6 Places to Visit on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula:
If you’re looking for things to do in the U.P., each of the six sights on this list of must see Upper Peninsula points of interest are places you should see while you are in the area. Haven’t settled on where to stay while visiting the U.P.? I’d suggest spending part of your vacation in exploring all the things to do in Munising, MI and the surrounding area, and then drive down with a stop over near Paradise, MI to see Tahquamenon Falls. If you’re up for a long hike to the lower falls, you’ll probably want to stay over at least one night. Visit Newberry, MI to visit Oswald’s Bear Ranch on your way to St. Ignace, MI, where you can catch one of the ferries over to Mackinac island. The Arnold Line is a quick and smooth 15 minute ride. Spend a few days on Mackinac Island if at all possible. You’ll want plenty of time to enjoy the laid back resort lifestyle where you can relax with no automobiles. That is the life. Looking for things to do while on Mackinac Island? There is so much to keep you busy that you won’t be disappointed.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Munising, MI)
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is beyond the imagination. Looking at the images available in books or online can give you an idea of what to expect, but nothing holds a candle to the grandeur of what you will actually see when you experience firsthand the breathtaking beauty that encompasses Pictured Rocks. Best viewed by boat, both Pictured Rocks Cruises and Pictured Rocks Kayak Tours will take you directly to this area of boundless majesty in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Miner’s Beach (Munising, MI)
Unexpected. Miner’s Beach is a glorious destination for any beach goer and nature-seeker. Situated on Lake Superior with crystal blue waters and mystifyingly large sand granules, the beach is mere minutes from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Miner’s Beach is an out of the way quiet spot to relax and rejuvenate, or a launching spot for an afternoon of kayaking to enjoy the colorful landscapes of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Glass Bottom Boat Shipwreck Tours (Munising, MI)
Hop on board for a tour of Lake Superior shipwrecks of times past. The glass bottom boat shipwreck tour highlights three area ships that succumbed to the elements. The engaging tour guides showcase the shipwrecks and history of Lake Superior in a captivating manner that enlightens curious minds. This 2+ hour tour is perfect for older children. The tour takes you near Grand Island and focuses on shipwrecks that happened in that area, bringing the boat over shipwrecks that rest in shallow waters so viewers can see first hand the remains of some of the shipwreck graveyards of Lake Superior.
Mackinac Island, MI
There are several things to do on Mackinac Island, but Mackinac Island as a whole is a sight to be seen and experienced at least once in your life. Mackinac Island is like a step back in time, where transportation is reliant on horses and carriages, and store supplies are brought over on carts loaded on to ferries.
The Grand Hotel is a must-see spot and visitors to the island can stop by and walk through the hotel to glimpse the experience of staying at the massive hotel, for a small admission of $10.00. If you’d like to splurge and dine in style, a luncheon buffet is available for $40.00 per person, and would include the admission fee. Considering a stay at the Grand Hotel? Make sure to pack accordingly. After 6pm men are required to where a jacket and tie. Casual resort-wear is suitable during the day, khakis and a collared shirt are a good bet for men, while women would be comfortable in pants, capris, skirt or dress.
Consider a horse-drawn carriage tour, visit to the butterfly conservancy, or Fort Mackinac for an afternoon of fun and learning. All are suitable for kids and adults.
Tahquamenon Falls (Paradise, MI)
Tahquamenon Falls consists of Upper and Lower falls, both of which are breathtaking in different ways. The Upper Tahquamenon Falls is easily accessible from the park entrance. A walk down a paved pathway brings visitors to a wooden boardwalk and stairs that decline either to the gorge on one end or to the top of the falls on the other end. Be prepared for a steep decent and save some energy for the climb back. The climb down to the gorge boasts an incredible 119 steps, while the hike to the brink of the falls requires climbing down and back up a 96-step staircase. This is not a trek for the faint of heart or those who are out of shape in the least, but the view of the falls is one that will be relished.
The Lower Falls requires more time and consists of a 4 mile hike one-way. If you’re in it for the long-haul and love hiking, you’ll enjoy the 8-mile round-trip hike that is moderately difficult. The starting point for the Lower Falls trail is near the stairway to the gorge of the Upper Falls. While not as jaw-dropping large as the Upper Falls, the Lower Falls is a series of falls that is breathtaking in its own right.
Oswald’s Bear Ranch (Newberry, MI)
At Oswald’s Bear Ranch, black bears can be viewed by walking around the perimeter of four habitats. Black bears can be seen splashing in ponds, playing with each other, rolling around on the ground, and walking around. Oswald’s Bear Ranch is a family run operation and charges a small fee of $20.00 per car as admission to the facility, which helps to fund the costs of support for the rescued bears. Oswald’s Bear Ranch accepts black bear cubs rescued from all over the United States, and keeps the bears in the safety and security of the rescue for the remainder of their lives, which is typically 25-30 years.
Whether visiting as an adult or child, a stop-over at Oswald’s Bear Ranch is educational and eye-opening. If you happen to glimpse a couple black bears wrestling in a swimming pond, you’ll agree that black bears are fun and fascinating animals.
Oswald’s Bear Ranch is currently open from the end of May through the end of September. Check out their website for current rates and schedule. If you’re active military, show your id for free admission.