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3 Michigan Daycations Worth a Trip

Michigan is nothing short of gorgeous. With lakes, campgrounds, and attractions galore, there truly is something for everyone. But what if you’re short on vacation time? Or you’re finding your budget is a little tight due to other obligations, and you want to cut out a hotel stay? Fortunately, our great state has several options for fun day trips within driving distance of Metro Detroit. Here are three diverse options:

Michigan’s Adventure

Mad Mouse roller coaster - Michigan's Adventure - Awesome Mitten
Mad Mouse roller coaster at Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Located just north of Muskegon, Michigan’s Adventure is a theme park small enough to cover in one day, but it still packs lots of fun! Open May through September, the park opens at 11am and is about 3 hours away from Detroit, MI. Admission covers both the roller coaster park and the water park. Hours vary depending on the day, but can be found here. If you don’t mind the drive, this is a great option for families looking for a great mini-getaway.

Belle Isle State Park

Scott Fountain Belle Isle - Detroit - Awesome Mitten
James Scott Memorial Fountain at Belle Isle State Park in Detroit. Photo courtesy of Deb Nystrom

Belle Isle is a gem right in the city of Detroit. The island boasts the Belle Isle Aquarium, Nature Zoo, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory – more than enough nature and culture for a fun day! The island also boasts a half-mile stretch of beach along the Detroit River, plus three lakes and a lagoon connected by canals, perfect for kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards. For Michigan residents, the only cost for entry is the Recreation Passport with your vehicle registration, which allows unlimited access to all state parks for $11 per year.


Zehnder's - Frankenmuth - Awesome Mitten
Zehnder’s restaurant in Frankenmuth. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Frankenmuth is a great day trip regardless of the time of year. The downtown area is Bavarian-themed, with famous tourist stops like Zehnder’s and the Bavarian Inn. You’ll find indoor waterparks, arcades, shopping, and zip lines. You can even take a horse-drawn carriage ride! Visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland even in the middle of the summer, or book a wine & chocolate tasting cruise down the river. Frankenmuth is a little less than two hours away from the city of Detroit, so it’s a great option if you have a free day and a taste for something a little more whimsical than usual!

Each of these destinations offers something different, but still fun for the whole family – and eliminating a hotel stay can do wonders for your budget!

What are some other fun day trips you’ve done around the state? Let us know in the comments!

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