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More Americans are currently choosing closer-to-home destinations within driving distance, as opposed to those further afield that could require one or more flights.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly caused a variety of industries to struggle over the last year. Patty Janes, professor of hospitality and tourism management at Grand Valley State University, said Michigan's tourism industry has been one of those devastated by the pandemic.

Oh, travel ... how we've missed you! For many of us who have forgone a vacation or weekend getaway over the past year, spring—and what looks like some level of normalcy on the horizon—beckons us with a promise of new beginnings. And, a return to the places and activities we hold dear. Traverse City remains a perennial favorite and at the top of the list when it comes to close-to-home travel for West Michiganders.

Set on the shores of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey is an Up North, lower peninsula gem punctuated by charming Victorian homes, a quaint gaslight shopping district and miles of walkable trails and sparkling, sandy beaches—plus outdoor recreation galore.

Need to get away? You're not alone. Many of us are feeling the urge to change our scenes: to look out other windows, drive on different streets, gaze on unfamiliar landscapes, see new people ... A 24-hour escape could be just the solution to recharge your spirit—and there are plenty of destinations within a short drive or flight, to satisfy your wanderlust.

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