5 Great Ideas for Winter Weekend Getaways in Michigan

Sometimes we need a reset, a shift in thinking that only a mini getaway will provide. That's especially true when winter or inclement weather brings on a bit of cabin fever. Whether you’re traveling on your own, with friends, family or a romantic partner, these instant vacations will do the trick.
  • Check with any destinations directly to confirm hours and safety protocols. For statewide precautions and guidelines for travelers, visit the Travel Safely page here

1. Find an Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

Rosa Parks Circle ice skating rink
Rosa Parks Circle ice skating rink | Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

There is nothing more beautiful than looking out of your window at a fresh, glistening snowfall. If you enjoy winter sports, head to your nearest ski area and hit the slopes. But you don't have to ski to enjoy Michigan winter to its fullest. Try ice skating as a way to channel childlike fun, something easily done in accessible city parks like Campus Martius Park in the heart of downtown Detroit or in Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids.

2. Visit a New Brewery

Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette
Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette  | Photo Courtesy of Ryan Gajewski, Pure Michigan

Michigan's burgeoning microbrewery scene is attracting visitors from across the country to sample the state's particularly creative brews, often served up in unusual, repurposed buildings or the ever-so-popular heated igloos! Suttons Bay's Hop Lot Brewing Company is open and accepting reservations for their outdoor heated igloos, as well as Blake’s Hard Cider Company in Armada. With other breweries open in varying capacities like the tried-and-true Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, the ever-pleasing Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, the charming Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette or one of the many other buzzworthy breweries across the state.
  • Check with breweries directly to see if they offer your preferred experience, whether that’s takeout specials, curbside pickup or heated outdoor seating. For a list of outdoor dining across the state, check out MLive’s list.

3. Explore Michigan’s Ski and Snowboard Resorts

There are more than thirty ski resorts between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, and each of them have something unique to offer. Whether your family is looking for a relaxing resort stay accompanied by some mountain overlooks, or you’re looking for a challenge among Michigan’s thrilling black diamonds, you can learn more about what skiing and snowboarding in Pure Michigan has to offer with our Ski Pure Michigan series.

  • To learn more about how to ski and snowboard safely and view precautions being taken by resorts, visit Ski Well, Be Well.


4. Escape to Wine Country

Michigan wine trails are visit-worthy, with every season offering something unique. Grab a group of friends or plan a getaway that's romantic, active or indulgent, along your favorite wine trail. Some of Michigan's most popular wine trails are found on Traverse City’s Leelanau Peninsula and the narrower Old Mission Peninsula, and both offer winery bed and breakfasts that let you make your trip a wine country immersion weekend. If the state's southern reaches are more convenient, you're covered there too with the Southwest Michigan Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail and Southeastern Michigan Thumb’s Up Wine Trail. Winter offers cozy and quiet tasting rooms you'll likely have to yourself.

  • Hours, services and seating can vary. Please call ahead to the specific winery of interest to learn of availability before visiting.

5. Go Shopping

Birch Run Premium Outlets
Birch Run Premium Outlets | Photo Courtesy of Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau

There are local businesses and shops throughout Michigan for fashion, home décor, toys, and more! This guide to shops in West Michigan will take you through charming boutiques on the west side of the state. In Petoskey, these 10 local shops will help you find the perfect gift for a loved one—or yourself. There are tons of local shops throughout the Lansing area, in Detroit, and in Grand Rapids.

Whether you stay overnight or make it a long day-trip, a visit to an outlet mall is another opportunity to have a fun mini-getaway. Michigan outlet malls include Tanger Outlets Center HowellGreat Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills and Birch Run Premium Outlets in Birch Run. You can also find unique options and support Michigan’s small business owners with our Support Local guide.
  • Make sure you plan ahead to confirm safety measures and follow additional store-specific protocols.