11 Unique Things to do Near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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Things to do Near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore? Once you are done exploring the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore there is still plenty to do and see in the area. Head to Munising for exciting activities like visiting Grand Island or having a drink at the East Channel Brewing Company. Or why not try a new adventure sport and give ice-climbing a try? There are things to do near Pictured Rocks for every season.

How to plan your itinerary for Pictured Rocks and Munising

11 Unique Things to do Near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore article cover image

You should also plan a few day-trips when you visit the area around Pictured Rocks. See some of the historic lighthouses in the area or take a trip to Marquette. You’ll never run out of things to do in beautiful Michigan.

11 Unique Things to do Near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Things to do in Munising

Munising is the largest town close to Pictured Rocks and a great starting point for seeing the park. Whether you’re staying in Munising or somewhere in the area you should plan a day to see the attractions there. Although the town is small there is plenty to do and see in Munising.

Visit Grand Island

Grand Island is located on Lake Superior just 0,5 miles off the shore of Munising. The island itself has another smaller lake called Echo Lake. Grand Island is the perfect spot for hiking or exploring. You can also bike the island and even camp there for a few nights if a day-trip isn’t enough for you. Regular ferries depart from Munising that take visitors to Grand Island. During Summer you can even join a narrated bus tour taking you around the island.

Read our complete guide to Grand Island here.

Visit the Pictured Rocks Interpretive Center

The Pictured Rocks Interpretive Center is a small educational center located in Munising. Inside the historic building, visitors can learn about the area’s history including the fishing, logging, paper, and tourism industries as well as the significance of Native American Culture to the town. There are self-guided tours available. The Pictured Rocks Interpretive Center is a great place to come with kids to combine history, education, and fun.

Miner’s Falls Mini Golf

Another great activity for the entire family is Miner’s Falls Mini Golf in Munising. Play mini-golf with a scenic backdrop and switch up your vacation itinerary. The mini-golf course includes multiple water obstacles such as fountains, bridges and even a rock cave. Afterward, make sure to grab a hand-dipped ice cream cone from the cafe.

East Channel Brewing Company

After a long day of hiking and exploring visiting a brewery might just be the perfect way to relax. The East Channel Brewing Company is a small brewing house with a bar. They make between 6-10 home-made craft beers. An absolute must-try for beer lovers looking for things to do in the Pictured Rocks area.

Falling Rock Cafe

Located in downtown Munising the Falling Rock Cafe is the perfect spot for home-made food, fresh coffee, and a great selection of local gifts and souvenirs. The cafe also has a small bookstore where you can browse for your favorite books. Sit in the cafe and enjoy a hearty lunch after a long day of sightseeing or come on a Saturday evening for some live music by local musicians from the Upper Peninsula.

Check out the Lighthouses

There are plenty of historic lighthouses to see in the area around Munising. If you’re looking for things to do definitely add a lighthouse tour to your itinerary for the Pictured Rocks area. If you’re planning a trip to Grand Island make sure to stop by the Grand Island North Lighthouse (also known as the Old North Light). There are also the Grand Island Harbour Front Range and Rear Range Lighthouses located on the mainland. Both are inactive today but can be visited for free at specific times of the year.

In town, you can also visit the Munising Front Range and Rear Range Lighthouses both of which are prominent landmarks in the area. 

Try Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing is becoming a popular sport amongst tourists visiting Pictured Rocks and looking for exciting things to do near Munising. The sandstone creates favorable conditions for ice climbers of all levels during the winter months. Ice starts to form towards the end of December so plan your ice climbing trip accordingly. Most of the locations like Miners Falls are only accessible by ski or snowshoe which needs to be factored in.

Day-trips from Munising

If you’re staying near Pictured Rocks for a bit longer and are looking for things to do you’ll love these day-trips from Munising. 

Visit Marquette

Marquette is the most populated city in Upper Michigan with plenty to see and do for tourists. Make sure you visit the four museums in Marquette and go ghost hunting in one of the haunted locations. Of course, you can’t visit Marquette without going for a hike along the beautiful coastline of Lake Superior. You’ll fall in love with this city.

Visit Kitch-iti-kipi

Kitch-iti-kipi is the largest freshwater spring in Michigan. You can drive there from Munising in around an hour. The color of this natural pool is a beautiful emerald green. On most days it’s crystal clear and a great spot for pictures. Unfortunately, you cannot swim or fish in Kitch-iti-kipi since it is protected by the state. The water remains at 45° Fahrenheit all year so it would be too cold for a swim anyway.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

It takes around 2 hours to drive to the Shipwreck Museum from Munising. This road trip is the perfect opportunity to see many Upper Michigan attractions along the way. Make sure to stop at Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point Lighthouse and the Crisp Point Lighthouse on the way.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is a fantastic place to visit to learn more about the historic significance of the area and the Great Lakes. Admission costs 13$ for adults and 9$ for children.

Tahquamenon Falls

Located within the Tahquamenon Falls State Park this waterfall is a great place to visit in a day-trip. Tahquamenon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the area. It is sometimes nicknamed “Root Beer Falls” due to its brownish color. The falls are around 200 feet across and 48 feet in height. 

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