Escape to Wellness Retreats in Pure Michigan

There may be no better place to find rest, rejuvenation and a sense of inner wellbeing than in Pure Michigan.

Students practicing yoga outside on a deck.

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Visit a full-service spa and release tension through massage, water and light treatments. Learn from wellness instructors who guide yoga sessions, teach mindfulness techniques and offer healthy, locally-sourced meals. Or take advantage of Michigan’s unmatched natural beauty, sipping coffee as the sun rises over the Great Lakes, heading out for a bit of forest bathing or camping, or reconnecting with nature through late-night stargazing.  

Three woman relaxing in a sauna at the nordic spa.
Mount Bohemia’s Nordic Spa | Photo Courtesy of @nordicspamountbohemia

 Wherever you travel, you’ll find a renewed sense of wellbeing on a Michigan wellness getaway.

Western Lower Peninsula

Full-service spa and wellness centers lie throughout Michigan, ranging from those specializing in a single, rejuvenating afternoon to those offering a long, relaxing weekend. Head to the Crystal Spa at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville for a serene setting that reflects the art and natural beauty of northern Michigan. The 18,500-square-foot, LEED-certified spa offers deep-tissue, detox, prenatal and other specialty massages that may be combined with hot stone work. Spa guests may also take advantage of Crystal Mountain’s Peak Fitness Center and Indoor Pool.

In Boyne Falls, The Spa at Boyne Mountain emphasizes whole-body wellness. Beyond the traditional spa amenities of relaxation and therapeutic massage, facials and salon services, the Spa at Boyne Mountain offers access to a Wellness Center with guided fitness classes and yoga practices. Spend several days for comprehensive, guided physical and mental training: aqua aerobics, high-intensity Tabata and tai chi, cardio dance, kick-boxing, weight training, restorative and vinyasa yoga. You can also take advantage of the spa’s BEMER therapy program, which uses bio-electromagnetic energy regulation to facilitate improved blood circulation and healing. 

Guests at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire can improve their health and well-being with complimentary access to an expansive fitness center, which includes free weights, a complete Nautilus system and cardio equipment, a dry sauna and a steam room. Other fitness activities at Shanty Creek—besides the resort’s world-class golf—include disc golf, traditional and e-bike rentals, and several indoor and outdoor pools. Traditional spa wraps, massages and shiatsu soothe tension with lavender-infused white clay, heated volcanic stones and essential oils.

The Song of the Morning Retreat Center in Vanderbilt offers weekend getaways focused on finding spiritual and physical relaxation and restoration. Programming includes guided yoga instruction and meditational practices, as well as reiki and spiritual coaching. The northern Michigan property also offers plenty of opportunity for quiet on wooded hiking trails and in private hermitages.

Mesick’s Northern Michigan Retreat sits deep within the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Only large enough to accommodate 3-6 guests, the women-only retreat offers a respite from daily stressors. Staff-guided activities range from the active, like nature hikes and energetic conversations around a campfire, to the restful, such as restorative time in a hammock, yoga sessions and meditation.

The Spa at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids promises a treatment menu to help any visitor find calmness and balance. Choose the massage that best suits your needs: aromatherapy, sports reflexology or warm bamboo. Hydrate your skin with a rose-infused body scrub and wrap. Restore the energy you need for an important business engagement with a massage called the Jet Lag Cure. Or make a full day of your visit, and book 3-6 treatments for a special package price.

The holistic Wanderlux Beauty and Wellness Spa, also in Grand Rapids, provides guests with natural, certified organic and plant-based skincare treatments in its menu of spa offerings including facials and peels. But the spa combines these physical treatments with massage, craniosacral work, and more.

The Spa at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph specializes in treatments for guests arriving tired and sun-kissed from a day on the golf course or the boat. Moisturize and soothe sun-exposed skin with the Smooth Lake Michigan Sailor facial. The Sportsman’s Special or cupping therapy can help ease and refresh the tired muscles caused by a day of golfing and get you ready for the next day’s tee time. Need a little extra rejuvenation? Schedule a medical injectable for a fresh look.

South Haven’s Higher Haven Retreat Center takes restoration and mindfulness up a notch. The retreat is devoted to helping guests live a more genuine life and to healing an unquiet mind, body and soul in a setting just minutes from Lake Michigan, surrounded by natural wetlands and hardwood forest. Spend an afternoon or enjoy an extended stay focused on Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga; learn the meditational benefits of asana yoga; and discover the power of “walking in beauty,” a Native American practice of ceremonial living.

Students practicing yoga on deck at Lakeshore Resort.
Yoga at Lakeshore Resort in Saugatuck | Photo Courtesy of @lakeshoreresort_saugatuck

Eastern Lower Peninsula

The Ocean Jasper Wellness Spa in Bay City offers a variety of cosmetic, relaxational and therapeutic wellness programs based upon the expertise of its independent practitioners. From eyebrow shaping, acne- and stress-relief facials, henna tattoos, to therapeutic massages and reiki, the spa houses a variety of services under its roof. Ocean Jasper takes its name from the stone of the same name, which is believed to convey wisdom and spiritual insight.

A turquoise reflecting pool greets guests at IMMERSE spa at the MGM Grand in Detroit, giving visitors a sense of relaxation before they ever step into a pool or lie on a treatment table. Hot stones combine with essential oils and an expert touch for physical and mental relaxation, all part of the spa’s signature massage. An athlete massage fosters muscle relaxation and healing, whether aches are due to overactivity, stress or illness.

The Earthwell Retreat Center sits surrounded by 145 acres of meadows, gardens, hardwood forest and rolling hills southwest of Ann Arbor. Dedicated to helping attendees connect with one another through the beauty of conversation, mindfulness and nature, the sanctuary operates weekend getaways. Activities include nature walks and art, yoga instruction, guided meditation and meals created of organic ingredients grown largely on the property.

Entrance with chairs and art to Astors Spa at Grand Hotel.
Astor’s Spa at the Grand Hotel | Photo Courtesy of Grand Hotel

Upper Peninsula 

Set in the western Upper Peninsula and near Michigan’s border with Wisconsin, the Full Moon Rising Wellness Studio in Norway offers a wide array of relaxing and rejuvenating services, including massage and meditation and. Through energy-stimulating bodywork and meditation techniques, the studio helps clients restore balance and relieve stress. Yoga and pilates classes are also on offer, as are focused classes and workshops on a variety of wellness topics.

At LaRose Wellness Retreat, located in the Upper Peninsula town of Baraga, the spectacular beauty of the Western U.P. is a prime contributor to weekend wellness getaways. The soothing rhythm of the Lake Superior surf, a morning sunrise, local hiking and biking trails and opportunities to kayak or cross-country ski work their wonders on stressed visitors. Additional amenities include a Finnish sauna, massage and facial services and Native American foot spas.

Pool outdoors during winter at Nordic Spa.
Mount Bohemia’s Nordic Spa | Photo courtesy of Instagram Fan michigan.nomad

Mount Bohemia’s Nordic Spa transports traditional Scandinavian wellness practices to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Guests lounge in the Finnish sauna or eucalyptus steam bath for 15 minutes, then immerse themselves quickly in a Nordic waterfall or cold pool before relaxing for another 15 minutes at the outdoor fire pit or Log Cabin bar. After repeating the cycle three or more times, spa guests experience a sense of rejuvenation, physically and mentally.

Native American healing traditions permeate Drift Spa at the Island Resort & Casino. Located in the Western UP, Drift Spa utilizes nature-based treatment products with ingredients such as locally harvested fruits, flowers and honey. After a revitalizing body treatment or facial, guests can relax at the saltwater pool, co-ed sauna or steam room.

The Victorian summer cottages, horse-drawn carriages and spectacular scenery of the Straits of Mackinac brings a sense of calm and respite to many visitors to Mackinac Island. Two of the island’s resort hotels add signature spa services to the area’s natural offerings. Mission Point Resort offers a full-service health and wellness retreat, the Lakeside Spa and Salon. Treatments incorporate the region’s natural resources, including lilac essential oils, hot Great Lakes stone treatments and cherry almond scrubs. At Astor’s Salon and Spa at Grand Hotel, deep tissue and hot stone massage, steam and hot wrap treatments as well as facials, manicures and pedicures will leave you feeling your best before your elegant, four-course dinner in the resort’s Main Dining Room.

Michigan’s Outdoor Spaces

Two wolf dogs and person standing on shore of lake Superior below sandstone cliffs.
Cliffs at Pictured Rocks | Photo Courtesy of Loki the Wolfdog

For many, time away in Michigan’s beautiful outdoor settings is just the balm for improving a sense of personal balance and wellness in their lives. Pristine hiking trails, paddling and swimming in the Great Lakes, camping and snowshoeing are popular pastimes at three of Michigan’s national parks: Isle Royale National Park, set in the heart of Lake Superior and accessible only by boat or seaplane; Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, on the Upper Peninsula’s Lake Superior shore; and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, on the Lake Michigan shore near Traverse City.

Michigan’s numerous state parks also offer opportunities to enjoy spectacular scenic beauty whether you plan to immerse yourself in outdoor activities or just relax beside a campfire. Head to Holland State Park for spectacular sugar-sand dunes and camping within sight of Big Red Lighthouse. Port Crescent State Park offers a dark sky preserve along the Lake Huron shore. Craig Lake State Park, one of the state’s most remote parks, is popular for its beautiful kayaking and camping. Just one mile from Detroit, Sterling State Park offers outdoor recreation in Michigan’s only Lake Erie state park.

Pine tree forest on shore of inland lake at Hartwick Pines.
Hartwick Pines State Park | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

Interested in a weekend of forest bathing? Thousands of acres of pristine forest, including several old-growth stands, occupy large stretches of Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Michigan’s largest state park, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, is home to 35,000 acres of old-growth forest as well as gushing waterfalls, a long section of the North Country National Scenic Trail and a stunning Lake Superior shoreline. Hartwick Pines State Park contains a variety of hiking trails as well as 49 acres of old-growth pines. And P.J. Hoffmaster State Park’s 10 miles of hiking trails wind their way through acres of ancient Lake Michigan sand dunes, covered by dense hardwood forest sprinkled with wildflowers.

Whether your travels take you deep into the Upper Peninsula’s wilderness areas, or to Detroit’s urban center, to the Lake Michigan shore or to northern Michigan’s golf and ski mecca, you’re never far from a Pure Michigan spa or wellness getaway. Return home with a renewed sense of rest, revitalization and well-being.