Michigan is a state lucky enough to experience all four seasons. Our numerous lakes make for fantastic summer destinations, and spring and fall have enough good weather to stretch camping and road trips through most of the year.
However, Michigan is notorious for its brutal winters, especially in the western and northern parts of the state. The good news is that our gorgeous summer attractions translate beautifully into scenic winter trips. Here are three amazing winter drives perfect for a cold weather adventure.
M-119 from Cross Village to Petoskey
In the summer, this beautiful route is known as the Tunnel of Trees. Though it may be hard to imagine, it’s equally as stunning in the winter! Plus, the 30-mile route is clogged with tourists in the warmer months, so enjoy the tranquility during the chillier parts of the year.
On a clear day, you’ll be blown away by bluffs, beaches, stately trees, and some truly awesome houses. Stop in Petoskey for some great views, eats, and souvenir shops. Stafford’s Perry Hotel offers a spectacular view of Little Traverse Bay from the H.O. Rose Dining Room year round!
Newberry to Tahquamenon Falls State Park
If you’re inclined toward outdoor adventures even when the temperature plummets, consider the drive from Newberry to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. The route takes you through dense forest to one of Michigan’s premier state parks, home of the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. The park is open year-round for winter activities (and camping, for the brave ones!)
If you’re lucky enough to catch the falls completely frozen, you’re in for a breathtaking view – but the falls are beautiful enough any day. And at the end of your journey, the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub will be waiting for you with Porcupine Pale Ale and Lake Superior Whitefish!
Port Huron to Bay City
Some people aren’t into the great outdoors, and that’s okay! This long, scenic drive along Michigan’s thumb (a.k.a. the Lake Huron coastline) has something for everyone. Small towns full of gorgeous Victorian houses, pretty roadside parks, and great shops and restaurants make this the perfect winter road trip.
As we already know, Port Huron itself is pretty awesome. Explore the Port Huron Museum, view the Blue Water Bridge, and wander around the historic downtown district before setting off. Stop off in towns like Harbor Beach, Port Austin, Caseville, and Sebawaing before ending your journey in Bay City. You can even continue on to Tawas City to complete the trip around Saginaw Bay if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!
While winter in Michigan usually makes residents want to hunker down and stay home, it can be a great opportunity for some eclectic, low-key getaways.
What are your favorite winter drives? Let us know in the comments!