Save money at these end-of-summer Michigan staycation destinations

As summer winds down and we approach the Labor Day holiday weekend, many Michiganders are preparing for their final trips of the season. Lucky for us, Michigan makes it pretty easy to stay state-side and avoid air travel with a staycation, and if you’re a Healthy Blue Xtras member, you’re eligible for exclusive rates and savings at some of Michigan’s best hideaways.

Mackinac Island

The Straits of Mackinac.

People from outside the state may be surprised that Mackinac Island is actually one of several islands off the coast of Michigan, and is considered a National Historic Landmark.

The island offers something for every type of traveler, and is home to many art galleries, fine restaurants, the historic Fort Mackinac, carriage tours, and a great Butterfly House.

If you’re planning more than just a day-trip to the island, consider staying over at the Grand Hotel, an island landmark that was named one of the 10 kid-friendliest resorts in the U.S. and Canada by Travel & Leisure magazine.

Guests of the hotel are treated to views of its famous front porch flowers, which include 2,500 geraniums — the hotel’s trademark flower — delicious meals at its many restaurants, and local activities that include swimming in the Esther Williams Swimming Pool, live music and golf on the Jewel.

Motorized vehicles are prohibited on the island, so visitors should plan on packing comfortable shoes to wear when walking the just-under 4-mile island — built-in exercise for anyone indulging in the island’s famous fudge.

Traverse City

Looking for a little more adventure in your end-of-summer staycation? Look no further than Traverse City.

If you’re looking for a hotel that boasts fun for the whole family, you can’t go wrong with Great Wolf Lodge. With a water park, mini golf, kid spa, and video game arcade, Great Wolf Lodge has all of the entertainment a family could need, all located on-site. Healthy Blue Xtras members are eligible to save on room rates and spa services as well!

For couples planning a trip to Traverse City without the kids, a must-stop on any itinerary should be one of the many local wineries. For a quieter stay, resorts like The Homestead are a good option. While there, you can take the short drive to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, a spot that only continues to showcase Michigan’s natural charm.

Ann Arbor

Far from an ordinary college town, Ann Arbor is always worth a visit.

In addition to an amazing culinary scene — including Zingerman’s, Seva, and Pizza House — Ann Arbor is home to the very kid-friendly Hands-On Museum, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum for the nature enthusiast, and the Blind Pig & 8 Ball Saloon for the music lover.

Thinking of extending your stay in Ann Arbor? There are plenty of affordable options for non-student visitors, including the Campus Inn, located near the university’s campus and within walking distance to all that downtown Ann Arbor has to offer.

Whether or not you bleed maize and blue, or green and white, Ann Arbor is great for a short vacation and offers a big-city feel coupled with pure Michigan charm.

Visit Healthy Blue Xtras to find the most up-to-date savings on travel, because no matter what part of the state you live in, there’s always plenty to see and do in Michigan.

Photos by photo_phan and hanskuder

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