Take a trip to Detroit if you’re looking for a spot to spend several days hiking or learn more about Michigan’s history. Head to the downtown area to try out renowned eateries and browse trendy shops. Book a stay at a spacious Detroit vacation rental located in the heart of all the action, then embark on a weekend getaway to one of these exciting nearby cities.
1. Mackinac Island
Escape to an island on your weekend away – Mackinac Island that is. This island looks like it was designed to star on a postcard with its idyllic town and the Grand Hotel that overlooks the water. This island doesn’t allow cars so bring good walking shoes or rent bikes from Mackinac Island Bike Shop that rents by the day or weekend. At Jack’s Livery Stables or the Grand Hotel Stable, you can rent horses and see some of the more isolated points on the island. Spend an afternoon out on the water with Great Turtle Kayak Tour that takes you around the island to see the best views.
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2. St. Ignace
In St. Ignace, it’s all about spending time out on the water. The town offers several public boat launches so you can bring your own. Stop by the St. Ignace Marina for everything you need out on the water: gas, sunscreen, snacks, bait, and so much more. Don’t want to hassle with bringing a boat? Dream Seaker Fishing Charters and Tours offers a half or whole day on the water. The guide is knowledgeable about the local area and takes your group to the best place to catch fish. Bring an ice chest and take your catch back to your vacation rental for dinner. If you prefer to eat out, the Driftwood Restaurant and Sports Bar has live entertainment on the weekends.
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As soon as you arrive in the town of Holland, you can feel the Dutch influence of the original settlers. Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, the town offers the Holland Museum to learn more about the area and its Dutch influence. This museum offers a program called Holland Museum on the Move, a walking tour of the city, where you make your way past a working windmill while the guide points out areas of interest. Let the kids touch a stingray and ride on the back of a camel at the John Ball Zoological Garden that has an aquarium attached to it. See the artwork of regional artists at the Kruizenza Art Museum.
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Since the 1800s, Saugatuck has been a welcoming vacation destination for the people of Michigan and beyond. The town sits on the shores of Kalamazoo River, and in the summer months, soak up the sun on Oval Beach while your kids play in the water. Get out on the water for a few hours on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry that runs past the town. Wander around the downtown area and duck in and out of the eclectic collection of shops, including Landsharks, Saugatuck Traders, and Mother Moon. After a day in the sun, cool off at Marro’s Italian Restaurant, a quintessential Italian eatery with white tablecloths and delicious pasta dishes.
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While not as large as Detroit, Lansing offers a plethora of cultural activities, including a lot of museums. The state capital building is a great place to start your weekend with a tour of this regal building. You find more than 100 hands-on exhibits at the Impression 5 Science Center to help your kids learn more about science without even realizing it. Find a vehicle from every era at the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum. The oldest transport vehicle dates back to the 19th century. With five stories, it’s a cinch to spend the better part of the afternoon exploring the e Michigan History Center with its collection of artifacts and other memorabilia.
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Frankenmuth has deep roots in its the German culture of its founding fathers. If you get the chance, book your vacation rental during their Octoberfest celebration or in May, when they hold the annual World Expo of Beer. Another popular yearly festival is the Bavarian Fest, where you can sample German beer, food, and bakery items and enjoy the family-friendly activities. Learn more about how to make beer with a tour of the Lager Mill Brewery Museum, or take to the skies with a zipline tour at the Frankenmuth Adventure Center.
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7. Copper Harbor
On the shores of Lake Superior, Copper Harbor was once a prosperous town that based its industry on copper mining and did quite well into the early 1900s. Today, you can spend a weekend in this sleepy, little town. Kids will love riding the ferry over to the Isle Royale National Park, where you can spend an afternoon, hiking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing, including moose and wolves. Keep an eye out for the Copper Harbor Lighthouse on your way back to town. The Fort Wilkins Historic State Park offers restored Army installation that dates back to the 1800s.
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