It’s that time of year again – wedding season! However, before the wedding comes the bachelorette party. If you are maid of honor or a bridesmaid looking for ideas on where to throw a bachelorette party, Northern Michigan has plenty to offer. From countless wineries, breweries, beaches, bars, and spas, you’ll find that Northern Michigan will ensure the bride’s bachelorette party is one to remember. Here are just a few ideas to help you get started on planning the last hurrah before the bride’s big wedding day.
A fan favorite destination that probably offers the most in variety of activities is Traverse City. It features miles of vineyards that offer wine tasting, tours, breweries, beaches, and a variety of places to stay.
To get the most bang for your buck, there are always lodging choices available through Airbnb and VRBO. You can also find a variety of Northern Michigan vacation rentals through smaller companies such as Freshwater Vacation Rentals who offer vacation homes all throughout Michigan. Vacation rentals are ideal if you have a large group. However, there are also great hotel choices and most are situated on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay. Hotel Indigo Traverse City is one of the area’s newer hotels and is located in the heart of the city near the beach and downtown area. The Holiday Inn Resort also is in a convenient location on West Bay just across the street from downtown.
Things to Do
Let’s start off with wineries. There are two peninsulas in Traverse City that offer a variety of wineries to make your way through Old Mission Peninsula and the Leelanau Peninsula. If you can do both in one day, do it! But my personal favorites are the wineries through Old Mission Peninsula. The wines are spectacular and most vineyards offer views of both East and West Grand Traverse Bay. If you don’t have a designated driver, I highly suggest getting a tour bus to drive everyone from vineyard to vineyard. TC Brew Bus and Blue Lakes By the Bay Transportation are both two great options. Two of my personal favorite wineries are Bonobo Winery and Black Star Farms, but make sure to check out our other suggestions for Traverse City wineries.
Places to Eat
If you are looking for a place to make dinner reservations, Apache Trout Grill is a wonderful restaurant that offers an on-the-water dining experience. The reviews speak for themselves, but the restaurant is known for its seafood and ribs. Trattoria Stella is a delicious Italian restaurant that is located at the historic Grand Traverse Commons. For nightlife and bars, visit The Little Fleet or The Parlor for delicious cocktails and music.
Another fun Northern Michigan destination for your bride’s last fling is Mackinac Island! It may take a little more work to get there, accounting for the ferry ride you’ll have to take to get to the island, but it sure is a great place to explore and relax. The best time of year to go is in the late spring, summer, or early fall to have the best weather.
Airbnb’s on Mackinac Island are a little harder to come by, so I would suggest staying in a hotel. Mission Point Resort is a popular hotel, but there are also quaint little boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts that offer something unique for the bachelorette party. The Inn at Stonecliffe is a Victorian mansion that features an outdoor pool and views of the lake. The Murray Hotel is also a cute family-run property that has a sundeck, pool, spa, and candy shop.
Things to Do
There are so many things to do and see on Mackinac Island, but for a bachelorette party I suggest renting bikes one morning and biking around the entire island. This is a fun activity to see most of the island and tourist sites like the Arch Rock. If you bike your way east first, your end destination will be downtown. Here you can stop and do some shopping and grab lunch. Pub crawls are also popular on the island. You can find a list of different ones here. For a Sunday activity, visit the Butterfly House. It is one of the oldest museums of its kind in the United States and is full of beautiful butterflies and tropical gardens.
Places to Eat
There are so many delicious places to eat at on Mackinac Island that you’ll definitely want to bring your appetite with you! If I had to recommend only one, it would be the Pink Pony. This is an excellent choice at any time of the day and it features waterfront views. My advice is to call and make reservations as it is always busy. It is also a great spot for nightlife as well as Horn’s Gaslight Bar and Restaurant. For brunch, definitely, go to the Pancake House.
Charlevoix and Petoskey
These two charming towns are less than 30 minutes from each other and offer an abundance of activities for a bachelorette party. Charlevoix is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and beautiful Lake Charlevoix. Petoskey Michigan sits along the shores of Little Traverse Bay.
For both of these towns, Airbnb will offer a variety of places to stay. Many people here will rent out their cottages and lake homes. If you have a big group, this can be especially fun because you’ll be able to decorate the entire house for the bachelorette party! You’ll find many homes that are also lakefront or just a short walk away to the beach. If your group would rather stay in a hotel, The Inn at Bay Harbor is a beautiful hotel that is in between Petoskey and Charlevoix that features lake view suites, beaches, and spa packages for your bachelorette party.
Things to Do
Both areas offer a variety of wineries to visit. One of my favorites is the Petoskey Farms Vineyard and Winery that features an outdoor covered patio. The Mackinaw Trail Winery in Petoskey is another beautiful vineyard. If it’s a nice day, consider a charter boat ride out on Lake Michigan in Charlevoix. Sunshine Charters offers a variety of private sails and specializes in planning sailing trips for bachelorette parties. If your bride just wants to relax at the beach, both Charlevoix and Petoskey feature beautiful beaches to relax at during the day. Depot Beach in Charlevoix offers standup paddleboard rentals, a pavilion, and restrooms. Petoskey State Park is a beautiful sandy beach, pavilion, and hiking trails. Both downtown Charlevoix and Petoskey offer a variety of quaint shopping and coffee shops to visit.
Places to Eat
A variety of unique restaurants and cocktail bars can be found in both Petoskey and Charlevoix. POUR in Petoskey is a fun wine and cocktail bar that offers an extensive wine list (over 50 wines) and a selection of shareables, sushi, and entrees. Twisted Olive is also a fun joint that offers American cuisine inspired from the Mediterranean Coast. The Bridge Street Tap Room in Charlevoix is a great choice for lunch, dinner, and drinks that often features live music.
All of the above Northern Michigan cities make a great destination for a bachelorette party. You really can’t go wrong with any. If you have been to either of these cities before and know of more fun activities, let us know in the comments!