Upper Michigan

 About Upper Michigan

Upper Michigan consists of Northern Michigan,  which is also known as “up north”, and the Upper Peninsula. Northern Michigan is a popular tourist destination and is home to several small- to medium-sized cities, extensive forests, flowing rivers, and a large portion of the Great Lakes shoreline. The region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry. Northern Lower Michigan is distinct from the more northerly Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale, which, obviously, are also located in “northern” Michigan.

The Top Attractions in Upper Michigan …

Mackinac Island offers a look at a historic period and a simpler way of life before cars and buses. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and spend the day wandering through the shops of the old town, touring the island on a horse-drawn carriage, hiking, or visiting Fort Mackinac.

Opened in 1957, Mackinac Bridge connects the Lower Peninsula at Mackinaw City to the Upper Peninsula at St. Ignace. One of the longest suspension spans in the world, the bridge eliminated the backup of vehicles waiting for ferry passage across the straits. The Mackinac Bridge Museum also contains many interesting and original artifacts from the construction of the Mighty Mac.

Address: 7274 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

The most famous of the rock formations on the island, this arch towers above the water and is more than fifty feet wide. It attracts the vast majority of the tourists to the island, and can be reached by foot, taxi, carriage or bike. Natural rock bridge soaring 149 feet above the Straits of Mackinac appears to be suspended in midair. It can also be viewed from below, on the perimeter tour of the island.

Address: 6131 Arch Rock Rd, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

With miles and miles of sand around Lake Michigan, the sleeping bear dunes are a perfect place to get away from the busy life of the city and enjoy nature. With lush forests, clear lakes, and unique flora, there are fantastic views all across the dunes.  The Manitou Islands are  also part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which is known for its expansive dunes that are perched on headlands along the shoreline.

Address: 9922 Front Street, Empire, Michigan

The attraction of Traverse City in every season is that it makes the perfect road trip. Spend your weekend wandering the back roads, and stop at a sidewalk cafe. Take a picnic lunch and head to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where you can experience one of northern Michigan’s favorite pastimes, climbing the sand dunes.

Spend your afternoon walking the Lake Michigan shoreline and enjoy the many species of wildlife that call the area home. Take a day to go up to Leelanau Peninsula or the Old Mission Peninsula and visit the Mission Point Lighthouse. The peninsula extends 16 miles into Grand Traverse Bay and boasts some of Michigan’s most vibrantly colored trees in autumn, making for a beautiful fall weekend getaway.

Address: Traverse city, MI 49686

Charlevoix (pronounced char-la-voy) is a beautiful town in Northern Michigan. It is surrounded by four bodies of water: Lakes Michigan, Round, and Charlevoix, plus the Pine River.

With so much waterfront property, it would be a shame to miss taking a boat ride to admire the elegant homes. These amazing houses often have two, four, or six incredibly fancy boathouses and slips, which made me feel a bit dreamy just seeing them. Make sure to schedule time for a quick trip to see the Charlevoix South Pier Light Station.

Address: Charlevoix city, MI, 49720

Upper Peninsula

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan – also known as Upper Michigan or colloquially the U.P. – is the northern and more elevated of the two major landmasses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan; it is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac. It is bounded primarily by Lake Superior to the north, separated from the Canadian province of Ontario at the east end by the St. Marys River, and flanked by Lake Huron and Lake Michigan along much of its south. Although the peninsula extends as a geographic feature into the state of Wisconsin, the state boundary follows the Montreal and Menominee rivers and a line connecting them.

Pictured Rocks National Seashore, on the south shore of Lake Superior, gets its name from the colors of copper, iron, and manganese oxide found in the rocks. The landscape here is a mix of dunes, cliffs, beaches, and rocky shoreline. The interior is forest covered, with inland lakes and rivers.

Address: N8391 Sand Point Rd, Munising Township, MI 49862

The centerpiece of Tahquamenon Falls State Park’s nearly 50,000 acres is the Tahquamenon River with its waterfalls viewable from multiple accessible overlooks. The Upper Falls, one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, has a drop of nearly 50 feet, is more than 200 feet across and has a maximum water flow of more than 50,000 gallons per second. Just 4 miles downstream is the Lower Falls, which consists of a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island that can be reached by a rowboat rented from a park concession.

Address: 41382 W M 123, Paradise, MI 49768-9628

Isle Royale lies in northwestern Lake Superior near the Canadian frontier. Shaped by Ice Age glaciers, this 432-square-mile island has many lakes and streams, dense forests, and a variety of wildlife that includes wolves, foxes, moose, otters, ospreys, herring gulls, falcons, and more. This relatively unspoiled tract of country attracts those looking for a remote wilderness experience.

Address: Isle Royale, Isle Royale National Park, MI

Natural rock bridge soaring 149 feet above the Straits of Mackinac appears to be suspended in midair. 

This park boasts many popular natural attractions, including Lake of the Clouds (ADA accessible viewing area), the Summit Peak observation tower and the scenic Presque Isle River corridor. Other attractions include an 18-hole disc golf course, the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area and more. In addition, the Wilderness Visitor Center ( three miles west of Silver City on M-107) offers interpretive programs, exhibit hall, information on trail conditions, pet-friendly shoreline, wifi, a gift shop and more.

Address: 33303 Headquarters Rd, Ontonagon, MI 49953-9087

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