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.

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—even at one stop, Suttons Bay's Hop Lot Brewing Company, inside heated igloos! Whether it’s 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, you won't have a hard time choosing a spot to spend a few hours catching up over a brew.

3. Head to a Sporting Event

Is there anything like the energy of a sporting event? Cheer on your favorite Michigan teams in one America’s best sports cities! Wrap up in your Red Wings gear to watch the team work hard, or support the Detroit Pistons which plays throughout the 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.

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.

5. Go Shopping

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

With great outlet malls all over the state, grab a group of friends and shop til' you drop! Whether you stay overnight or make it a long day-trip, a visit to an outlet mall is always a fun mini getaway. Michigan outlet malls include Tanger Outlets Center Howell, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills and Birch Run Premium Outlets in Birch Run.