Lansing, Michigan’s capital city, is a great place for your group to visit for a day, a weekend, or longer because there is so much going on all year round. But when you come to Lansing, you get more because there’s East Lansing right next door!
For example, if your group loves art, greater Lansing has it all including music, galleries and theaters large and small. Add to those, festivals throughout the year spanning everything from music to beer to jazz to arts and crafts, and you can’t miss. The same with history, from the almost 140-year-old state capitol building to Michigan State University’s beautiful campus to Old Town it’s waiting for you. For those who crave the crack of the bat, there’s minor league baseball right downtown all summer long!
The area is also home to dozens of parks, many operating year-round, as well as health and wellness spas, an awesome array of restaurants and pubs, and more. This is just a small sampling of what awaits! Check out this video for more, then read our blog, “Book a Charter Bus: Destination Lansing.”
To say Detroit is experiencing a renaissance is a huge understatement. In fact, the city becomes more amazing every day as old and new businesses, restaurants, artists and entrepreneurs move “downtown.” If your group wants diverse options, take a trip to the D — you won’t believe it until you see it!
No matter what your group wants to do whether it’s historical (try the Henry Ford) musical (think Motown) or other performing arts or sports on a grand scale, the D has it. And then there’s retail therapy. Yes! New boutiques and specialty stores abound, capitalizing on the new Detroit pride that is turning century old structures into markets with everything Detroit and more. From mammoth modern high-rises to gothic cathedrals it will inspire you and take your breath away.
And foodies, there’s plenty for you too! Detroit’s Eastern Market is still booming and there are so many new and old purveyors of packaged and prepared foods you’ll want to pace yourself so you don’t over do it on the first day! Watch this great Detroit video, read our blog, “Book a Charter Bus: Destination Detroit” then get pumped to get to the D!
Destination Traverse City
Once just a lovely place to visit in the summer, Traverse City has become a sort of Mecca, beckoning to those who adore all things Michigan in every season. But even as the city grows, it retains its small town essence, all the while attracting the best entertainment, and offering “cherry” nice festivals, award-winning wines, bountiful fruits, and of course, fresh water and mile on mile of sandy beaches. And that’s just right in town.
Out and about northwest Michigan you can visit wineries, climb massive (and moving!) sand dunes, visit farm markets, go charter fishing, and enjoy quiet beach time or the view from Pyramid Point. You could do it all in one day, but why not spread it out? That way you can enjoy relaxing meals, leisurely shopping on Front Street or maybe head north up scenic (and fairly famous) M22 to Northport or Suttons Bay where the ride offers amazing vistas of West Grand Traverse Bay on the right and towering tree-covered hills one the left.
And when summer winds down, there’s color tours and then … skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and bonfires. In Traverse City, the fun never ends so watch this video, and find out what the cherry capital is all about and get more detail in our blog, Book a Charter Bus: Destination Traverse City.
Frankenmuth, settled in 1845 by 15 Germans from the Franken province of Bavaria, has retained its Bavarian roots and flourished. Today, Frankenmuth (“muth” means courage) is one of Michigan’s top tourist attractions with more than 3 million visitors annually. Best known as the home of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth has a year-round calendar of fun festivals featuring snow sculptures, beer, Bavaria, music, beer again, cars, Christmas, and more!
For the athletically inclined, Frankenmuth hosts Volksäufe (aka The People’s Race) with a marathon for runners of all ages, and fun all weekend long. Then there’s the athletic event known as shopping, which is not for the weak of heart, especially in Frankenmuth. If you can get it in Bavaria, you can find it in Frankenmuth too! From cheese to sausage to cuckoo clocks and breweries, you won’t be disappointed! And then there’s Bronner’s where most people could spend a week, and many other specialty shops, museums, wineries and mills to visit. So get your lederhosen on and take a look at Frankenmuth in this short video then read our blog, “Book a Charter Bus: Destination Frankenmuth.”
Holland sets on the shore of Lake Michigan and is home to a real Dutch windmill, one of the nation’s top flower festivals — Tulip Time — and the Nelis’ Dutch Village, a replica of olden day life in the Netherlands. The town is a veritable garden from end to end with literally millions of tulips in bloom each spring, and when they’re gone, the fun is just beginning. For those who thrive on the shore, there’s the massive beach at Holland State Park and a smaller version at Tunnel Park. You can walk, bob, dunk, swim, soak or build a sand castle, as you enjoy another blissful day at the beach.
But despite its Dutch heritage, Holland embraces people from all lands and takes every opportunity to celebrate them. So head over for the Latin America United for Progress Fiesta, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or The Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival, just three among many events suited for every family member. Whether your group is full of car nuts, girls only, civil war aficionados or parade lovers, Holland has it all and then some. Learn more about what Holland has to offer in this video then read our blog, “Book a Charter Bus: Destination Holland.”
Destination Saugatuck Douglas
Once sleepy little burgs nesting side-by-side on the Lake Michigan coastline, the twin towns of Saugatuck and Douglas melded together and emerged as one of America’s top lake towns. With the beautiful (and always spotless) Oval Beach — also a multiple award winner including Conde Nast Traveler’s top 25 Beaches in the World! — your group will feel like they found their special spot. And if art is at the top of the list, they’ll think they’re in heaven!
Long called “the art coast of Michigan,” Saugatuck Douglas is the home of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ox-Bow School, which brings gifted artists into the community where they enrich the arts for all in galleries and during special events like juried art shows and for individuals at one-to-two week studio classes. Saugatuck is also home to a non-profit community theatre supported by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, which also keeps a very full and fruitful calendar of events.
If fishing sounds like fun, your group can book a charter big lake fishing trip for salmon and trout, or maybe a leisurely ride on an old-fashioned sternwheeler sounds more appealing. For a challenge, it’s hard to beat a hike up Mt. Baldhead, or indulge yourselves in a little of the local cuisine. Saugatuck Douglas also has a long history of being open minded, LGBTQ-friendly and welcoming; simply “a place for everyone” to live, work and play! See more of what Saugatuck Douglas has to offer your group in this video. Than take a minute to read our blog “Book a Charter Bus: Saugatuck Douglas.”
Does your group love the outdoors? The wild and windswept? To be tested and challenged? Well listen up … we’ve got that! Michigan has so many places to enjoy the outdoors it’s hard to pick just one but among the best is Marquette! Winter, summer, spring and fall, the greater Marquette area is bursting with plenty to do on and off the road.
On the road is beautiful, quaint downtown Marquette, founded by Father Jacques Marquette as a mission in 1675, and settled as a town in 1849. This history is all around but held in residence at Northern Michigan’s University’s Beaumer Upper Peninsula Heritage Center and several other local museums. The arts are also well represented in galleries, public buildings, boutiques, and theaters throughout the town and the area. For the shoppers in your group, there are so many uniquely wonderful shops and stores, they will want to set aside a whole day just for that one activity.
Now for the off-road activities! From biking (fat or skinny tires) on snowy or dirt trails, to snowshoeing, downhill and cross country skiing, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling and paddling a variety of crafts, no matter what the weather, Marquette is ready to take you on. In addition, great birding spots are very near, disc golf is alive and well, and ice and rock climbers are always challenged by the rugged landscape.
When it’s time to relax, amble over to one of the great pubs, breweries or wine bars, or hit a local restaurant for a little something native like “pasties,” or perhaps sushi, Thai, Italian, or Cajun, to name just a few. One more thing, don’t forget to keep an eye on the sky for the incredible aurora borealis. The northern lights will make your trip complete! Consider Marquette for your next group trip but first watch this video, then read our blog, “Book a Charter Bus: Destination Marquette”!
Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, is a favorite destination during football season, and as many have found, every other season too!
For the artistically inclined, Ann Arbor is a veritable mecca with performing arts events on stage and screen including drama, comedy, indie, concerts, readings, and more every month of the year. For those who prefer to wander, the city is packed with walkable artist studios, galleries, museums, and shops catering to a variety of artists and artistic genres from arts and crafts to fine art. Or perhaps your group would like to book your trip to attend one of the film the festivals held each year. These exhibitions let the public get a close-up view of films that just might end up in the running for an Academy Award®!
If you want to see Ann Arbor in the summertime, plan to attend one or more of the annual events like the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which is literally all over town and features more than 1,000 artisans and amazing creativity and talent. There are also celebrations of the seasons like the Ann Arbor Summer Festival that brings people together to eat good food, enjoy great entertainment and attend workshops. There’s so much to do in Ann Arbor, your group might be surprised they hadn’t thought of it before! So consider Ann Arbor and watch this video for a taste of what awaits. To find out more about Ann Arbor events and happenings, read our blog, “Book a Charter Bus: Destination Ann Arbor.”
Michiganders know there are no bad destinations in the mitten state so these are just representative of what you can find if you travel outside your box. If you need help planning your next group trip, let us help with our free, “Complete Guide to Booking a Bus.”