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Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

Detroit, MI
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Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

We are spending 9 nights in UP next month. I'm not counting our drive up and back to the Detroit area. We are camping for 4 nights near Tahquamenon Falls. I'm not sure what to do the 5 other days/nights or in what order. We have a 5 and 6 year old.

We would like to see Pictured Rocks - thinking of a hotel in the Munising area to give us a camping break, Big Springs (Kitchitikipi ) possibly camping in the area of Manistique. Other areas of interest to me are near Houghton (probably not going all the way to Copper Harbor), I'm also interested in Marquette.

In what kind of order would you do this considering we need to drive up i-75 and return home same way. Is going all the way to the Keweenaw worth it with it (seeing by my calculations that it will take as much drive time to get to it as it will for us to get from Detroit to the falls, thereby doubling our driving)? Or will it be worth the drive, keeping in mind we have a 5 and 6 year old?

Any suggestions appreciated!

Destination Expert
for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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1. Re: Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

The Keweenaw is wonderful. If your 6 year old can tolerate the extra driving, it is worth it for the adults.

If not, there are many other things you can do in the eastern half of the UP.

Ann Arbor, MI
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for Michigan, Ann Arbor
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2. Re: Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

I spent my entire childhood making trips from metro Detroit to the Keweenaw area, where my mom's family lived. Is it a long drive? Yep, definitely. As a kid I came to love looking out the window at the scenery and it really impacted my love for the outdoors that I still have. There are so many wonderful places on the Keweenaw Peninsula that kids can have a blast at. I suspect the drive was harder on my parents than it was on me--I was free to day dream, nap, and play to while away the long miles.

There are also many, many places all around the eastern U.P. so it's not like your vacation will be lacking if you choose to stay further east.

In the Eastern U.P.:

The Pictured Rocks area is definitely nice--plenty to do there.

You'll be close to Seney Wildlife Refuge so a lot of educational/kid friendly stuff there. I saw my first eagle there when I was a little squirt and it was amazing to me that there were birds that big in the world (and they look huge to little kids).

You'll also be near Nature's Kennel which is a dog sledding outfit. In the summer you can email them to take a tour, meet their dogs, and learn about mushing. We'll be doing that for the first time in August and Tasha has been great to chat with via email.

The beaches along Lake Superior are great for rock hunting which kids can spend hours doing. The beaches along Lake Michigan are wonderfully sandy and about as warm as you'll find on the big lakes for swimming.

And at 5 and 6, they'll like a stop in Christmas, MI even though there isn't much there. For little ones it is fun.

One of the regular posters here highly recommends Oswald's Bear Ranch and it definitely sounds very little kid friendly.

There is a book by Jim DuFresne about great hikes to take in Michigan with kids. It's available at a lot of Michigan libraries and has some great ideas for kid-friendly, short hikes to interesting places in the U.P. (as well as the whole state).

In your shoes, I'd ask myself if I wanted to see the western U.P. area and if the answer is yes, then I'd go and just prepare the kids for a long drive.

Fish Creek...
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3. Re: Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

If you go to the western UP, Lake Gogebic is great. I stay at the Timbers in Bergland, right on the water (of course, when I stay there the water is frozen!).

Marquette, Michigan
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for Michigan
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4. Re: Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

A good place for a hotel overnight in the Munising area would be the Holiday Inn Express...

With a 5 & 6 year old a couple of places to visit in the Marquette area are Lakenen Land Junkyard Art (free) http://lakenenland.com/ Check out the picture gallery. They are located on M-28 just east of Marquette.

Also the U.P. Children's Museum in downtown Marquette would be a good stop. http://upcmkids.org/

5. Re: Help need with Upper Peninsula Itinerary

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