While winter can be an absolutely frigid time in Michigan, it can also be one of the most beautiful times to vacation with family. We have put together a list of some of the most gorgeous travel destinations in the midwest for our readers. Grab your loved ones and head out on an adventure this winter!

Great Midwest Winter Weekend Escapes

Hocking Hills, Ohio. Hocking Hills’ is home to beautiful rock formations and caves. The winter months only beautify these gorgeous features. Each January, Hocking Hills State Park has an annual Winter Hike. You can find more information on it here. You can also stop by Glenlaurel Inn and Spa while in the area. They have great food, cozy cabins, and gorgeous hikes for the perfect winter weekend getaway! They even feature meals that are six to seven courses served in the Manor House.

Parke County, Indiana. Parke County is a great place to escape the crowds. Full of picturesque historic bridges, you will feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. The Turkey Run State Park Inn has a great lodge or cabins set among huge acreage of woods and sandstone gorges. You’ve absolutely got to stop and try the biscuits at the Clabber Girl Museum and Bake Shop as well!

Chicago, Illinois. Chicago has thousands upon thousands of activities that the entire family will enjoy. Go and take in a show. Eat your way through the city. Go ice skating in Millennium Park. Tour the countless museums. See the animal show at the Shedd Aquarium. There’s plenty to do!

Door County, Wisconsin. Door County has often been called the Cape Cod of the Midwest. During the winter months, snow often covers this gorgeous area. Visit Door County to take in the beautiful scenery, shop the local stores, take in the galleries, and stay in one of the peaceful inns. You can also stroll along the shores of a frozen Lake Michigan, go for a sleigh ride, take a trolley tour, enjoy wine tastings, and more.

Black Hills, South Dakota. Black Hills, South Dakota has plenty to see and do during the winter months! Bundle up and take your crew on snowmobile rides through some gorgeous national parks. Terry Peak is the Midwest’s highest downhill ski area, but Black Hills has slopes for beginners also. There are also plenty of great restaurants to visit. For more info, click here.

Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan. Old Mission Peninsula has plenty of winter offerings for tourists. You can see workers harvesting frozen Riesling grapes at Chateau Chantal or sample wines at Old Mission Peninsula’s wineries while watching the sun set. You can also go to Traverse City at the bottom of the peninsula to visit the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, go cross-country skiing, and more!

Brainerd, Minnesota. Brainerd has plenty of adventure for anyone in your crew! You can go try your hand at skiing or snowboarding, go dog sledding at Cragun’s Resort, or attempt cross-country skiing at Northland Arboretum. If you’d rather bundle up and stay warm, head to the shops in Nisswa and Pequot Lakes. You can also get a great massage at Glacial Waters Spa.

Bayfield, Wisconsin. Bayfield, Wisconsin is known for the beautiful Apostle Islands that freeze in Lake Superior each winter. In fact, most years, the lake freezes hard enough for cars to drive out to Madeleine Island, or hikers and skiers can check out the islands’ sea caves on foot. Once you’re ready to defrost from all of the frozen adventures, you can go relax by a wood-burning stove at the Old Rittenhouse Inn!

Southwest Lake Michigan Shore. Each winter, lake-effect storms leave \ southwest Michigan covered in ice and snow. This beautiful scenery provides plenty of fun activities for the family to enjoy! Visit Warren Woods State Park for some snow-shoeing, hike up Mount Baldy in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, go cross-country skiing in Love Creek County Park — the possibilities are endless. There are also plenty of places to wine and dine while you’re in the area!

Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Think you have to travel to Alaska to experience genuine dog sledding? Think again! Head on up to the upper Michigan peninsula. There you can work with Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Racing and Adventures for the time of your life. You can even go on day or overnight “mushing” trips where you learn to drive your own sled. Experience half-day, full-day, or overnight treks. More information can be found here.

Crystal Mountain, Michigan. Crystal Mountain was founded in 1956 as a community ski area. Just 28 miles southwest of Traverse City, Crystal Mountain offers guests the chance to ski, relax at the spa, and so much more. The Crystal Spa is 11,000 square feet dedicated to pampering and relaxation, exactly what you’ll want after a day on the slopes!

Pure Health Clinic

At Pure Health Clinic, Dr. Hohn wants his patients to live their best life. This means they are out and about being active! Do not let the winter months keep you indoors and bored. Plan an adventure and get to living!