If you’ve never been the hub of the Upper Peninsula, St. Ignace, this year is the perfect time to plan a trip. From history buffs to birders, scuba divers to sunset lovers, sledheads to campers, outdoorsmen to families looking for fun – all will find new events and new adventures to embark upon. Learn about the top 10 reasons you need to visit St. Ignace, Upper Peninsula, Michigan, in 2020:
There are so many reasons why St. Ignace is a great place to embrace the beauty of winter. You can cross-country ski across majestic snow-covered dunes with views of Lake Michigan, snowshoe to the stunning Eben Ice Caves, or go sledding without the climb. You can check out the “Ice Bridge” to Mackinac Island or follow trails to the frozen, copper waterfalls of Tahquamenon Falls State Park on your own or a rented snowmobile. You can even go golfing on the ice of Lake Huron in March.
This winter event definitely deserves its own reason. In mid-February, St. Ignace hosts one of the biggest pond hockey tournaments in the US. Held on one of the largest ponds you’ll ever see, the Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship is a 3-day tournament on Lake Huron right near downtown St. Ignace and Mackinac Island.
Visiting Mackinac Island is like taking a trip back in time. There aren’t any cars on the 4.35 sq mi island, and the quaint town is full of amazing experiences like world-famous fudge, historic landmarks, and ways to relax. Naturally, with such limited real-estate, many choose to stay in St. Ignace, as the frequent, scenic ferries make traveling a breeze, and its reasonable accommodations are a fantastic way to visit the island without breaking the bank.
Campers love St. Ignace and its 5 fantastic options, from beachfront camping, Native American grounds, and secluded spots to sites with everything the modern camper needs. You’ll discover tons of amenities like free Wi-Fi, a heated pool, a mini golf course, laundromat, and even cable hook-ups at some sites.
These are practically commonplace methods, right? We’re sure you’ve crossed a 26,273-foot long bridge with waters of two lakes churning 200 feet below plenty of times.
If you haven’t, it can be done by cruising across on an antique snowmobile, steaming over with vintage tractors, traveling with a caravan of Jeeps, with trucks decked out in neon lights with horns blaring, or on foot. You’re probably taken an UTV, ATV, S x S, 3-Wheeler and/or Off-Road Motorcycle across the Mighty Mac or a driven across with a motorcade of Porsches.
St. Ignace is located at the point between two Great Lakes – the Straits of Mackinac. This means that there is ample opportunity to enjoy the water, from swimming on sandy beaches, fishing for bass and salmon, and skipping stones to boating, kayaking, and parasailing. You can even try some Yoga on a stand-up paddle board or explore shipwrecks by scuba-diving or snorkeling. Relax at the end of a long day with nightly Music by the Bay, and, on the weekends, movies and Saturday Night Fireworks by the water.
Be sure to bring your appetite and dancing shoes to St. Ignace Marina pier. Sample fish delicacies prepared by local restaurants at the Fish Feast in mid-July or sample some of the 45+ varieties of craft beer produced by local breweries while listening to live blues music at the Brews & Blues in early August. New in 2020 is the U.P. Jamboree on Labor Day weekend which includes a cornhole tournament, highland games, and a dockside art show. Of course, if you’re a car enthusiast, you can’t miss the Annual Car Show Weekend in late June. See hundreds of all make, all model cars and trucks. You might even win a cash prize for your car!
Starting in May, you’ll have plenty of chances to celebrate indigenous culture and experience life in St. Ignace as it was over 250 years ago. At the free Native American Festival in May, you can see the expressive dances, smell sacred medicines, and taste traditional food of the Anishinaabe people at this one incredible event. Similarly, the Rendezvous at the Straits Powwow in late August features traditional dancing and hand-made arts & crafts. During St. Ignace Heritage Days in early July you can experience life as it was for frontiersmen and townsfolk alike in the 1760's. The Fort De Buade Museum and Museum Of Ojibwa Culture & Gift Shop offer great learning opportunities as well!
Fall colors in both forests and routes along the Great Lakes are simply stunning in St. Ignace. We’ve created 3 extraordinary routes categorized by color for your next adventure: the Violet Tour, the Gold Tour, and the Crimson tour. Discover hues from striking, bright golds to wine-dark reds. Also, as the Straits of Mackinac are a major migration point, we also recommend bird-watching while you’re here.
Have you ever taken a hike along the picturesque St. Ignace to Trout Lake Trail, grabbed a delicious burger from the old-fashioned drive-in, Cyde’s, or been to Mystery Spot, with its wild optical contradictions? St. Ignace is full of hidden gems. If you love animals, be sure to explore Oswald’s Bear Ranch to pet a bear cub, GarLyn Zoo Wildlife Park to visit exotic animals, and Deer Ranch to, well, see and feed some majestic deer!