We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc

Indianapolis...
Destination Expert
for Indianapolis
Level Contributor
1,083 posts
173 reviews
168 helpful votes
WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Hey everyone,

I've already posted some WI based questions in the WI forum, but I'd like to get some opinions from the Michigan side. Given some issues surrounding travel this year, I've decided to try and focus on a part of the country we haven't really explored yet. I've wanted to get back to the House on the Rocks in WI for years now, after my folks took me there as a younger teenager. My wife has never been and she enjoys those kind of places of interest.

There are two places we'd really like to see in Michigan: Isle Royale NP and Mackinac Island. I'm looking for suggestions on other things we might be interested in in the area. We are both active adults no kids. I don't mind driving a lot with some breaks to check out a point of interest. I like day hiking, especially to scenic overlooks/vistas, maybe a fire tower, light houses, etc.. Wife isn't a huge hiker, but she would be OK lounging at the lodging reading a book, going to a spa, checking out a retail center of a town or village, etc. while I'm off for a few hours hiking.

While in the UP I'd like to checkout: shops like Jampot, waterfalls like Eagle River, light houses (I see there are a few up in that region, any that are open for tours would be a plus), Copper Falls Park has an observation/fire tower, etc..

We are planning on late Aug. or early Sept. to travel. My itinerary is as follows and can go either way with the loop. Fri: Drive to WI/MI, One full day for Mackinac Island, two full days for the UP, two full days for WI, drive back on Sat.

For lodging a place with a nice pool, hot tub(s), or even a spa for the wife would be nice. The Nordic spa at Mount Bohemia looks nice. It appears their lodging will require us to bring our own bed sheets, towels, pillows due to the pandemic. Any other suggestions for the UP or Mackinac Island area?

8 replies to this topic
chicago
Level Contributor
12,007 posts
27 reviews
40 helpful votes
1. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Have you looked at traveling to Isle Royale? It requires planning and doesn't really sound what your wife is looking for.

Are you staying on Mackinac Island? I'd highly recommend it. Perfect for both your interests.

Pictured Rocks is also a must do.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
258 posts
39 reviews
12 helpful votes
2. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

I responded to your WI post with Door County. Now You’re talking about a 5 day marathon driving trip covering ground from leaving from Indy and heading to The House on the Rock in WI and now Mackinac Island. That’s way too much ground in no where near enough time. You guys are going to spend all your time driving and no time actually vacationing. We do an epic 6 week vacation every summer that includes Door County, Mackinac Island, Northern Minnesota and the Wisconsin Dells. And even that’s not enough time for all of those destinations and that includes me flying us to Mackinac Island. I think you’ve got to pare your trip down. Pick 1 of these destinations and spend your time there instead of driving all over the place with not enough time to actually enjoy anything.

That said, if I was choosing from your destinations it would be Door County or Mackinac Island to spend my week. Both are amazing destinations with lots to offer. I give the edge to Door County but either one would be an amazing trip for you guys.

Holland, Michigan
Level Contributor
57 posts
16 reviews
8 helpful votes
3. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Agree with the above post, you would need 5-6 days just the UP portion of your trip, and even that will be mostly driving, hiking and sightseeing, and not much relaxation. Mackinac Island needs a full day and night, Pictured rocks should absolutely not be missed, along with the Tahquamenon falls on the way up. Another day in Houghton/Copper Harbor plus a full day on Isle Royale. Avoid Memorial Day weekend, it’s super busy and needs to be planned way in advance.

Since you’re traveling all over, booking hotels or motels will work best, instead of driving back and forth.

Chicago's North...
Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
Level Contributor
9,793 posts
337 reviews
342 helpful votes
4. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Rethink your plans.

If you think you could do all this in a week....AND go to isle royale, you’re sorely mistaken..

For what you described, you need AT LEAST 2 weeks for a quality experience.....

Edited: April 20, 2021, 1:55 am
United States
Destination Expert
for Copper Harbor
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
258 reviews
166 helpful votes
5. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Hiking in the UP: Plenty of trails at Porqupine Mtns, conservancy trails in the Keweenaw, a walk through the Estevant Pines is a must, Hunter's point is a nice little jaunt. If you want to hit some really cool lighthouses than charter a boat out of Copper Harbor and hit Gull Rock and Manitou island. You've got a lot jammed into a short time. Something will have to give.

Indianapolis...
Destination Expert
for Indianapolis
Level Contributor
1,083 posts
173 reviews
168 helpful votes
6. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Thanks for all the suggestions. We’ll definitely cross Mackinac off this trip. Right now I’m thinking we’ll mostly focus on the UP and likely set aside two days in Wisconsin to see the House on the Rocks. I really would like to cross Isle Royale off our national parks list so I’m leaning toward that being a priority for now.

I’ve never even heard of Door County but looks pretty nice. That part of the country just don’t advertise that strongly in our market. The only place I knew about in Wisconsin was the Dells. Most people I know from my area have only commented about spending at the most two full days for Mackinac Island. This likely why my thought process and time frame was so thrown off.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
258 posts
39 reviews
12 helpful votes
7. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

Yea that seems like a much better plan- No prob and I hope you guys have an awesome vacation! Save Door County and Mackinac Island for next time- you guys will love it when you go!

Chicago's North...
Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
Level Contributor
9,793 posts
337 reviews
342 helpful votes
8. Re: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Save

if isle royale is a high priority, then i would dedicate this entire trip to it...... when you factor in the drive from indy, you're talking 1 full day each way..... as for the island, to make it worthwhile, you need to spend a MINIMUM of 2 nights (3 is better) for a quality experience...... anything less is a waste of time..... with only 1 week, you could sightsee and hit a coupla attractions on the way up and/or the way back (tahq falls, pictured rocks, estevant pines, kitchi spring, MAYBE a day trip out to mack island), but that's about it....

Reply to: WI/UP MI trip opinions: Isle Royale, Mackinac Island, etc
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Michigan
© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Philippines. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.