Northern Michigan Vacation: One week, three counties, and the perfect way to celebrate the return of the sun in Northern Michigan. MyNorth has your definitive guide to a Northern Michigan staycation Spring Break, offering a few favorite ideas from around the region, beating the tan right off long airport security lines, 80-degree days, and bodies of water that lack large chunks of ice.
Explore the Great Outdoors in Emmet County
Make it a personal mission to visit all the nature preserves in the area, and take advantage of everything the shoulder season has to offer. Create your own “treasure map” of places to make for eager adventurers. Tote cross country skis, mud-puddle-friendly boots, and mountain bikes to explore all these places worth protecting, and the whole family will soon agree: those ordinary warm weather getaways? Way too boring. For a list of nature preserves and the activities allowed in each, visit the Little Traverse Conservancy’s Website, landtrust.org. For more fun outside ideas, check out the Getting Kids Outdoors website, gettingkidsoutdoors.org.
Splash, Ski and Get Cozy in Charlevoix County
No need to forgo pool time if you’re hanging Up North for Spring Break. Instead, catch the last great ski days, then hit the hot tub (or lazy rivers and wave pool) at Boyne Mountain’s Avalanche Bay. Feel free to jump between slopes and slides with an unlimited access pass to the water park, four tokens to the arcade, and nights spent recuperating at the Clock Tower (or upgrade to the Mountain Grand Lodge). Water park packages start at $166 per night. boyne.com
For those seeking a little less sensory overload when swimming, check out the Charlevoix Community Pool, open to all and about as cheap as you can get (think $1 for district residents, and just $1.50 for non-district folks on Monday and Wednesday nights). For a complete open swim schedule—or to find out when you can watch water polo—visit charlevoixpool.org.
Cozy up to spring break in Charlevoix. Walk to the shops, restaurants and all the sights from the iconic Weathervane Terrace Inn & Suites in Charlevoix. Choose from a suite with a wood-burning fireplace and kitchenette for $65.99 (reg. $119), or a patio room for $54.99 (reg. $99.99). Standard rooms are just $49.99 (reg. $89.99). Getting away to this modern castle on Lake Michigan’s shores will make you feel like royalty, if only for the length of your stay.
Bring on the Buttered Popcorn in Grand Traverse County
From Despicable Me to Spongebob Squarepants, the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City is serving up free movies March 25-April 1. Family friendly flicks will run everyday at 10 a.m.—just in time to calm the morning bouts of boredom, sibling wars, and general pre-nap crankitudes. The early show picks are all cartoons, but there’s a jam-packed schedule for older kids and adults alike throughout Spring Break. Each day carries a different cinematic theme. Our personal favorite? A Salute to Charlie Sheen. Yes, seriously. Tickets for any of the 33 free shows can be picked up at the State Theatre Box Office. Four tickets per person. To see the complete schedule, visit statetheatretc.org.