Where to Travel During your Holiday Staycation

Where to Travel During your Holiday Staycation

Rene Maier, Managing Editor

Road trips are meant to provide a break from reality and allow people to bond with others in a car, rather than sitting in a plane for numerous hours trying not to disrupt those around them. On a road trip you can be as loud as you want, you can pack however many bags you want without having to pay extra, and although it does take longer to reach your destination, you are able to create more memories. For many families here at FHC and in the surrounding area, Holiday Break is a time for travel with family to warmer places down south, but if you are not one of those families during the holidays I would highly suggest traveling with some friends or even family members around Michigan. Even if you only travel for one day to a place not far away, or go on a trip with some of your closest friends, here are four places in Michigan that will provide you the joy of traveling, even though you are stuck in the mitten.

Traverse City (my Holiday Break destination)

A two hour drive, yet a world away. Although Traverse City is known for their summer Cherry Festival it still brings
many fun times during the winter. Placed along the Traverse City Bay, an inlet of Lake Michigan, the city provides you with many shops. Also, many of the original buildings are still standing and hosting a place for some cute holiday pictures. A day trip will provide you enough time to walk around downtown, and if you are willing to stay overnight, the sunrise over the bay is one unlike any other.


Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City

The frigid air of being close to the U.P. may turn you away, but if you are looking for a place that feels somewhere far away from Michigan… this is the place for you. Both the city and the island provide a slow-paced lifestyle and a vibe that you don’t feel anywhere else because there is no other place in Michigan that prospers on being stuck in the olden times. The winter is much different from the summer because there are not many people willing to travel 6 hours to be stuck in the cold, so the city may seem barren, but if you are willing to take a frigid ferry ride (or plane if conditions require) then you will be on the wonderful Mackinac Island which holds a spot on the ‘Top Ten Christmas Towns in Michigan’.


Grand Haven State Park

Closer to home, allowing the opportunity to make this a day trip, Grand Haven during the winter is one of the prettiest views there is. Although the pier is mostly nonexistent at this time because of construction, the ice that builds up and forms the natural ice sculptures this park is known for is still forming just not to the extremes that they normally are. I would highly suggest this trip if you are itching to go on a road trip with friends because the surrounding shops on Main Street are still open for business, but the vibe in Grand Haven in the winter is different than that in the summer (in a good way).


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


A trip across the bridge may not be possible with the conditions this winter, but if the weather allows, Pictured Rocks is a must visit. Although this destination is at the top of the U.P. the drive with friends or family is worth it because the sights on the way up there add to the overall experience of reaching your destination. Although the park closes at 4:30pm because of the early darkness, it opens at 9am and contains many beautiful sights.

Staying in Michigan doesn’t mean that you have to stay in Grand Rapids, although there are many things to do both in and out of the city, but with these places in mind your “staycation” or road trip could be one that you’ll remember for a lifetime.