Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Top 3 Ways to Enjoy Your Michigan Weekend Home
For Michiganders, it seems having a property where you work and having one up north is a sign that you've made it. Seems almost everyone I know has a second home somewhere. For Michigan retirees, it's Florida or Arizona. Those are the two most popular spots. Me? I like to explore the world far too much to go to the same place every time I travel.
Although a recent trip to up north Michigan could have changed my mind.
When my brother tried to get me to go in on a second home up with him I never even thought twice about saying no. When I finally made a visit last weekend, I can definitely see what the hype is about and why people love having a home away from home; especially in Michigan for Michiganders. While the #puremichigan attractions of fun in the snow during winter and fun in the sun during summer drive people to travel north, it's the actual beauty of being relaxed without the pressures of work and home weighing on you that I found most appealing.
Coming off an expensive DisneyWorld trip this past December with almost our entire 15 member family, my brother and I looked at each other like; 'no doubt.' While Disney is magical and a once in a lifetime experience, nothing can compare to endless weekends and vacations enjoyed with family in a low-key environment.
On this particular trip, we did not ski, we did not snowmobile, we did not snowshoe. We did not have a weekend that required packing in 'to do' items that would have exhausted us. We chilled. Here are my
Top 3 Ways to Chill at Your Michigan Weekend Home:
1. Spend Quality Time Together
My niece said it best; "We don't need anything but family and games."
The first thing we did was put a puzzle together until the wee hours making me go cross eyed by 4 am. I learned from my Aunt who gave me the puzzle that no one in the family had wanted it and now it's landed a good home at my brother's with stories to tell. We played games indoors for far too many hours with so many laughs my gut got a workout. We ate so many sweets while playing that it felt like Fat Tuesday. While we did talk about some serious topics, we mostly enjoyed each others' company and just being together. Having a space free of any pressure brought us closer together in that way.
2. Explore Like a Staycationer
Part of the up north experience combines visiting local shops and eateries and enjoying the great outdoors.
While many of the shops in Downtown Gaylord attract visitors, staycationers and second home owners frequent local proprietors and we were no different. We trounced around Downtown Gaylord window shopping and buying way too many sweets at the Alpine Chocolat Haus. We visited the Elk Park and took so many photos and videos we could create a mini-documentary.
Nothing could beat ordering huge burgers for lunch at the Pine Squirrel overlooking the Opening Day Buck Pole unless it was actually on Opening Day.
3. Outdoor Activity is a MUST
We took a 4.5 mile morning walk through scenic Michaywe along backroads offering a very peaceful journey. Catching up with family and sharing stories made me want a repeat visit way sooner than later.
According to Eye on Housing, Michigan was one of the top states in America for second homes" "As of 2016, the state with the largest stock of second homes was Florida (1.1 million), accounting for 15% of all second homes. Half of the nation’s second homes can be found in eight states – Florida, California, New York, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, and Pennsylvania."
Do you have a second home or know of someone who does? What are your favorite things to do on your weekend getaway?