It’s a Shore Thing Itinerary
Welcome to the Straits of Mackinac, arriving just in time for the popular Jack Pine Lumberjack Show. Come cheer the lumberjacks in this fast-paced competition of wood chopping, chain-sawing, pole climbing, and log rolling. This upbeat show keeps groups involved—which lumberjack camp are you cheering for? Catch one of three ferry lines: Starline Ferry, Arnold Ferry, or Shepler’s Ferry to historic Mackinac Island, the gem of our state. Board your horse-drawn carriage for a guided tour of the island. Learn about Fort Mackinac; see the awesome rock formations at Arch Rock. Highlights include the spectacular Grand Luncheon Buffet at the Grand Hotel. Enjoy some leisure time in the shops and boutiques downtown. Make sure to stop at the Original Butterfly House on the island—a fairy tale garden filled with butterflies of every shape and color fluttering their wings to the classical music that fills the air. Flowers burst with color—a cascading waterfall is the centerpiece to this enchanting garden. Did you know Mackinac Island was named one of the top ten most beautiful islands in the world by National Geographic? Overnight at one of many historic hotels on the island, or a number of quaint hotels in Mackinaw City or historic St. Ignace.
The oldest city in Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie is a city steeped in history. First stop is along the riverfront—explore a retired Great Lakes freighter, the SS Valley Camp or the River of History Museum where you will learn how important the St. Mary’s River was, and still is today, to the people and culture of the “Soo.” Board the Soo Locks Boat Cruise for a luncheon cruise while traveling through the historic Soo Locks. More tonnage passes through these locks than the Suez and Panama Canals combined. You’ll be amazed at this engineering marvel.
You’re off to Whitefish Point and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious of all the shipwreck tales. Dramatic exhibits tell the story of how the entire twenty- nine-man crew was lost along with their ship on November 10, 1975, in a violent storm on Lake Superior. The two hundred-pound bronze bell was recovered and is the focal point in the museum.
Tour Lake Superior’s oldest operating lighthouse and lightkeepers home at Whitefish Point. The waters in this area are known as the most treacherous on Lake Superior with over five hundred known shipwrecks that lay at the bottom of this lake.
A must see is Tahquamenon Falls, the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Dropping nearly fifty feet and at two hundred feet across, each season offers its own beauty at the falls. Summer has the water flowing at high levels. Autumn offers a canopy of color at Tahquamenon. Even winter offers its own uniqueness with phenomenal ice formations at the falls. Overnight in Sault Ste. Marie at Kewadin Casino.
Nestled along the shoreline of Lake Superior, the picturesque town of Munising is home to the unique Glass Bottom Boat Shipwreck Tour. See the proud boats that sailed the Great Lakes before the turn of the century, and you can do it all aboard a glass bottom boat! Preserved by Lake Superior’s frigid waters, these doomed vessels still are at the bottom of the lake where they met their fates so long ago.
No stop to Munising would be complete without experiencing Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Sandstone cliffs, spectacular rock formations, sand dunes, and waterfalls are all part of this incredible natural wonder. When you see this—you won’t believe you are in Michigan!
Hugging the shoreline of the southern shores of Lake Superior, historic Marquette is the Upper Peninsula’s largest city. With majestic Lake Superior on one side and historic downtown Marquette on the other, the historic Landmark Hotel awaits you. Restored to its original grandeur, the Landmark Hotel is the city’s crown jewel. Inspired by European elegance, the Landmark Hotel count among its guests Amelia Earhart, Rolling Stones, Abbot and Costello, and Louis Armstrong. This evening enjoy dinner at Caper’s Restaurant at your hotel.
Off to an early start with an historic home tour, a tour of the harbor and the historic ore docks at Presque Isle Park. The park’s jagged shoreline has some of the oldest rock formations in North America and offers scenic vistas and wildlife viewing for all to enjoy. Built in 1911, the iron ore docks are at the foot of the park tower over the marina. These docks still serve the iron ore industry Today. Iron ore ships arrive daily and, if lucky, you may be able to see them loading. Lunch in downtown Marquette.
Tour an actual working iron ore mine at the Tilden Mine in nearby Ishpeming. See firsthand how iron ore is mined from open pits and tour the plant to see how the ore is processed. It’s been over fifty years since Jimmy Stewart starred in Anatomy of a Murder, the feature film that put the Upper Peninsula on the map. Half a century later, the movie still draws people for the popular “Anatomy of a Murder” tours. Head up to Big Bay and the Thunder Bay Inn, the site of the actual murder. Built in 1911 and converted to an inn in the 1940s by auto magnate, Henry Ford, enjoy the tour of the inn and have a delightful dinner while hearing of its storied past. This evening we head to shores of Lake Michigan and to the Island Resort and Casino for our overnight.
Curving around pretty Snail Shell Harbor on Lake MIchigan, the “ghost town” of Fayette sits in the beautiful Garden Peninsula. At its heart are the great limestone furnaces that produced “pig iron” during the Civil War. Enjoy a short guided tour through many of the restored buildings and homes. Take in the spectacular view across the harbor with the limestone bluffs jetting out alongside the blue waters of Lake Michigan.
Kitch-iti-kipi! What’s that? Why it’s an incredible attraction and you are in for a treat today. At two hundred feet across and more than forty feet deep, Kitch-iti-kipi is the nation’s largest spring. With an amazing 10,000 gallons of water gushing through it fissures in the underlying limestone, this crystal clear attraction is amazing and mysterious. Board the self propelled glass bottom raft—turn the wheel and the raft guides you to vantage points where you can see the fissures bubbling up—similar to the hot springs in Yellowstone. View the massive brown speckled trout swimming among the swirling waters. Head back for the Mackinac Bridge and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan!