Travel is fun, but there are so many things that can go wrong: lost luggage, flight delays, mixed up reservations, and more. If you are like many seniors, traveling to far and distant lands can be challenging. But what options are there for seniors looking to get an adventure fix?
Today, Midwest senior tourists are considering a "staycation," which is a vacation spent in your area. Staycations are a great way for people to break free of their usual routines. It's an opportunity to try that new restaurant or experience unforgettable scenery, and maybe even find something new to love about the place you live. There are many local and unique towns off the beaten path just waiting to be discovered.
The Midwest, specifically Michigan, has many options for senior staycationers. Here is a list of 5 senior-friendly locations and activities that are a perfect addition to your Michigan adventure.
1. Traverse City
You can't go wrong with a trip to Traverse City. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, this city is best known for its cherries. Traverse City is also known for having top-rated wine tours with convenient transportation options available.
If you're looking for a more physically engaging activity, consider playing a round of golf at any of more than 20 scenic golf courses. If you are looking to relax, Traverse City has over 150 inland lakes that are perfect for fishing. There are also hundreds of miles of majestic shoreline that make watching the sunset an unforgettable moment.
2. Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids is located on the Grand River, east of Lake Michigan. This city is known for its quality breweries and local art scene. However, it’s Grand Rapids’ museums that are the true must-visit attractions. This city has some the most entertaining museums in Michigan, including the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, which offers coach tours to view 15,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibit space, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Affectionately known as the GRAM, it offers exhibits with collections ranging from Renaissance to Modern Art.
If you are looking for outdoor activities, Grand Rapids has got you covered. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has a series of greenhouses with unique garden designs and plants from around the world. Additionally, they have multiple outdoor sculpture gardens, which are all viewable by a comfortable tram ride.
For those looking for a great deal, Petoskey is a great option. This city has a vibrant art and historical culture that won't disappoint. Petoskey is a coastal resort community named after the famed Petoskey stone, which you can still find on the many sandy shorelines.
What makes this town such a great deal is that it is surrounded by more than 5 different cities, all with a unique story and identity waiting to be uncovered. There are countless little shops and restaurants; you'll always find something new. If you are looking to take a breather, there is a fantastic selection of guided tours ranging from boat to architectural to Ernest Hemingway!
4. Grand Haven
Another great city to visit is Grand Haven. This city is on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, known for its sandy beaches. They are also known for their spectacular musical fountain shows at dusk. These shows combine a light, water, and music show into one. It's definitely a must-see!
Another take-it-easy activity is the tour of the town on a trolley. Enjoy a historical narrative tour that provides a unique trip back in time as you learn more about what makes Grand Haven such a special. If you have a passion or interest in trains, hop aboard the Coopersville & Marne Railway. This is a 14-mile excursion with antique passenger cars that take you back to a simpler time of transportation.
Formerly a lumber town and port, Saugatuck, along with the adjacent city of Douglas, became a noted art colony and tourist destination. The city of Saugatuck made some major news when it was selected by USA Today as a great place for a summer weekend escape. But what makes this small Michigan city worth the high praises?
The answer isn't one particular feature, but rather a blend. The city has been captivating senior tourists with its art galleries, harbor, marinas, scenery, unusual stores, the view from atop Mount Baldhead, and Oval Beach on Lake Michigan. Saugatuck also has a hand-cranked ferry ride that takes visitors from the city side of the river to the other shore for a walk to the beach, a historical museum or, if you are looking for some vigorous exercise, a climb up the stairs at Mt. Baldhead.
Staycations are an excellent way to explore and get to know all of the Michigan communities. They offer a quick fix from the headache that comes from long distance traveling. The adventure doesn't end because you get older, in fact, it’s only the beginning of an adventure worth the wait!