Time is a precious resource. On average, American workers don’t use 33% of their paid time off. 

That’s why there is a National Plan for Vacation Day. Put travel planning on your calendar for the last Tuesday in January. 

People who plan ahead are more likely to use their PTO days. And even if you’re not ready to make any RSVPs yet, thinking about a future vacation can be fun! 

It doesn’t even have to be a big plan. Mini-breaks and day trips deliver a change in scenery and give you something enjoyable to anticipate. 

Here in Calhoun County, you can: 

Meet the giraffes 

Binder Park Zoo opens on May 1. Once the weather warms up, the giraffes are ready to poke their heads over the observatory on the African savannah. They like to wait until the temps get into the 50s before going outside. Don’t miss the new Skylark Ridge, a ropes course where you can climb like a monkey and soar like a bird. Spend a day at the zoo, followed by a picnic or ice cream at Station 66. Down the road from Station 66 is also Critchlow’s Alligator Sanctuary, where you can meet alligators and other reptilian pets who needed a new place to call home. 

Enjoy small-town charm 

Book a night at a B&B, then spend your day in downtown Marshall. Try a legacy restaurant such as Schuler’s or one of the new Mexican restaurants. Browse stores for everything from books to dog treats. You’re also close to the famous Louie’s Bakery and Dark Horse Brewing. If you stop at the beer garden, you can burn off some of those calories by taking a stroll on the nearby RiverWalk

Eat internationally 

Check out our restaurant listings for food from Italy, Greece, Malaysia, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Mexico and more. Even if you’re still not sure about air travel, you can still stop by WACO Kitchen, a restaurant with a panoramic view of small airplanes taking off and landing. 

Play golf 

Make vacation planning easy with our Michigan Southern Swing stay-and-play packages. Golf is great if you’re looking for an outdoor activity with low stress and maybe some adult beverages. You pick from 15 different golf courses and we’ll book your tee times and hotel rooms. 

Bring your kayak 

The Kalamazoo River winds its way through Calhoun County. With lots of boat launches along the way, you have options for how long you want to be on the river. Plan on a trip for the entire day with stops at parks or go for half an hour with the kids. 

Play with the kids 

Kids ‘N’ Stuff in Albion is a hands-on museum where kids are invited into imaginative play at a miniature grocery store, put on a show at the theater (complete with stage and costumes), experiment with water and air, or try to build the tallest tower on Block Mountain. Afterward, visit Foundry Bakehouse for a sweet treat or catch a weekend movie at Bohm Theatre. Mlive gave Albion Malleable Brewing the title “best burger in Michigan.” For fun cuddles, Esham Family Farm offers baby goat yoga