Sun. Nov 29th, 2020

Whether you’re honeymooning, celebrating an anniversary or just itching for a weekend away with your partner, Michigan has you covered. While many venture to Michigan for its proximity to the Great Lakes, the shoreside cities aren’t the only places in the state that exude romance. There are lovely destinations throughout Michigan that offer stunning views, delectable food, and a dose of history and culture.

If you’re looking for a wine-filled couples retreat, trade Napa Valley for northern Michigan. The unique climate of the Great Lakes area yields optimal growing conditions, similar to those of Bordeaux, France, and the Piedmont region of Italy. Not to mention, you’ll find smaller crowds and lower prices than in Northern California. There are plenty of craft breweries throughout Michigan as well, especially in places like Traverse City and Grand Rapids.

And, of course, no trip to this naturally stunning Midwestern state would be complete without some outdoor activities. Hike, bike, kayak and even scuba dive in the lake – you and your partner can find plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors and each other’s company at the same time.

No matter if you choose to bed down at a quaint bed-and-breakfast in the woods, a luxurious urban escape in Detroit or a chateau nestled beside a vineyard, you and your sweetheart will remember your Michigan vacation for years to come.

Romantic Getaways in Michigan:

  • Chateau Chantal
  • Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast Inn
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Island House Hotel
  • Grand Hotel
  • New Buffalo
  • Frankenmuth
  • Saugatuck
  • Holland
  • Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast
  • The Historic Webster House
  • Shinola Hotel
  • Grand Rapids
  • Isle Royale National Park
  • Traverse City
  • Petoskey

Chateau Chantal: Traverse City

Clinking glasses, the scent of aged cabernet, the glistening waters of Grand Traverse Bay in the background – the ambiance at Chateau Chantal‘s tasting room is unbeatable. Whether you’re seated on the East Patio, the West Terrace or inside, you’ll enjoy views of the vineyard and lush forests surrounding the property. If you happen to visit the tasting room on a Thursday evening from mid-June to August, you can even enjoy a live jazz music performance. You and your sweetheart can elevate your winery experience by joining a VIP tour, strolling among the growing grapes along the Founders’ Trail and indulging in a multicourse dinner complete with expert wine pairings. For additional samples of local wines, sign up for a guided tour of various Traverse City wineries.

It’ll be difficult to leave Chateau Chantal behind after just one day on-site, so consider booking a room at the property’s bed-and-breakfast. The accommodations – which are adorned with chandeliers and complemented by granite wet bars, elegant bathrooms and, in select spaces, private patios or balconies – are sure to please even the pickiest duos. The bed-and-breakfast offers plenty of special packages to make every couple’s retreat extra special, such as add-ons that may include items like gourmet chocolates, roses, fresh fruit and, of course, wine. Outside their digs, guests will find cozy fireplaces and plush chairs. This wine wonderland is located about 15 miles northeast of central Traverse City, making for an easy daytrip.

Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast Inn: Allegan

Sitting at the end of a winding dirt road in southwest Michigan, Castle in the Country Bed & Breakfast Inn is a favorite among travelers for its well-appointed rooms and its unobstructed countryside views. Plush beds, fireplaces, flameless candles and jetted tubs are just some of the amenities that make the accommodations perfect for a cozy retreat.

Outside the rooms, there are plenty of activities to fill your days. Go kayaking or paddleboating on the private lake, or, if you’re visiting in winter, try snowshoeing on the surrounding trails. Then, head to Fenn Valley Vineyards – the second-largest winery in the state – to sip vino together, or opt for a more casual date sampling apple-infused beverages at a nearby cider mill like Virtue Cider.

Take your vacation to the next level with one of the inn’s couples packages. The Royal Treatment Experience package provides traveling twosomes with a fully stocked picnic basket, a dinner voucher worth $60 and side-by-side massages. Meanwhile, the Enchanted Proposal Package adds on perks like a welcome gift, sparkling wine, breakfast delivered to your room and, of course, a secluded area reserved for your proposal.

If you fall in love with the inn during your visit, you can even choose to say “I do” on the property. This bed-and-breakfast offers indoor and outdoor ceremony venues, plenty of reception space for you and your guests to dance the night away, and all the other wedding services you may need. If you and your significant other want to keep it more low-key, you can sneak off to the inn for an elopement and enjoy the Enchanted Elopement Package, which comes with floral arrangements, a wedding cake for two, a professional photographer and an officiating clergy.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Situated about 30 miles northwest of Traverse City, this protected area’s landscape feels like an undisturbed tropical island. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is something out of a vacation brochure. With one look at the clear blue water, you may mistake Michigan for the Caribbean. The area, which “Good Morning America” once referred to as the most beautiful place in the country, is characterized by its towering dunes. The perched dunes (essentially sand dunes that occur on top of cliffs) soar more than 450 feet above the water, and they’re sure to take your breath away.

Depending on the season, lovebirds can experience everything from snowshoeing to scuba diving at the lakeshore. This area seduces hikers with nearly 100 miles of trails to choose from, and there are options for people of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner meandering along the Cottonwood trail or an expert trying your hand at the Dune Climb trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of glistening Lake Michigan. In the winter months, there are plenty of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing adventures to embark on before cozying up with hot cocoa in a lodge.

Although the dunes are in a more remote area of the state, there is no shortage of lodging options. The Homestead is located less than 6 miles northeast of the dunes and offers multiple accommodation choices, from traditional rooms and suites to condominiums and vacation home rentals. All guests enjoy access to an on-site spa and an array of fine dining establishments. Not to mention, the hotel features expansive space for a picturesque lakeside wedding. LeBear Luxury Residential Club and Spa, which offers condominium rentals and access to a private beach, a sauna and indoor and outdoor pools, among other amenities, also sits a few miles away. What’s more, there are many camping options near the dunes that are ideal for adventurous duos who prefer a more rustic experience. Guided camping trips are available as well.

Island House Hotel: Mackinac Island

(Photo Courtesy of the Island House Hotel)

Sitting just outside the downtown area of Mackinac Island in northern Michigan, the Island House Hotel perfectly blends convenience with stately charm and lakefront views. Although the hotel was constructed more than a century ago, it offers a variety of modern amenities. Guest rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs, granite accents and, in select rooms, harbor views. On the hotel grounds, visitors will find manicured gardens and cobblestone walkways leading them to the lakefront. Couples can sip cocktails at the poolside bar, relax in the outdoor hot tub, soak up some rays on the sun deck, watch boats pass through the harbor or meet other twosomes at the covered patio.

If you want to take your romantic getaway to the next level, consider splurging on the romance package. You and your partner will receive sparkling wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, souvenir Champagne flutes and dinner at the on-site 1852 Grill Room, where you can indulge in dishes like duck confit, marinated mussels and filet mignon. You can also opt for the bed-and-breakfast package, which includes a full breakfast each morning in the 1852 Grill Room.

When you want to explore the rest of the island, consider renting bikes from the hotel and touring the area on two wheels. You can ride around at your leisure, as you won’t find any cars or other distractions on this quaint island that measures less than 4 square miles in total area. Plus, the Island House Hotel is the only lodging option within Mackinac Island State Park, so you’ll enjoy easy access to the park’s 70 miles of trails.

Grand Hotel: Mackinac Island

(Courtesy of Grand Hotel)

A massive white estate surrounded by colorful tulip gardens, expansive lawns and a private golf course, the Grand Hotel will make you and your better half feel like royalty.

After arriving on Mackinac Island, you can arrange for a horse-drawn carriage to pick you up from the ferry docks and bring you to the Grand Hotel. Once you get settled into your guest room – which may come with harbor views and a balcony – you can begin enjoying the hotel grounds. You and your significant other can spend your day playing tennis, croquet or bocce ball before cooling off in the hotel’s 220-foot-long pool. After an activity-filled day, take time to relax on the longest porch in the world and watch boats cruise around the harbor.

Previous visitors recommended taking a self-guided tour through the Grand Hotel Stables, where you’ll come face to face with beautiful Hackney horses. You can also stop in the neighboring carriage museum to admire the antique sleigh collection. If you want to ride off into the sunset together, ask the concierge to arrange a horseback riding excursion.

The Honeymoon and Anniversary Package will provide you and your sweetheart with all the makings of a romantic, three-night stay: fresh-cut flowers, Champagne, afternoon tea and an hourlong horse-drawn carriage tour. If you’re a golf-loving couple, the Tea for Two Golf Package may also spark interest, as it offers unlimited golf at The Jewel course, as well as daily afternoon tea to decompress after a day on the green.

The Grand Hotel also serves as an idyllic wedding venue. You can say your vows on the hotel porch, then celebrate with your family and friends at one of the many indoor or outdoor reception venues.

New Buffalo

A tiny town located about 70 miles southeast of bustling Chicago, New Buffalo has all the elements of a peaceful couples retreat. New Buffalo Public Beach offers a long expanse of sand, picturesque lake views and rental spots for kayaks and paddleboards. You and your loved one can also kayak down the Galien River or go for a stroll along the boardwalk in Galien River County Park.

A private sailing excursion can also make for a memorable and intimate date. Many boat rental and charter companies operate out of New Buffalo. A yacht cruise from Oselka Marina will take you and your beloved out on Lake Michigan, past Warren Dunes State Park and Michigan City, Indiana. Another option is a sailboat trip helmed by a captain from New Buffalo Sailing Excursions; these trips are customizable for celebrations, proposals, night cruises and more.

Oenophiles will also be pleased to hear the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail – a network of 15 wineries along the shore area – begins near New Buffalo. If you don’t have time to explore the entire trail (which ends about 80 miles northeast in Holland), visitors say the first stop, the St. Julian Winery & Distillery tasting room in Union Pier, is worth a trip for its expansive selection and friendly staff.

In downtown New Buffalo, duos will find a thriving arts scene. Galleries, many of which are located off of West Buffalo Street, showcase classic art, contemporary sculptures and everything in between. The Acorn theater is a must-do if you’re looking for a night of entertainment. The theater, housed in a historical building, features talent both young and old, local and nationally recognized.

Cap off your trip with a stay at the luxurious Marina Grand Resort, which offers waterfront views and fine dining, or by bedding down at the Lake Country Inn, a quaint property with a bed-and-breakfast atmosphere and modern amenities like in-room fireplaces, luxurious beds and private porches.

Frankenmuth

Couples can get a taste of Europe without leaving the States with a quick trip to the town of Frankenmuth. Originally settled by German immigrants, this small town entices travelers with its Bavarian architecture, its shopping options and, of course, its German beer offerings. You can stroll down Frankenmuth’s streets, admiring the half-timbered houses and charming storefronts that look like they belong in a fairy tale. You and your significant other can also choose to kayak down the Cass River and check out the Bavarian buildings from the water, or enjoy a narrated river cruise on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat. When hunger strikes, stop at The Station 100 for an upscale take on wiener schnitzel and homemade German pasta. Or, grab a soft pretzel and a pint at the more casual Frankenmuth Brewery, and say “prost!” to love.

Winter is a great time for a romantic visit to Frankenmuth, as you can cozy up to your loved one at the annual Christmas market while shopping for trinkets or sipping warm beverages like German glühwein – a type of mulled wine. Luckily, the Christmas spirit in Frankenmuth doesn’t fade after the holiday. Whenever you choose to visit, you’ll be greeted with twinkling lights, horse-drawn carriages and the opportunity to shop at the country’s largest Christmas store. There are also events throughout the year, including the Bavarian Festival in June, which features live bands and traditional performers. And, of course, there is a large Oktoberfest celebration in late September, where you’ll find visitors sporting traditional German lederhosen and dirndls, sipping Hofbräu beer and making merry.

When it’s time to rest, check into one of the many romantic lodging options around town. The Marv Herzog Hotel is a visitor favorite thanks to its peaceful atmosphere and river views. The Bavarian Inn Lodge also offers charming accommodations with the option to add on a romance package that comes with Champagne and chocolates.

Saugatuck

(Courtesy of Saugatuck.com)

Visitors are drawn to Saugtauck for its vibrant arts culture and scenic views of Lake Michigan. There are art galleries galore in the downtown area, as well as in the neighboring town of Douglas. Travelers will stumble upon everything from contemporary paintings to glass-blown pieces to wooden sculptures. Some galleries, like Fernwood 1891, allow visitors to browse the selection with a glass of wine or craft beer in hand.

Boutique shops abound in the downtown area as well. Break up your shopping trip with a bite at one of the local restaurants, which feature everything from pizza and locally sourced burgers to fruit pies and hand-dipped ice cream cones. Not to mention, the Saugatuck/Douglas area is known around the region for its craft beer and hard cider offerings. There are cideries and breweries near the downtown area where couples can sample different flavors. Some visitor favorites include Saugatuck Brewing Company, Guardian Brewing Company and the Fenn Valley Vineyards tasting room.

Saugatuck’s Oval Beach is a summer favorite, and its sand dunes and turquoise water are reason enough to make the trip to western Michigan. Couples up for an adventure can take their beach vacation to the next level by signing up for an excursion with Saugatuck Dune Rides. You’ll spend nearly an hour touring the shoreline, zooming across the dunes as a guide narrates the trip.

At night, you’ll hear the sounds of live music pouring into the streets. For a special date night, book a ticket for a comedic or musical performance at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, which showcases a mix of local and national artists. The Saugatuck area is also known for its popular LGBTQ entertainment options, as well as its inclusive atmosphere – there are more than 140 gay-owned establishments, including restaurants and lodging options, in the area. Additionally, the town is home to The Dunes, one of America’s largest LGBTQ resorts. The property boasts a massive pool, plus several bars and nightlife venues.

If you’re looking for quieter accommodations, turn in for the day at The Hotel Saugatuck to enjoy modern decor, lake views and plenty of romantic add-ons like Champagne, chocolates and roses. The Wickwood Inn is another dreamy setting in town. A stay here is sure to please thanks to feather beds, in-room fireplaces (in select accommodations) and a farm-to-table breakfast each morning.

Holland

Located on the banks of Lake Macatawa in western Michigan, Holland offers everything you could want in a romantic escape. Not only does Holland serve as a convenient getaway for Michiganders, but it’s also a popular vacation destination for Chicago couples, as it sits approximately 150 miles northeast of the Windy City. Beach-loving twosomes can spend time at Holland State Park lounging on the sand or watching the sun set over Lake Michigan. Culture hounds can lose themselves in one of the many downtown art galleries or catch a show at the Holland Civic Theatre. Meanwhile, history buffs can spend time perusing the exhibits in the Holland Museum, where they’ll learn about the town’s Dutch heritage. The town’s Dutch influence can also be seen in the romantic Veldheer Tulip Gardens – the perfect place for amorous duos to stroll hand in hand among the vibrant flowers. Throughout your stay in this Dutch dreamland, you might forget you’re in Michigan.

There are plenty of restaurants downtown that provide a dreamy date night setting, including Alpenrose Restaurant & Catering and the Crazy Horse Steakhouse and Saloon. And for a sweet morning treat, head to visitor favorite deBoer Bakkerij, which garners rave reviews for its massive pancakes and indulgent pastries.

If you’re visiting Holland from May to mid-October and are looking for an extra special date, consider taking a ride on the Holland Princess – a Victorian-era riverboat that transports visitors along Lake Macatawa, past historic homes and natural beauty. You can also enjoy a catered lunch or dinner on the boat while soaking up the views from the water.

There are plenty of lodging options scattered around Holland, and you can’t go wrong with anything downtown near the area’s best boutiques, shops and restaurants. CityFlatsHotel is a popular central option that offers event space for weddings, as well as a romance package complete with Champagne and sweet treats.

Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast: Grandville

Not one romantic detail was overlooked when designing Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast. From in-room whirlpool soaking tubs and electric fireplaces to candlelit breakfasts in the dining room and complimentary baked goods in the lobby, you’ll never want to leave this couples oasis.

Guest rooms and common areas alike are adorned with luxurious touches like chandeliers, elegant drapes and plush furniture. A private couples massage room beckons visitors to enjoy an afternoon of ultimate relaxation. Treatments like a side-by-side Swedish massage will leave your feeling content and refreshed.

Like any true romantic escape, the property offers special packages to elevate the experience. The A Night to Remember package includes charcuterie, truffles, a rose and two movie passes to a theater within walking distance. The Ultimate Indulgence Getaway package includes silk rose petals, truffles, candles, souvenir mugs and a free couples massage, among other perks. Even the simple Dinner & Movie Getaway package makes for a memorable date night, as it offers a dinner voucher to one of three downtown Grand Rapids restaurants, plus two movie passes.

Day and night, the grounds of Prairieside Suites set a magical mood. When the sun is out, stroll through the flower gardens or relax in the pergola. After the sun sets, admire the lighted fountains and the twinkling lights strewn about. If you and your partner are looking for a bit more evening excitement, head to a restaurant or bar in central Grand Rapids, which is located less than 8 miles northeast of the bed-and-breakfast.

The Historic Webster House: Bay City

Upon entering your guest room at The Historic Webster House, you may be welcomed by a crackling fireplace and a complimentary snack basket complete with a bottle of wine. Some rooms also come equipped with a whirlpool tub or a skylight. Oriental rugs, stone accents and traditional wooden floors help to set the cozy mood.

If you and your significant other can bring yourselves to venture outside your comfortable dwelling, you’ll find this small historic inn offers all the amenities of a larger hotel. The homemade breakfast served in the formal dining room each morning garners rave reviews from past visitors. The spa and sauna area, which you’ll have all to yourselves if you book in advance, offers treatments like hot stone massages and reflexology. Once you’re totally Zen, spend the rest of your afternoon lounging in one of the plush common areas, socializing with other guests or enjoying a glass of complimentary wine.

This bed-and-breakfast offers an array of packages to dial up the romance. Anyone planning to pop the question can purchase the Romantic Proposal Package for some extra goodies, such as bottle of sparkling wine, a dinner voucher, breakfast in bed and a thoughtfully decorated spot to get down on one knee. The Rediscover Your Romance package promises Belgian chocolate truffles, souvenir wine glasses and a bottle of Champagne, while the Honey Boomer package adds on in-room massages. If your package includes a dinner voucher, you can use it at one of the restaurants nearby. You’ll be happy to find the restored inn within walking distance of downtown Bay City’s restaurants and antique stores.

Shinola Hotel: Detroit

(Nicole Franzen/Courtesy of Shinola Hotel)

Couples looking for an urban oasis need not look further than the Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit. Housed in a historic building that dates back to 1915, this hotel puts a modern spin on old-school charm.

The refurbished guest room decor gives visitors a glimpse into the building’s past. Plenty of natural light and city views make the accommodations feel like luxurious hideaways, while the Italian sheets, Bluetooth speakers and custom robes provide all the comfort of home. If you splurge for a Penthouse Suite, you and your partner can enjoy a private terrace, a gas fireplace, a dining area and even a collection of vinyl records with a turntable.

The hotel’s dining scene doesn’t skimp on romance, either. Upscale San Morello serves up all the flavors of southern Italy but with a modern twist. Here, you can share wood-fired pizzas for dinner and even try breakfast spaghetti at brunch. Even the Living Room – the hotel’s name for what is essentially the lobby – exudes romance with its crackling fireplace and posh drink options. The hotel also boasts a prime location in the heart of Detroit, meaning you’ll find numerous restaurants nearby, some of which host couples cooking classes.

For a taste of culture, couples can peruse the hotel’s art collection, which features varying kinds of works. Just outside the hotel in Parker’s Alley, guests will find coffee shops, boutique stores and restaurants. Within the alley, lodgers will also discover the Shinola Love Locks fence. Couples can purchase one of the Shinola locks – which are engraved on-site – and secure it to the fence where it’ll stay forever. This tribute to love is the Motor City’s take on the now retired tradition of securing locks to the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge in Paris.

Grand Rapids

The second-largest city in the state also offers a host of farm-to-table restaurants. Visitors can sample fruits, vegetables and meat straight from the city’s nearby farms and orchards. Some favorite dining spots include Reserve Wine & Food, which serves tapas-style bites, and The Sovengard, which offers a Scandinavian take on local ingredients. You and your partner can also spend time sampling some Michigan wines or beer options as you venture around the city. In fact, Grand Rapids is known as one of the best spots for craft beer in the country.

Couples have the option to book a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city – an excursion that’s sure to make you fall a little more in love with each other and Grand Rapids. End your ride at Lookout Park, a small hilltop area overlooking the city, which residents and visitors agree is the best place to watch a Grand Rapids sunset. Not to mention, you can bring your own picnic.

If you’re visiting Grand Rapids in winter, lace up your skates and glide around (or cling onto your partner for balance) the ice rink at Rosa Parks Circle while enjoying the twinkling lights on the surrounding trees. Make sure to warm up with a hot chocolate from one of several nearby cafes after you tire of skating.

While summer visitors will miss this snowy setting, they’ll have the chance to visit the James C. Veen Observatory for a different kind of romantic evening. At the observatory, lovebirds can learn about the facility and gaze up at the starry skies through telescopes.

Isle Royale National Park

Sometimes, nothing is better than escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoying the serenity of nature with a loved one. Although it’s not easy to get to (you’ll have to take a boat or seaplane to reach this remote Lake Superior island), Isle Royale National Park provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway with no distractions.

Adventurous couples will revel in the many natural attractions and adrenaline-pumping activities the island has to offer. You can take your relationship to new heights by embarking on a 30-plus mile Feldtmann Lake Loop Trail hike across the area’s rugged terrain, or you can explore the unknown and examine remnants of shipwrecks while scuba diving in Lake Superior. After all, nothing bonds you and your partner like plunging 100 feet below the water.

If you and your partner are looking for some tamer ways to enjoy the natural surroundings, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy. You’ll find 165 miles of hiking trails that weave throughout the island, meaning there are plenty of hikes for all abilities. Stoll Trail is an easy option, and it’ll bring you to Scoville Point, where rocks jut into the water, making for a stunning lake view. If you want to get out on the water, rent a kayak or paddleboard from the Windigo Store on the western end of the island.

You won’t find any resorts on Isle Royale, but there is one traditional accommodation option available: Rock Harbor Lodge. Choose a guest room or a secluded cottage with views of Lake Superior, and cozy up with your beloved without leaving nature too far behind. The quiet island and its undisturbed natural landscape make it so easy to relax, you won’t even miss the couples massages or fancy Jacuzzis typical of a honeymoon suite. However, the lodge does offer a few conveniences, including The Lighthouse Restaurant, an on-site store for hiking supplies and access to water taxis.

Traverse City

(Getty Images)

You may know Traverse City for its ski offerings or its famous Traverse City Film Festival, but this urban area in northern Michigan also offers a plethora of swoon-worthy activities for a Midwestern couples retreat.

A solid first stop on any Traverse City tour is a winery: Some visitor favorites include Bowers Harbor Vineyards and Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery. You and your partner can spend time strolling through the grapevines, sampling from the cellars or simply taking in the views while sipping the sweet ice wine that Michigan is known for.

If you prefer beer to wine, you’re in luck: Traverse City is also a craft beer lover’s paradise. You and your significant other can hop between different breweries via bicycle and even by kayak. As you paddle down the Boardman River with an expert guide leading the way, you’ll visit up to five different breweries.

But there is more to downtown Traverse City than its tasting rooms and breweries. You’ll also find plenty of mom and pop shops, boutiques, art galleries and coffee bars to fill your day. When it comes to a date night, you and your partner might enjoy trying one of the upscale establishments the destination has to offer. The Boathouse Restaurant offers fresh seafood with French flavors, while Trattoria Stella serves up carefully crafted Italian classics. Most importantly, you can’t leave without tasting a cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company. Share this sweet treat with your sweetheart, and you’ll understand why the locale is famous for its cherries.

End your day in Traverse City with a sunset boat tour. Various companies run boat tours all day, but the sunset adds an extra romantic element for vacationing couples. Companies such as Nauti-Cat Cruises will sail passengers through West Grand Traverse Bay and end the night with a Champagne toast.

Petoskey

A town known for its “Million Dollar Sunset” is an obvious choice for a romantic getaway. Petoskey, which is nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, offers travelers sandy beaches and natural beauty alongside a charming downtown.

Have a picnic date on the sand at Petoskey State Park, or walk hand in hand along the shores of Magnus City Park Beach while hunting for the signature Petoskey stones – Michigan’s state stone. There are also plenty of hiking opportunities in the area, such as Boyne Mountain’s hiking trails and the Skyline Trail, with views that attract visitors from all across the state. Any especially adventurous duos might enjoy a zip line excursion from Boyne Mountain or rafting down the rapids at Bear River Whitewater Park. And, of course, you’ll have to end the day by watching the sun sink down below the bay; some of the best viewpoints are at Sunset Park, East Park and Petoskey City Marina.

To end the night with a truly unique and dreamlike experience, consider taking a short trip north to Headlands International Dark Sky Park, one of the top Dark Sky Parks in the country. At the park, lovebirds will sit in awe under the twinkling stars of the Orion, Scorpion and Sagittarius constellations, depending on the season. If you’re lucky, you may even witness a meteor shower or catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis.

With all of its natural attractions, it’s easy to forget that Petoskey is also home to a vibrant downtown area. Shop at some of the many boutiques, dine at the trendy POUR Kitchen & Bar, grab a drink at the Petoskey Brewing Company or socialize at Ernesto’s Cigar Lounge & Bar. Then, turn in for the night at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, where you can sip Champagne and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries in your guest room. From your accommodations, which may include a fireplace or a private balcony, you can admire views of the rose garden, Little Traverse Bay or the bright lights of downtown Petoskey.

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