You and your sweetheart can experience an unforgettably blissful time together at a Michigan vacation rental on Valentine’s Day. Spend time on the slopes, sample local wines, or get a couple’s massage. Whether you choose a spacious condo at a swanky ski resort or a trendy loft in the city, these Michigan getaway destinations are sure to delight.
1. Traverse City
Known as the Caribbean of the North, outdoor activities abound in Traverse City. Cheer on cross-country skiers at the North American Vasa Festival or join in and challenge each other as you glide along the stunning Vasa Pathway. Traverse City is well known for the Riesling wine produced in the area, so take a tour, enjoy food pairings, and take home a souvenir wine glass. Snowmobiling and downhill skiing are popular at Shanty Creek Resorts, and it is not difficult to find a ski-in/ski-out condo. Get a bite to eat and sip wine while you rock away to live music at the Union Street Bistro, or catch a show or play the slots at the Leelanau Sands or Turtle Creek casinos. Spend some quiet time over an Old World Italian meal at PepeNero Riostorantino Mediterraneo where the halibut with seafood couscous and Mediterranean sea bass are to die for.
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2. Mackinac Island
Jump on the Star Line Ferry for secluded winter fun on four-square miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Get an up-close glimpse of the quaint, historic downtown Island streets as you snuggle under a quilt on a romantic, horse-drawn sleigh ride. The Lilac Tree Spa is an ideal place for a peaceful, relaxing, and warming couple’s massage before sharing a memorable meal at the Grand Hotel. Marvel to the life stages of flitting butterflies at the beautiful butterfly conservatory, Wings of Mackinac, Don’t miss a stop at Murdick’s Fudge Shop where you can sample the 15 varieties of the Island’s most important export, an ideal gift for that special someone.
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Founded by Lutherans in 1845, this charming European-style city has gorgeous Bavarian architecture. Take a leisurely stroll through the Frankenmuth Historical Museum to learn more about this beautiful city’s heritage. Stop by one of the charming shops in the old-fashioned village on the banks of the Cass River at Frankenmuth River Place where you can find the perfect couple’s gift to commemorate this romantic occasion. Before heading back to your secluded love nest for some pillow talk, chocolates, and wine, snuggle together over a Bavarian-inspired menu that includes wiener schnitzel, Swiss fondue, and savory crepes, topped off with a hot raspberry sundae.
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4. Ann Arbor
Aptly nicknamed ‘Tree Town,’ beautiful ancient bur oaks line the streets in Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, where you can find over 19,000 works of art within its museum. No matter the weather, spend a relaxing afternoon at the gorgeous Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. Treat yourself to hot cider and donuts at the oldest continuously operating mill in Michigan, Dexter Cider Mill, family-owned since 1866. Be sure to stock up on homemade apple products to enjoy on your trip home. Flirt with each other as soulful, live jazz accompanies your dinner at an upscale French restaurant, The Earle, or get serious about romance under the mood lighting and Asian-inspired ambiance at the Pacific Rim.
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5. Grand Rapids
Stroll hand-in-hand through the tropical conservatory at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The Park displays five themed indoor gardens lined with more than 300 major works of art on display from artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and Ai Weiwei. Soak up local history and view the timeless beauty of the 1908 Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House in the Heritage Hill Historic District. Light the fire of romance over a five-course Valentine’s dinner with wine pairings at Reserve, or mosey over to Snug Harbor for seafood, pasta, or Tex-Mex. This eatery gets you into the mood with its wonderfully romantic waterfront views.
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6. South Haven
The Timber Ridge Ski Area hosts an annual Winterfest extravaganza with unusual themes such as last year’s Hawaiian Luau. Bring your A game and complete to win the tug of war in the snow or snowshoe race, then indulge in savory hog roast chased down with fresh-brewed beer while you dance to live bands. The Bittersweet Ski area is more run-of-the-mill snow fun, but there’s plenty of room to swoop down the slopes and eat from the outdoor grill. Spirit your sweetheart off the slopes and take a moonlit horse-drawn sleigh ride at Bittersweet Acres. There are plenty of trails around town that are open to cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, and there’s a handy ice skating rink, too. Sample local wines at Corner Vineyards or enjoy small plates and fabulous martinis at the Taste, a cozy, waterfront sushi spot.
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Romance wafts through the crystal-clear, star-studded nights in Saugatuck where it’s quite common to slide down the dunes on old cardboard boxes, make snow sculptures, skate on the lake, and cross-country ski. When the lake-effect snows drop huge snowflakes, warm up at one of the local cider or wine bars or dance the night away at Salt of the Earth or Coral Gables. Relax in the state of bliss while enjoying a luxurious couple’s massage, then curl up with a bottle of wine in front of the blazing fire.
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