Marquette, Michigan. A Northern Michigan escape but also an upper peninsula home base for some. Marquette is one of the main cities of the UP (Upper Peninsula) and provides ample opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Now, you have 36 hours here. What do you do? Let’s go
Marquette, Michigan: 36 hours in the UP Overview
- Friday – Late night Arrival, Dinner, Bed
- Saturday – Breakfast/Explore/Food/Bed
- Sunday – Breakfast/ Explore/ Say Bye
Marquette is one of the UP’s most visited cities and for good reasons. A city that sits on the shores of Lake Superior with access to a plethora of outdoor adventures. The only thing you’ll wish you had more of when leaving is time. Let’s start the clock
Marquette, Michigan Arrival. Friday Night
You have made it! Whether you are traveling a long ways from downstate or just across state lines, your journey begins here. If you are looking to grab a bite after check in, here are some options
- DELFT – The DELFT serves up excellent American Fare meals in a converted movie theater. The casual and ambiance, makes this place a gem. They also run a movie, or program on the giant projector
- The Vierling – A classic joint located in downtown Marquette, The Vierling is one of Marquette’s oldest and established restaurants on the block. The Vierling also operates as a brewery and brews all of their beer on site.
Marquette Outdoors – Saturday
Breakfast is non negotiable and you are heading to my and to many others favorite, Java Bay Cafe. If you’re like myself and love Breakfast burritos, DO NOT SKIP on the opportunity to indulge in one of the best breakfast burritos in the game. Tip: Order Ahead as they make their food with love
Head down the street and pick up a cup of coffee from Contrast Coffee and get rolling into your Marquette journey. Dial in Presque Isle Park to your GPS and head to the isle for scenic viewpoints and some cliff jumping (if you dare). Drive the loop and make sure you visit the infamous Black Rocks cliff jumping spot into the frigid waters of Superior.
After circumventing the 2 mile loop its time to scale one of Marquette’s most infamous peaks, Sugarloaf Mountain. Drive down Big Bay Rd about 10 minutes and find the Sugarloaf parking lot roadside. Ascend the .5 mile trail up to one of the best views in Marquette county situated 280 feet above. Don’t sweat it, the hike is easy and most of the hike is apart of a stair system.
After getting your dose of mountain views, refuel with a bit of Yooper life with a stop at Phils 550. Grab an ice cream, water, and snacks before continuing on to Marquette’s best waterfall hike, Dead River Falls. Follow the Dead River Falls trail to the Upper Falls for some cliff jumping if your heart desires. The hike is about 2 miles round trip and is pretty easy but very scenic along the river.
At this point of the day head back into town for a late lunch at one of Marquette’s most popular, Donckers. Grab a delicious sandwich and don’t forget their infamous chocolates on the way in or out. Post lunch navigate yourself to McCarty’s Cove for an afternoon hangout and recharge on the shores of Lake Superior.
Beer Fan? Beer lovers can’t miss one of the UP’s and Marquette’s best, Blackrocks Brewery. Enjoy a pint or two and revel in the beauty of the scenery that surrounds. After a full day of fun in the sun and beer, your appetites must be through the roof.
Dinner is up to you depending on your interests and budget. Feeling like an excellent German experience? The Steinhaus ($20/entree) has all the goods you’d hope for. Looking to taste a bit of Creole? The Lagniappe is a renowned joint that serves up savory Cajun dishes. Other notable options include Portside Inn, DIGS, and Iron Bay.
Marquette Michigan Last Day
If you have the energy after a long first day, wake up to catch, if fortunate enough, a Lake Superior sunrise. If not, no worries as most sunrises are very early here. Breakfast today is a quick yet tasty bagel from Third Street Bagel or a sit down at Bodega Cafe. Walk down the street to The Crib for a cup of coffee and your day is rolling in the right direction.
Head down to the Lower Harbor and treat yourself to the views of the historic Ore Dock. You won’t miss it. The city is rich in Mining History and this is one of the main and testaments to it.
If your party is searching for more adventure, rent some bikes and hit the NTN (North Trail Network) or STN Trails (South Trail Network). Marquette has some of the best mountain biking in the country. If not, head back out for some more scenery along the shores of Superior. Cruise out to Wetmore landing and hang out at the beach or take an easy coastal trail down to Little Presque Isle and back.
Before leaving town, make sure to treat yourself to Babycakes Muffin Company. Babycakes make some of the most tasty treats in town and if you have any type of love for pastries or sweets, you can’t miss them. If you can swing it in the morning, make sure you to stop before you’re gone.
- Landmark Inn – Most recognized and some of the best views of Lake Superior
- AirBnb – Find a range of cozy selections. Book early.
- Nestle down – B&B located across the street from Lake Superior
- Many more –
Other Marquette Michigan Things to Consider
- UPSupplyCo – Pop in for some souvenirs and meet Bugsy, the man who captured every sunrise in 2019
- 5 Breweries operate in Marquette – Get your fix here
- Summertime gets busy. Book early
- Food Trucks are always popping up at different spots. Keep your eyes open for them while you’re out roaming
- Festivals are abundant. Check your calendars to see if there’s one when you visit
- Looking to save some money, have a picnic or just grab some food? The Marquette Co-op is a great spot downtown to grab all your food and drink supplies. The deli serves up some great sandwiches as well.
- Pasties are a staple of the UP. Get one at Jean Kays at some point during your stay
If you need anything else when visiting Marquette, please reach out to me. I would love for you to enjoy this city as much as possible. If you need anymore advice, contact me here or if you need a tour guide, reach out. I run 1/2 day tours and 1 hour photoshops.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you when this virus clears. Until then, stay safe and socially isolate.