If you are located near Detroit, then you know the vast amount of other cool cities nearby that each have their own unique things to do and see. When you are looking to get out of town, one of these weekend destinations might just be at the top of your list. These destinations are all within driving distance and guaranteed to be a good time. Don't worry, Detroit will still be here when you get back.
Best Beer Getaway: Grand Rapids
If you love a good beer and maybe looking for a beercation, Grand Rapids is the place you must go. Although Michigan has a ton of breweries awaiting your arrival, this city will be where you want to be. Grand Rapids is a lifetime titleholder of Beer City USA, and the city has dozens of breweries both big and small, for whatever kind of beer experience your looking for.
On your trip, start at Brewery Vivant or Greyline which are two great options you must visit. Not only is Grand Rapids a great place for beer lovers, but they also have truly excellent coffee shops, pasteries, Bloody Mary bars and restaurants. Check out Roots Brew Shop, Nutcher's Union and then the Green Well Gastro Pub for dinner before heading across the street to another beer at Brewery Vivant.
Eat, drink and then take the time to get out there and explore the city of Grand Rapids, as this city offers hundreds of miles of paved bike trails and even trails for those that love mountain biking.
From Detroit, Grand Rapids is a drive just under three hours.
Best Food Getaway: Traverse City
Traverse City, a world-renowned tourist destination, is a great weekend destination. This small city is named one of Michigan's best beach towns and even has some awesome food and drink options as well.
Start your weekend getaway with a coffee and a bite from Morsels Bakery, then head to grab a cold beer at 7 Monks. For dinner, Trattoria Stella is always a popular destination as it is a farm-to-table, Michigan-meets-Italian restaurant. After lots of food and drinks, walk around the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, which is where Trattoria Stella is actually located. Here you'll find one of the largest historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects in the country, which is now full of cute shops restaurants and wine bars.
Make sure to carve in some time to drive down the two peninsulas that jut out from a shared base of Traverse City, Leelanau, and Old Mission. When you drive down M-37 the road curves over the rolling hills of vineyards and suddenly you have sweeping views of the bays on either side. Stop for a wine tasting at 2 Lads Winery which has amazing views from the tasting room.
Traverse City is a little over four hours from Detroit.
Best Luxurious Getaway: Chicago
Chicago is a world-class city that is well-known, and while you can certainly do Chicago on the cheap, it's well worth a splurge. There are an extreme amount of restaurants and bars in the Windy City, but if you are a foodie, Alinea is the restaurant that made molecular gastronomy a thing in America. If you want to go slightly less fussy, check out Next. You do not need reservations, but you do need tickets in advance for both of these restaurants, so plan ahead.
If you're here for a splurge, check out some splurge worthy activities like spending $500 for Hamilton tickets or another Broadway show in Chicago's impressive theatre district. And while Chicago's architecture and city is amazing just by walking around, be sure to check out a more luxurious way of seeing the city, either by boat or from the sky in a private helicopter tour.
Chicago is about four-and-a half hours from Detroit.
Most Affordable Getaway: Toledo, Ohio
It has been said, but we'll say it again: Toledo is an underrated weekend destination. Okay, you're not going to lose your mind over this getaway, but it's a fun way to spend a weekend somewhere that's only an hour away. The Toledo Museum of Art is actually outstanding and truly a great recommendation. It's free to the public and home to more than 30,000 works of art. Yes, there is the DIA in Michigan but how fortunate for you that you live in a place with so many truly incredible museums in such close proximity.
The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium is also incredible and so fun. It's home to more than 10,000 animals including a home to the only "Hippoquarium" exhibit in the world. If the whole concept of a zoo isn't for you, then take heart in knowing that the Toledo Zoo also participates in over 80 species survival programs.
Toledo, Ohio is a little over an hour from Detroit.
Best Family Getaway: Mackinac Island
You love it, or you hate it, or you hate to love it, but it's a place you probably have been to before, and I guarantee you'll be back. No Michigan childhood is complete without trips to Mackinac Island where you bike around the island, ride on a horse-drawn carriage, watch fudge being made in the windows of half a dozen fudge shops, and stay in a funky old Victorian home or hotel that is all part of the experience. Mackinac Island is kind of like the Hamptons but with Michigan charm. The Pink Pony is an iconic bar and restaurant, so spend some time there and then head over to grab a Michigan beer at Mary's Bistro Draught House, which has the best beer list on the island.
Mackinac Island is just under 4 hours from Detroit, not including the ferry ride over to the island.
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