Posted in Covid19, General Travel, Travel Planning

What to Expect in Northern Michigan as it Quickly Reopens for Memorial Day Weekend

As the number of Corona Virus cases in Michigan continues to fall, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a new executive order Monday that will allow Northern Michigan businesses to start slowly opening up as of Friday 5/22/20.

Bars and restaurants will be allowed to operate as long as they do so at half their capacity.  People will also still be required to wear masks and make every effort to keep 6 feet away from others as Whitmer has cautioned she could return to stricter sanctions if infection rates climb again.

Since we have been under a Stay at Home Order since mid March, people are chomping at the bit to get out and DO SOMETHING.  This is a holiday weekend and in true Michigan fashion, nearly the entire state usually heads north. That usually means full hotels, restaurants, breweries and wine tasting rooms.  Not to mention campsites and beaches.

Between following my favorite establishments on social media and my group of good friends that work in the service industry up there, I have been reading a lot of posts from business about what to expect if you pop up there this weekend.

It will not be Business as Usual! 


Please Don’t Storm the Castle….Pump the Brakes a bit and read these suggestions for a Happy Northern Michigan Adventure!

  • Be Patient! The order to reopen came up fast and a lot of places had to put their reopening plan together quickly.   Places will still be working out a few kinks in how to make things flow the best.
  •  Follow the Rules! These places don’t want to have to play the role of Sherriff, but they are required to ensure the safety of their guests and employees.  Therefore, they must make sure that people are compliant with the Governor’s orders about wearing masks, social distancing and capacity limits.  If you follow the rules you will have no problem and everyone will be happy.
  •  Make a plan before you go.  Each business has to make their own individual process for how they will operate.  Check their website before you go to see what to expect at each of the places you want to go.  A lot of restaurants, breweries and tasting rooms are requiring you to make a reservation in advance to get in.  This is so that they can better control the flow of people and the capacity limits that they must follow.  So plan your stops now, check the website and call for any  reservations ASAP as I am sure slots will fill up quickly.
  •  Be Kind.    Don’t be to nitpicky because they are all under an immense amount of pressure to quickly open up and pull this big holiday weekend off.  Everyone will be trying their best to manage this new normal.  So just be a good human and remember a lot of these service industry folks have been out of work for over 2 months so make sure you TIP.
  •  Safety.  Ultimately the safety of you, other guests, and the employees is the most important thing. So wear your mask and keep your distance.


Although the reopening is very tempting to me and I would love to visit Traverse City which is my place, I will continue to stay close to home for now.  Having a few underlying health issues, I am still giving this some time before I rush the stage and push the boundaries.

As for you, I hope you do go up North and enjoy the beautiful scenery and get some fresh air. If you plan to visit any of the local businesses, remember to make your plan and any necessary reservations before you go so that you don’t have any disappointments.  Also, please follow the rules and play well with others!  Think of it like it is a soft opening at a highly anticipated new restaurant that everyone wants to go to.  It might be a little bit bumpy.


A Wild Eyed Adventurer that likes to Travel, Explore, Save Money, Share Tips, Discover the Best Foods Then Blog About It!