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The spring break tradition for a majority of college students is to head to a beach. It is understandable that after being cooped up in a classroom all winter long that they would want to get out in the sun. Ironically, spring break was originally intended for those college students to have a chance to study before the final exams.
What are the chances that they’re studying on the beach?

Today, many schools offer spring breaks for students of all ages. Families can take advantage of that time off by planning their own vacations. Of course, this means that most of the popular tourist spots and theme parks will be crowded with visitors. The same can be said for the airports. You might discover that this year, the best spring break vacation for your family is a Traverse City stay-cation. Have you really explored all that this town has to offer? Consider these fun stay-cation activities:

Stay-Cation For Spring Break

A Day at Incredible Mo’s

Just what makes a trip to Incredible Mo’s so incredible? It is like going to an indoor theme park that has so many amazing family fun things to do you won’t know where to start. Most visitors manage to squeeze in a few games of bowling in between the laser tag showdowns and the newly added escape room. There are also arcade games for all ages and tasty treats to keep everyone satisfied. Come early and stay all day and you’ll see what’s so incredible.

Take Aim at Shooters

Right next door to Incredible Mo’s is Traverse City’s only indoor shooting range. You don’t have to own or bring your own firearm in order to fire off a few rounds. Shooters have a wide array of gun rentals to experience. It’s a great way to get the feel for a different type of gun. Along with the shooting range, there is an archery range and pro shop to help develop those bow and arrow skills.

Head for the Hickory Hills

Yes, it might be a spring break, but there could still be snow up on the Hickory Hills. This could be your last chance to hit the slopes before all that cool white powder melts. Hickory Hills feature 8 runs that accommodate skiers at all levels from beginning to advanced. There is even a lighted trail for night skiing. Be sure to call before you head up to Hickory Hills just to make sure the slopes are running that day.

Discover Local Wineries

This particular stay-cation idea is for the grownups. Although California dominates the domestic wine market, the Midwest is starting to carve out its own wine niche and that starts with the Traverse Wine Coast. At last count, there were 40 different wineries operating throughout the region. Most of these wineries are open year-round and offer daily tours and wine tastings. Some even have remarkable restaurants where you get to put your newly discovered wine tasting skills to the test.

Among the stand out wineries are Shady Lane Cellars, 2 Lad Winery, 45 North Vineyard and Winery, Aurora Cellars and Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery. Add in an overnight stay at a bed and breakfast in and you have the makings of a great weekend. After spending time at these establishments, you’re going to have a greater appreciation for the grape.

Stay-Cation For Spring Break

Hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes

The Sleeping Bear Dunes is one of the most popular national parks in the state. Spring means the park will be bursting with greenery and flowers. You can go on lazy, long hikes through the woods or along the dunes. As tempting as the lake looks for a dip, it takes a while longer to warm up.

Cast Off

Although the water in Lake Michigan might be too cold to swim in, it is perfect for casting off your rod and pulling back a fresh catch of the day. What might you hook? Lake trout, brown trout, steelhead, Coho salmon and walleye are among the plentiful varieties of freshwater fish that you’ll find in the lake. Who knows? You might even snag a trophy size catch!


Sometimes a stay-cation might mean the family splitting up to “conquer” more fun. There are plenty of dads who would enjoy a little time on the links. Which links? There are 16 championship courses throughout the area. Arnold Palmer designed Manitou Passage and The Legend while Jack Nicklaus helped put together The Bear. You can also get in 18 holes at Hawks Eye, Lochenheath or Elmbrook. Sixteen courses. Fourteen days in a two-week stay-cation. You got this!

Eat Up

Stay-cations are also the perfect time to go to all those great restaurants you’ve been hearing about from your friends. Take the time to explore the menus and try some cuisine you haven’t tried before. This is your stay-cation, right?