12 Romantic Getaways in Michigan — From Small Towns to Car-free Islands
With cozy restaurants, European-inspired villages, and lakefront hotels, these are 12 of the best places for a romantic getaway in Michigan.
With beaches, national parks, vineyards, and more, Michigan is the perfect place for a romantic getaway no matter the time of year. Whether you prefer early-morning beach walks, cruising along cross-country ski trails, or late-night cocktails and tasting-menu dinners, there’s an experience just for you. The Mitten State is loaded with cute downtowns (including small towns inspired by European destinations) and artsy architecture found in museums, sculpture gardens, and high-design hotels — perfect to explore together. From Ann Arbor to Traverse City, here’s where to go for a romantic getaway in Michigan.
Skip the hustle and bustle of sports arenas and gambling hotels for a more intimate peek at Michigan’s largest city when you stay at The Siren Hotel, housed within a 1926 Art Deco landmark. You never have to leave the hotel, thanks to a piano bar, coffee shop, and Albena’s wine-paired tasting menu. A short stroll away is the beautifully restored 1928 Fox Theatre, where you can watch a live concert or musical.
Even if you aren’t a University of Michigan grad, the city’s buzzy collegiate energy means hip restaurants — like tapas at dimly-lit Aventura — and cocktail bars, as well as museums. The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History opened in its new home in 2019, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the country’s largest university art museums. Stay at the 75-year-old quaint Bell Tower Hotel downtown and ditch the car. Rates include continental breakfast and cookies at check-in.
Located in the downtown area of this Detroit suburb, Daxton Hotel opened in 2021, bringing lots of luxury with a sophisticated all-day dining room and design-oriented guest rooms. Within a short walk are Toast for an indulgent breakfast and Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro for a date-night spot. Birmingham’s antiques scene is eclectic: Drop by The Golden Fig Gallery to pick up new home décor.
Go for a hike at the 70-acre Mackinac Island State Park or a take horse-drawn carriage through the snow on this car-free island. Grand Hotel (open seasonally) is the most luxurious property, and it has welcomed guests to the island since 1887. There are 14 bars and restaurants, a spa, outdoor pool, lawn games, and afternoon tea. For a more intimate option open all year long, opt for downtown’s Bicycle Street Inn & Suites, where some guest rooms feature balconies with water views.
Don’t be turned off by the Bavarian vibe. Michigan’s “little Bavaria” is far from kitschy. This town of around 5,000 people was settled in 1845 by Germans, and its Bavarian architecture will make you feel like you've traveled far from the Mitten State. Check into Marv Herzog Hotel then hit the town for a drink — pick from a wine tasting at St. Julian Winery & Distillery Tasting Room or an authentic beer garden (followed by chicken dinner) at Bavarian Inn Restaurant & Lodge.
Canoodle among the vines in Michigan’s unofficial winery capital, where you can also wake up on the vineyard at eight-room Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse. For a break from wine tasting, journey 40 miles west to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and climb the 450-foot-tall dunes hand in hand. Grand Traverse Resort & Spa is a one-stop shop for relaxation and indulgence: Start with a couples massage in the spa and end with dinner at the glass-walled Aerie Restaurant & Lounge on the 16th floor.
This popular resort town is a home away from home for many Chicagoans who love the relaxed pace, beautiful beaches, and dining scene. Poke through antiques at the 24,000-square-foot Saugatuck Antique Pavilion or browse downtown shops and art galleries. Date night could be watching the sunset on Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline with a picnic at the beach or booking a table for farm-to-table cuisine at Salt of the Earth in nearby Fennville or surf-and-turf at Bowdie’s Chophouse. The Belvedere Inn goes the extra mile with packages including in-room massages, a floral arrangement, wine, and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Grand Rapids is the craft beer capital of Michigan, and the city’s many breweries offer restaurants, tasting rooms, and events that can easily fill a weekend. Start with dinner at Brewery Vivant, a LEED-certified brewery within a former funeral home serving French-inspired food. Grand Rapids Art Museum boasts an impressive collection, including works by Pablo Picasso and Richard Diebenkorn, and Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a great spot to take a romantic stroll. Tucked into Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill, across the street from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meyer May House, the four-room Parsonage Inn is a Queen Anne beauty.
Just like the Dutch region, this Michigan destination is rife with windmills and tulips (in spring, check out the 36-acre Windmill Island Gardens). There's also a Dutch bakery — now on its fourth generation, deBoer Bakkerij & Dutch Brothers Restaurant has two locations — and Nelis’ Dutch Village, an amusement park with a Dutch theme. You’ll never tire of shopping at indie stores or lingering at cafes and restaurants downtown, and Courtyard by Marriott Holland Downtown and Centennial Inn put you near the thick of the action.
This Upper Peninsula town is ideal for nature lovers no matter what time of year, given the number of nearby trails — including those along the Noquemanon Trail Network — for bicycling, hiking, or cross-country skiing. Sugarloaf Mountain is a quick six-mile drive away, and look-out points frame Lake Superior views. Back in town, enjoy dinner at The Delf Bistro, built inside a former vintage movie theater with nightly featured flicks. Landmark Inn is Marquette’s best historic hotel, with soaking tubs and four-poster beds in some rooms.
This town of 6,000 people on Lake Michigan has a little bit of everything to fill a romantic itinerary, including vineyards, parks, beaches, art galleries, and antique shops. Petoskey State Park’s 304 acres include a half-mile hike to the top of a dune and a beach on Little Traverse Bay. Stafford’s Perry Hotel is in Petoskey’s Gaslight District — filled with century-old shops and fine dining. Palette Bistro serves Mediterranean-inspired food (including weekend brunch) overlooking Little Traverse Bay.
Known for its antique stores and 19th and early 20th-century architecture, this town of 7,000 people lies about an hour’s drive west of Ann Arbor. National House Inn is a darling bed and breakfast built in 1835, and its current innkeepers have been at the helm since 1976. After a day of antiquing and exploring, visit Maria’s Uncorked, a tasting room and floral shop, before a wine-paired dinner at the five-year-old Kitchen Proper in nearby Battle Creek.
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