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Northern Michigan Places to Visit - Traverse City, Upper Peninsula, Great Lakes

Things to do / Travel Guide

Northeast Michigan - Lower Peninsula

The Grayling Area is northeast of Midland, approximately 19 miles west of Saginaw Bay, and best known for several crystal-clear rivers, among them the Au Sable and the Manistee. Grayling provides the best trout-fishing in the Midwest.

The Gaylord Area is north of Grayling. Gaylord is located at the northern point of the long, thin Ostego Lake, and is near the Pigeon River Country Forest Area, home to Michigan's greatest elk concentration.

One of the largest cities along Lake Huron, Cheboygan is a popular destination for boaters and is also a short driving-distance from Mackinaw City.
Cheboygan is very near to Burt Lake and Mullet Lake, popular fisheries for walleye and bass.

Northwest Michigan - Lower Peninsula

Traverse City is located on Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay, and is occasionally referred to as the “Riviera of the Midwest.” In the summer months Grand Traverse Bay, with its shimmering aquamarine purity, bustles with the recreational activity of sand and water enthusiasts.

Old Mission Peninsula is north of Traverse City on a skinny strip of land that juts out like a finger into the Grand Traverse Bay. Scattered along its 18-mile spine are vineyards and cherry orchards.

Leelanau Peninsula is a thick, squiggly arm between Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. On the western shores of the peninsula are the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the famous Dune Climb, and the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. The Leelanau Peninsula is also home to both fruit orchards and vineyards alike.

On an isthmus between Lake Michigan and Round Lake, you'll find the charming nautical town of Charlevoix, known for its eclectic architecture and a lift bridge that allows tall-masted boats to travel the Pine River Channel. This channel links between Lake Michigan and Round Lake, which opens onto Charlevoix Lake. Five miles south of Charlevoix, you'll find Fisherman's Island State Park.

The Western Upper Peninsula

Gogebic and Ontagon Counties are located between Lake Superior and the Wisconsin border. They are the westernmost counties of the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) and home to popular fishing and skiing destinations, including Lake Gogebic and the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Marquette is the largest city in the U.P., and has been an important Lake Superior port for the iron industry. In Marquette you'll find a natural wonderland replete with wildlife, rivers, and hiking trails.

The Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale

The Keweenaw Peninsula juts out into Lake Superior and is home to the Houghton County Airport, Quincy Mine, and the Keweenaw National Historic Park. It is the prime place for animal watching, mountain biking, sea kayaking and winter sports.

In the middle of Lake Superior, close to Canada's aquatic border, is the remote, pristine Isle Royale. Isle Royale's rugged wilderness makes it a birdwatcher's and fisher's delight. Paddlers and sea kayakers will also enjoy the rocky promontories and jagged borders of Five Finger Bay.

The Central Upper Peninsula

The Munising area is right on Munising Bay on the northern shore of the U.P. It stands at the foot of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Hiawatha National Forest. The Munising area is full of waterfalls, and Alger Underwater Preserve is a popular diving sight.

The Eastern Upper Peninsula and the Straits of Mackinac

Sault Ste. Marie is the U.P.'s second-largest city and is known for its interesting American Indian and fur trading history. It is located on the northeastern side of the island separated from Canada by the Northern Channel. Here the popular Soo Locks link Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

Mackinac Island is one of Michigan's most popular destinations. The majority of the island is a state park, but many tourists choose it for the historical attractions and spectacular views of the Mackinaw City Bridge. The fact that no cars are allowed on Mackinac Island adds to its quaint charm.

Places to Visit in Great Lakes, Traverse City, Upper Peninsula, Mackinac Island, Northern Michigan

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