This post is so overdue, I really have been telling myself for a month now to get this up. But alas, here we are finally.
Our 2nd- wedding anniversary was a little over a month ago (omg how), and with COVID ruining our true trip plans, we decided to finally explore the true up north everyone talks about here in MI. The weather was gorgeous, the water was stunning and overall we got to explore and see all the beauty of #puremichigan before our time here is over.
If you’re ever in the area or want to do a nice road trip, i’d recommend visiting for sure. Here’s a quick run-down of everything we did, explored, ate at and saw on this trip.
We arrived on a Thursday night, the drive from Detroit area is about 4 hours to Mackinaw City/Mackinaw Island and that was the first part of our trip
- First night we just checked into our hotel and went to sleep. We stayed in Mackinaw City because staying on the island is so pricey and nothing was available as we really booked this pretty last minute.
- The next AM we took a ferry to Mackinaw Island. The only way to get to this island is through ferry. The tickets are easily bought on the app and for 2 people round trip it was around $54.
- The island is pristine and 3 main ways to get around: by foot, bike or horse carriage. Its a car free island! I love to bike but unfortunately my husband doesn’t know how. So we walked around for the first portion of our trip.
- Everyone told us to get lunch at Pink Pony and it did not disappoint! 10/10 would recommend. Typically has a long wait line, so you can put your name on the list and continue exploring the island till it’s your time to eat. We got lucky and got there around 11am so we were seated by noon.
- After that, we bought horse carriage ride tickets for around $60 that took us all through the island and stopped at some of the sites to see. Our favorite was Arch Rock. The water here is just spectacular!!
- The tour took about 1.5-2 hours and after that we stopped to get some fudge because that is what the north is famous for. Plenty of options and nothing will disappoint! We were pretty pooped and then took the ferry back to the hotel and that was our first day!
The next day we checked out of our hotel and got breakfast right across the bridge (which connects you to true Upper Peninsula of MI) in a town called St. Ignace, another place reccomended by our friends. Here we had to wait quite a while but the food was great! Check out Java Joe’s if you’re in the area.
From there we continued our journey and checked into our hotel in Manistique. Our next part of the trip centered around Pictured Rocks which is the main attraction in UP. Since we booked late, all of the pictured rocks hotels were sold out so we had to stay about 50 mins away in Manistique, which worked out for our trip back home being closer.
- The whole pictured rocks lakeshore is massive and honestly you can spend so much time there if you wanted. They have plenty of hikes and views, and we only did a few and saw 1 waterfall, but it was all so nice.
- The best views of pictured rocks are from the water, so that Saturday we booked our boat cruise at 6:30 pm for around $90 for 2 people, and the views were great. Only downfall was, the tides were high so on our way back we got soaked beyond belief because of the waves and speed of the boat, so just a word to the wise to plan ahead!
- We picked up pizza from a local place right after the cruise and ate that for dinner in our hotel and that was it. This day was super tiring between the long car rides and the boat cruise. And this was the main part of our trip so after this we took it slow.
- In the town we were staying, we had breakfast on Sunday AM and there was a boardwalk right across from it with a lighthouse. We explored that and spent time on the waterfront and even caught the sunset there.
- The last thing we saw was Kitch-iti-kipi, which was 20 mins away from our hotel, which is also known as ‘big spring’. The sight is incredible, although the wait to get on the ‘little ride boat thing’ was 1.5 hours, you can still get amazing views from the line.
- The next morning, we met up with some friends for breakfast, who were also visiting pictured rocks at Falling Rocks cafe which was a cute bookstore with cafe inside, and then drove back home.
- UP to detroit area back is about 6 hours so that was a long tiring day too.
Overall, the sites we saw were picturesque and something so memorable. Now we’ve seen so much of MI that we never thought we would, and all of it was incredible.
If you’re ever in the area or need recs, do let me know!
If you’ve ever been to UP, let me know what your favorite parts were.
Until next time, XOX
*Just a disclaimer, all covid precassions were taken. The hotels we stayed at also adhered to all the rules required and we also did everything to stay safe.