1610 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Nestled within the heart of Washtenaw County, just a few miles from Detroit city limits, is one of Michigan’s most-prized cities. Home to the University of Michigan, and so much more, Ann Arbor is an educational and environmental oasis. With more book stores and local produce shops than one could count in an afternoon, Ann Arbor is a perfect place to get away from the city for a weekend and explore the great and healthy side of Michigan. One of the top spots to visit during the spring, summer or fall months is the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, just adjacent to the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital on Ann Arbor’s north side. With 123 acres of pristine, nature-filled lands, you’ll be hard-pressed to waste a moment of any weekend getaway here.
1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912
Not to be outdone, Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan, home of the Michigan State Spartans, is also a top destination for those looking to find a unique blend of rural and educational sightseeing. Our state’s capital has many wonderful attractions, including the Potter Park Zoo – a 102-acre zoo filled with a wide range of animals and venues. East Lansing is known as a college town, so there’s plenty of amazing places to eat and plenty of bars, if that’s your thing. But the area is also home to the Red Cedar River, which flows from Lansing well through the city and features many long and winding trails along the way, and Michigan State’s campus alone has more varieties of trees than any other college campus in the country.
1 Covered Bridge Lane
Frankenmuth, MI 48734
For those of us who grew up in the Detroit area, a weekend getaway in Frankenmuth at least once every few years was almost like a religion. Whether it was during the winter months with snow all over and everything looking like Christmastime, or alternatively during the warm months with dad having to make room for his golf clubs in the back of the minivan, Frankenmuth always felt like a special time and place. These days, the Bavarian Inn is better than ever and nearby Zehnder’s Restaurant still serves up some of the absolute best chicken dinners anywhere in the country. A year without a weekend in Frankenmuth cannot be called special at all.
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Mt. Pleasant and the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
If you’ve never been to Mt. Pleasant, then you’re really missing out on all there is to do in this wonderful part of our state. Sure, there’s the incredible Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, but there’s also so much more than that. The Central Michigan Chippewas call Mt. Pleasant home, with a number of live music events and large-scale shows going on all throughout the campus all year long. Whether by kayak or canoe, the mighty Chippewa River winds its way through Isabella County and offers amazing year-round opportunities to view wildlife, try some fishing or to just relax while the river winds you along.
4724 Walz Road
Jackson, MI 49201
And oft-overlooked section of Michigan’s beautiful interior is the Irish Hills, which holds a great handful of Michigan’s many wineries. The Pioneer Wine Trails, which includes the Sandhill Crane Vineyard and six other major wineries, offer some incredible opportunities to book a room at a local establishment and spend the weekend sampling some of the Mitten State’s finest interior wines. Nearby Jackson and Chelsea offer some small town favorites that can’t be found anywhere else, including native Jeff Daniel’s Purple Rose Theater Company. Tecumseh, which is just a stone’s throw away, offers one of Michigan’s best-rated restaurants in the Evans Street Station, and draws local and regional rave reviews. All in all, this is not a bad way to spend a lovely weekend out of the metropolis of Detroit.
Related: Best Kayaking Around Detroit