1. Downtown Grand Rapids
Only have a couple of hours to get away? Downtown Grand Rapids is only 20 minutes away and offers visitors everything from outdoor adventure to shopping and a wide variety of dining options including outdoor seating at Brick & Porter, Donkey Taqueria, Flanagan’s Irish Pub, Founders Brewing Company, and many more. If you are in the mood for retail therapy, check out small businesses like Woosah and Adored Boutique or the Rivertown Crossings Mall, Woodland Mall, or Tanger Outlet Mall. Maybe it’s a rare sunny yet snowy day and you want to spend your time outdoors? Rent a pair of cross country skis or take a Fat Bike for a whirl on one of the many trails the city has to offer.
2. Grand Haven
Snowshoeing, sledding, and cross country skiing in one of Michigan’s favorite beach towns is only a 45 minute drive away– and social-distance friendly. Pigeon Creek Park and Hemlock Crossing offer snowshoe and cross country ski rentals for all skill levels to enjoy their snowy trails. While many think the beach is only for the summer months, West Michiganders know better. Next on your agenda is grabbing a cup of coffee or a warm treat from Jumpin’ Java Coffee House or Aldea Coffee and taking a beach walk at Grand Haven State Park.
In just under an hour, you could find yourself exploring one of the gems of the Art Coast of Michigan, enjoying the perfect balance of adventure and inspiration. With no chain businesses or restaurants in sight, there are countless opportunities to discover and support local businesses and artists. Come this spring, if your visit has you feeling inspired, you can head over to Express Yourself Art Barn to create something of your own. If you would rather spend the day outside, there are countless activities to choose from including hiking or snowshoeing at Saugatuck Dunes State Park or Oval Beach, visiting The Felt Estate, or perusing the charming downtown area.
You don’t have to spend hours in the car to hit the slopes for an afternoon. In just over an hour, you could be clicking into skis or strapping into a snowboard at Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac. For those who prefer hiking boots to skis, Huron-Manistee National Forests– spanning just shy of one million acres– are a must-see.
Only 45 minutes away from Rockford and home to the annual Tulip Festival, Holland State Park, Hope College, a wide variety of dining options, and one of the best ice cream spots on Michigan’s west coast, Holland is a perfect getaway spot– even if it’s just for the day. Looking for the best view of the icy lake? You won’t find a better vantage point than Mt. Pisgah. Visitors who prefer shopping to stair-climbing will find lots to love about the heated-sidewalk downtown area with boutique shopping and restaurants that will have you planning your return visit on the drive home.
Now that you know where you’re going, here are a few tips for staying safe and making the most of your day away:
- Only travel with other members of your household or pod.
- Bring (and wear) masks. Pack a few extra just in case.
- Have hand sanitizer ready for after pumping gas, in between store visits, before eating, etc.
- If you are not feeling well, stay home and plan your day trip when you’re feeling better.
- Call ahead to ensure any stores, rental shops, and restaurants you are visiting will be open. Be aware of the latest travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department