Top Things to Do in Michigan's Upper Peninsula | Midwest Living

Top Things to Do in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Revel in nature, set off on an active adventure and explore maritime heritage in the land north of Michigan's Mackinac Bridge—the UP. Popular destinations include Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park and Tahquamenon Falls State Park.


Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum Learn about the treacherous Lake Superior and see the bell from the ill-fated freighter Edmund Fitzgerald at this Whitefish Point spot.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Iron Ore Heritage Trail The 47-mile rail-to-trail path travels along the Lake Superior shoreline, through historic mining communities and past abandoned mines. Rest at one of the Marquette Iron Range interpretative signs along the mostly paved multiuse route.

Isle Royale National Park Visitors arrive by boat or seaplane for wilderness adventures including hiking, kayaking, camping and scuba diving on this cluster of 400-plus islands in Lake Superior.

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park

Keweenaw National Historical Park Dozens of sites related to the UP’s copper-mining boom, including a miner’s cabin and the Quincy Mine, dot the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Marquette Maritime Museum and Lighthouse The museum is small, but the lighthouse tour educates about a keeper’s life.

Munising Bay Shipwreck Tours Look up to see a lighthouse or down through glass viewing wells to see shipwrecks.

Northern Waters Adventures Guided kayaking trips explore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 

Ore Dock Brewing Company The brewery pays homage to Marquette's heritage with local art on display and a bar inlaid with iron-ore pellets. Grab one of 10 beers on tap and borrow a board game or see if live music is on the evening schedule.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Sandstone cliffs streaked by minerals, dunes, beaches, waterfalls and forested shoreline stretch for more than 40 miles between Munising and Grand Marais.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Michigan's largest state park (60,000 acres) holds many wonders: lakes, tumbling waterfalls and turbulent rivers. The most popular destination: Lake of the Clouds, surrounded by old-growth forest.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge A mosaic of wetlands, bog and forests supports more than 200 bird species. Hike the 1.4-mile Pine Ridge Nature Trail to see songbirds and beavers. Backcountry roads are open to bikes, or paddle the Manistique River.

Soo Locks Boat Tours Passengers get up-close looks at 1,000-foot freighters while cruising the busy international harbor in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan’s oldest city.

Soo Locks Boat Tours

Soo Locks Boat Tours

Tahquamenon Falls State Park A paved path leads to the region’s largest waterfall, the star of this park (54 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie). Row out to an island for a great view.

Tannins turn Tahquamenon Falls a rich brown color.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Washington Street Browse Marquette’s boutiques and galleries.


The Antlers Restaurant Taxidermic creatures decorate this Sault Ste. Marie landmark serving regional faves like venison meat loaf and fried pickle chips.

Elizabeth's Chophouse A cheese and charcuterie board is large enough to share, but you’ll want to keep cedar-planked whitefish with garlic spinach and mashed potatoes all to yourself. The balcony overlooks Marquette’s ore docks.

Jean Kay’s Pasties and Subs The deli-style restaurant in Marquette specializes in the traditional UP dish: the Cornish pastie.

Lake Superior Brewing Company at the Dunes Saloon This logging-era tavern in Grand Marais comes with knotty pine walls, can’t-miss seasonal Lake Superior whitefish and house beers. Lake Superior Brewing Company on Facebook

Randall Bakery Sample pasties bursting with meat and potatoes at the old-time lunch counter in Wakefield, south of the Porcupine Mountains. Locals also stop in for doughnuts. Randall Bakery on Facebook


The Landmark Inn Guests choose from 62 rooms—some with fireplaces or whirlpool tubs—at this classy, restored 1930 Marquette hotel.

Mountain View Lodges In Ontonagon, on the eastern edge of the Porcupine Mountains and on Lake Superior, cottages have kitchens, fireplaces and screen porches.

Roam Inn A lumber baron’s 1896 home has morphed into a lodge-look inn in Munising. Some of the 18 guest rooms offer Lake Superior views.

For information: Upper Peninsula Travel and Recreation Association
Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau
Marquette County Convention and Visitor Bureau
Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitors Bureau


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