Water Bridge and extends to Anchor Bay in Algonac.  Where some of the trail links are still being developed, helpful signage will lead you to the next path.

6) The Blue has seven ADA accessible kayak launches.  These launches provide an easier and safer way for people with physical disabilities to launch a kayak.  They are located along waterways throughout the Blue.

St. Clair River, Blue Water Area CVB, credit Harry  Burkholder, Liaa

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Kreger

7) The Blue is the terminus of U.S. Bicycle Route 20, which is a cross-country bike trail that runs along M-29 into downtown Marine City. From there, riders have the ability to take the car/pedestrian ferry to Canada for a cross-continental journey.

Discover these things about the Blue Water Area and let them lead you on an experience you’ll treasure for a lifetime.  For more details and info about the Blue, visit the website and Facebook page.

Danielle Kreger lives and works in the Blue Water Area.  Though it is her home, she still sees the Blue as her getaway spot, loving the true-blue water and quaint hometown ambiance of each shoreline community.  She gets her kicks photographing her family as they make their own ventures every day.

Have you ever visited the Blue Water area? Comment with your experience below!