From Our Fans: 15 Telltale Signs of Spring in Michigan

Hello Spring! Today marks the official start of the new season. We asked our fans on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to tell us how they know that springtime in Michigan has arrived, and per usual, they didn’t disappoint!

8722672937_e1b4010c8c_oYou know it’s springtime in Pure Michigan when…

Michigan Begins to Bloom

When the tulips are blooming in Holland! – Facebook user Mike Riedmiller

The golf courses open! – Facebook user Kyle Ransom

When the farmers plow and plant their crops on acres of Michigan land! – Facebook user Deborah Ann Sutton

It’s Road Tripping Weather

When you can take the ferry to Mackinac Island– Facebook user Laura Hupy Copeland

You “just know” it’s time to head up to the bridge! Can’t wait! – Facebook user Susan Westfall Holloway

MackinacHouseI can hike Michigan trails again! –Instagrammer @nicolesiderius

You Enjoy The Outdoors

When the Tigers game is on the radio – Facebook user Mark Puddy

When the water is crystal clear – Facebook user Megan Holly Dowler

You can swim in Lake Michigan – Facebook user Connie Miller Calabrese

You Indulge in Pure Michigan Delights

When I can go to the wineries and enjoy a bottle outside – Facebook user Chrystal Davis

VineyardFallBell’s Oberon goes on sale! Pass the orange slice. – Facebook user Karl Bloss

You know it’s springtime when it’s warm enough to hang out on the patio at your favorite brewery! –Twitter user @hannahkesh

Winter Slowly Melts Away

You can put your long underwear away – Twitter user @beekaytulsa

Robins, Starlings and Canadian geese!  – Instagrammer @aubreyhall

The snow is finally melting and we can see grass again! – Instagrammer @revv_

What other signs of spring in Michigan would you add? Let us know below!

If you’re looking for more springtime fun, check out our April Events Roundup  and visit michigan.org/events.

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.

snowsports_main

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.

Six Mini Michigan Getaways You Didn’t Know Could Be Romantic

February is the month of love and there are plenty of ways to put a romantic spin on night out with your sweetie in Pure Michigan. Whether you’re taking a quick romantic weekend getaway or planning a day trip or staycation, these fun and simple outings can easily be made extra special for Valentine’s Day. 

Photo via Instagram user @sandruhh

Photo via Instagram user @sandruhh

Head Outside
There’s something so magical about soft falling snow. Winter in Michigan makes a beautiful background to any night. Bundle up, grab a hot drink and explore. Recreation Areas around the state are hosting winter festivals, which will include various winter sports, exhibits, crafts and food. Each festival highlights everything Michigan’s winter wonderland has to offer. For the more adventurous Valentine’s Day date, check out the Winter Sports Complex in Muskegon. There, you and your honey can have a blast channeling your inner-Olympian while trying out a multitude of new sports.

Dinner and Drinks
Trying something new together is a great way to strengthen your bond. Michigan has a large selection of unique restaurants, award-winning craft breweries and wineries that are sure to wow you. Whether it’s the tried and true Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, the ever-pleasing Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire or these new buzzworthy restaurants in Detroit, you won’t have a hard time choosing a spot to spend a few hours or an entire day with your sweetheart. 

Photo via Campus Martius Park on Facebook

Photo via Campus Martius Park on Facebook

Go Ice Skating
What could be more romantic than ice skating? Many cities have skating ponds in the winter time, but Detroit and Grand Rapids are home to two of the most notable. In Grand Rapids, Rosa Parks Circle turns into a skating rink. In Detroit, Campus Martius Park is home to a skating rink January through March. Grab some hot chocolate, hold hands and take a spin around the rink like you’re Meryl and Charlie. 

Head to a Sporting Event
Get close while cheering on your favorite Michigan sports teams! After all, Detroit was named Best City for Sports by USA Today Travel 10 Best. So, wrap up in your Red Wings gear to watch the team work hard to get to the playoffs, or support the Detroit Pistons with games throughout the entire month of February. You can also head to either Ann Arbor or East Lansing and catch a great hockey or basketball game from the Spartans and Wolverines.

Up North Weekend Getaway
It doesn’t matter what season it is, Northern Michigan never disappoints. Fall in love all over again amidst the small town charm of a bed and breakfast. Explore Pictured Rocks or Tahquamenon Falls with snow shoes and you’ll be sure to catch a view or two that will take your breath away. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, make your weekend exciting with skiing at Northern Michigan ski resorts. Whether it’s heading out or staying in, an Up North weekend getaway is a Pure Michigan Valentine’s Day classic.

Attend a Show
Dim the lights and prepare to be entertained! Whether it’s a movie at an iconic Michigan theater or a live performance, catching a show with your sweetheart can create lasting memories. The Dow Event Center in Saginaw is hosting the ‘All About Love’ Valentine’s show featuring Freddie Jackson with a special guest star Angela Winbush in concert. If you are in the laughing mood or want to sing along with your favorite artists, see what’s playing in Michigan this month here. 

Snuggle up at Home and Plan Your Next Vacation
Rather stay inside with your love? Enjoy some quality time while planning your next Pure Michigan summer getaway. There are a variety of selections you can make based on your personality and interests to plan the perfect trip. Take advantage of a romantic vacation package with February’s featured deals or create your own adventure on michigan.org.

How do you plan to spend Valentine’s Day? For more ideas, visit michigan.org.