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Michigan weekend road trip: A brief journey through the UP

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. (Photo: Olivia Booth)

Michigan's Upper Peninsula offers far more than what can be experienced in just a few days, but with the right planning, you can take in a good bit of the north.

If you only have a few days to spend in the UP, a chunk of that time will be dedicated to driving, but the routes are all scenic and beautiful, so it just adds to the trip.

The sunset over Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

Check out some things to do during a weekend road trip to the UP:

Tahquamenon Falls

There's plenty of campgrounds to stay at in the UP. My trip included staying at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park Rivermouth campground and the Au Train Beach Campgound.

The Tahquamenon Falls campground is situated on the Tahquamenon River and has a boat launch, kayak rentals and a fishing platform.

The campground is near the waterfalls. Park at the lower falls and take the about 4-mile hike to the upper falls, where there is shopping and dining, including the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub. The brewery includes a large selection of food, as well as several local craft brews on tap.

The hike from the lower falls to the upper falls at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. (Photo: Aubree Stamper)

When you're done, you can hike back or pay to take a shuttle to the lower falls.

After your stay in Tahquamenon Falls, head about an hour and 45 minutes west to Au Train.

Kayak Pictured Rocks

The Au Train Beach Campground is across the street from Lake Superior.

It includes spaces for tents, as well as yurts, platform tents and tipis available to rent.

The campground is also close to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

My friends and I did a kayak tour of Pictured Rocks through Uncle Ducky's Paddling Michigan.

Kayaking the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. (Photo: Olivia Booth)

The about 6-mile paddling tour took around three hours to complete and included information about the rocks, kayaking into a cave and seeing a shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Superior.

It's a bit pricey -- $129 a person -- but it's beautiful and worth it.

Christmas Michigan

If you love the holidays and want to visit a unique place, Christmas is just down the street from Au Train Beach Campground.

It's a small town that you might miss if you don't see the giant waving Santa on the side of the road.

Christmas has several festively named places to stay, including Silent Nights Campsites and the Yule Log Resort.

There's also a casino decorated for the holiday all year long and a beer garden. The Duck Pond Eatery and Beer Garden has great food and a huge selection of Michigan beer.

Hall Farms sunflower field

It is now closed for the season, but if you visit the UP in August and have some extra time, Hall Farms is worth the drive to see 20 acres of hundreds of thousands of sunflowers.

Hall Farms sunflower field in Rock, Mich. (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

MORE: Sunflower field with thousands of flowers brightens Upper Peninsula

During the summer, the Halls sell corn, and they are selling pumpkins for the fall right now.


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