Things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Wanting to visit the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

There is no question that Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is one of the top US summer destinations and one of the top family destinations in the US! If you are looking for a laid back vacation, you love spending time in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

If you love nature and experiencing the great outdoors, there are truly many fun things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that you’ll be spoiled for choice!

Outdoor Activities

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful state parks in the US, and it’s one of the best vacation spots in the Midwest for enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities.

If you’re planning an outdoors vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is definitely the place to be!
Things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Best Things to do in Michigan
No matter what time of the year you plan to visit, you’ll be able to enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, guided ranger nature walks, biking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowmobiling during the winter months.

Besides outdoor pursuits, the highlight of a visit to Tahquamenon Falls State Park is seeing the stunning Tahquamenon Falls themselves, which you can admire from one of the designated observational decks.

By the way, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is just a couple of hour’s drive from either Sault Ste. Marie, or St Ignace.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes is another of the top things to do in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, though it's technically in the Lower Peninsula (off the coast of Glen Haven).

You'll need a full day in your itinerary as there is lots to do in Sleeping Bear Dunes such as enjoy fun tours and recreational activities, but also explore historic sites such as a 1900’s village and the historic Coast Guard station, which is now houses the maritime museum.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

There is no doubt that the highlight of a visit to the Sleeping Bear Dunes are climbing and rolling down the dunes, as well as enjoying sand buggy tours and taking in the spectacular views of Lake Michigan from atop a dune.

However, you can also book boat and cruise tours from Frankfort that will take you along the shoreline of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to see the stunning sand dunes from a different perspective.
Things to do in the Upper Peninsula
Best Beaches in Western Michigan
By the way, if you do plan to visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore, be sure to pass by the visitor’s center in Empire first to pick up some maps and book guided tours with a park’s ranger.

Scenic Drives

The state of Michigan is, undoubtedly, one of the best places to see the fall foliage, and experiencing the fall colors is one of the most popular things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

If you do want to enjoy seeing the stunning fall colors of the Upper Peninsula, be sure to visit between the last week of September and the first two weeks of October since the leaves will be at their peak!
Things to do in Michigans Upper Peninsula

By the way, one of the best ways to enjoy a leaf-peeping tour in the Upper Peninsula is by car, and one of the best places for enjoying scenic drives is along Keweenaw Peninsula’s Michigan Highway (M-26).

The most popular section along the M-26 is between Twin Lakes and Eagle Harbor where you will find the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, which boasts a marvelous museum with many shipwreck artifacts on display.

The Twin Lakes-Eagle Harbor scenic drive will take you past great scenery and landmarks such as the Portage Lake Lift Bridge (Houghton–Hancock Bridge).
Things to do in Michigan UP

Besides the scenic M-26 route, Keweenaw Peninsula boasts another stunning scenic route that you can’t miss driving along! This scenic route is the Brockway Mountain Drive, which is just off the M-26 route, and allows you to enjoy memorable views of Lake Superior.

Fun Tours

Taking wilderness excursions to experience the upper peninsula's natural scenery up-close is one of the most popular things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

There are many popular tours that you can take such as the popular Toonerville Trolley tour, which combines a train ride and a boat tour along the Tahquamenon River to see the Tahquamenon Falls.
Soo Locks Upper Peninsula

Another great place where you can enjoy fun tours is Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. You can take a boat tour along the Soo Locks and learn about the history of the locks, or watch the vessels pass by from the designated viewing area, which is located near MacArthur Lock.

Must-See Attractions

Mackinaw City

If you're looking for activities that the entire family can enjoy, you'll be glad to know that visiting the Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City is one of the top things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula amongst families.

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac boasts many fun programs such as live pioneer demonstrations that will allow you to get a feel of live in an 1800's fort.

Mackinac Island

Visiting Mackinac Island is another of the top things to do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that you can't miss exploring. If you’re already planning to visit Mackinaw City, the good news is that you’ll be able to catch a short ferry from there to nearby Mackinac Island.
Mackinac Island

A visit to Mackinac Island is truly a step back in time since the only motorise way to get around in the island is by horse-drawn carriage or bike.

The highlight in Mackinaw Island is, undoubtedly, visiting Mackinac Island historic sites such as Grand Hotel and Fort Mackinac where you can enjoy also dress up in cool period clothes!

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