15 BEST Things to Do in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan


15 BEST Things to Do in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) is a hidden gem filled with breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and unique attractions. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a history buff, the UP has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore 15 incredible things to do in the Upper Peninsula, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

1. Discover Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a must-visit destination in the Upper Peninsula. Located along Lake Superior, it spans over 40 miles of stunning coastline, cliffs, and colorful rock formations. Take a boat tour, hike the scenic trails, or simply enjoy the panoramic views of this natural wonder.

2. Explore Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is home to one of Michigan's most iconic waterfalls. The park offers beautiful hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and mesmerizing views of the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, known as the "Root Beer Falls" due to its amber-colored water.

3. Visit Mackinac Island

Step back in time with a visit to Mackinac Island, a picturesque island located between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. With no cars allowed on the island, transportation is limited to horse-drawn carriages and bicycles. Explore the historic downtown area, indulge in delicious fudge, and take in the stunning views of Lake Huron.

4. Experience the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point

Whitefish Point is known as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes" due to its treacherous waters and numerous shipwrecks. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the maritime history of the area. Explore artifacts, learn about the tragic shipwrecks, and visit the restored 1861 lighthouse.

5. Hike the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a paradise waiting to be explored. With over 90 miles of hiking trails, scenic waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas, this park offers endless opportunities for adventure and solitude in nature.

6. Discover Kitch-iti-kipi, Michigan's Largest Spring

Located in Palms Book State Park, Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan's largest natural freshwater spring. Climb aboard the self-operated observation raft and glide across the crystal-clear water. Witness the unique underwater world and the mesmerizing sight of giant trout swimming beneath you.

7. Go Wildlife Spotting at Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Seney National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Explore the refuge's diverse habitats, including marshes, forests, and wetlands, which provide a home to a wide variety of bird species, mammals, and reptiles. Don't forget your binoculars and camera!

8. Visit the Historic Fort Mackinac

Immerse yourself in history at Fort Mackinac, a well-preserved 18th-century fort located on Mackinac Island. Explore the exhibits, watch live demonstrations, and learn about the fort's role in shaping the region's history. The stunning views from the fort's strategic location are an added bonus.

9. Go Camping at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Experience the beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore up close by camping in one of its scenic campgrounds. Fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and wake up to breathtaking sunrises over Lake Superior. It's an unforgettable way to connect with nature.

10. Enjoy Water Sports on Lake Superior

With its crystal-clear waters and scenic coastline, Lake Superior is a playground for water sports enthusiasts. Try kayaking, paddleboarding, or even brave the waves for some thrilling surfing. The vastness of the lake and the stunning surrounding landscapes create a truly unique experience.

11. Discover the Quincy Mine

Step into the past with a visit to the Quincy Mine in Hancock. Take a guided tour deep into the copper mine and learn about the mining industry that played a vital role in the region's history. The tour offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of a miner.

12. Explore the Keweenaw Peninsula

The Keweenaw Peninsula is a treasure trove of natural beauty and history. Visit the Houghton County Historical Museum, explore the delightful town of Copper Harbor, or hike the rugged trails of Mount Bohemia. The stunning views and rich heritage of the Keweenaw Peninsula will leave you captivated.

13. Relax on the Beaches of Lake Michigan

The Upper Peninsula is not only home to Lake Superior but also borders Lake Michigan. Spend a day relaxing on the sandy beaches, soaking up the sun, and swimming in the refreshing waters. The tranquil ambiance and stunning sunsets make for a perfect beach getaway.

14. Take a Scenic Drive along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour

Embark on an unforgettable road trip along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. This scenic route takes you through charming coastal towns, sandy beaches, and stunning overlooks. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Great Lakes as you drive along this picturesque route.

15. Enjoy Winter Sports in the Upper Peninsula

When winter arrives, the Upper Peninsula transforms into a winter wonderland. Embrace the snow-covered landscapes and try your hand at skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. The UP offers excellent winter sports opportunities for all skill levels.


The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a hidden treasure filled with natural wonders, historic sites, and outdoor adventures. From the majestic cliffs of Pictured Rocks to the tranquility of Mackinac Island, the UP offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave visitors awe-struck. Embrace the beauty, immerse yourself in history, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this captivating region.


1. What is the best time to visit the Upper Peninsula?

The Upper Peninsula is beautiful year-round, but summer and fall are particularly popular. Summer offers pleasant weather and a wide range of outdoor activities, while fall showcases the vibrant colors of the changing leaves.

2. Are there any camping options in the Upper Peninsula?

Yes, there are numerous campgrounds available in the Upper Peninsula, ranging from rustic sites to full-service campgrounds. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and state parks like Tahquamenon Falls offer camping facilities.

3. Can you swim in Lake Superior?

Yes, you can swim in Lake Superior, but it's important to note that the water can be cold, even during the summer months. It's advisable to check local conditions and swim in designated swimming areas.

4. Are there any winter festivals in the Upper Peninsula?

Absolutely! The Upper Peninsula is known for its winter festivals, such as the Winter Carnival at Michigan Technological University and the International Ice Carving Competition in Marquette. These festivals celebrate the beauty and fun of winter.

5. Are there any guided tours available for exploring the Upper Peninsula?

Yes, there are various guided tours available to explore the Upper Peninsula. Whether you're interested in hiking, history, or wildlife, you can find guided tours that cater to your specific interests.

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