Free things to do this summer in the Upper Peninsula
Are you weighing whether you can afford to take a summer vacation this year? You can in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We specialize in relaxation that doesn’t empty your wallet. Put together the most carefree summer vacation ever with these FREE things to do in the U.P.
Build your trip around these top free summer activities you an access right from our campgrounds and motel.
Great Lakes Beaches
Paddling Rivers and Streams
Concerts and Events
Dark Sky Stargazing
The U.P. is the only place where the land touches three of the largest freshwater lakes in the world — Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. With 1,700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, most of it with free access, you will have no trouble finding a place to spread your blanket, toss a Frisbee, build a castle or splash in the water. Our beaches offer a variety of picturesque landscapes from towering dunes, soft, golden sand, black lava boulders and some of the most colorful stones you will ever see. Many of these beaches are accessible right from our Campgrounds including Au Train Beach one of the best Beaches in the U.P.
As you drive along the Great Lakes coasts, pull off to see our life-saving sentinels. Most U.P. lighthouses have weathered some of the most brutal storms since the mid-1800s. A few charge fees to tour the lighthouse keepers’ quarters or museums, but there is no cost to view or photograph them from the outside. Right here in Munising we have over 6 Lighthouses you can view for free!
You probably can’t visit all of the Upper Peninsula’s refreshing inland lakes in your lifetime, although it’s worth the challenge. If you like to swim, boat, fish, water ski, kayak, picnic or sit by the shore with a good book listening to the haunting call of the loons, make at least one of these lakes your summer destination. You can find free public access, beaches and parks at many of them. The Hiawatha National Forest and Alger County has over 60 Inland Lakes you can visit for Free all within a short drive from our Campgrounds and Motel!
Most of the Upper Peninsula’s waterfalls are accessible by foot and several can be reached by wheelchair. Park your vehicle and hike to see magnificent sites such as Au Train Falls, Laughing Whitefish Falls, Wagner Falls, or the Alger Falls. Munising and Alger County has over 12 Waterfalls for you to explore! Be sure to stop in the gift shop at the Campground or Motel for our Free Waterfall Guides!
Put in your kayak or raft and ride the whitewater rapids of the Menominee River. Ease your canoe down the Au Train River, or take a day trip to the wide waters of the Hiawatha National Forest, or down the magnificent, 71-mile Manistique River that flows through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. These are only a sampling of where to dip your paddle while staying with us in the Munising area!
Whether you are a casual walker in search of some of America’s most beautiful wilderness and Great Lakes scenery. Or, if you want to test your grit on mountain climbs or over long distances, grab your boots and head to the U.P. The North Country Trail crosses from Ironwood to St. Ignace, the Piers Gorge and Canyon Gorge Trails take you to breathtaking waterfalls and the Mt. Arvon trail brings you to the highest point in Michigan. The North Country Trail is accessible right from the campgrounds and in Munising!
If you like biking, there is no place in Michigan more picturesque, more varied in its terrain or more thrilling in its adventures than the Upper Peninsula. Besides 28 designated mountain biking trails, there are thousands of miles of logging roads, abandoned railroad grades, state and national forest trails, single tracks, off-season cross-country ski trails, low-traffic highways and paved road bike trails that welcome lone riders to tour groups. Right here in Munising we have the MBTN which hosts the Munising Mountain Bike Park, and Valley Spur or take a short drive to to Maquette for their bronze level riding systems!
Week after week, all across the U.P., you can show up for free outdoor music concerts — often by the water — parades, classic car shows, amazing fireworks displays, art shows, free fishing and ORV weekends and rollicking festivals. Head over to Munising’s Visitors website for a list of events this summer!
The horizons in the Upper Peninsula put on the most incredible sky shows at dawn and dusk. Blazing colors as the sun rises and sets, summer storms, Northern Lights and a dome of twinkling stars and shooting meteors. Some of the darkest skies in the world are over the Upper Peninsula, including Au Train Beach right at our Campground, Known as the Best Stargazing the Area!