Some couples choose less expensive, local get-aways

RJ Scott Photography

Many couples plan lengthy honeymoons in far-away tropical destinations, but more and more newlyweds instead choose to wait to take that expensive vacation for a five or 10-year anniversary. They can opt for a mini-moon, a more local and affordable get-away to follow what may have been a costly wedding ceremony and reception.

Whether it’s a destination you can reach by car, plane or a short bicycle ride, the important part of the trip should be the person you’re traveling with. It is nice, however, to have a good plan and to be prepared while traveling so you can enjoy the company.

Northern Michigan offers a wide variety of close-to-home destinations and opportunities for weekend getaways. Whether you choose an island, cabin in the woods or a casino, the possibilities go on and on. Kay Long, of Passageways Travel in Onaway, suggests brainstorming with a professional to achieve the best possible experience.

“Even for a shorter, more local trip, it’s a great idea to consult with a travel planner. The knowledge of locations and experience they can offer will likely prevent common mistakes and mishaps along the way,” she said.

Multiple Photographers

Although most vacation planners and travel agencies in general specialize in far-flung destinations, many have a wide selection of local trips which they have extensive knowledge about.

“We also often have connections that can provide savings well beyond what a person could get on their own,” Long said. “Sometimes having good connections can mean getting the nicer rooms and knowing what day trips are going to suit your plans.”

Mackinac Island, among the most popular Michigan destinations, can be a perfect trip which doesn’t require much travel. The island has great local flavor, and both historic structures and some more modern buildings. Vacationers often find the slower place and the amenities, such as romantic carriage rides, create the ambiance for a great romantic vacation.

“People often enjoy the island’s ban on automobiles,” Long said. “Traveling by foot or bicycle connects them more to the outdoors.”

One of the most popular attractions on the island is Mission Point Resort, the island’s sole full-service resort with its rich history. In the early 1820s, Reverend William Ferry, a Protestant Missionary, built many of the original structures on the southeast end of Mackinac Island, which became known as Mission Point.

During the 1940s, The Moral Re-Armament — a moral and spiritual movement — became involved on the island. Led by Dr. Frank Buchman, ground-breaking ceremonies began in 1954 for a new MRA World Conference Center. Today, the original main lobby is one of the most distinctive architectural structures on the island, featuring nine-ton majestic trusses that converge at 36 feet up to resemble a 16-sided teepee.

The movie production sound stage was constructed in 1958, making it the second-largest of its type in the world at that time. Universal Studios leased the sound stage in the summer of 1979 to produce the film “Somewhere in Time.” The entire cast and crew — including stars Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour — were hosted at the resort, then The Inn on Mackinac.

The property sold in late 1987 and was renamed Mission Point Resort. The new name reflects back into history when this part of the island housed one of the first churches and the Mission House, an historical landmark which still stands there today.

Pink Trillium PhotographyWhether it’s a single destination or a casual tour of the state, autumn is a perfect time to enjoy the region’s color and beauty. Autumn vacationers often plan a fall foliage tour and choose to stay at one or several of the many cozy bed and breakfasts the region boasts.

“These types of trips can really be planned out well in advance,” Long said. “Allow us to do all the research and planning so you can just enjoy the time.”

Of course there are many other ways to enjoy Michigan and its seasons. The winter wonderland of ski resorts offer everything from cabins to chalets and hotels with deluxe accommodations. Summertime golf getaways and water-based trips abound, whether it be floating down the AuSable River or fishing on the Great Lakes. If you love to be active, Michigan has every season covered.

For those who truly want to make the most of our local flavor, try walking the beaches of our local towns, such as Petoskey. Rich in culture and beauty, many of the local places may have unexplored features that could provide just the right get-away.

For more information about Mission Point Resort, visit its website at, or call (906) 847-3312. For Passageways Travel, call (231) 348-1005.


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