Lake Advice from Our Fans: What to Do in the Upper Peninsula

Our Facebook fans have been giving us great advice on their favorite things to do all around Pure Michigan. Next on our list is the Upper Peninsula, home to iconic Pictured Rocks and Tahquamenon Falls. Here is a round-up of what to do and see in the U.P.

Find your lake this summer by visiting michigan.org/lakeeffect

One of my favorite places is High Rock Point–the very tip of the Keweenaw. The road to High Rock is “unimproved” which means it’s bad in the best ways possible: rocky, bumpy, rutted and muddy. It’s an adventure just to get there, and when you do, you’ll find that you are totally alone. The sights and sounds are Pure Michigan. – Marilynn Neher Bachorik

Try to catch a Northern Lights show over Lake Superior or just view the night sky on a clear night to see more stars than you’ve ever seen before. – Ray Baker

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Schneller

Northern Lights, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Schneller

Being able to catch the Northern Lights on top of Brockway Mountain right after watching the fireworks at Copper Harbor. – GR2 Photography

Wakefield is a small town (pop.~ 1850) where M28 meets US2. Wakefield is known for its friendly people and their hospitality is without question beyond extraordinary. Please visit Wakefield and see for yourself why you will be forever drawn back. – Joseph Yon

I love the beauty, the nature, the peacefulness I feel in the woods. It’s impossible to pick a favorite spot. I love the rocky beach at Whitefish Point. Next month I plan to see all the falls in the Munising area. – Shelley Lewis

Whitefish Point, Photo Courtesy of Karrie Altland

Whitefish Point, Photo Courtesy of Karrie Altland

Dog sledding at Nature’s Kennel! – Theresa Krol

The agate beaches, Curly Lewis Drive, the lighthouses, Grand Island’s Trout Bay, 12 Mile Beach, Salt Point Beach… Lots more to love! – Holly Kulhawick

Two-Hearted river. – Kelli Logan

Boating along Pictured Rocks on a hot sunny day! Stunning! – Dianne Tribfelner

The shores of Marquette. – Steph Larson Wentela

Lake in the Clouds where only one word describes it – spectacular! – Leslie Dittman Coon

Miners Falls, Photo Courtesy of Tammi Capron

Miners Falls, Photo Courtesy of Tammi Capron

The beautiful waterfalls of the U.P. (Miners Falls in Munising) – Jesse Barcega

I love to watch the boats come through the Soo Locks. – Andrea Selewski

My personal favorite is “the cove” at Presque Isle in Marquette. – Hills Anne

Anything missing? Let us know what you love to do in the Upper Peninsula by commenting below!

Eight Cool Things to Do in the Eastern U.P. During the Summer

With hidden lakes, coursing waterfalls, fresh local fare and more, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a traveler’s ultimate escape. Featured blogger Jesse Land from Things to Do in the U.P. tells us about eight cool things he has done in the Eastern U.P. to inspire your visit. 

Many people forget just how big the U.P. is. For example, even though I live in Iron Mountain (roughly in the middle of the Upper Peninsula), it still takes me over four hours to get to DeTour, in the far eastern U.P. If I lived in Ironwood, it’d be more like a six hour drive!

Iron Mountain_Joseph Parrott

Iron Mountain, Photo Courtesy of Joseph Parrott

And so it is that the far ends of the U.P. often don’t get as much attention as they should. Well, I decided to at least scratch the surface in the eastern U.P. last summer and am so glad I did. Let me just point out that this is not a “best of” list by any means. One could easily spend a few weeks over in the Eastern U.P. and not take it all in. These are just a few highlights from last summer and hopefully by the time you’re done reading this you’ll want to venture over there to check it out for yourself!

1. Kayak through the Les Cheneaux Islands

One of the highlights from last summer was definitely kayaking through a few of the Les Cheneaux Islands with Woods and Water Ecotours. Our guide Carla was a very experienced kayaker and had moved from out west to the Les Cheaneaux area to attend their famed wooden boat building school. Carla took my wife and I and two other travelers out around a few of the thirty six islands, over some really cool rock formations and even over a shallow water shipwreck.

The short paddle was just long enough for me to realize I need to plan a whole week or more in the Les Cheneaux area with my kayak. What an amazing place.

2. Have lunch at Brown’s Fish House in Paradise

Brown's Fish House. Photo courtesy of Jesse Land - Things to Do in the U.P.

Brown’s Fish House. Photo courtesy of Jesse Land – Things to Do in the U.P.

Ah, Brown’s. It almost seems to good to be true. For some reason I’m afraid that one of these times I’m going to go into Brown’s Fisheries Fish House for lunch and not have an amazing meal. Luckily, that’s never happened and I doubt it ever will. Last summer I had their lake trout basket for the first time and I think I might have found a new favorite. If you like fresh fish, put Brown’s at the top of your U.P. itinerary. (32638 West M28 Paradise, MI)

3. Visit Tahquamenon Falls (and have dinner at the brewery)

Photo Courtesy of Amy Brown

Photo Courtesy of Amy Brown

What’s a trip to to the eastern U.P. without a stop at Tahquamenon Falls? I had the chance to not only see the falls, but have a great chat with Lark Ludlow, the co-owner and brewer at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery.

Lark’s grandfather gifted much of the land that is now Tahquamenon Falls State Park to the state of Michigan so she told my friends and I about the history of the area, what used to be where the restaurant/brewery is now and how the brewery came to be. And we capped off the evening with an excellent dinner. Next time you visit Tahquamenon Falls, make sure to stop in the brewery! Even if you’re not a fan of craft beer, they’ve got great food.

4. Discover Malloney’s Irish Pub in Sault Sainte Marie

We’d planned to visit the locally famous Antlers for dinner in Sault Sainte Marie, but ended up walking into to Maloney’s Alley Irish Pub just to check it out and were very pleasantly surprised, so we stayed for dinner. Prior to that visit I hadn’t heard of Malloney’s, but they ended up having great food and a terrific Michigan craft beer selection! I’ll definitely be back. (227 W Portage Ave. Sault Sainte Marie, MI)

5. Have a picnic lunch at the Hessel marina

Hesel Marina - Photo courtesy of Jesse Land - Things to Do in the U.P.

Hessel Marina – Photo courtesy of Jesse Land – Things to Do in the U.P.

Sometimes it’s the simple things you remember the most. My wife and I packed a cooler for a picnic lunch on our first visit to the eastern U.P. last summer but didn’t have any specific location in mind. Well, we ended up finding the perfect spot as soon as we pulled into Hessel, in the form of the Hessel marina.

We had lunch on a picnic table while gazing at antique wooden boats, water, a beach and the many islands as a few “islanders” came and went in their boats. Whether you have lunch here or not, it’s a great spot for a photo op.

6. Tour Drummond Island on ATV

Another highlight was touring Drummond Island on ATV with Beaver’s ATV Rentals. We were told that Bill Beaver knows Drummond Island as good as anyone, and he sure seemed to. Bill led my wife and I on an excellent several hour tour of various Drummond Island highlights via the island’s designated ORV trails. And once again, it was enough to make us realize we need to block off at least a few days to explore Drummond Island further. We can’t wait to get back.

7. Visit Soo Brewing

While in the Soo we made it a point to stop into Soo Brewing and really enjoyed the place. It’s an open, unassuming space with plenty of board games on hand and lots of couch and table space where friends can relax for hours. And since it’s located right downtown, it’s easy to walk from the brewery to all the other bars, restaurants and things to do in the area.

8.  Visit the Crisp Point Lighthouse

Photo courtesy of Jesse Land - Things to Do in the U.P.

Photo courtesy of Jesse Land – Things to Do in the U.P.

The Crisp Point Lighthouse is one of those places I’ve always wanted to go but for one reason or another I just wasn’t able to make it work. Well, last summer I was determined to get out there and am definitely glad I did. It’s probably the U.P.’s most remote lighthouse (at least that I’ve been to) but wow, what a place. It has a wonderful history, is beautifully restored and the view from the top is amazing!

So, those are just eight of the cool things I did in the Eastern U.P. last summer. I can’t wait to get back there so I can add to this list for next year!

What are some of your favorite things to do in the Eastern U.P.?

JesseLand21111Jesse Land owns Land Family Media and publishes the Upper Peninsula Travel blog Things to do in the U.P.

Plan a Pure Michigan Adventure with these August Events

August is fast approaching and summer will be soon ending! While the weather is still warm, it’s the perfect time to explore Pure Michigan. From the Milan Bluegrass Festival to an Annual Rubber Ducky Festival, there are a ton of exciting and unique events happening around the state.

Below is a roundup of August events to help you plan the upcoming month. Visit our events page to see everything going on all month long.

August 1-7

44th Annual Sault Summer Arts Festival??????????
August 2, Sault Sainte Marie

The 44th Annual Sault Summer Arts Festival, a juried exhibition and sale of fine arts and crafts, displayed by the artists themselves. The festival is held on the grounds of the Sault City Hall, facing the waterfront and the historic walkway.

The wide array of arts and crafts on display includes paintings, photographs and prints, ceramics, jewelry, carvings, games and furniture. Also included are many items for the yard, clothing, toys, stained and fused glass, wallets and purses, the U. P. in Smoke food wagon, maple syrup products, kettle corn, cinnamon roasted nuts and more.

Milan Bluegrass Festival
August 4-6, Milan

Michigan’s premier Bluegrass Festival is back for its 19th annual edition. Check out some of the new acts in addition to the stars everyone looks forward to seeing each year. This year promises to be one of the best.

Berries, Blues & BBQ Dinner on the Farm
August 5, Grand Junction

Relax under a pavilion while being served an appetizer, entrée and dessert, all made from in-season produce, local meats and cheeses. Enjoy a sampling of locally crafted wine and beer from McIntosh Winery and Round Barn Winery. Blues music will accompany your relaxed dinner and can end the night with a wagon ride through  fields just as the sun is setting. The Farm Dinner Menus will be crafted with in-season produce, meats from a local butcher shop and cheese from Evergreen Creamery in Fennville. The menu for the night will be subject to change based on what foods are available locally.

Taste of Michigan
August 5, Manistique

Your campground host will have an array of UP-made goodies to sample, join at the campground host site. Additional details can be obtained by calling the park at 906-341-2355.

Le Concours de Livingston

Le Concours de Livingston
August 6, Howell

Join for one of the preeminent events in Livingston County. Le Concours de Livingston showcases a stunning array of antique automobiles and motorcycles. You can also enjoy live music, delicious appetizers and beverages. In addition, there will be silent and live auctions featuring some one-of-a-kind items.

 August 8-14

Jazz on the Ave- Gregg KarukasJazz on the Ave
August 10, Dearborn

Come and enjoy the 8th annual Jazz on the Ave concert series in City Hall Park!

Gregg Karukas takes the stage from 7pm-9pm. Attendees are encouraged to pick a good spot, bring lawn chairs or blankets, and enjoy an evening of live music. Neighborhood restaurants will be selling food at booths located in the park, or concert goers can grab some carry-out and have a picnic! In addition to some talented musicians, there will be a balloon twister and face painter for those young and young at heart.

Leelanau State Park – Meteors & S’mores
August 10, Northport

Come visit Leelanau State Park during the Persied meteor shower. With your naked eye you will be able to watch potentially hundreds of meteors flash across the sky as they enter our atmosphere. Visitors should meet at the parks day use pavilion where free s’mores will be provided for everyone to enjoy during this star-gazing opportunity. They are best viewed while lying on your back, so it is advised visitors bring a lawn chair or blanket. Also, dress according to the weather and bring bug spray and your own beverages.

The Cowpie Music Festival
cowpieAugust 12-14, Caledonia

Every second weekend in August, Shagbark Farm, a working Angus cattle farm, becomes home to the Cowpie Music Festival. Join the party in the pasture for a unique cultural experience that includes 18 talented local bands, acres of pastoral camping, delicious food, craft beer, hot air balloon rides and more! Western Michigan’s rolling hills create a perfect natural amphitheater and provide great acoustics for fans dancing in the front row or just relaxing on blankets at the top of the hill. Music fans from all over the region come to party ’til the cows come home!

Legends of the Saginaw Sail
August 13, Bay City

Learn the fascinating history of the Saginaw River as the Appledore sails from Downtown Bay City to the Saginaw Bay. Once out on the open water, help the crew set the sails or relax and enjoy the view. A light lunch of a sub sandwich, chips, cookie and soda/water is served onboard.

Les Cheneaux Antique Wooden Boat ShowWooden Boat Show
August 13, Hessel

The Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Boat Show, a judged event, is held each year in Hessel, in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. It has been a major attraction since it began in 1978. The show averages 150 entries and is one of the largest shows featuring antique and classic wooden and non-wooden boats. Restored boats dating back to the early 1900s are registered in this very unique show. The 2016 show will showcase Century Boats. A Festival of Arts is held alongside the boat show, where artists display and sell a variety of fine art & craft. Around 70 of the Midwest’s finest artists participate in this juried show.

August 15-21

Michigan’s State Fair in the Upper PeninsulaMichigan's State Fair in the Upper Peninsula
August 15-21, Escanaba

Come enjoy Michigan’s oldest State Fair in the Upper Peninsula. This week long fair has fun for the whole family with carnival rides, excellent food vendors, agricultural exhibits, livestock shows & auctions, grandstand musical entertainment featuring national acts, stock car races, midway entertainment and much more!

Downtown Tecumseh Classic Car & Bike Show & Music in the Park
August 18, Tecumseh

Get your motor running and head on down the highway to the 2016 Tecumseh Classic Car & Bike Show. Cars & bikes will be displayed in the Old National Bank parking lot located at 205 E. Chicago Blvd. and the adjacent downtown parking lot from 6:00 to 8:00 pm for all to enjoy. Special recognition awards will be given. Enjoy music with family and friends at Adams Park by City Hall.

Festival on the Bay
Festival on the BayAugust 19-20, Petoskey

Petoskey’s signature event – Festival on the Bay is a celebration of summer, life along the water and sunsets that can’t be beat.

Come for the music from awesome performers like The Cookies, the ever-popular Petoskey Steel Drum band, perennial favorite Jelly Roll Blues Band, Pete Kehoe, The Accidentals and more.

Vendors will line the promenade at Petoskey’s waterfront with food and frivolously fun items. Take to the water, take in and arts & crafts show, and maybe even get your color on during a fun run. Appearances by the famous Million Dollar Sunsets Petoskey is so well known for are also on the schedule.

29th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival
August 20, Bellaire

The Bellaire Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 29th Annual Rubber Ducky Festival. This cool event is a quarter-mile race when 2000 yellow ducks are dumped into the Intermediate River with the finish line at Riverside Marina.

Also join us on Saturday for kids’ activities with face painting, games, bounce houses, slides and water balls, and a matinee movie. Buy treasures at the Fine Arts & Crafts show with over 30 artists, explore downtown Bellaire sidewalk sales and much more. After the finish line, join for “Beatles Forever” at the Bellaire Public Library.

Thunder Over Michigan 2016Thunder Over Michigan 2016
August 20-21, Ypsilanti

Thunder Over Michigan is one of America’s leading airshows and is considered the best “warbird” show in America. Held every summer at Willow Run Airport, the show features world-class entertainment, unique static displays, and fun for the whole family.

August 22-28

Chelsea Community Fair
August 23-27, Chelsea

The Chelsea Community Fair is hosted at the Fairgrounds, which is located just south of downtown Chelsea. The annual fair is organized and run by the Board of Directors and the Daily Activity Fair Committees.

Michigan Paranormal ConventionMichigan paranormal convention
August 26-27, Sault Sainte Marie

The 7th Annual Michigan Paranormal Convention will bring the biggest names of the paranormal industry to Sault Ste. Marie, MI (Michigan’s Oldest City). On August 26th and 27th at Sault Ste Marie Michigan’s Kewadin Casinos Dream Makers Theater, the following experts and television stars will be on hand to cover such topics as paranormal investigating, psychic powers, demonology, UFOlogy and attendees will be able to meet some of their favorite television paranormal investigators.

Margarita Fest
August, 26-27, Lexington

The little town of Lexington is going tropical! Grab your silly hats, leis, blinking anything and head downtown for island music and a Caribbean of fun! Refreshments available all weekend.

Yassou! Greek Cultural Festival
August 26-28, Grand Rapids

Yassou means welcome and we welcome you to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church. We are thrilled to bring Grand Rapids an event celebrating the culture and traditions of the Greek Orthodox people. We look forward to sharing with you our music, dances, gifts and of course our food! We welcome you to visit and tour our beautiful church and ask about our Orthodox faith. Please spend some of your weekend with us and we are sure you will be glad you did. Opa!

German Park BiergartenGerman Park Biergarten
August, 27, Ann Arbor

German Park picnics attract thousands of visitors every year. After 75 years of serving traditional German-American hospitality to the public, we know how to make sure everyone has a good time.

August 29-31

Street Musique
Through August 31, Harbor Springs

Come and enjoy the various sounds and melodies of local area musicians while strolling through Main Street. Musicians will be performing from 7:00-9:00pm every Thursday until Labor Day weekend. With so many different styles of music offered block to block, every member of the family can relish the local rhythms while eating an ice cream with the kids or just enjoying a nice summer evening walk. Activities for the children will be available, ranging from magic shows and balloon animals to face painting and sidewalk chalk throughout town and at Tom’s Mom’s Cookies.

In the Paint: Art and the Spirit of the Games
In the PaintNow through September 6, Detroit

In the Paint: Art and the Spirit of the Games showcases works of art, presented for the modern Olympic and other international games, which were created by African American artists. Guided by the spirit of Olympism, the creations celebrate fair play, human dignity, equality and determination. By placing artists who created these exemplary works alongside the stories of the athletes who helped break down racial and other social barriers, In the Paint fulfills Pierre de Coubertin’s original mission for the Olympic Games to present the combined beauty of art and athletics.

 Did we miss your favorite August event? Name it below!