Families looking for fun will love St. Ignace, with its beaches, ranches, museums, central location, and loads of other family-friendly attractions. Experience the perfect family getaway in the Upper Peninsula city of St. Ignace, Michigan!
If your kids love animals, they’ll love visiting Oswald's Bear Ranch! Home to the only place where you can pet a bear cub in the Midwest, Oswald’s Bear Ranch has 29 remarkable, rescued black bears. As one TripAdvisor reviewer writes, you’ll get to see them in action, since the “bears are full of life running around their habitats, wrestling with each other, climbing tree, and much more.”
Do you want to see tigers, otters, hyenas, and more up close? Then head GarLyn Zoo Wildlife Park. It’s an intimate, family run zoo, with animals from North America, like alligators and porcupines, as well as those from around the world like African Lions and Ring-tailed Lemurs.
Don’t forget to stop at the oldest live whitetail exhibit in North America, the Deer Ranch, where you can photograph and feed native Michigan deer while walking along a nature trail. Pro Tip: They love carrots, and may accept a pet or two.
St. Ignace is home to plenty of superb beaches, like the Local Sand Dune Spot in the Hiawatha National Forest with 6 miles of beautiful, sandy beach on Lake Michigan. You’ll find a bunch of other beaches just a short drive away, too!
There’s also American Legion Memorial Park, which has a beach area with a view of Mackinac Island. Picnic tables, pavilion with tables and grills, playground, and restrooms make it easy to spend the whole day! Similarly, in downtown St. Ignace on Lake Huron’s Moran Bay, you’ll find sandy Kiwanis Beach with a picnic area and pavilion.
Order your St. Ignace Visitors Guide today or view online.
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St. Ignace has a ton of singular attractions, but two of the most peculiar are Mystery Spot and Castle Rock. Mystery Spot was voted Michigan's No.1 unusual attraction by readers of Michigan Living Magazine (AAA) for its optical contradictions making for great pictures.
The second, Castle Rock, is a giant formation springing out of a slope that allows you to see up to 20 miles of the beautiful UP such as Mackinac Island, Lake Huron & downtown St. Ignace. There are plenty of other great hidden gems to check out, too!
The Great Outdoors
Hiawatha National Forest, just minutes away from St. Ignace, is an excellent place for the family to get away from it all. With its stunning, serene waterfalls among rising pines and plenty to explore, including 4 islands, it’s the perfect place for a family adventure. Enjoy everything from snowmobiling and mountain biking to hiking and swimming!
St. Ignace is also home to the trailheads of superb hiking, biking, snowmobile and ATV trails – both snowmobiles and ATVs can be rented from the Voyager Inn. One of the longest trails, Trout Lake, is 27 miles, can be traversed by any of the 4 methods, and branches off to nearby cities.
With 5 excellent campgrounds, St. Ignace is the perfect place to experience the Upper Peninsula and go on enthralling day trips. Don’t worry, if you plan to visit during winter months, there’s far more to do than just snowmobile. Check out our blog for more incredible winter activities in St. Ignace!
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At Fort De Buade Museum, you can learn about the Michilimackinac Area from the Anishinaabe peoples’ and Europeans’ perspective. Exhibits and dioramas depict 18th and 19th century life in St. Ignace with more than 3,500 relics such as weapons, trade items, beadworks, and more.
Families can also uncover the complex story of when the Ojibwa, Huron, and French lifestyles first encountered one another in St. Ignace over 300 years ago at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture & Gift Shop. It also tells the history of native life prior to and after colonization.
Finally, kids and adults will love to explore the rare and antique sleds at the Top-of-the-lake Snowmobile Museum – from a 1926 Model T to the 1990 Sno-King, the “World’s Largest & Most Powerful Snowmobile”.
The Great Lakes
While they contain fresh water, the sea-like Great Lakes are a wonder to behold with rolling waves and distant horizons. With St. Ignace situated perfectly between 3 of the 5, your family can embark on cruises to explore the nearby lighthouses, the spectacular sunsets, and the attractions of car-less Mackinac Island.
If you plan to stay at The Bavarian Haus Lakefront Inn, take advantage of their complimentary kayaks to explore the Great Lakes.
You can even pick up ice cream from a double-decker bus along the way!
Looking for a fun way to get around town? Be sure to hitch a ride on the St. Ignace Trolley for fun & friendly old-time experience! It stops at parks, and some of the best attractions in the area – check out its map here!
St. Ignace is the perfect place to take your family for an unforgettable weekend. From the amazing day trip experiences just a few short drives away, to local St. Ignace specialties, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. Request a visitor’s guide or sign-up for our newsletter to help you get ready to book your trip to St. Ignace!