Winter Staycations

By: Karen Dybis | December 16, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Motown BnB.

Michigan in winter is a wonderland of snowy activities, outdoor sports and family-focused entertainment. There is sledding, skiing and snowshoeing. There are festivals, holiday markets and wintry special events. The best part of all is that these amusements happen so close to home that you could organize an entire staycation around Metro Detroit.

There’s good reason to play local if you’re looking for some R&R this time of year. You may want to see a new part of the state that you’ve never experienced before. The family could be experiencing cabin fever and want a trip out of town. Or, just maybe after your long holiday shopping list was completed, you realized that the budget would stretch a lot further if you hung out close to home. 

Whatever the reason, Metro Detroit has a bevy of staycation possibilities. Hanging out near home doesn’t mean you have to day trip, either. There are many AirBnBs, bed-and-breakfast spots as well as affordable and unique hotels across Southeast Michigan that you can find a cool spot to spend the night, extending the fun for a few more hours. 

A great example is David King’s aptly named Motown BnB. He purchased the seven-bedroom home in 2015 and has been fixing it up since then. King, who is a third generation Detroiter, had thought of making it a short-term rental when the idea of creating a Motown-themed staycation hangout space for overnight guests or retreat space for businesses struck him.

 Its location on West Brand Boulevard is just eight doors down from the iconic Motown Museum, so he used that theme for its decorations. There are wall-sized murals of famous bands, records emblazed on the floor, three jukeboxes and tons of memorabilia highlighting the best of Detroit music. One highlight: The Rick James room, which is a bright red and includes the phrase, “Give It to Me, Baby” on the wall. 

“It’s meant to be a fun place for people to go and enjoy,” said King, who opened the Motown BnB in October. “It’s a great spot for a staycation for family reunions, weddings or concerts.”

Here are some suggestions on great Metro Detroit staycations. Each one comes with ideas for a place to stay, tasty places to eat and cool activities that are either close by so you can walk to them or nearby for a short car ride. 

The Inn on Ferry Street 

This grouping of six historical buildings make up the Inn on Ferry Street, located in the hot Midtown district. Within walking distance are great tourism sites such as Detroit Institute of Arts as well as the Detroit Historical Museum and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Go shopping at the Peacock Room and don’t forget to eat some good eats at Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails.  

Motown BnB 

If you stay here, you have to head to the Motown Museum for a tour. Some words to the wise: Buy your Motown Museum tickets in advance because these tours sell out regularly. Then you can head to the Fisher Building for a Pure Detroit tour or the Schvitz for a hot steam. Finish up down the road at Kiesling Detroit to enjoy a century-old Detroit bar.

Detroit Club 

You can walk in the footsteps of giants at this immaculately restored Detroit club. Formerly a private retreat, several floors of the Detroit Club are now open to the public as well as members. There are guest rooms upstairs, a spa in the basement and a great restaurant to try. Join Detroit Experience Factory for a tour and eat at one of the great old-time restaurants such as the London Chop House.

Siren Hotel 

Talk about sexy. This new Detroit hotel has everything you’d want: Beautiful interiors, impressive rooms, great eats and a chic bar. You can walk from here to anywhere around the Greektown historic district or nearby casino. Make sure to grab a drink in the luxuriously pink Candy Bar as well as an upscale meal at its low-brow eatery (run by the amazing Chef Kate Williams) called Karl’s. 

Royal Park Hotel 

If you want some quiet and nature to fill your staycation, then head to Rochester’s Royal Park Hotel. Its elegant guestrooms and rich amenities make this a treat no matter what time of year. Head out to one of the many Oakland County parks for some cross-country skiing or hike on the Paint Creek Trail. For eats, check out downtown Rochester with Kruse and Muer on Main or the Rochester Chop House & Bar. If you go around the holidays, you can’t miss its massive light display.