Unique Places to Stay in Michigan on Your Next Trip
We can’t get enough of the islands in the north to the coastal spots overlooking Lake Michigan, so we had Expedia.com compile some unique hotels to stay in Michigan. 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.
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 American charm; all it’s missing is a white picket fence. Dive into a five-course meal in 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. Then relax upstairs, where no two guestrooms are alike. Decorated by famed designer Carleton Varney, each room comes alive with shades of geranium red, lemon yellow, brilliant turquoise and hot pink, mixed and matched in a bold kaleidoscope of color.
Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City
As one of Michigan’s most popular destinations, Traverse City overflows 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, featuring a 38,000-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 offers on-site eateries and spacious suites decorated in a North Woods log cabin theme. If you’ve got little ones, ask for bunk beds.
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 coastal sand dunes and orchards and vineyards in the countryside. After you’ve spent the day shopping at the boutiques, canoeing on the lake and teeing up at the inn’s namesake Harbor Shores Golf Club, retreat to The Inn at Harbor Shores in time for complimentary happy hour. Within view of the 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.
Visit Midland, the “City of Modern Explorers,” to see the immaculate Dow Gardens and the Alden B. Dow Home, considered one of America’s most impressive historic homes. 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, Table. The luxurious accommodations feature contemporary lines, brilliant whites accented with pops or orange and yellow and practical amenities like a business center, fitness room and shuttle service.
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 food 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. Centered on the historic Pantlind Hotel, the inn turned heads in 1913 when its builders included one of the world’s largest gold-leaf ceilings in the construction. The shimmering dome remains today as do 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.
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. Encompassing four immaculately-restored Victorian-era mansions and two carriage houses, the Inn exudes quiet charm and history just blocks away from bustling downtown Detroit. Discover the cozy bed-and-breakfast feel with large hotel convenience like free shuttle service anywhere within 5 miles.
Once you’re settled in at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, you’ll be an easy drive from Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline, historic Fort Wilkins, the Copper Harbor lighthouse and the spectacular views atop Brockway Mountain. But you may be tempted just to stay put. The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge traces its beginnings to the Great Depression. With the sudden closure of area mines, the WPA stepped in to employ idle miners with the construction of what is today the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and cabins (all constructed of local logs) and the adjacent 9-hole golf course. Cozy up in a historic 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom log cabin deep in the Upper Peninsula hardwoods for a getaway you won’t soon forget.
Rock Harbor Lodge, Isle Royale National Park
Surrounded by the waters of Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park ranks as Michigan’s most remote island, and as one of the wildest and least-visited national parks in the nation. Hardwood forests, dramatic rocky shorelines and unforgettable hiking and paddling opportunities draw outdoor lovers by ferry and seaplane each summer. At day’s end, slip off your hiking boots at Rock Harbor Lodge, offering cozy hotel accommodations and self-catering cabins an easy walk from the dock at Rock Harbor. All rooms in the hotel overlook the grandeur of Lake Superior. And Rock Harbor’s dining room dishes up plates of locally-caught whitefish and Michigan blueberry pancakes.
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.
About the Author: 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 and 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.