Michigan is truly a winter wonderland during the cold months. All you have to do is look around, and wherever you are in the state, chances are you’ll see snow-covered tree tops, glistening hills and a bevy of creatures enjoying the snow, from squirrels to birds to deer.
If you find yourself with some time off during the winter, or just want to go on a weekend excursion, Michigan is a great state for a road trip this time of year. That’s as long as the roads are safe, of course. Don’t go on a joyride during a snow or ice storm.
The largest city in Michigan, Detroit, offers plenty to do during the cold winter months. One favorite activity is heading to Campus Marius and skating at the location’s famed ice skating rink. The Rink at Campus Martius Park is considered the Midwest’s version of the rink outside of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Skate rental is available for $5. Admission rates vary.
More information: DowntownDetroitParks.com
Have you ever see the Capital City in the winter, with light snow breezing by? If not, head to Lansing this winter. A walk through downtown offers a picturesque view of the State Capitol, as well as a collection of local eateries and shops. It doesn’t stop at downtown Lansing, either. Head north, and you’ll find the old-fashioned looking Old Town with more local shops and eateries. Head south, and you’ll be in REO Town, with even more local fun. I actually grew up in Lansing and have a deep appreciation for everything the city offers.
More information: DowntownLansing.org, Iloveoldtown.org and Reo.Town.
The largest city on the western side of Michigan, Grand Rapids, is known for its snowy winters. The city is located just a bit inland from Lake Michigan, so all of that lake-effect snow makes for glistening, snow-filled seasons. There’s plenty to do in Grand Rapids, including checking out art exhibits throughout the year (both the summer and winter months), stopping by the Gerald R. Ford Museum or just visiting some of the local skiing hotspots. One major attraction is the Frederick Meijer Gardens, which offer exhibits and events. The World of Winter Festival offers free entertainment, art and winter from now through March 6, 2022.
More information: Experiencegr.com
Being so far north, Traverse City is very popular in the summer, especially during the National Cherry Festival. But, don’t forget the city during the winter months. One major attraction is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which offers some of the most beautiful winter views in the state. Downtown Traverse City also offers a bevy of local shops with the winter spirit.
More information: TraverseCity.com
If you’ve never been to the U.P., now is the perfect time to experience that northern Michigan town. Marquette is a true snapshot of Michigan, being the location for Northern Michigan University and at the epicenter of the iron industry. If you ski, Marquette offers plenty of ski runs and lessons, whether you’re a newbie or experienced. A fun indoor activity is visiting the Devos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University. For fine arts, the Lake Superior Theatre and Marquette Symphony Orchestra offer live music and theater.
More information: TravelMarquette.com