Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hidden Travel Gems In Michigan

Michigan's known for a variety of things to the common traveler. These include:
  • The Great Lakes
  • The Motor City
  • Mackinac Island
Not bad things to be known for, as the beaches of the Great Lakes and the shorelines are oftentimes spectacular and are enjoyed by travelers year round. Detroit, for all of its struggles, is still one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States and has some exciting things going on downtown and in the surrounding suburbs. Mackinac Island is known for its ability to take us back to yesteryear, a time when life was simpler (and gives you a weekend without having to deal with a car...what a concept!)

But outside of those three items, Michigan is often referred to as "fly over country" to many. Without sounding like a tourism guide, I have to say that Michigan brings much more to the table whether it's for a romantic weekend getaway or a fun family trip. Here are a few gems that travelers would find well worth their time on a visit to Michigan.

  1.  Traverse City.

    Home of the Cherry Festival, Traverse City is well known throughout Michigan and in surrounding areas like Chicago. Locals have certainly found that the place is quickly gaining a reputation as a hot tourist spot, as the influx of people throughout the summer and into the Fall season. Traverse is home to countless wineries, an amazing shoreline, award winning breweries like Right Brain Brewery, and some of the country's finest bed and breakfasts. There is a local airport, but it tends to get pricey to fly into. So, if you want to make the trip, extend it a few days and fly into Grand Rapids' bigger airport and then make the 2.5 hour drive North. There's a good reason for this as well...

  2. Grand Rapids.

    If you think of Michigan as a state with one city, you'd be surprised to find out what the state's second biggest city, Grand Rapids, has to offer. As an acquaintance of mind remarked driving into the city once, "Hey, it has a skyline and everything!" On top of the skyline, Grand Rapids boasts some luxurious hotels in the downtown JW Marriott and Amway Grand. Highlights of a trip to Grand Rapids should include the local museums as well as breweries like Founders and Brewery Vivant, a couple of the reasons the city has been named Beer City USA for the past two years.

  3. Saugatuck.

    If you love quaint ocean side cities, you might want to try Saugatuck, which replaces the ocean with the freshwater equivalent of Lake Michigan. If you have never experienced the Great Lakes, and you'd like a relaxing or romantic weekend getaway in the summer, you'd be hard pressed to beat Saugatuck, Michigan. Located only a couple hours around the lake from Chicago, Saugatuck boasts a burgeoning little art community, fine dining, an amazing beach, a breathtaking state park (Saugatuck Dunes) and enough luxurious lodging to keep you coming back year after year. 

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Seen enough yet? Ready to book your next getaway to Michigan? That's what I thought!

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