Looking for romantic getaways in Michigan for couples this weekend? Most Americans and foreigners don’t think of Michigan when planning a vacation. Images of abandoned houses and factories in Detroit, water crises, and country farms come to mind. However, the mitten state has much more to offer than that.
I was born in Michigan, so the state holds a special place in my heart. The beautiful winters, clear beaches, beautiful waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula, and cute historic small towns scattered throughout the state are what I think about Michigan. There are plenty of perfect places to spend romantic weekend getaways in Michigan with your loved one.
Where exactly should you enjoy a Michigan getaway? Here are all the best romantic getaways in Michigan you should explore.
MICHIGAN AT A GLANCE
- When is the best time to visit: Summertime in Michigan cannot be beaten. Plan your trip between June and September, especially if visiting a Michigan beach destination. Although fall in Michigan during October is like something out a movie scene.
- What are some of the top things to do in Michigan: Christmas in Frankenmuth, enjoy the beach in Grand Haven, wander the boutiques in Saugatuck.
- How to get around: Like most states you’ll need to have your own car for any intercity travel in Michigan. Having an RV or campervan is also a very popular way to explore in the summer. Outdoorsy is a fantastic website to search for van rentals.
- Beaches to visit: Mackinaw City Beach Access and Cheboygan State Park.
- Movies set in Michigan: It Follows (horror), 8 Mile, Detroit, and Gran Torino.
- Books set in Michigan: Song of Solomon, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, and Middlesex.
Romantic Getaways in Michigan Ideas
Feel like you’re in Bavaria in Frankenmuth
A great couples getaway Michigan is definitely Frankenmuth. If I could describe Frankenmuth in two words, it would be “Little Bavaria.”
Frankenmuth is a great getaway destination in Michigan year-round, but in my opinion, it’s a great winter weekend getaway in Michigan. Through the winter months, the whole town turns into a giant German-like Christmas market.
People are happy, kids are ice skating, the shops are full, and the streets are lined with Christmas lights. Throughout the town, you can feel the holiday spirit in the air. The downtown area is modeled after a 19th-century German village, and in mid-September, the whole community gathers for Oktoberfest, much like they do in Munich.
- Things to do in Frankenmuth:
- Obviously walk inside Bronner’s during Christmas
- Stay at a Bavarian Inn
- Shop at the Frankenmuth River Place Shops
One of the most romantic places to stay in Frankenmuth is the Marv Herzog Hotel, a boutique hotel with a riverside patio and age-old European decor.
eat all the michigan cherries in Traverse City
One of the best Michigan getaways is hands down, Traverse City. If you want to shop till you drop, then Traverse City, right on the Grand Traverse Bay Area of Northern Michigan, is your place.
The streets of Traverse City are lined with unique shops and delicious places to eat. What the town is most known for are the Michigan cherries. This city is easily one of the most romantic getaways in Michigan you can have.
Dubbed the “Cherry Capital of the World,” almost 3/4 of America’s cherries are grown in Michigan. I’m not talking about the sweet maraschino cherries either, I’m referring to the delicious juicy ruby-red cherries that you can only find in certain parts of the world.
Two of my favorite things to do in Traverse City are celebrating the National Cherry Festival each June and attending the Traverse City Film Festival every summer.
- Things to do in Traverse City:
- Enjoy a wine tasting
- Explore the Grand Traverse Commons
- Celebrate the National Cherry Festival
For a romantic weekend getaway make sure to book the Cherry Tree Inn and Suites as they have an awesome waterfront location on the East Bay.
Cross the Bridge to Mackinac Island
Another great romantic getaway in Michigan is Mackinac Island! Mackinac Island is the perfect anniversary getaway in Michigan. In case you didn’t know, two peninsulas make up Michigan.
The Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula connected by the Mackinac Bridge and separated by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Mackinac Island is between these two peninsulas, renowned for its colonial and Victorian-era ambiance. The island is one of the most popular destinations in Michigan, and for a good reason.
After coming here and seeing the horse and buggies, fudge shops, and cobbled streets, you yourself will be enchanted. There is plenty of history to learn here and great shopping (especially for fudge), and there are also the posh and luxurious resort areas where couples can treat themselves to fabulous dinners at the Carriage House.
Horse riding, hiking, and paddling also present themselves to the more active bunch. The best part is an automobile ban on the island, so get used to clean air, horses, and plenty of bicycles to enjoy a romantic weekend.
- Things to do in Mackinac Island:
- Make some Mackinac Island fudge
- Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the island
- Learn history at the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop
The Bear Cove Inn is the cutest little hotel in Saint Ignace. If you're looking for one of the most beautiful Michigan getaways in the Upper Peninsula you cannot miss this charming place.
Search for Petoskey Stones in Petoskey
Petoskey is located on Little Traverse Bay and is one of the most affluent areas of the state I have traveled through. It’s a great Michigan getaway as it has shop-lined streets, yacht-filled harbors, and outstanding eateries await you.
Petoskey is named after the Petoskey Stone, the prehistoric fossil found in the area. You can easily have one of those awesome weekend getaways in Michigan here.
Besides finding the Petoskey Stone, visitors to the area can find themselves on one of the many bike and hiking trails through the Petoskey State Park or golf on one of the beautiful golf courses near Bay Harbor along the water.
If you are looking for a more fishing-oriented romantic getaway in Michigan, then check out Petoskey’s Bear River, which plays host to brook trout, salmon, and steelhead.
- Things to do in Petoskey:
Enjoy a romantic weekend in Petoskey at the Stafford's Bay View Inn which features Victorian Era rooms with modern and helpful amenities.
For one of the more inexpensive romantic getaways in Michigan, why not head to the beach? As a little girl, I would always find myself in West Michigan visiting Saugatuck during the summer. Only a 45 minute drive away from Grand Rapids, Saugatuck offers visitors a more laid-back art scene on the shores of Lake Michigan.
It’s a great Michigan family getaway town perfect for walking around and enjoy the unique shops, romantic restaurants, and art galleries that are so hard to come by in the midwest. You’ll have a hard time getting bored as there are so many things to do in Saugatuck.
It also has one of the most open LGBT communities in the state and is considered fairly progressive. Oval Beach is a beautiful and serene beach that is easily the most popular to visit in the summertime with its white sand and clear water.
- Things to do in Saugatuck:
- Roam into one of the many art galleries
- Enjoy a day at Oval Beach
- Hop on a Saugatuck Dune Ride
Enjoy an adults-only weekend in Michigan at the Hotel Saugatuck, easily one of the best places to stay in the area.
ABC’s Good Morning America voted Sleeping Bears Dunes in Northern Michigan the “Most Beautiful Place in America.” It’s not an exaggeration. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park covers over 35 miles of pristine coastline.
Sleeping Bear is perfect for a cheap weekend getaway in Michigan, especially for couples to enjoy a few days of pure bliss and relaxation among some of the bluest waters in Michigan.
Sleeping Bears Dunes are beautiful in both the summer and the winter, but for swimming and camping around Lake Michigan, the months of June, July, and August are perfect. The Dunes are named after the great Ojibwe legend, which you can read fully about here.
- Things to do at Sleeping Bear Dunes:
- Walk the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
- Paddle around the clear blue waters
- Climb up the many dunes
Empire Lakeshore Inn is one of the only hotels near Sleeping Bear Dunes, and if you don't want to camp it may be a great option for you!
Another great couples getaway in Michigan is Frankfort. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Michigan that is only a three-hour drive away from the capital city look no further than Frankfort.
This cute little town is in Benzie County and is situated right along Lake Michigan. White sand dunes, crystal clear water, and awe-inspiring sunsets surround the quaint Victorian homes and cute coffee shops in this small little town.
One of my favorite things to do here is to head up to Betsie Point Lighthouse at the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage. Frankfort is so romantic, one of my best friends even got married here!
- Things to do in Frankfort:
- Enjoy Crystal Lake
- Have a baked good at Crescent Bakery
- Sip a beer at Stormcloud Brewing Company
For a lakefront romantic place head to Chimney Corners Resort in Frankfort. It's charming and has all the amenities you could need.
Leland is a teenie village in Leelanau Country and is an excellent place for a day trip for a weekend trip in Michigan for couples in the north!
The quaint town is easy enough to walk around and enjoy a fun day of kayaking, swimming, or just watching the beautiful yachts pull into port. There are plenty of cute places to eat and shop in Leland.
Fishtown is a small 150-year-old fishing village that is also a great place to visit and have lunch. The fully operational Fishtown is one of Michigan’s only fishing villages left. While walking through here, you can easily see, feel, and smell the fish smokehouses, drying fish racks, and fishing shanties while trying some of the one-of-a-kind smoked fish. I love Leland and find it one of Michigan’s best places to visit!
- Things to do in Leland:
- Explore the charming “Fishtown”
- Have a meal at The Cove
- Pick up a souvenir at Harbor House Trading Company
An enjoyable place to stay in Leland is the Whaleback Inn with lake views.
photograph Michigan lighthouses in Ludington
Ludington is one of the best romantic getaways in Michigan year-round. There are great hiking trails in Ludington State Park to go cross-country skiing on a romantic winter getaway in Michigan and of course, there are dunes to climb in the summer at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Forest.
Like many towns on this list, Ludington has fabulous beaches along Lake Michigan accompanied by two famous Ludington lighthouses. However, it’s not the beaches or the antique shops downtown that make Ludington so wonderful – it’s the massive list of festivals they host! From the Ludington Freedom Festival to their Winterfest, it’s hard to get bored in Ludington any time of the year.
- Things to do in Ludington:
- See the Big Sable Point Lighthouse
- Walk around Downtown Ludington
- Pick up some wine at Fox Barn Market & Winery
For an adults-only magical weekend away try the Summers Inn. This is a charming inn is just 5 minutes drive from the shores of Lake Michigan.
Frolick around the tulips in Holland
If Frankenmuth is the nation’s “Little Bavaria,” then Holland, Michigan is the nation’s “Little Amsterdam.” Yup, in case you have never been to Western and Central Europe, don’t worry because Michigan has you covered!
Dutch Americans founded Holland, hence the name. Holland is located on Lake Macatawa, and there are many public beach accesses if you are looking for a romantic getaway in Michigan.
There is also a fabulous shopping district, mostly on the iconic 8th street. Here, you can find locally owned businesses, coffee shops, Irish Pubs, and even the New Holland Brewing Company (one of the best Michigan breweries). Despite all these amazing things, the Tulip Time Festival is what Holland, Michigan is famous for. Each May, Holland plays host to over six million tulips around the city.
- Things to do in Holland:
- Visit the Holland Harbor Lighthouse
- Explore Windmill Island Gardens
- Enjoy the Summer at Holland State Park
There are a ton of places to stay in Holland, so visitors are spoilt with options. One of the most well-reviewed hotels is the Hampton Inn Holland.
Chase Waterfalls in Marquette
Marquette is set on the scenic shores of Lake Superior and has some of the best beaches in the US. It’s the largest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a fantastic place to head if you love nature and being outdoors. Does tucking yourself away in cozy cabin during Fall in Michigan sound nice like a nice couples retreat in Michigan? Marquette may be for you!
Marquette was originally developed as a hotspot for the iron ore industry, it has since blossomed into a cultural mecca of art and history. It also has many natural wonders. There are so many waterfalls to explore, and even mountains (yes Michigan has some mountains!). If you visit in the winter you may be treated to a northern lights spectacle!
- Things to do in Marquette:
- Enjoy the Forest Around Presque Isle Park
- Ski at Marquette Mountain
- Bike at Sugarloaf Mountain
For the ultimate couples retreat Michigan, consider staying at Little Presque Isle Cabins! These are rustic cabins in the woods that will transport you to another time!
Walk Under a Lighthouse in Grand Haven
Grand Haven is well known in Michigan for its stunning beach landscapes. It’s rich in Americana history, and every year plays host to the Coast Guard Festival.
If you are looking for a beachy romantic weekend away, Grand Haven is for you. There are charming boutique shops, fantastic restaurants, and plenty of places to set down a beach chair and soak up some rays.
The red Grand Haven Lighthouse is one of the most iconic Michigan images. During both the summer and winter you can stroll under it and enjoy the overall views of beautiful Lake Michigan.
- Things to do in Grand Haven:
- Walk Around Downtown Grand Haven
- Visit the Tri-Cities Historical Museum
- Attend the US Coast Guard Festival
The most romantic beach luxury escape in Michigan is the Looking Glass Beachfront Inn, and I would not hesitate to book a stay there for some R&R.
enjoy Michigan Wine in South Haven
South Haven is a delightful hamlet known for its spectacular scenery, great beaches, and iconic South Haven Lighthouse. South Haven is commonly referred to as ‘the Catskills of the Midwest’ for its abundance of natural wonders, it’s set along the shores of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the beautiful Black River.
One of the main draws of South Haven is the enticing myriad of vineyards to visit, with the most well-known being Cogdal Vineyards. Cogdal carefully crafts small-batch Michigan wines that they serve by flights, glass, or bottle. Each can be paired with a selection of artisan cheeses or chocolates, as well, within the serene oasis of their tasting room. It’s the perfect Michigan romantic getaway.
The varietals range from classic and refined to bold and eclectic. Warner Vineyards is another great place located conveniently downtown along the Black River and offers over 25 different wines to taste test by the glass or bottle.
- Things to do in South Haven:
- See the historic South Pier Head Light
- Visit the Michigan Maritime Museum
- Get on the trails around Porter Legacy Dunes
- Have a meal at one of the best South Haven restaurants
There's really no better place to stay in South Haven than Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast.
Watch a Lugnuts Game in Lansing
The capital city of Lansing is home to a very popular minor league baseball team. In the summer one of the best things to do is enjoy a baseball game at the Lansing Lugnuts stadium.
Head over to the Cooley Law School Stadium, and get ready for a show. Half the fun is of course feasting, so luckily there are six full service concession stands. You may end up getting a classic snack in the stands regardless when midway through hotdogs are shot from an air gun into the audience.
- Things to do in Lansing:
- See the Michigan State Capitol Building
- Take the kids to Impression 5 Science Center
- Stroll Old Town Lansing
One of the best places to stay in Lansing is the Graduate East Lansing!
Roam Through Greektown in Detroit
Detroit is not just a mecca for vintage Americana but a miraculous melting pot as well. Head to Greektown which offers authentic eateries, eclectic entertainment, and even a casino all steeped in old world charm. We love to do this in the summer before catching a Tigers game!
- Things to do in Detroit:
- Admire The Street Art along The Belt Alley
- Ride a bike down the Dequindre Cut Greenway
- Stop in the Motown Museum
For one of the most romantic experiences in Michigan, book a stay at the Shinola Hotel.
Enjoy the Lighthouses in Charlevoix
Charlevoix is a small northern Michigan town that is one of the best places to see the Northern lights in the state. Given its lack of light pollution, you have a terrific chance of seeing the aurora from Fisherman’s Island State Park. Speaking from experiences there is nothing more romantic than catching the Northern Lights with your lover.
It’s best to look for clear skies and check the Kp index before seeing the northern lights. The best chance to see the Northern lights is between December and March.
- Things to do in Charlevoix
- Find the Mushroom Homes
- Ferry to the Emerald Isle
- Ferry to Beaver Island
Ride a Snowmobile in Escanaba
One of the most romantic getaways in Michigan in the winter is in Escanaba. Escanaba is another city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a well known winter destination in the UP.
In the winter, a fun thing to do is snowmobile, snowshoe, or go cross country skiing through the quiet woods. If you are really after something different check out the Great Lakes Ice Racing every winter!
Chase the Fall Colors Around Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
One of the most romantic things to do in Michigan in the fall is chase the colors. During the month of October and early November the yellow, orange, and red colors are almost too stunning to believe. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a surreal place to visit to see some of the most amazing Michigan landscapes.
Here the rugged coastlines contrast the shimmering waters of Lake Superior, which will surely leave all visitors satisfied with their journey here.
There is an abundance of hiking opportunities, fishing excursions, and mountain biking along the lakeshore which are all still wonderful in the fall.
Enjoy the natural surroundings at Kitch-Iti-Kipi
Near Manistique in the Upper Peninsula, Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan’s most prominent natural freshwater spring; the name comes from the Ojibwe language and means “cold spring.” But it’s also often referred to as the Mirror of Heaven.
A beautiful boathouse sits in the middle of the spring and is where many visitors can enjoy the natural surroundings. Head here for a lovely walk in nature.
Sail Around the Les Cheneaux Islands
The Les Cheneaux Islands are a group of 36 small islands along 12 miles of Lake Huron shoreline. The sheltered bays, channels, and coves make for the perfect place to go sailing as it is well protected from the Great Lake winds.
If you are in the Upper Peninsula having a romantic holiday, but exploring these islands on your bucket list.
Enjoy a Winter Getaway at Boyne Mountain
One of the best things to do in the winter in Michigan is ski at Boyne Mountain. This expansive alpine and ski spot has over 60 runs and seven terrain parks to play in. The most significant vertical drop is 500 feet, and there are 12 lifts to carry you back up the mountainsides after catching serious air.
Skiing at Boyne Mountain Resort is a popular pastime in the state, especially around Christmas in Michigan when the holiday cheer is in the air. There are varying accommodation options as it’s a fantastic couples getaway in Michigan.
Map of These Romantic Getaways in Michigan
Above all, enjoy these romantic getaways in Michigan!
READ MORE MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this guide on romantic things to do in Michigan. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Michigan.
- Things to do in Grand Haven
- Things to do in Traverse City
- Things to do in Saugatuck
- Things to do in Petoskey
- Things to do in Mackinac
- Things to do in Ludington
- Things to do in Holland
- Things to do in Saginaw
- 20 Best Beaches in Michigan to Visit This Summer
- 20 Beautiful Lakes in Michigan (That Aren’t the Great Lakes)
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