One of the greatest things about living in Michigan is that there are so many beautiful places you can visit just buy hopping in your car and plotting out a course. This is exactly what my boyfriend and I did in July 2015 to celebrate my birthday and our 2nd anniversary. We had never been to the Upper Peninsula before, so our goal was to make it all over! Our trip was completed in only 4 days – a Thursday through Sunday.
The first day consisted of lots of driving!
We drove straight up to The Headlands, an international dark sky park. By the time we got there on Thursday, it was pretty late at night, but there were a lot of people there. The driving path to get to the designated viewing area was unlit, narrow, and fairly creepy. But we made it! If you decide to visit the Headlands, I would recommend the following:
- Bring a lawn chair or a few blankets to sit or lay on. This is a great location to spend silent, cuddly, quality time with loved ones.
- Do not make any loud noises. If you need to speak, talk in whispers. Loud noises will surely upset the other guests.
- Do not use your cell phone. Before going into the viewing area, turn your phone on silent and put it away. The light from the screen or sounds from your phone will surely upset the other guests.
After visiting The Headlands, we drove across the Mackinac Bridge and stayed the night at a motel in St. Ignace.
Breakfast in St. Ignace followed by the wonderfully scenic drive to Tahquamenon Falls.
I so fell in love with the Tahquamenon Falls! We climbed all of the steps and it was so worth it for all of the gorgeous views. After seeing the falls, we had lunch at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub. If you decide to visit Tahquamenon Falls, I would recommend the following:
- Use bug spray or your choice of bug repellent, or wear clothing that covers a lot of your skin. I would strongly recommend NOT wearing a dress like I did! 😛 This statement hold true for your entire UP trip. The bugs up there bite like crazy!
- Wear shoes that are comfortable for walking.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
After the falls, we drove to the gorgeous Pictured Rocks! We decided to see the rocks on a 2.5 hour guided boat tour. The boat tour was perfect for a warm, breezy day. It gave us plenty of photo opportunities as well as some close-up views of the rocks. Pictured Rocks was truly breathtaking. We plan to return again to do the kayak tour. If you decide to visit Pictured Rocks, I would recommend the following:
- Decide whether you would like to do a boat tour or kayak tour (or both!) and book your reservation in advance. We wanted to do a kayak tour but did not book in advance. The tours were full, but we did manage to get in on the fantastic boat tour which had some open spots.
We then drove to our motel in Manistique.
Upper Crust Deli (Favorite Restaurant)
We had brunch at the adorable Upper Crust Deli in Manistique. This is my favorite restaurant we visited in the UP! I highly recommend eating there if you are in the area. All of the food was incredible and the staff was so kind.
After brunch we headed to Kitch-iti-kipi, the beautiful clear-water spring.
Baraga Lakeside Inn (Favorite Place to Stay)
We then checked into our hotel in Baraga, the Baraga Lakeside Inn. This was my favorite place we stayed. The view of Lake Superior was beautiful, and the hotel was very nice and clean. There was also an awesome pool, hot tub, and sauna which we definitely used upon our arrival.
After checking into our hotel, we drove up towards Copper Harbor. We stopped at the Bear Belly Bar & Grill, located on Lac La Belle. I really loved the view from the restaurant.
After dinner we went to Copper Harbor and stopped for a couple drinks and games of Battleship at Brickside Brewery.
Afterwards, we took a walk along the shoreline.
We then raced up the Brockway Mountain Drive for some scenic views.
We raced down the mountain and chased the sunset along the shoreline.
Afterwards, we drove back to our hotel in Baraga and stayed the night there.
The next morning, we started the journey back home. We stopped for a view of the Mackinac Bridge, and then also in Petoskey at Petoskey Brewing for some food. It was a long drive home, but it was so worth it! We loved traveling around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and we will definitely be returning for another adventure.