Things to Do in the Upper Peninsula

The larger Upper Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park
The larger Upper Falls in Tahquamenon Falls State Park | © Scott Warren / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Frank Lopez
Writer5 August 2020

The Upper Peninsula in the state of Michigan is visited for attractions like the stunning Lake Superior, the bountiful choices of outdoor activity at Northwoods Adventures and to learn the history of the area at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. Here are some of our favorite things to do in the region.

Island House Bike Shop, Mackinac Island

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What better way to explore the scenic nature of this laid-back community than by bicycle? This whole island can be safely explored with the knowledge that all motorized vehicles have been banned. It is possible to cycle the perimeter of the island in less than two hours, but if you wish to explore inland there are 70mi (113km) of trails. Make sure to visit Skull Cave, Arch Rock or Sugar Loaf.

Quincy Mine

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
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The Quincy Mine and Hoist historic copper mining site in Hancock Michigan
© aaron / Alamy Stock Photo
Metal is at the very backbone of big industry in Michigan. At Quincy Mine you can get to the core of the history in an old copper mine. The guides are passionate about their subject, imparting all kinds of knowledge that goes back to the 1840s. A full tour begins with a cog-rail tram ride down into the depths. You will learn all about the hardship of the miners from below the surface and then get a chance to visit the museum up above.

Museum of Ojibwa Culture & Father Marquette Mission Park

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St. Ignace, at the tip of the peninsula, is the second-oldest city founded by Europeans in Michigan. The Museum of Ojibwa Culture chronicles the area back to the 1670s where Ojibwa, Huron and French cultures all came together and were ministered by Father Marquette. The museum displays the culture and traditions of the Ojibwa. The welcoming and generous staff will make sure you leave feeling uplifted and enlightened on the local history.

Pictured Rocks Cruises, Munising

Natural Feature
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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore  Munising, Michigan
© Pamela Dyl / Alamy Stock Photo
Pictured Rocks Cruises has been providing tours of the cliffs and beaches of Lake Superior for over 70 years. This lakeshore has a reputation for its effortless beauty, no matter what the season, but if the weather is good this narrated boat cruise could easily become the highlight of your trip. The multi-colored sandstone cliffs were formed by ancient glaciers. Let the mysteries of the sea caves amaze you as you sit back and take it all in.

Northwoods Adventures White Water Rafting

Sports Center
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In Dickenson County, Northwoods Adventures is the safest pair of hands to take you on a thrilling white water raft adventure. Choose from the different packages on offer knowing each one will leave you facing the white-knuckle exhilaration of man versus nature. Experienced guides will always be alongside you.

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Natural Feature, Park
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Lower falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park west of Paradise, Upper Peninsula, Michigan.
© Dan Leeth / Alamy Stock Photo
If you are looking to go off the beaten path in search of underdeveloped wilderness to the point of no electric power, then this land of over 50,000 acres (20,234ha) is for you. Spectacular waterfalls are the main draw here. The magnificent Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon River has a drop of 15m (49ft), spans more than 60m (197ft) across and is a tremendous power to witness. Further down the river there are five smaller falls which are equally stunning in their own right and can be viewed from the island that they cascade upon. Rent a rowboat to get across.
These recommendations were updated on August 5, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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