The Best Places for Michigan Winter Getaways

Looking for Michigan winter getaways and a relaxing break?

Michigan is the perfect place to go if you feel cabin fever and are looking for the perfect winter getaway spot.

Michigan winters are more than snow and ice. Winter vacation in Michigan is full of beautiful towns that could be compared to a snow globe.

Michigan offers a variety of great places to enjoy a winter vacation, from quiet beaches that sparkle in winter to small towns that are alive during the cold months.

There are many options for cozy winter getaways.

Below are some of our top picks for winter vacations. Get started planning your Michigan vacations.

Winter Vacation Adventures in Michigan

You can find a Michigan ski resort, or explore a location on the interactive Michigan Beach or Travel Map to enjoy Michigan in winter.

Michigan’s ski resorts offer many winter activities, including dog-sledding and crosscountry skiing.

Many Michigan vacation spots on our Beach and Travel Map offer a variety of winter activities. You could try snowmobiling or riding a fat-tire bike. Further north, you may find a frozen waterfall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Our Guide to Michigan’s Top Ski Resorts

Marquette MI Ice climbing

Marquette, MI

Marquette, which is home to Northern Michigan University and stunning views of Lake Superior will make you fall in love the Upper Peninsula. Marquette is the largest city in the U.P. But, you’ll be reminded of home by the friendly and intimate town.

Warm cocoa and holiday shopping are two of the best ways to welcome in the new season. Marquette has some of the most beautiful retail in northern Michigan. There are many small businesses that will make you smile, such as some new craft beweries and gastropubs.

You will be welcomed to the north by a snowy winter landscape. You won’t feel the cold for long if you keep your heart pumping by engaging in outdoor activities. When you get outside and have fun, the cold will quickly melt away.

Marquette offers so many outdoor activities that it is the ideal spot for your Michigan winter vacation.


Now you’re in Copper Country. Houghton, also known as the gateway of Michigan’s famous Keweenaw Peninsula is now your destination.

Houghton is truly a winter wonderland with its beautiful forests and frozen beaches. You might be able to see the Northern Lights at some of your favorite viewing spots, such as McLain State Park, on the shores wild and beautiful Lake Superior.

One thing is certain: there will be plenty of snow. Winter break is a great time to ski, sled and snowshoe your way.

Houghton will bring out the Yooper in you. Enjoy the Upper Peninsula like a local, with fresh pasties and craft beer. Even dogsledding!

Find out more about Michigan’s Western U.P. Learn more about Michigan’s Western U.P. Our Travel Guide.


Munising may be familiar to you from the famed Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore but the rest is equally beautiful.

Munising is surrounded by the Hiawatha National Park and the Grand Island National Recreation Area. Munising boasts some of the most stunning winter views in Michigan.

There’s more to this place than just taking in the stunning winter scenery. Munising’s downtown has many small businesses that offer great food, such as the best whitefish in your life.

New Buffalo, MI

Wintertime is magical for those who travel to southwest Michigan, home of Lake Michigan’s Harbor Country.

New Buffalo is a charming community that is surrounded by the majestic Lake Michigan’s rolling terrain. New Buffalo, despite its famed bluffs being covered in snow, is a great getaway for those who want to enjoy the small-town charm and atmosphere.

There are many antique shops and breweries in New Buffalo’s charming downtown. However, New Buffalo’s growing wine business has been noted. This area of southwest Michigan has been named one of the most desirable wine regions in America.

There are many great restaurants and shops, but the small-town feel will keep you warm in winter.

South Haven

You are looking for something more nautical to do your winter getaway? You can have a West Michigan summer vacation with a twist. Even in the coldest months, Lake Michigan’s coast is still fun.

You can bundle up and take on the Lake Michigan storms while you travel to this Michigan beach town. It’s a vibrant, colorful town in the snowy white of South Haven.

Apart from the water-based trails, South Haven’s red lighthouse is a must-see attraction. It glitters with snow and ice.

It’s like a holiday ornament.

Make sure to check out the South Haven beer breweries as well as our guide to the best places for stays in South Haven.

Alpena, MI

Michigan’s sunrise side is located on Lake Huron. It can sometimes seem like the less traveled road. If you are planning a Winter Vacation to Alpena you will definitely return.

Alpena is known as the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes. The lighthouses and trails along the lakefront are a must-see for any maritime enthusiast. But Thunder Bay also has shipwrecks that will give you a good chuckle.

Local museums of exceptional quality pay tribute to the region’s rich connection to the Great Lakes shipping sector; make sure you visit them in person or online.

You can also explore the historic downtown shopping area with its cozy cafes and restaurants in century-old brick buildings.

Alpena has both elk viewing carriages and Sleigh rides for those who are more adventurous.

Manistique and Kitch-iti-kipi

The East Breakwater Lighthouse, Manistique is one of the top tourist attractions that will brighten up your holiday season. You’ll feel at the edge of a frozen landscape as you walk along the northern shore of Lake Michigan.

Manistique’s beauty is sure to captivate you. You can take advantage of the wildlife areas, state parks, boardwalks, and other attractions. Fayette Historic State Park will be a reminder about Michigan’s industrial roots, while the kitch-iti­kipi (The Big Spring ) will be a testament to Michigan’s amazing natural landscape.

Kitch-itikipi, Michigan’s largest natural spring of freshwater, is more than 200 feet in length and 40 feet deep. It gushes out from cracks in limestone at the bottom. It is simply stunning at any time of year.

Learn more about this area in our guide to the Central Upper Peninsula.

Cadillac, MI

Can’t decide between spending time in nature or downtown? You don’t need to make a decision if you’re in charming Cadillac

This lively little area south of Traverse city can sometimes be overlooked for more exotic vacation destinations. But don’t let that fool you. Cadillac is a wonderful little getaway spot that’s also a lot of fun.

The historic downtown shopping district takes you back in history in a positive way. There are boutiques, gift shops, bookstores, toy stores and a variety of local restaurants and cafes.

It’s located on Lake Cadillac and is a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Caberfae Peaks, a nearby ski resort is also a great option for a quick getaway.


Ludington’s winter landscape is an art form in and of itself.

The ice starts to cover the shoreline at Lake Michigan for breathtaking views. It is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with three lighthouses worth visiting: Big Sable Point Light Light, Little Sable Point Light Light and North Breakwater Lighthouse at Stearns Park Beach.

Ludington has a lot more art to offer if you are looking for something more cultural.

Enjoy a snowy hike through the Waterfront Park or Sculpture Garden. Or, visit one of the many galleries to see more local scenery.

You can stop by any of the cafes and restaurants that line the streets. But, don’t forget the famous “House of Flavors”. This well-known ice cream shop is also open in winter because it’s never too warm for an icecream cone.

Traverse City

It is the best place to visit in Michigan during winter.

Traverse City is an enjoyable getaway at any time of year. In winter, the snowy white snow sets off the deep blues of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay.

Winter months are a time when tourists flock to the city because of the warm winter feeling evoked by the streets lined with lights and the festive feel of the downtown.

Traverse City and its surrounding areas are excellent winter destinations for wine, craft beer, and spirit lovers. There are also new spots opening regularly in winter.

Traverse City offers so many winter activities: snowmobiling, skiing and hiking the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan shoreline.

Traverse City offers the charm of a small town, despite its large retail area and museums. Our Guide To The Best Restaurants In Traverse City, written from an insider’s perspective.

Sault Ste. Marie

For a unique holiday, go up north to Sault Ste. Marie offers a unique experience in northern Michigan, with a closer view of Canada.

Beautiful Sault Ste. Marie will show you the most serene and peaceful winter beauty Michigan has to offer. You will be amazed at the Soo Locks where you can freighter watch and enjoy the wild, wintery Lake Superior shoreline.

You can go ice fishing and snowshoeing here. You can visit the Tahquamenon Falls State Park which is a popular spot for winter hikers.

The Soo is a great Michigan winter getaway. It’s just a short drive from the Might Mackinac Bridge.

Holland, MI

You are looking for the next best thing to a winter vacation in northern Europe? Michigan is the best place to find it!

Holland is a favorite Michigan destination, and it’s not hard to see why. Visitors love the Dutch culture. Holland in winter is worth the trip, even though there are no Tulips.

Holland State Park is home to the famous “Big Red” Lighthouse, which is covered in snow and stands strong against the winter winds of Lake Michigan.

The charming shops and cafes that line the streets of downtown Holland are inviting. The Kerstmarkt is an outdoor European market that takes place in the early months of December. It features holiday merchandise, performances, and delicious food. Holland is a wonderful place to spend a traditional holiday that will make you feel like a princess.

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