How to Get to Upper Michigan

How to Get to Upper Michigan picture of waterfall

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I know, I am from Wisconsin – and honestly? I think the Upper Peninsula should have been a part of our state, LOL! That being said – it is as amazing a place to visit as our Wisconsin Northwoods. But – bear with me a minute…

Why visiting Upper Michigan should be on your bucket list

Upper Michigan is a unique place to visit and an absolute must-see for tourists seeing the Northern United States. Bordered by three of the Great Lakes this state is known for its stunning nature and wildlife. We highly recommend visiting Upper Michigan in the fall when you’ll truly get to appreciate the beauty of the expansive forests. Come here for the best hiking, water sports, island hopping, and much more. You’ll soon fall in love with the peninsula and all it has to offer.

How to Get to Upper Michigan article cover image with a road trip map

Not the biggest fan of outdoor activities and nature? You’ll still find plenty of things to do in Upper Michigan. Take a boat tour on Lake Superior or visit one of the many historic lighthouses to learn more about the state’s rich history. You’ll find a great selection of museums to explore like the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point. Your trip to Upper Michigan will make you want to come back for more.

What’s the best way to get to Upper Michigan

Michigan is separated into two distinct parts; Upper and Lower Michigan. To help you plan your trip we came up with this complete guide on how to get to Upper Michigan. Since parts of the peninsula are quite remote it can seem tricky to get there quickly and affordably. It always helps if you plan your trip in advance to make sure you’re getting the best deals on transport and don’t have to worry about how you’ll get around once you arrive. 

Getting to Upper Michigan by car

Driving to Upper Michigan is a great option if you’re coming from a state close by like Wisconsin, Minnesota, or even just Lower Michigan. Seeing the state by car will make you flexible and let you visit off-the-beaten-path locations. Definitely consider the time it will take you to drive to Upper Michigan and whether it’s worth taking your own car. Maybe renting a car on arrival could be more convenient.

If you’re visiting during the colder months you might encounter heavy rain or even snow which could make driving a challenge. Don’t attempt to drive for long periods if you’re not an experienced driver and always prioritize your safety.

Upper Michigan Road Trip Music

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a great playlist for my road trips, so I whipped one up for you!

How to Get To Upper Michingan

Getting to Upper Michigan by plane

If you’re coming from further away the easiest way to get to Upper Michigan is by plane. The peninsula has a good selection of airports, the most notable being Sawyer International Airport and Chippewa County International Airport. There are also Houghton County Memorial Airport and Mackinac County Airport which serve smaller regional aircraft.

If you’re unable to find a flight to Upper Michigan a good choice might be to fly to a larger city nearby such as Chicago, Detroit, or Minneapolis. From there you could find either a connecting flight to the peninsula or rent a car. There are also some bus and train routes available that might be more convenient.

Getting to Upper Michigan by bus

If you’re traveling on a budget your best option of getting to Upper Michigan might be by bus. The most popular long-distance bus service in the US is the Greyhound which offers routes all over the country. There are also Indian Trails which has some routes to Upper Michigan but the selection is quite small. Go to this website for more information on bus routes in and out of Upper Michigan.

Make sure you book bus tickets in advance to avoid disappointment should a specific route be sold out. You can do this online on the Greyhound website or in person at most bus terminals. Be aware that bus journeys can be time-consuming and might have multiple stopovers. 

Getting to Upper Michigan by train

Going to Michigan by train will be more comfortable than a bus ride. However, it will also be more pricey and might take a similar amount of time. Consider taking the train if you’re coming from a neighboring state but are not keen on renting a car or driving.

The Amtrak train system serves some of the larger towns in Upper Michigan and is a great and reliable way to get around. You will find train stations in places like Escanaba, Houghton, Marquette, L’Anse, St Ignace, and Sault Ste Marie. Check out this interactive map for more details and remember to pre-book your tickets.

How to get to Mackinac Island

Upper Michigan is known for its beautiful islands. Mackinac Island is one of the most popular and well-known ones in the area. To get there most people go to Mackinaw City or St Ignace first and then take a ferry to the island. The ferry service is available from May to October.

Mackinac Island also has a small airport that is served by several local air carriers. Tickets can be pricey so make sure to book in advance if you choose to fly. Access to the island is limited during the winter. If you plan to visit during this time your only option is to fly. Go to the Mackinac Island website for more detailed information on how to book.

How to get to Isle Royale

Isle Royale is situated close to the Canadian border on Lake Superior. The island prohibits the use of any wheeled vehicles and the only way for visitors to reach the island is by ferry or seaplane. There are ferry services available from Houghton, Copper Harbor, Michigan, and Grand Portage. Each location has parking facilities so you can easily visit the island for a day trip.

If you’re interested in visiting Isle Royale by plane then check out this website for prices, schedules, and tour offers.

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How to Get to Upper Michigan woman taking pictures out a moving car window

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