Favorite Michigan Winter Towns
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6 Beautiful Lake Michigan Towns to Visit in Winter

Winter in Michigan can be long and cold. But, winter can also be a great time to explore Michigan. Especially some of the popular Lake Michigan towns that are often much quieter this time of year compared to the busy summer months.

If you find yourself dreaming of a Michigan winter getaway, these are 6 of my favorite Lake Michigan towns to visit, especially during the winter season.

View From The Inn At Bay Harbor In Harbor Springs
View from the Inn at Bay Harbor in Harbor Springs | photo via Kassandra Olschanski

Harbor Springs/Petoskey

Staying at the Inn at Bay Harbor in Harbor Springs was one of the best places I have visited in Michigan. My first stay was in the wintertime. This hotel is absolutely stunning, especially covered with snow.

Some of the rooms have a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, where you can see the snow sitting on the shores. Tea Time is something the hotel offers even in the wintertime and allows for stunning ground level views of the water and the snow that may be surrounding it.

The outdoor hot tub is kept open all winter as a perfect way to warm up and a chance to get outside even when the temperatures are dropping. This hotel also offers snowshoeing as well as an ice skating rink with ice skate rentals available and drinks that will help you warm up.

Downtown Petoskey has the cutest shops to visit and some of the most unique gift ideas that you will find in the state of Michigan.

Boat In Charlevoix
Charlevoix | photo via Kassandra Olschanski


Charlevoix is one of the most charming towns in Michigan. Although this is a popular destination for the spring and summer, this small town is welcoming even in the winter times. The boutiques and shops are fully dressed for winter and have the most wonderful variety of holiday gifts for this upcoming gifting season.

Harwood Gold in downtown Charlevoix is the perfect place to stop for coffee, pastries and some unique gifts for the upcoming holiday season that everyone will love.

The water is yet to be frozen earlier on in the winter season so there is a possibility of watching the small drawbridge in town go up, and watching some big boats pass through.

Even the mushroom houses that are one of the things that Charlevoix is most known for, are welcoming even in the colder months. These houses are a short walk from the downtown area and make for a great stop and a unique sight in the town itself.

Outdoor Swing At Bonobo Winery In Traverse City
Outdoor swing at Bonobo Winery in Traverse City | photo via Kassandra Olschanski

Traverse City

Traverse City is the wine country of Michigan. Although this is a fun spot to visit in the warmer months, plenty of the wineries are open even in the winter.

The snow is usually strong and bold in the winter, especially with Traverse City and the wine country being positioned so close to the water. With the extra lake effect snow, local wineries like Bonobo Winery and Mari Vineyards can be magical to visit in the winter.

Bonobo Winery keeps access to their outdoor swing for customers even in the colder months. This is a nice photo spot, especially when the entire landscape is covered in snow. After you grab a cute photo, you can quickly go back inside to be warmed up by the fireplaces.

The Homestead Resort In Glen Arbor
The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor | photo via Kassandra Olschanski

Glen Arbor

Glen Arbor is the home of Cherry Republic, which is one of the most beloved places to get cherry flavored snacks in Michigan. This cute little town has so much to offer.

Even in the winter months, the hotels and resorts are still welcoming and charming. Many are equipped with fireplaces, and restaurants stay open and are able to thrive in the winter season.

My favorite place to visit in the winter months is The Homestead Resort. The ‘Little Belle’ section of the resort is particularly enchanting. The rooms are built like a small little town and make a perfect quiet and remote getaway. Each room is equipped with a fireplace to keep you warm when the snow and cold weather start picking up.

Something that makes Holland unique, out of all the cities in Michigan, is that their town is equipped with heated sidewalks.

This makes the town super friendly for visitors that are visiting in the colder, snowy months.


Holland draws most of their visitors in the springtime for the tulip time festival, but this beloved tulip town still has so much to do even in the colder winter months.

The stores in town stay open throughout the winter season and the town is filled with so many different stores and restaurants like Seventy-Six (one of My 5 Favorite Michigan Restaurants You Need To Try ASAP) or Windmill Restaurant.

One thing you do not have to worry about is any ice or snow on your walks due to the heated sidewalks that keep it very walking friendly even when the temperatures might be below freezing.

Uncommon Coffee Roasters In Saugatuck
Uncommon Coffee Roasters in Saugatuck | photo via Kassandra Olschanski


Saugatuck is one of my favorite places to visit year round, but including the winter too. You can find some of the best hot chocolate in town at Uncommon Coffee Roasters. They have delicious pastries and coffee as well and is the perfect spot for a winter stroll around the little town of Saugatuck.

There are holiday lights stretching through the town. With almost all of the yachts stored away for the season, the water seems quiet yet welcoming. With plenty of stores for holiday shopping and lots of restaurants, this town is still worth the trip even in the winter.

Although this is a hectic town in the summertime, the winter is a perfect time to visit Saugatuck for a more quiet and relaxed visit.

Favorite Michigan Winter Towns
Photos via Kassandra Olschanski

Plan Your Own Michigan Winter Getaway

Whether you are looking for a day trip or weekend getaway to get through the long winter months, I hope you get a chance to explore one of these beautiful Lake Michigan towns in the winter!

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