These winter getaways offer a retreat in the best sense of the word—with that just-right combination of nature and indulgence. Take a February vacation in Northern Michigan with your special someone.


Pick up some loaner snowshoes (free at the Charlevoix library), then head to Fisherman’s Island State Park, where meditation comes easily. Stroll near the water’s edge along some of the five miles of Lake Michigan shorefront. Then warm up in a waterfront room at the Edgewater Inn, heading just down the hall for jambalaya and bread pudding at the French Quarter Bistro. It’s worth heading out for a nightcap of creative brews like “A Beach Named Sandy” and “Walkabout” at new small-batch Bier’s Inwood Brewery, behind Bier Art Gallery.


This town’s namesake, Bishop Baraga, was affectionately known as the snowshoe priest, and see if there isn’t something holy about a stroll by snowshoe or snow boots along Lake Superior during a stay at the LaRose Wellness Retreat. You’re expected to take that soft robe from your room and pad down to the Finnish sauna or hot tub room. Here, spa treatments come to you if you arrange them in advance. Plus, there’s an outdoor deck with fireplace for that post-hike warm-up.


Chateau Grand Traverse offers two nights for the price of one mid-week in February, so if your travel schedule is flexible head to the Old Mission Peninsula to catch every other Wednesday’s offering of beer yoga at Jolly Pumpkin. For $10, get your hour of Yen Yoga instruction and favorite Jolly Pumpkin brew. Or opt for wine: Chateau Grand Traverse adds in a bottle of wine for each night’s stay. For rejuvenation: there’s a bay view from most rooms, a chef-provided breakfast and games to play by a cozy fire.


Travel by horse and sleigh, true Robert Frost style, to your fancy dinner in the woods, or if you’d prefer, ski your way through a moveable outdoor feast with five themed stations—beer and wine and all—along a 6K course. Treetops Resort offers both of those options, and also the chance to just hunker in with a “Lucky You Two” package with its $200 in spa services and in-room gift.

Kim Schneider is a long-time travel writer specializing in Michigan adventures, food and wine. The Midwest Travel Journalist Association has named her Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year, and she’s the author of the recently-published book, 100 Things to Do in Traverse City Before You Die. 

Photo(s) by Chateau Grand Traverse