best things to do in marquette mi

Top Attractions in Marquette, MI: Unveiling the Beauty of Lake Superior

Exploring Marquette MI: Discover the Charms of Lake Superior

Seeking the Finest Activities in Marquette MI?

Allow us to present you with an exceptional array of things to do in Marquette. While you can indulge in countless videos and articles about visiting Marquette, the true essence of this remarkable place can only be fully appreciated when experienced firsthand. Its sheer beauty is unparalleled, and we are passionate about it. Let us ignite your insatiable wanderlust for an authentic Michigan adventure and provide you with everything you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Marquette.

marquette mi lake superior

Marquette, with its limitless possibilities, might initially seem overwhelming. If you’re contemplating a journey to “travel Marquette,” it’s essential to compile a comprehensive list of all the captivating attractions and sights in this vibrant city situated on the shores of Lake Superior. Fortunately, we possess an extensive knowledge of this region. Before delving into the details, allow us to introduce you to the wonders and activities that Marquette has to offer.

Marquette: A Harmonious Fusion of Urban Life and Outdoor Recreation

Marquette seamlessly blends the allure of city life with the wonders of outdoor recreation, making it an idyllic destination for any type of vacation. Whether you seek a day trip or a weekend getaway, Marquette caters to your desires. From the vibrant restaurants and charming gift shops lining downtown Marquette’s bustling Front Street to the must-visit beaches of McCarty’s Cove and the expansive and picturesque Noquemanon Trail Network, Marquette caters to every individual. Whatever your preferences may be, Marquette has it all, so allow us to assist you in planning your next remarkable journey.

fall in marquette mi

Discover the Marvels of Marquette, MI

Nestled along the breathtaking Lake Superior coastline in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the rapidly growing city of Marquette has become a beloved travel destination for visitors from across the nation. Serving as the county seat of Marquette County, it thrives as a bustling city surrounded by a remarkable natural playground, offering an abundance of parks, beaches, trails, and mountains for you to explore.

Marquette’s charms are not limited to a specific season. Come September, during the fall color tour, the striking reds and yellows juxtaposed against the deep blue of Lake Superior create an unforgettable sight.

This northern Michigan gem fully embraces its reputation as “the third snowiest location in the United States” (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), making it an excellent choice for a winter vacation or getaway. On your visit, you can partake in activities such as fat tire biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

black rocks marquette

Outdoor Adventures Await in Marquette, MI

Presque Isle Park

Presque Isle Park, affectionately known as Presque Isle, is a 323-acre oval peninsula that stretches into the waters of Lake Superior, offering a magnificent view of the lake and a plethora of activities within the park itself. Inside Presque Isle Park, you’ll discover hiking trails and bike trails tailored to our avid cyclist readers.

For more information about the renowned cliffs within Presque Isle, refer to our article on Black Rocks.

Sugarloaf Mountain

A visit to Sugarloaf Mountain comes highly recommended. Although the idea of mountain climbing may seem daunting, reaching the summit of Sugarloaf is a breeze. The trail is a short 15-minute hike, well worth the effort. The viewing deck provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area, including one of the most breathtaking sights of Lake Superior. We strongly urge you to experience this spectacle at sunset.

Iron Ore Heritage Trail

The Iron Ore Heritage Trail spans a distance of 47 miles, dedicated to providing a delightful experience for avid hikers and cyclists. While the trail may initially seem suitable only for seasoned enthusiasts, it offers options tailored to beginners as well. During the winter months, the Iron Ore Heritage Trail transforms into an exceptional location for cross-country skiing, making it one of the premier destinations in the state.

restaurants in marquette mi

Dead River Falls

For an ideal day trip, look no further than Dead River and Dead River Falls. This picturesque location, surrounded by woods, offers a plethora of hiking trails and breathtaking scenic views. The water in Dead River is safe for swimming, providing a refreshing spot to cool off. However, caution is advised near the falls and cliff’s edge due to potential danger. With several distinct falls of varying sizes, hiking in this area guarantees an unforgettable waterfall experience in Marquette.

Marquette Mountain

If you find yourself in Marquette during winter and have a fondness for winter sports, Marquette Mountain Ski & Bike Area is the ultimate destination for you. The mountain boasts ski runs suitable for all skill levels and even offers lessons for those seeking to learn. Contrary to popular belief, Marquette Mountain is not limited to winter activities alone. It is home to numerous biking and hiking trails, as well as a few volleyball courts. However, the standout feature is the ski lift, operational year-round, that grants visitors a breathtaking view of the mountain.

Marquette MI Beaches

Situated on the shores of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, Marquette offers a unique coastal feel and some of the best beach experiences in Michigan. The vastness of Lake Superior gives Marquette an almost oceanic quality. Here are a few of our favorite beaches in the area:

Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park

Located just a short walk from Downtown Marquette, Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park, affectionately known as Lower Harbor, is a beachfront park perfect for planned or spontaneous trips to the beach during your day in town. It offers a complete view of the renowned ore dock, adding to its charm.

McCarty’s Cove

This popular, family-friendly beach is mere steps away from downtown Marquette and is a must-visit during your time in the area. With lifeguards on duty, sandy shores, and convenient amenities such as restrooms and picnic tables, McCarty’s Cove ensures a delightful beach experience. Additionally, it is accessible for individuals with disabilities.

Tourist Park Beach

For camping enthusiasts seeking easy access to a beach, park, and hiking trails, Tourist Park is the perfect destination. This scenic spot caters to all your outdoor adventure needs. If you plan your visit accordingly, you may even have the opportunity to attend one of Marquette’s renowned music festivals, as Tourist Park hosts the annual Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival.

downtown marquette mi

Explore Downtown Marquette, MI

Downtown Marquette showcases its appreciation for the surrounding wilderness in various ways. The thriving arts scene draws inspiration from nature, while the local restaurants reflect the same passion. Marquette covers all the bases, boasting art museums such as the DeVos Art Museum and performing arts theaters like the Lake Superior Theatre.

Marquette boasts a rich history that has shaped the city into what it is today. Numerous museums document and share its captivating past. With options catering to diverse interests and age groups, embarking on a day of museum exploration with the family is effortless. Be sure not to miss these must-see Marquette museums:

DeVos Art Museum

Situated on the campus of Northern Michigan University, this intimate gallery houses a wide array of art. Its permanent collection showcases photography, local and regional art, as well as illustrations. The rotating exhibits are always captivating, drawing from a diverse range of influences and styles. One recent exhibition, “Explorations In Wood,” focused on the creative use of wood in art. While on campus, don’t forget to admire the iconic Superior Dome, the world’s largest wooden dome, a remarkable architectural marvel.

Shiras Planetarium

Established in 1965, Shiras Planetarium stands as the sole planetarium in Marquette. It offers a variety of themed light shows that are both educational and entertaining. If you find yourself in Marquette on a rainy day and seek an engaging activity that doesn’t involve getting wet, a visit to Shiras Planetarium is a safe bet.

Lakenenland Sculpture Park

For a blend of outdoor beauty and artistic endeavors, Lakenenland Sculpture Park is the perfect destination. This unique park, founded in 2003 by local artist and construction worker Tom Lakenen, features 80 sculptures made from repurposed scrap metal, affectionately known as “junkyard art.” It provides an opportunity to experience raw, locally created artwork.

Marquette Maritime Museum

History enthusiasts eager to delve into Marquette’s maritime past and its relationship with Lake Superior should visit the Marquette Maritime Museum. The exhibits delve into the history of iron ore shipping in Marquette, as well as showcasing shipwreck artifacts. The museum shares a close connection with the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse and offers guided tours. The Marquette Harbor Light itself remains an active lighthouse.

Marquette Regional History Center

To gain insight into Marquette’s beginnings and understand the various factors that have shaped the city, the Marquette Regional History Center is the ultimate museum to visit. It provides comprehensive information and exhibits that highlight the city’s transformation over time.

Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum

Catering to a younger audience, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum offers a relaxed and interactive experience. The museum boasts hands-on exhibits exploring a wide range of topics. The Fantastic Forest exhibit, featuring an interactive woodland playscape, allows kids to explore without the need to venture into an actual forest. The Creature Kingdom exhibit is a particular favorite, offering a touch tank where visitors can have a close encounter with select reptiles.

Breweries in Marquette

Breweries and Restaurants in Marquette: Where to Eat and Drink

While not on the same scale as Grand Rapids, Marquette boasts several noteworthy breweries that contribute to Michigan’s ever-growing list of esteemed establishments. Each brewery brings its unique character to the local brewing scene. Here are a few standout options:

The Vierling

If you’re seeking a local brewery with a rich history, The Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery is an excellent choice. With roots dating back hundreds of years, this restaurant and brewpub offers a diverse menu with a focus on seafood. A must-try item is the Whitefish Bites, which consist of freshly caught whitefish fried in homemade beer batter. Although the beer selection may be limited, the quality is impressive, particularly the Honey Wheat Ale.

BlackRocks Brewery

Arguably Marquette’s most renowned brewery, BlackRocks Brewery is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of hiking. The extensive selection of housemade beers may initially seem overwhelming, but rest assured that any choice will be a good one. While food is not served directly at the brewery, you have the option to order food or bring your own, allowing for a personalized experience.

Jilbert Dairy

Despite Marquette’s frigid winters, the weather occasionally warms up, providing an opportunity to cool off on a hot day. One of the best ways to beat the heat, apart from visiting the beach, is to indulge in homemade ice cream from Jilbert Dairy. This hidden gem of Marquette serves some of the finest ice cream in the Upper Peninsula. While classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate are always a safe bet, we highly recommend trying the Mackinac Island Fudge flavor for a delectable treat.

marquette rocks

Explore These Nearby Gems Outside Marquette

While Marquette itself offers a wealth of attractions, the Upper Peninsula is home to several remarkable destinations that should not be missed. With a short drive from Marquette, you can explore these exceptional places and create lasting memories.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Most of the spectacular Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located in Munising, Michigan, approximately an hour’s drive from Marquette. Words like “amazing” and “awe-inspiring” fail to capture the true beauty of this stretch of land. The area derives its name from the 15-mile strip of colored sandstone cliffs that line the shoreline. While there are numerous beaches where you can catch a glimpse of the Pictured Rocks, one of the best ways to experience them up close is through a boat tour.

Da Yoopers Tourist Trap

Situated just 30 minutes from Marquette in Ishpeming, Michigan, is a quirky tourist attraction known as Da Yoopers Tourist Trap. Despite its modest size, this offbeat stop offers a wide range of amenities, including free bathrooms, taxidermy deer displays, and the world’s largest working chainsaw.

Now that you have a glimpse of what Marquette has to offer, it’s time to start planning your trip. Consider this guide as a reference for your weekend getaway. However, if you want to delve deeper into all that Marquette has to offer, we encourage you to explore our comprehensive Marquette guide.