The Great Lakes State welcomes a diverse range of tourists for a variety of reasons. The Great Lakes State has everything to offer, including some of the best lake vacations in the country as well as lovely towns and lively cities. U.S. News has compiled a list of the top places to visit in Michigan based on a variety of criteria, including the number of activities available, the variety of lodging options, and the general feeling of visitors to the state. Using this information, you can determine where you should go on your next vacation.
I adore living in the UP. It’s possible that I could even go so far as to claim that it’s my favorite location in the United States. Since relocating to Minnesota, I have made it a habit to travel the northern route across Lake Michigan on the way back to my childhood home, which is located in the middle of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
The Best Places to Visit in Upper Peninsula Michigan
The following is a list of the top ten activities to do and places to visit in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:
1. Sault Ste. Marie
On the St. Marys River, which is the waterway that links Lake Superior and Lake Huron, you’ll find Sault Ste. Marie. People have been going to Sault Sainte Marie to watch boats pass through the locks since the 1850s, as stated on the website of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (US Army Corps of Engineers).
By the 1880s, a public park had been established adjacent to the canal and lock. This park featured meandering walks, a fountain, and places to relax and observe the passing boats.
The Soo Locks are a man-made lock system that was constructed to lower and raise enormous freighters over rapids that, in the absence of the locks, would make the river impassable. There are between seven and ten thousand ships that go through this lock system every single year, making it the busiest lock system in the entire globe. You can make out Canada just on the other side of the river.
2. State Park in the Wilderness of the Porcupine Mountains
The Porcupine Mountains, also known as the Porkies, may be found in the far northwest corner of the Upper Peninsula, near the coast of Lake Superior, and are protected as part of a state park that spans 60,000 acres.
Because it is one of the largest old-growth forests and wilderness regions in the Midwest, it is quite popular with people who like to go hiking and camp in the backcountry.
3. Marquette City
One of the most hip and happening places in the Upper Peninsula is the state’s largest city, Marquette. Hiking, skiing, mountain biking, fishing, boating, golfing, and other outdoor activities are just some of the options available to you. In addition to all of these options, you also have access to some incredible breweries, museums, and lighthouses.
If you stay in the downtown area, the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse (seen above) and Presque Island are two of the most famous places to get out on Lake Superior and have a stroll around them.
Kitch-it-kip is the greatest freshwater spring in the state of Michigan. It is a short diversion off Highway 2 and is situated within Palms Book State Park. The park is located close to the north of Manistique.
According to the website UpTravel.com, the. “Here, over the course of one minute, fissures in the limestone base forty feet below the surface release more than 10,000 gallons of water with a brilliant turquoise color.
The temperature of the water stays at 45 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, meaning that it does not freeze even during the harsh winters in Michigan. When you look into the depths of the water, you will find the trunks of ancient trees, large trout, branches covered in lime deposits, and clouds of sand.
5. Rocks State Park
Including this was a no-brainer, in my opinion. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Michigan, and the number of people who go there continues to rise year after year. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is famous for its spectacular sandstone cliffs in a variety of colors, as well as its waterfalls, sand dunes, and beaches.
It is situated on the southern shore of Lake Superior. It is a well-known destination for canoeing, trekking, camping, and sightseeing, among other outdoor activities.
6. The Copper Harbor
The northernmost point of the Keweenaw Peninsula is where you’ll find Copper Harbor. There are a few shops and restaurants, but resorts and vacation rentals dominate the area.
If you go for a stroll in Hunter’s Point Park, which is located on the tip of the peninsula that encircles the harbor, you’ll get the opportunity to observe some lovely red pebbles that have been rounded and smoothed by the action of waves crashing against the beach.
The photographs could lead you to believe that the rocks in this area gave Copper Harbor its name, but the city actually got its name from the copper that was shipped out of the harbor in the past.
7. Peninsula of the Keweenaw
Because there is so much to do and see beyond Copper Harbor, I had to include the Keweenaw Peninsula in general as well. Copper Harbor is just one of many great places to visit on the Keweenaw. I’ll quickly go through a few of the highlights, and if you want more information, you can read my piece about Copper Harbor and the Keweenaw Peninsula.
The stunning city of Houghton is the fifth largest in the state of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Because it is the only location where a vehicle can drive across Portage Lake and continue up the peninsula, it is commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the Keweenaw.” This is because it is home to the Portage Lift Bridge.
8. Falls of the Tahquamanon
Not only are the Tahquamenon Falls the greatest waterfalls in Michigan, but they are also the third largest waterfalls found east of the Mississippi River. They are well-known for the copper hue that comes from the tannin that has been leached into the river from the cedar swamps that are downstream.
Since this is one of the most well-known and well-recognized landmarks in the state of Michigan, visiting it during the shoulder seasons or on a weekday during the busy season is the best way to avoid crowds.
9. The Island of Mackinac
Between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, in the middle of Lake Huron, is where you’ll find Mackinac Island. There are a lot of excellent things about this island; the state park, trails, rock formations, Fort Mackinac, and other historic sites are just a few examples. However, the fact that there are no automobiles or chain hotels on the island is what truly sets it apart from other islands.
In the warmer months, tourists flock to Mackinac Island to experience its many attractions. The residents of the area refer to tourists as “Fudgies” because families frequently travel together on the ferry boats that depart from St. Ignace and Mackinac City in order to ride in horse-drawn carriages and visit fudge businesses.
10. Mackinac Bridge
The Mackinac Bridge comes in at number ten on my list of the top places to see in the Upper Peninsula. Because it is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and the bridge that connects the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, it is deserving of its own place on the list.
It is a sight to behold and much more thrilling to drive across, and any journey to the Upper Peninsula ought to include at least one visit there.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is divided into three distinct sections, each of which offers visitors a unique assortment of thrilling activities, fascinating historical sites, and breathtaking natural beauties such as waterfalls and vistas. You won’t need to look any further than our boundaries to find the perfect vacation spot for you and your loved ones.
It’s possible that the size of the peninsula will feel overpowering, but there’s no need to worry about it. That merely indicates that there will always be another opportunity in the future to go on a vacation and experience something completely new.