The best Upper Midwest minimoon destinations

The best Upper Midwest minimoon destinations

A minimoon can be a great way to get away right after your wedding without having to plan all the details of a large immediate honeymoon. This post might be of interest for those that live in the Midwest or near this region of the U.S. In my opinion, here are the best upper Midwest minimoon destinations.

My husband and I did a minimoon right after our wedding (less than a year ago!) and it was the best decision ever. We were also planning a honeymoon (If you’re new here, check our northern Italy itinerary), but for several weeks after our wedding. Because we were waiting a few weeks for our honeymoon (which was also one of the best decisions ever!!), we still wanted a little time right after our wedding before jumping back into “life.”

If you need more convincing for doing a minimoon, check out my post on why you should do a minimoon right after your wedding.

Before we get into my top three destinations for a minimoon let’s talk some logistics!

What exactly is a minimoon?

A minimoon is a term I only got familiar with the last couple of years. Maybe that’s because it was when we were planning our wedding. But I love the concept! You probably have heard and it and know what it’s referring to. If not, I would describe it as a mini-honeymoon. It’s typically done right after your wedding, like starting that night or the next night. You might choose to do this instead of a larger honeymoon OR you might do both!

How long should our minimoon be?

2-3 nights is a perfect amount. This timeframe allows you to get away right after your wedding, enjoy some rest and relaxation, AND helps keep costs low.

What makes a honeymoon different than a minimoon?

This might depend on personal preference. A minimoon is typically shorter, immediately following your wedding, and may be closer to where you live (or where your wedding is). More and more couples are waiting some time before doing a honeymoon. So a minimoon can be a great way to do something immediately following your wedding.

The best upper Midwest minimoon destinations

Living in the Upper Midwest, I may be biased. With that said, I have done my fair share of traveling and living in other countries. AND the upper Midwest is a special place that you should consider adding to your domestic-travel-bucket list!

These are my personal preferences. If any of these destinations interest you — let me know and I can help plan your minimoon for you!

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

You might know by now that I love Michigan! And here are some reasons you should love it too. One of the best places you can visit in Michigan is the Upper Peninsula (or “The U.P.” as lots of people know it). Of the three places, this is probably the most difficult to get to, but I promise the drive alone is worth it.

In the Upper Peninsula, my recommendation would be to spend your 3 night minimoon in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

The Keweenaw Peninsula is known for it’s huge amounts of lake-effect snow. But more importantly people in the Keweenaw Peninsula know how to embrace the snow and winter months. You can find downhill skiing, numerous cross-country ski trails, dog sledding, some of the best snowmobiling in the region, and so much more. It’s a way of life!

Realistically, you might not be minimoon-ing in the winter. The Keweenaw Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in the summer, spring, fall, AND winter. Imagine staying in a cabin right near Lake Superior for a few nights after your wedding. You can wake up to waves crashing on the shore, sit in a hot tub, take numerous sauna’s, and embrace some solitude.

What’s a better way to spend a few nights after months of busy nights planning your wedding??

North Shore of Minnesota

“The North Shore” is how a lot of people know it in Minnesota. The North Shore is the coast of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota. This is actually where we did our minimoon and it was perfect.

For the perfect minimoon you can stay at a tiny house, a resort, or a cabin in the woods right near the majestic, rocky shores of Lake Superior.

The North Shore is miles and miles north along Lake Superior. So if you don’t want to go as far, you could just head a little north of Duluth and find tranquility. If you are looking for more adventure, head as far as Grand Marais and keep going!

The North Shore is remote with limited options on everything. BUT there are some iconic coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries that you can check out. Also, after a busy wedding weekend, all you will probably want to do is sleep in, sip coffee on your patio over-looking the lake, soak in a tub, and maybe fit a casual hike in.

Lake Michigan — Michigan side

My third recommendation for a minimoon destination in the Upper Midwest is somewhere along Lake Michigan — specifically on the east side of the lake — the Michigan side.

You might not know this, but the sand dunes along Lake Michigan in Michigan give you some of the most incredible views. You will feel like you’re looking out over an ocean with sandy beaches.

In 2011, ABC News labeled Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes as the “Most beautiful place in America” — and there’s a reason for that.

You will have numerous options for the shores of Lake Michigan. Consider Traverse City, the northern most point, for a little bit of luxury, camp near Ludington and/or Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes if you want something more adventurous. Or head to a cabin somewhere along the southeast shore of Lake Michigan for something a little closer to Chicago, Indiana, or Ohio.

There are so many beautiful places that would make a great minimoon destination. These are just three of the best upper Midwest minimoon destinations!


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