Marquette is on the southern shore of Lake Superior, in Marquette County in the state of Michigan, in the US. It is the largest city in the Upper Peninsula and a famous port location too. This city has a vast deal to offer its visitors. It has a rich history of establishing the first iron forage on the said shore. Beyond this, the port town is known for having several activities for all age groups. You can plan a good itinerary, especially a long one, based on your interests. You can find at least 22 things to do in Marquette Michigan. Given that the city has various shades across four significant seasons – winter, spring, summer, and fall, it becomes even more exciting to engage in these things.
- What to do in Marquette Michigan?
- 1. Explore Presque Isle Park for Northern Lights and Ice Dunes
- 2. Marquette Mountain Resort to Enjoy in This Season
- 3. Noquemanon Trail Network for Mountain Biking
- 4. Dive into the Blue Water at McCarty’s Cove
- 5. Get a 360-degree view of the Port Town from Sugarloaf Mountain
- 6. Little Presque Isle, the Crown Jewel of Lake Superior
- 7. Educational Experience at Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum
- 8. Star Shows at Shiras Planetarium
- 9. Heading to Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery
- 10. Lower Harbor Ore Dock to Enjoy Your Craft Beer
- 11. Relive History at Michigan Iron Industry Museum
- 12. Lakenenland Sculpture Park for Art Enthusiasts
- 13. Majestic Views of Marquette from Dead River Falls
- 14. Satisfying Sweet Treats of Jilbert Dairy
- 15. Marquette Maritime Museum: A Homage to Veterans
- 16. Iron Ore Heritage Trail: Peep into the Past
- 17. True Local Experience at Lake Superior Theater
- 18. Indulge in the aesthetics of Downtown Marquette
- 19. Harlow Lake Recreational Area for Everyone
- 20. Visit Forestville Campground during October
- 21. A 30-minute Getaway at Morgan Falls
- 22. Fishing in the Lake Superior
- Where to Stay in Marquette?
What to do in Marquette Michigan?
This city located in MI covers an array of activities. You can go skiing in the snow-clad mountains of Marquette, or go on a refreshing hike in the spring. You can enjoy your lazy summer afternoons by taking a swim in the coolest waters or taking away piping hot chocolate at a local brewery during the fall. The city is surrounded by many islands which offer a great deal of activities year around. Having said that, the best things to do in Marquette MI exist in good numbers.
1. Explore Presque Isle Park for Northern Lights and Ice Dunes
Presque Isle is easily one of the best places to visit in Marquette. It is a destination which people can visit all year around. The isle is an oval-shaped peninsula that is over 300 acres and is on Lake Superior. It has a stunning natural backdrop of dense forests and sandstone cliffs. Moreover, the Isle is the only famous dark sky park in the entire Upper Peninsula. If you are lucky, then you can get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis too.
This place is not just famous for the Northern lights but the ice dunes as well. These are formed on the shore of the lake that acts as a natural barrier. Presque Isle State Park has diverse and rich flora and fauna which will be a treat to your soul.
2. Marquette Mountain Resort to Enjoy in This Season
Marquette Mountain Resort offers the visitors the best experience irrespective of the season they visit it. The resort covers a large area and gets visitors all year around. Celebrated among the top Marquette attractions, the place offers biking during the summer. The downhill biking park is spread across 169 acres. There are multiple biking trails as well with varying difficulty. You can enjoy various terrains by getting a pass.
You can also enjoy sightseeing by hopping on a chair lift during the fall. The blazing orange and amber hues of fall will be another treat to your eyes. Aside from this, the foot trails at Marquette Mountain are the best getaway if you love adventure. They have multiple terrains depending on the level of difficulty.
3. Noquemanon Trail Network for Mountain Biking
Notably, Noquemanon Trail Network is very famous for its adventure trails. The trail is situated to the South of Marquette and has 45 miles of non-motorized singletrack trail. It has earned its reputation for mountain biking. Also, this place has been awarded status by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Hence, coming here should be a part of your itinerary.
People add Noquemanon Trail Network to their list of Marquette things to do for hiking and running during the dirt season too. They visit the Southern trail during the winter, especially for fat biking and snowshoeing. Moreover, this place welcomes dogs on leashes. You can enjoy your getaway with your four-pawed companion.
4. Dive into the Blue Water at McCarty’s Cove
McCarty’s Cove is the perfect escape for family time while visiting Marquette. It is one of the famous beaches in Lake Superior. There is a lifeguard located on the beach that makes it safe to take a swim in the warm water of Lake Superior. The beach even has two designated areas to play volleyball, an open grass area for picnics, cooking grills, a restroom, a facility for drinking water, and a playground for kids.
5. Get a 360-degree view of the Port Town from Sugarloaf Mountain
In Marquette, Sugarloaf Mountain is a great option to visit to truly appreciate the beauty of the blazing hue of fall. The summit of Sugarloaf Mountain is at 470 ft. The mountain consists of a stairway of 304 steps. When you are contemplating the finest things to do in Marquette MI this weekend, this place qualifies as one of the best overviews here.
There are three observational platforms at Sugarloaf Mountain. You can take your desired scenic route to these platforms. Generally, the 1.2-mile loop is taken by the public for easy access to these spots.
6. Little Presque Isle, the Crown Jewel of Lake Superior
The Little Presque Isle tract is popularly known as the crown jewel of Lake Superior. It has shoreline cliffs, beaches, deep forests, and beautiful scenic views all around. This place additionally has a wooded dune that forms after the level of the glacial lake receded. This results in the formation of low sandy beach ridges. The historically marked area is famous for birdwatching, swimming during summer, camping, hiking, nature study, and photography. Furthermore, you can hike to the Little Presque Isle to catch a beautiful sunrise and view birds flocking together.
7. Educational Experience at Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum
Counted among the family-friendly things to do in Marquette Michigan, Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum must be on your itinerary if you are looking forward to giving your kids the most amazing time. It was constructed keeping in mind the developmental needs of children between the age group of 1 to 13 years. The museum is famous for offering educational and cultural programs in the most unique way possible to boost learning. Surprisingly, it is also famous because it repurposes discarded items like building supplies, furniture, and toys.
8. Star Shows at Shiras Planetarium
Shiras Planetarium is a must-visit for the fans of starry skies. The planetarium is located within a high school but is known to organize public star shows a couple of times a month. It offers a noteworthy indoor star-gazing experience. You can have a tour of the night sky and gaze at the constellations. The show typically lasts for 30-45 minutes. This place even hosts laser shows. So, you can engage in those as well.
9. Heading to Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery
After visiting all the trails and the strenuous hikes, the heart calls for a relaxed evening. People get to enjoy their evenings at Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery. Give a rest to your Marquette things to do and head downtown to check out this place. It has been functional since 1995 and is popular among the locals. Here, you can find an extensive menu to choose from.
The outlet is known for its homemade delicacies. All the recipes in the restaurant are curated from scratch every day. The staff has got the best homemade soups, salads, pizzas, and desserts for the people out there. The whitefish from Lake Superior is the highlight of their menu. Interestingly, the brewery is always stocked with the best wines and beers for the guests to supply you with the most exquisite drinks.
10. Lower Harbor Ore Dock to Enjoy Your Craft Beer
Yet another must-try when you visit this city in MI is the Lower Harbor Ore Dock. It has gained fame as the relic of good old iron ore mining and the maritime industry of Marquette. Back in the time, it was used for loading ore.
You can visit the Ore Dock Brewing Co. nearby. The locals swear by the menu available here. The credit goes to the traditional process and exclusive ingredients of brewing the tastiest beer. You must visit the place to enjoy the essence of the history of the city with a pint of beer from Ore Dock Brewing Co. with your buddy.
Note: When you are in the town in July, make sure to stop by this spot. The staff launches fireworks from the Lower Harbor Ore dock every year. Enjoy the live performances, good food, and beer tents to elevate your experience.
11. Relive History at Michigan Iron Industry Museum
Michigan Iron Industry Museum is popular when it comes to free things to do near Marquette Mi Iron Industry, perched across the Carp River. It was the first ever forge in the Lake Superior region. You can visit this place holding the relic of yesteryears with your family for free. Several interactive exhibits highlight the past of this museum. You can even take the trail leading to the observation platform to oversee the original forge on Carp River.
Tip: You must take a full tour of the museum to truly understand the past of the iron forge and the popularity of the port town. It will be great to come here when you have sufficient time.
12. Lakenenland Sculpture Park for Art Enthusiasts
When you want to squeeze into short sightseeing in this city, you should definitely visit Lakenenland Sculpture Park. The park is named after the creator of the sculpture, Tom Lakenen. It is well-admired among children and people who appreciate contemporary art. There are over 100 sculptures. Recycled iron has been used to build the sculptures in the park.
Your kids will enjoy their time in this aesthetic park. They can also take a break and catch up on their snacks on the picnic table. The park even has a pavilion and a playground within the park where they can play after eating. Moreover, people can take their pets with a leash.
13. Majestic Views of Marquette from Dead River Falls
In this city, there is a waterfall spot that is admired by people of the Upper Peninsula. Tourists often visit here during the summers as it freezes during the winter. The Dead River Falls is situated near Marquette. The height of the fall is around 100ft which offers a great view of the horizon. There is a huge dam upstream of the river. You can plan to visit such Marquette MI attractions.
Tip: You can carry your hiking shoes while heading here for the trail. It is meant for hikers with some experience because it can be a little bumpy, especially for newbies.
14. Satisfying Sweet Treats of Jilbert Dairy
You will feel blessed to visit Jilbert Dairy during the summer. This spot is a heaven for all ice cream lovers. It is a part of the unique Marquette attractions primarily because it produces dairy products and has been functional since
1937. Jilbert Dairy offers a wide array of ice cream flavors. You will be awestruck by the variety of ice-creams you get to choose from. Some of the popular recommendations include Michigan fried cherry pie. Another popular flavor is sea salt caramel cheesecake. You can even take away homemade cheese and desserts.
Notably, dairy processes around 10,000 pounds of milk. It is open for the public to come and oversee the production and enjoy their treats. The place has arrangements for sitting and eating.
15. Marquette Maritime Museum: A Homage to Veterans
Marquette Maritime Museum is quite important to understand the maritime past of the city. It has housed the two famous shipwrecks on the coast of Lake Superior. The museum also honors the veterans who have given all they had to keep the area safe.
Speaking of the things to see in Marquette MI at this museum, it is an extension of a lighthouse that is in operation to date. It has multiple guided tours for the visitors to assist them to understand the history of Marquette water. This place has beautiful architecture set on a scenic view to further add to your experience.
16. Iron Ore Heritage Trail: Peep into the Past
Another reflection of the past, Iron Ore Heritage Trail attracts multiple locals and tourists. The current nature walk was earlier a railroad. This place was put in use to load the iron ore at the harbor of Marquette. This multi-terrain trail is 47 miles. It is best suited for beginners for various activities. It can be used for hiking or cycling. In addition to this, the old buildings have been restored. These buildings are now popular restaurants, bars, and cafes for tourists.
17. True Local Experience at Lake Superior Theater
People looking forward to participating in the local life of Maquette must book their tickets for a show at Lake Superior Theater. It was made in 1998 and works to preserve the past. Committed to offering the premium experience of live performance, entertainment is what you can expect here. Entertainment further gets assured as the people working here have new themes every season.
This theater hosts a show between July and August. They have upcycled a boat at the Harbor Marina as well. Hence, the shows at Lake Superior Theater will be a nice escape for late evenings.
18. Indulge in the aesthetics of Downtown Marquette
Downtown Marquette is the most lively part of the port town. Included among the must-see things to do in Marquette Michigan, it has remarkable aesthetics. Cute little cafes and eateries enhance the beauty of the downtown. If you visit this region, then make sure to check the Farmers Market. It will give a truly local experience.
You must visit Downtown and explore the shops too. Art of Framing and HOTplate Pottery & Art Studio has the aesthetics for the artistic soul. You can pick a bouquet of fresh flowers or a date night dress from Blackbird Boutique as well.
19. Harlow Lake Recreational Area for Everyone
Famous among adrenaline seekers, when you crave the best views of the city, there is one exceptional place for you.
Harlow Lake recreational area is among the well-known Marquette MI attractions and qualifies as the center. Visitors can hop on their bikes and explore the non-motorable trails, hikes, watch the sunset, or go to the sandy shore of Lake Superior.
Tip: This area has arrangements for accommodation. Don’t miss the chance to sleep in the lap of nature and wake up to the chirping birds!
20. Visit Forestville Campground during October
Either to satisfy your inner child or to give a beautiful experience to your little one, you must add Forestville Campground to the list of things to do in Marquette MI. The campground is located to the North of Forestville Trailhead.
With the location being perfect, Forestville Campground offers 18 sites for camping. The campsite is surrounded by a circular drive. It has got a fire-pit and has enough distance between each campsite. Make sure to crack a fire during the fall and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Note: The Forestville Campground operates from May to October. In accordance with this, you can plan when you visit.
21. A 30-minute Getaway at Morgan Falls
Morgan falls easily qualifies to be one of the simpler trails in the said city. You must check out this thing when your elderly parents want to enjoy the view of the waterfall. Morgan Falls is easy to access and offers some of the best views of Marquette. You can reach here by driving downtown. The hike will just take 30 minutes and is best for burning some calories after relishing the delicacies from the region.
22. Fishing in the Lake Superior
Fishing is considered a very serious business in Marquette. There are multiple anglers in the city. The best time to go fishing is during spring. Provided that you are available here around the same time, you will know what is there to do in Marquette Michigan for memorable times.
Should you be lucky, then you can get the chance to get hold of splake, whitefish, chinook salmon, lake trout, coho salmon, or steelhead. Several fishing companies offer charter fishing services too. Sail to the middle of the blue waters of Lake Superior and have a great time fishing.
Where to Stay in Marquette?
Undoubtedly, Marquette attracts a lot of tourists every year. They all can get the chance to book places as per their budget. Interestingly, this city has places to stay for all budgets. Book your stay at Cedar Motor Inn, Econo Lodge Lakeview, or Brentwood Motor Inn. Your experience will surely be relaxing.
When you are in the mood to splurge and pamper yourself, there are several luxurious stays in the port town. Some of them include Holiday Inn Marquette, an IHG Hotel, The Vista Grand Lodge, and Rippling River Resort.
From the above elucidation of things to do in Marquette Michigan, it is clear that a city is truly a place one can visit at any point in the year. One can enjoy the warm beach of Lake Superior in the summer and the terrain park of Marquette Mountain in the winter. The cafes and shops of Downtown Marquette further ensure cozy vibes. You even have the chance to enjoy with your kids at beaches, museums, parks, and planetariums in the port town.
Things to do in Marquette, Michigan – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Marquette has several family-friendly beaches. One of the prominent beaches of this city includes McCarty’s Cove. The picnic spot in Presque Isle Park is also famous for family outings. You can come here with your loved ones and get the opportunity to see the Northern Lights.
Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum is the highlight of the must-visit places with kids in Marquette. You can even head to the Shiras Planetarium. Do not miss out on the Jilbert Dairy too.
While wondering what to do in Marquette Michigan, consider arriving at Sugarloaf Mountain. You can get a 360-degree view of the city. You can drive downtown for an easy hike to Morgan Falls. Likewise, book a place at Marquette Mountain Resort to enjoy biking in summer or skiing in winter.
Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery tops the list of best restaurants. It has been open since 1995 and has an extensive menu. The eatery is famous for its fresh and homemade recipes. The winery here has the best stock in the entire town.
Top Marquette attractions include McCarty’s Cove beach and Sugarloaf Mountain. Both places are suitable for travelers of all ages. Moreover, they come with exciting activities like enjoying the view of nature.
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