Staycations: Plan a Local Getaway!

By: Toni Cunningham | August 12, 2013

I can’t speak for everyone, but a trip to the Bahamas is, sadly, not in my future. Not anytime soon, at least. While some (apparently rich) people are able to live it up and go on a cruise once every six months, I choose to spend my money more wisely. Meaning that while I save up to travel to my dream destination (Mykonos, Greece, in case you’re interested), I keep most of my travels limited to local destinations.

If you too are on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time off for a lovely staycation! I know that word sounds awful and boring, but I assure you, it’s really not. There are plenty of fun things to partake in locally that’ll get you out of the office and allow you to enjoy time with your loved ones.

Whether your wallet allows for only a day trip or a week-long adventure, just because you’re not stepping on an airplane doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice getaway. Start saving your pennies a month ago and you might even be able to spring for a hotel room to make things even more “vacation-y.”

The Courtyard Detroit Downtown is a reasonably priced choice, and if your staycation involves gambling, MotorCity Casino Hotel might be an even better option.

Perhaps a bed and breakfast is more your style? In that case, the Bishop-Brighton Bed and Breakfast in Wyandotte or Ann Arbor’s Steller House B&B might suit you.

Once you’ve decided whether you’re staying at home or relocating for a few nights, take a look at the following activities to take part in while you’re on your staycation:

Detroit Riverfront / Hart Plaza Fountain

If you’re the type who enjoys remaining outdoors for as long as humanly possible during the summer, a trip to the Riverfront is a safe bet. There’s plenty to do along the Riverfront, and the mist from the fountain in the center of Hart Plaza will cool you off if the temperatures rise. Check out this article for an entire itinerary of possibilities on the Riverfront!

Metro Detroit Water Parks

Just because you’re not traveling to Jamaica doesn’t mean you can’t hop in the water. Consider splashing around at a water park. Don’t forget the SPF!

A few local water parks include:

  • Red Oaks Water Park, Madison Heights
  • Family Aquatic Center at Chandler Park, Detroit
  • Rolling Hills County Park, Ypsilanti
  • Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center, Belleville 

Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo

If you’ve got kids on your staycation, anything involving cute, cuddly animals is always a good idea.

Should your vacation time fall on a Wednesday, you can enjoy Wild Summer Nights, a summer concert series held at the Detroit Zoo. On concert nights, admission to the zoo is only $6, so it’s a great time to enjoy both while spending hardly anything!

While your kids have probably visited the Detroit Zoo a time or two, if they’ve never been to the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, now’s the time for something new and exciting! They can feed deer and check out the African Adventure Series. Keep in mind; the Belle Isle Nature Zoo is only open Wednesday through Sunday, so plan accordingly.

Brewery Tour

Who says you need to shell out big bucks on an official tour? Be your own guide! Visit the following Metro Detroit breweries and grab a drink, appetizer or both.

  • Detroit Beer Co., Detroit
  • Atwater Brewery, Detroit
  • Motor City Brewing Works, Detroit
  • Woodward Avenue Brewers, Ferndale
  • Liberty Street Brewing Company, Plymouth
  • Falling Down Beer Company, Warren
  • Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, Ann Arbor
  • Ann Arbor Brewing Company, Ann Arbor

Assembling an itinerary for a staycation is really quite simple—just think about all of the activities you would partake in if you were going out of town/state/whatever, and adapt them locally. As long as you’re enjoying your time off, your staycation will be a success!