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Traveling from Lower Michigan

July 11, 2012 in Community, Events, Travel

After spending the past few years traveling along the Upper Peninsula’s beautiful coastline, I decided I would like to share with you some of the great attractions you can visit when you bring your student to Michigan Tech in August. Many families don’t have the opportunity to travel through the U.P., so driving your student to Michigan Tech can be the perfect time for a fun family vacation. The following are some of my favorite places to stop and see on the way to Houghton.

From Lower Michigan

Enjoying the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline that borders U.S. 2.

When I drive to Michigan Tech from my hometown of Jackson, Michigan, I really enjoy traveling on U.S. 2 in the Upper Peninsula. U.S. 2 begins off Interstate 75 just after the Mackinac Bridge. Following U.S. 2 you can see miles of the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. The road borders a great sand beach for nearly ten miles west of St. Ignace; there’s a wide shoulder and you’ll often find vehicles pulled over and people walking or swimming the beach. The views from U.S. 2 are truly amazing; however, I do caution you to be aware. The beautiful scenery can be distracting for drivers and the route is typically busy with travelers. Make sure you watch your speed limit and be aware of other drivers if you choose to take this route.

Pictured Rocks in Munising photo credit:http://www.thingstodointheup.com

From U.S. 2 I usually cut through the middle of the Upper Peninsula by taking one of the highways that run north and connect with M-28. The portion of M-28 that passes through the center of the Upper Peninsula between Seney and Shingleton runs along the border of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. The Seney Stretch is considered to be a “straight-as-an-arrow highway.” It is 25 miles long and has few curves and little change in elevation. Although it may not be the most exciting section of highway to travel, it will get you to the Lake Superior shoreline quickly. The first major Superior-side town you’ll hit along M-28 is Munising. Munising is a nice town to stop in and stretch your legs after a couple hours of driving. There are restaurants and several visitor attractions, including the famous Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises. Although I have not been on a cruise, I have heard that the views of the rocks are phenomenal. The cruises last approximately 3 hours and tickets for adults are $35.

From Munising to Marquette, M-28 travels along the Lake Superior shoreline for several miles. There are many roadside parks along the way. Marquette is one of the U.P’s larger towns, with plenty of fast food options, chain restaurants, and unique eateries. After passing through Marquette, M-28 veers away from Lake Superior and meets up with U.S. 41, which runs straight up to the Keweenaw Peninsula and Houghton.

The beauty of Northern Michigan is truly unique and unforgettable. Whether it’s walking the sandy shores, taking a boat tour, or simply stopping at a roadside park, I hope you and your family have the opportunity to enjoy the splendor of the Upper Peninsula.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have!

-Samantha Allen, seallen@mtu.edu