Winter is an exhilarating season in Northern Michigan. Abundant lake-effect snow (produced from weather systems moving across Lake Michigan) provides idea conditions for snow sports, including downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling – usually from late November or early December through late February or early March.
Located in beautiful Bellaire – just 35 miles northwest of Traverse City -- Shanty Creek is the area’s premier winter resort with Schuss Mountain and Summit Mountain offering two distinct skiing experiences. Sleigh rides, dogsled rides, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are also cold weather staples at Shanty Creek, while family movie nights, game nights, and kid-friendly ski lessons add to the lineup of winter fun.
In addition to outdoor activities, there is plenty to do indoors, as well! Most of the nearly 40 wineries and tasting rooms on the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas are open year ‘round, as are the area’s many microbreweries. Traverse City’s shopping areas – including Downtown Traverse City and The Village at Grand Traverse Commons – boast hundreds of specialty shops, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Add in spas and casinos, and winter is a perfect time of year for weekend getaways!
Winter visitors can take advantage of off-season specials at Traverse City-area lodging properties. The Traverse City Fab Fall special runs from just after Labor Day Weekend through mid-December each year, while the Traverse City True Escape special runs from early January through mid-May. Both packages provide discounts on lodging and special offers at restaurants, shops, wineries and more. Choose from nearly 5,000 guest rooms ranging from waterfront hotels and motels to romantic B & Bs, cozy cabins & cottages, luxury condos or a wide variety of vacation rental properties.