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Old 08-13-2013, 12:03 AM
 
105 posts, read 301,013 times
Reputation: 19

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So after getting a wealth of valuable info, we are headed on our road trip to the Upper Pennisula and Upper Western section in a few days.

I am looking for some high recommendations for local places to eat and putting together a general plan since there will be 7 of us traveling together. Interested in getting a real point of view on the sights, as we only have 3 days before heading down to Charlevoix.

We are staying in St. Ignance since I figured it would be a centralized point to see the island, the Soo, T Falls, Whitefish Point and Picture Rocks before heading down to Charlevoix. But now I'm wondering if it would be better stay on the Island for one night and then stay in Munising for 2 nights and jump from there to see the UP sights. Thoughts?

Is it really under 2 hrs from St. Ignance to Picture Rocks? That's a doable day trip for me, but anything longer may need me to revisit our lodging plans.

We plan on one day to visit Picture Rocks and explore the area around there. Is there anything else worthwhile to check out besides the boat tours? Places to eat?

Another day as recommended, to check out Tahquamenon Falls w/lunch and wading at the lower falls, and hiking up to the upper falls. Where can I get freshly made goods like a pasty to take along?

My kids would love to climb and explore lighthouses. Which one of the Lake Superior Lighthouses are open for public to climb? We will be around to check out the wild blueberry Festival in Paradise. Figured another day to check out Lake Superior, the festival, and lighthouses and Whitefish Point.

Lastly, think a half day is enough to explore the Soo? Places to eat near there that aren't too touristy, but local hangouts?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,867 posts, read 3,400,117 times
Reputation: 6754
I can't recommend anything but I just wanted to let you know I'll be taking a similar trip next month so I'm interested in the responses you get. Maybe you could come back and let me know what worked and what didn't before I head out?

Happy travels
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:39 AM
 
980 posts, read 1,896,747 times
Reputation: 900
Quote:
Originally Posted by minymom View Post
So after getting a wealth of valuable info, we are headed on our road trip to the Upper Pennisula and Upper Western section in a few days.

I am looking for some high recommendations for local places to eat and putting together a general plan since there will be 7 of us traveling together. Interested in getting a real point of view on the sights, as we only have 3 days before heading down to Charlevoix.

We are staying in St. Ignance since I figured it would be a centralized point to see the island, the Soo, T Falls, Whitefish Point and Picture Rocks before heading down to Charlevoix. But now I'm wondering if it would be better stay on the Island for one night and then stay in Munising for 2 nights and jump from there to see the UP sights. Thoughts?

Is it really under 2 hrs from St. Ignance to Picture Rocks? That's a doable day trip for me, but anything longer may need me to revisit our lodging plans.

We plan on one day to visit Picture Rocks and explore the area around there. Is there anything else worthwhile to check out besides the boat tours? Places to eat?

Another day as recommended, to check out Tahquamenon Falls w/lunch and wading at the lower falls, and hiking up to the upper falls. Where can I get freshly made goods like a pasty to take along?

My kids would love to climb and explore lighthouses. Which one of the Lake Superior Lighthouses are open for public to climb? We will be around to check out the wild blueberry Festival in Paradise. Figured another day to check out Lake Superior, the festival, and lighthouses and Whitefish Point.

Lastly, think a half day is enough to explore the Soo? Places to eat near there that aren't too touristy, but local hangouts?

Thank you in advance!
If you're in Iron Mountain, Jean Kay's Pasties right off of Stephenson is absolutely awesome- but then again, you WILL be in the U.P., lol- pasties shouldn't be hard to find!
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:57 PM
 
105 posts, read 301,013 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
I can't recommend anything but I just wanted to let you know I'll be taking a similar trip next month so I'm interested in the responses you get. Maybe you could come back and let me know what worked and what didn't before I head out?

Happy travels
Absolutely I will. Hope to get some recs and suggestions as I have no idea what to expect! I did hear from an acquaintance who stayed at the Best Western in St. Ignance just 2 weeks ago that it was chilly, not lake swimming weather, but still gorgeous especially for walking around, sightseeing and hiking.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
302 posts, read 679,708 times
Reputation: 452
If you are visiting the Soo, don't forget to check out the Valley Camp Ship Museum, It's a pretty cool museum with a lot of stuff on Great Lakes shipping, including some of the lifeboats from the Edmund Fitzgerald, tons of models of ships and items from ships, and an aquarium with local fresh water fish. Seeing the crew quarters, deck and engineering area of the Valley Camp itself is really neat too.

Museum Ship Valley Camp | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

We also have the River of History Museum downtown: River of History Museum, and it might be worth it to see if the Soo Theater is showing any plays you might be interested in: http://www.sootheatre.org/,or the Dreammaker's Theater in the Casino: Kewadin - ENTERTAINMENT
As for places to eat in the Soo, I'd recommend Zorbas Greek American Restaurant, Indo-China Garden, Clyde's Drive-In, or The Palace Saloon if you are in the mood for faux Mexican food. We also have a Guido's Pizza here, which is amazing (get their Detroit style Deep Dish if you haven't had it yet). The Antler's is a big local attraction here, with all the stuffed and mounted animals too. Some people swear by Frank's Place, but I'm not a fan of it.
Maloney's Alley, Zim's, The Merch, Soo Brewing Company and the Downtowner are great places to go if you want to get a drink.
Sault Ste. Marie has a lot of old historic churches and buildings, including our beautiful old courthouse. I hope you enjoy exploring the town and seeing all of them!

PA020035 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Sault Ste. Marie, MI | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Edison Hydro plant on a snowy day | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aeverett55/6151125804/


If you have your passport or expanded ID card, you'll want to check out Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario across the river. It's a much bigger city with tons to see as well, plus they have some amazing Italian Restaurants.

If you like animals, you might want to check out the Oswald Bear Ranch in Newberry http://www.oswaldsbearranch.com/ and the Garlyn Zoo in Naubinway http://www.garlynzoo.com/, about 40 minutes west of St. Ignace. The Garlyn Zoo just got a tiger, and they have a petting zoo were you can feed a lot of the animals.


Siberian Tiger II | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks and Mackinac Island are amazing places of course. If you are interested in the history of the straits area, you might want to check out Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City. We went there on a school field trip about three years in a row when I was in grade school. Neat place.

Charlevoix and Petoskey are both really cool places with neat downtowns. Charlevoix has the most incredible marina/harbor area, and Petoskey has a great downtown and really nice waterside park.
Charlevoix:

Charlevoix 11 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Petoskey:

Petoskey 26 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I hope you enjoy your visit to the Eastern UP and Straits area!

Mackinac bridge | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Castle Rock 03 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Last edited by ManoftheNorth; 08-13-2013 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 8,270,996 times
Reputation: 3911
Almost anyplace around an on Lake Superior is a "must see" an even though Castle Rock is pretty "touristy", you will have to stop because it really is a sight to see from the top. You also have to go to Java Joe’s Cafe in St. Ignace
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:30 AM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,730 posts, read 14,863,997 times
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You made mention "western Upper Section" , which I assume you are talking about Pictured Rocks ? If so , as you have already seen here, the things to do in the Eastern section of the UP could occupy your faimly for a week or more. My advice is to limit your area of exploration by Not including Pictured Rocks on this trip. Considering you only have three days, you WILL have to make choices as it is. So many folks try too hard to include all the highly advertised places in one trip, and in the process miss more than than you actually wind up seeing.

It is a good thing you are trying to plan ahead, so many do not, so many think the UP is a "side trip" which it is definitely not ! First try to imagine that we are 400 miles wide, chock full of things to do and see. Your other consideration is , I am sure not everyone in your clan will be interested in seeing the same thing, especially history related things. Everyone likes to " climb to the top and see the breathing view" , that's the other side, those things that Mother Nature provides. So, it seems the best approach is to do a balance of both, history and nature. Just that alone could consume your three days in the Soo, both sides of the border.

With what I have said, plan your trip accordingly , there are many people on CD that have " been there, done that" and a lot more that " bought the tee shirt", and move on quickly to the next thing on the list. Remember, everything in the UP is bigger, better, and at the same time , boring, just ask the kids when you stop to read the historical markers.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,730 posts, read 14,863,997 times
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I guess no one else has come forward with suggestions , so I will comment some. First I would take an over nighter on Mac island if you have never done it before. Highlights ar the historic Grand Hotel, and a bike ride around the island ( they have rentals). Second I would stop in St ignace for pasties . There are several places right on US 2 west. Third , if you want an adventure with lighthouses there is a tour of several from Whitefish Point westward . Check it out at Whitefish Point where you will see the best Maritine measum in the UP. If I were going to spend some time in the Soo, and you'all have passports cross into Canada and check out the Bush Plane measum , best one I have ever seen .... These are just some ideas I feel are highlights in the Eastern UP.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Copley, Ohio for now, da UP in a few more years!
57 posts, read 148,543 times
Reputation: 48
I agree with Darstar, save the Pictured Rocks for another trip, when you can spend some more time there. Munising is a lovely little town with lots of shops, places to eat. 3 days is no where near enough time to even begin to see da U.P.
Martha
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