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Getting the Winter Blues? Aching to get off campus? Feeling a little trapped in Hillsdale?

While Hillsdale often seems “in the middle of nowhere,” its central location allows for great day trips to cities nearby. Getting off campus doesn’t need to be an elab­orate road trip. Larger cities are just a little over an hour away, making day trips easily pos­sible and refreshing the soul before returning to the library.

Ann Arbor

The Lab Café in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Facebook)

The Lab Café
505 E. Liberty Suite 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

1 hour and 20 minutes away

This modern coffee shop offers great drinks, frozen yogurt, and baked goods in an aes­thetic atmos­phere. Located near the Uni­versity of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus, the shop is close to other great restau­rants and stores such as Tomukun Noodle Bar, Taste of India, and Urban Out­fitters – perfect for an afternoon in the city. Fun fact: this shop is just a few steps away from the Ann Arbor Graffiti Alley.

Detroit

Belle Isle Con­ser­vancy in Detroit (Facebook)

Belle Isle Con­ser­vancy
300 River Place Drive #2800
Detroit, MI 48207

2 hours away

The his­toric park ded­i­cated to pre­serving the nature on the island is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium, which houses one of the world’s largest col­lec­tions of air-breathing fish; the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Con­ser­vatory, which stands as the oldest con­tin­ually-running con­ser­vatory in the nation; and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, which fea­tures some of Detroit’s national history as a major city on the Detroit River. Spend the day exploring all the spots, all free with the price of parking, and end your trip by watching the sunset over Detroit on Sunset Point.

Detroit Institute of Arts (Facebook)

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48202

1 hour and 45 minutes away

One of the top art museums in the country, the DIA has over 100 gal­leries from all corners of the world. Vis­itors can easily spend hours perusing the wide variety of ancient, clas­sical, and modern art. Some favorites: “Cotopaxi” by Frederic Edwin Church, “The Con­version of the Mag­dalene” by Michelangelo Merisi da Car­avaggio, and “Self-Por­trait” by Vincent van Gogh. The Claude Monet exhibit is open until March 4, fea­turing “Rounded Flower Bed.” Vis­itors can learn how this work fits into the Impres­sionist movement.

Lansing

Michigan State Capitol (Facebook)

Michigan State Capitol
100 N. Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI 48933

1 hour and 15 minutes away

Vis­itors can stop by the Capitol building for a guided or inde­pendent tour around the iconic building. Embrace Michigan history while walking through the rooms of the capitol, watch the state leg­is­lature meet, and adore the hand-painted artwork that adorns the building. The Vic­torian-era style is con­sistent throughout each of the three levels of the capitol. Stop on the second floor to see the Gallery of Gov­ernors, which fea­tures a por­trait of each of the Michigan gov­ernors.

Toledo

Toledo Zoo (Facebook)

Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way
Toledo, Ohio 43609

1 hour and 30 minutes away

Voted Best Zoo in the United States by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the Toledo Zoo wel­comes one million vis­itors each year to see their animals of over 750 exotic species from around the world. The zoo is known for their numerous animals and their Hip­po­quarium, which gives vis­itors a great under­water view of hippos, unlike any other zoo exhibit in the world.

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    All great ideas. When I first moved to Metro Detroit back in the late 1970’s we started a regular ‘Beach Party and Bar­becue in January!’ where everyone was invited to come, wearing beach apparel and enjoy a Hawaiian-style bar­becue. We even had outside games set up like Vol­leyball, bad­minton, ring toss and the like. It was a riot and it really helped shake off the winter blues. The site of folks wearing Hawaiian shirts, beach shorts and straw hats and playing vol­leyball in the snow was pretty comical!