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Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?

North Richland...
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Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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2 adults/ 2 kids (9 and 13) planning an Eastern UP itinerary for summer 2021. Let me know if this is doable or if I'm missing anything. In a nutshell -- 2 nights in Marquette, 2 nights in Munising, 2 nights in Newberry, 1 night in Sault Ste. Marie, 2 nights in St. Ignace, and final night in Marquette.

Day 1: Fly to Marquette (afternoon arrival). Climb Sugarloaf mountain. See a few waterfalls (recommendations? --- Yellow dog and Big Pup Creek falls? -Note--Dead River Falls sounded too treacherous. Beach time at little Presque bay. Drive through Presque Isle Park. Evening time in downtown for breweries, dinner, etc.

Day 2: Still in Marquette. Marquette Harbor lighthouse tour. Afternoon at Presque Isle Park to see Black rocks, beach, etc. Drive to Ishpeming to see Da Yooper Trap and Black River Falls. Some breweries along the way and dinner in downtown. Possibly going back to Presque Isle Park to view the stars.

Day 3: Leave Marquette hotel and head to Munising for nights 3 and 4. On the way stop in Au Train to do the 3 hours canoe trip down the Au Train River. Canoe vs. Kayak? Any thoughts? Anyone that's done this, is it worth it? After canoe trip, head to Munising. Do Miner's castle/beach overlook and hike. See Munising Falls. Sunset (late) Picture Rocks Cruise. Note***If the canoe trip on Au Train is not worth it, considering doing Pictured Rocks kayak trip instead. Only kayaked once and kids never did it before. Looks fun, but is it dangerous and is it worth the extra dollars? Canoe trip on Au Train is relatively cheap.

Day 4: Still in Munising. Chapel Rock Falls + Rock + Beach hike (6.5 miles). Anyone that's done it, is it worth it? Is it dangerous for kids? Is it doable? Munising brewery and relax around town after long hike. Wondering if Munising Falls would fit better on this day or if it needs to be on day 3 instead?

Day 5: Leaving Munising hotel and heading to Newberry for the next two days. On the way stop in Grand Marais. Want to see 12 mile beach, or is that better to do on Day 4 since going to Chapel Rock area? Want to see the Au Sable Falls and sand dune. Would like to see the lighthouse from the view of the dune, but probably don't have time to hike to it or tour it. Would like to go down the sand dune (heard it takes at least an hour to climb up). Did the dune climb at Sleeping Bear (it was hard) but didn't do the overlook slope down to the water and was hoping to do this for that reason. Visit brewery and then head to Newberry. On the way stop at Seney Wildlife refuge for a quick drive through or walk a boardwalk. Dinner and wind down in Newberry.

Day 6: Newberry. Go to Oswald's Bear Ranch when it opens (have to pet the bear cub with the photo op). Drive to Tahquamenon Falls and do the lower falls with the rowboat to the island. Drive to Whitefish point and walk the beach, see the lighthouse and if time permits, go to the maritime museum. Head back to Newberry, stopping back at Taq Falls and visit the easiest path to the overlook for the upper falls. Have dinner at the Taq brewery. *Note: planning to do whitefish point in between because want to make sure can do the rowboat to the falls while rental is still open and don't want to miss whitefish point before things close. Heading back to upper falls on Day 7.

Day 7: Checking out of Newberry hotel and will spend the night in Sault Ste. Marie. Heading to Soo Junction right after early check out and getting on the Toonerville Trolley and Riverboat tour (6.5 hours). This goes to the upper Tahquamenon Falls that we may not have got to fully enjoy the day before and we thought the riverboat and trolley would be fun and hope to see a beer or moose. When trip is over, head to Sault Ste. Marie for dinner and hotel.

Day 8: Will head to St. Ignace for next two days, but first enjoy Sault Ste. Marie and do the Soo Lock Tour. Maybe do the Tower of History too. Would love to hop over to Canada for lunch but I think Americans are still blocked. Possibly head to Cedarville on the way to St. Ignace to check out their distillery. Anyone that's been to Cedarville, is it worth visiting and do you know anything about the distillery? Get to hotel in St. Ignace in late afternoon. Would love to kayak Lake Huron at private location at hotel if have time. Want to do Castle Rock and souvenir shop on this day if have time before they close. Nightlife with dinner and brewery and then would like to walk the boardwalk and view the lighthouse. Would love to do a night ferry tour across the Mackinac straits but we have someone in our party who is fearful of going over the bridge and all of these depart or end up in Mackinaw City. Will have to just view bridge from ferry or hotel.

Day 9: Early in morning take the ferry to Mackinac Island. Will do the under the bridge ferry. On Mackinac, maybe rent a bike for a bit just to experience riding along the shoreline. The rest of the party will not want to bike ride. Will want to see the Fort. Would like to see other historical/colonial type things if anyone has suggestions on what to do. Will do the carriage ride around the island for sure. Would love to have the kids horseback ride but looks expensive and not sure will have time. Will take a late ferry back to enjoy as much time as we can on the island before returning to St. Ignace for the night.

Day 10: Head back to Marquette, but a few things to do on the way. Still in St. Ignace if have time would love to go to the deer ranch and pet/feed deer. Want to go to Bridgeview park and take a dip in Lake Michigan and admire the views of Mackinac Bridge. From St. Ignace head along the shoreline of Lake Michigan to get to Manistique (winery, lunch) and go to nearby Kitch-Iti-kipi to ride the raft and see the spring. Leave Kitch-Iti-Kipi and head back to Marquette. With time permitting see a few waterfalls (suggestions?) and enjoy some more nightlife at downtown.

Day 11: Enjoy souvenir shopping and downtown eats before evening flight back home.

Did I miss anything on the Eastern UP side that we definitely should do? Can you give me tips on restaurants/breweries/wineries in each section? Best place to try a pastie? Tips on beaches to visit? Tips to avoid bugs? Anything I should avoid?

9 replies to this topic
Djibouti, Djibouti
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620 posts
1. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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I am not from UP but close by, and I would never kayak on Lake Superior as a non experienced kayaker. I have kayaked on seas and lakes, and superior still makes me a little nervous. Especially with kids. Take the boat tour, or be very careful to understand conditions on a given day.

Marquette, Michigan
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for Michigan
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2. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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Totally agree with the above advice on kayaking on Lake Superior.

You have a lot packed into your trip, If you haven't booked your accommodations I would suggest doing so soon. You will be traveling in the heart of the tourist season.

Pack your patience for travel around the UP. Almost all will be on two lane roads with considerable traffic, which may affect your proposed timeline between activities. Also it will be orange barrel season with significant road construction in various spots, especially near Marquette and Munising.

Indianapolis...
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3. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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Skip Cedarville, there is nothing to do in the Les Cheneaux area really, it's a small town on the water with cottages but not much for tourists. 6.5 hours on the Toonerville Trolly is a LONG Time and you will not see anything more than a different view of the falls. We did just the Trolly and only saw pastures and I think a couple of bald eagles. The ride back was very boring. You could look at doing the Mystery Spot, its a tourist trap, but it's fun and has zip lines. Getting into Canada can take an hour to get over the bridge, I would skip it with limited time. Mackinaw Island is very busy and will likely be crowded; biking is the best way to get around. You can do Castle Rock in a half-hour. As the other commentator states, the UP is all two-lane roads, and getting anywhere seems to take forever, some of your ideas may need cut.

Allendale, Michigan
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4. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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We hiked with our 4, 8 and 10 year olds to Chapel Falls. It's not dangerous, but was long and boring at times. We loved the result, though and played on the beach for a couple hours including in a small waterfall. We also loved Miner's Castle & Beach and played there for a couple hours. Munising Falls is decent and quick, less than an hour I believe. Enjoy!

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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5. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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Our favorite waterfall in the Marquette area is Canyon Falls & Gorge. Be sure to also check out Lakenenland, a free, fun drive through grassroots art environment.

I agree with skipping Cedarville, it is more a place to rent a cabin and take a boat, not otherwise much of a tourist destination. I would go there if I was summering nearby, but not as a stop on a one week tour of the whole UP.

Mystery Spot is fun for some people, but I was about the age of your children when my family took me to Mystery Spot and saw through the tourist trap in seconds. I was insulted that I was supposed to buy their story. Perhaps it works better with those too young to understand or older and willing to go along with the joke.

If you will be in St. Ignace June 11 through July 5 or August 19 through 29, the 85' tall ship Appledore IV will be available for Straits cruises from St. Ignace and Mackinac Island.

North Richland...
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6. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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Thank you. Will definitely look into the tall ship.

North Richland...
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7. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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Thank you. Do you remember if you encountered the biting flies?

North Richland...
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8. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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Thank you. Good point about the construction.

North Richland...
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9. Re: Vacation plan in UP in summer 2021 - Am I missing anything?
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That helps, thanks. Will leave out Cedarville.

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