A weekend getaway up north in Northern Michigan including an Airbnb rental, snow skiing for beginners and a trip to Short’s Brewery!
Since the weather here in Michigan is dismal, at least for snow skiing, ice skating or sledding purposes, we decided to take a long weekend trip up north to find some snow and a little R & R. Although we’ve been up north numerous times before, we found some new adventures and places we’ve never visited. Even down to the type of lodging. We wanted to get away without breaking the bank either so keep reading and check our weekend getaway trip up north and how we did it on a budget!
Less than a week before our trip I decided to check out Airbnb for the first time. My sister has mentioned it before as a great alternative to hotels, especially with a family so I thought I’d give it a try. Their website, along with their app, are pretty straight forward and user friendly. I like how you can give exact details of what you’re looking for including how many people in your group, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need and whether or not it’s pet-friendly.
We rented a house from a nice couple in Mancelona, Michigan and split it with my parents (which is as huge cost saver too!). Mancelona is a small town like most towns in northern Michigan and sits on a lake. It’s conveniently located to Bellaire (where you’ll find skiing, restaurants and a great brewery). It’s also not too far from other favorite cities like Traverse City. Let me know if you’d like to learn the specific house we rented, I’d love to give you the info!
On our first full day up north we decided to check out tubing at Shanty Creek. After first glance, the adults in our group thought, “is it even worth it?” By this I mean that the tubing hill did not look too exciting, but we decided to go ahead and were thrilled we gave it a try. Although the hill looked a bit boring, you could really pick up speed especially when you went down the hill in groups of 3 to 5 tubes. The price was reasonable too and even our little man (E) was able to participate. The minimum height is 36 inches and they must ride in their own tube. Fun was had be all – from ages 3 to 68!
Since we were focused on staying on a strict budget for this trip, Shanty Creek Resorts was a great choice. It was only a 15 minute drive from the house we rented and have an awesome deal on Sundays. For $25 children can get a lift ticket, rental equipment and an hour ski lesson ($10 more for a helmet rental). The lift ticket is good from 12:30 p.m – 4:30 p.m. Since I wasn’t sure how long our kids would last, I wasn’t thrilled about spending much money on something they might do for 30 minutes and then give up so this was a great option for beginners. Even if you visit on other days of the week, lift tickets are only $5 for children 8 years and under and ski rental is $20 for 4 hours. The best news is they all lasted the entire 4 hours! And our oldest got the hang of stopping and turning so quickly that he had the chance to ride the chair lifts with mom and dad and explore other hills. It was an amazing day all together.
And all this little man can talk about is wanting to go skiing again. He actually pretends to “ski” around our house in his socks. It’s so adorable and beyond exciting for this momma who LOVES to ski!
EATS AND DRINKS
Most of the time we ate in meals in the cabin we rented which saved a ton of money.The one dinner we ate out was at Short’s Brewery. We love Michigan craft beer and Short’s is one of my husband and my favorites. We are quite familiar with Short’s Brewery not only from out local grocery stores and restaurants in Metro Detroit, but also because we have biked right past the pub and brewery during our Michigan Mountain Mayhem bike tour. Some bikers we spoke to on the ride even stopped there for a sandwich and cold one mid-bike tour. I love beer, but it would definitely not be a good idea to stop in the middle of biking up and down crazy hills that reach 30+ MPH on a bike. When we visited we ordered two flights (5 beers each) and split them between my parents, Dan and myself. We also tried their warm pretzel appetizers which were amazingly delicious. And because we were in the area and love their beer so much we went back after our day of skiing and had dinner. We chose their veggie pizza, along with some Chocolate Stout (my favorite!), and the food was enjoyed by all.
Thanks to my parents for joining us and helping out with the kiddos and also giving Dan and I some time to ski together!
Disclaimer: I received no discounts or compensation for our activities or lodging. I just wanted to show my readers how much fun northern Michigan can be in the winter!
This Weekend Getaway in Northern Michigan (including skiing!) post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.