Hanging Out in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Discover Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for culture, wilderness adventures and pristine beauty. Explore the depth of a mine, climb to the top of a lighthouse, explore a colonial fort and hear the roar of mighty waterfalls, or tour the wineries and breweries. Come for the history, exotic wildlife, recreation—or just for fun.
In Escanaba, the William Bonifas Arts Center opens its doors to a world of creative and interpretative arts. People are drawn through these doors to see and hear, teach and learn, touch and feel--bringing the community of arts and culture alive.
Tour Mackinac Island’s Fort Mackinac, a historic military compound spanning several centuries of area history, where you can dance to a 19th-century tune, drill with period soldiers, play Victorian children’s games hear bugle music, rifle fire, and a cannon blast. Learn of the area’ mining day during a tour of the Quincy Mine in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Discover the rich local Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian traditions and contemporary culture the Museum of Ojibwa Culture in St. Ignace. (Open Memorial Day weekend to early December or by appointment).
Situated on the shores of Lake Superior, Big Bay Outfitters, of Marquette specializes in guided wilderness adventures for the entire family and groups and organizations for all ages. See gray wolf, moose, and American Bald Eagles. The region abounds with outdoor recreational activity, with everything from birding to mountain biking and from fishing to hunting and wildlife exploration.
Just for Fun
Da Yoopers, the UP-inspired traveling comedy show of changing character, operates an irresistible roadside stop in Ishpeming. Appropriately called Da Yoopers Tourists Trap, the shop stocks funny T-shirts and signs, specialty foods, Michigan history books, one-of-a-kind, and UP-crafted items and Coca-Cola collectibles. All of Da Yoopers’ comedy CDs and videos are also available. Outside the store, you can pose with the world’s largest working chainsaw and other unusual displays.
Lighthouses and Cozy Accommodations
Live the drama of the Great Lakes by spending a night in a converted lighthouse. Jacobsville Lighthouse Inn stretches some 360 feet along the Lake Superior shore. Enjoy a relaxing sauna, or climb sixty steps to the top of the fifty-foot light tower for a panoramic view of Lake Superior, Portage Canal, Keweenaw Bay, and the surrounding forest. For a complete list of Upper Peninsula lighthouses, visit the region’s list of historic towering lighthouses.
If you're a wine lover, or just someone curious to meet the industrious people growing great wine in not-always-hospitable conditions, carve out a little time to visit a few of these great and often unexpected vineyards and tasting rooms on your next Upper Peninsula vacation. Check out this list of great Upper Peninsula wineries.
Did you know that the Upper Peninsula has fourteen breweries? From Brickside Brewery at the tip of the Keweenaw to Soo Brewing in the eastern U.P.--breweries have been opening regularly across the UP for the past few years.
More than 200 waterfalls, many accessible to visitors, tumble through the ruggedly beautiful Upper Peninsula. You can cruise through locks and see ocean-going vessels “locking through” with Soo Locks Boat Tours in Sault Ste. Marie. All kinds of things are happening in Marquette, the “Queen City of the North,” where you’ll find green spaces and condo communities along Lake Superior. And, you can tour the city’s 1866 lighthouse, now part of the Marquette Maritime Museum.
For area information, contact the Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association