Marquette Things to Do

  • leafing out
    leafing out
    by yooperprof
  • Lake Superior near Marquette
    Lake Superior near Marquette
    by atufft
  • Marquette Ore Dock
    Marquette Ore Dock
    by atufft

Best Rated Things to Do in Marquette

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Visit a Historical Lighthouse

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Marquette Maritime Museum has an agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to offer tours of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse. As part of the tour agreement, the museum will help to preserve and protect this historical building, which is the oldest important building in the city, as well as being one of the most historic navigation aids on Lake Superior. It was especially important to the development of the Great Lakes iron ore trade. The lighthouse, built in 1866, added a second story in 1909. Until 1998 Coast Guard personnel and their families lived in the lighthouse. You will not be able to climb to the top to view the beacon, as the Coast Guard still continues to operate the light in the tower. You will, however, have a guided tour of the inside of the lighthouse, and a view from the grounds behind the building. Purchase your tickets for this tour at the Marquette Maritime Museum. There is a discount rate if you purchase tickets for both the museum and the lighthouse.

    You Will Climb These Stairs to Enter View From the Grounds Behind the Lighthouse
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Visit Beaches Along Lake Superior

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Oct 28, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are a number of beautiful beaches in Marquette, and although Lake Superior water is cold, you will still find many people swimming in the cool water on warm summer days. If the water is too cold, it is still a great place to relax. Bring a book, or just sit and look across Lake Superior to the horizon. If you have small children, they will enjoy playing in the sand. On a warm, summer day in Marquette, the beach is a great place to spend time.

    South Beach is a swimming beach located just south of the Municipal Power Plant off of Lake Street. Although the beach is quite popular, and has a set of stairs, a handicapped ramp to take you to the beach and the restrooms, playground equipment for children, and usually a volleyball net set up in the summer, what I don’t like is the Power Plant. Look in one direction and you have a nice Lake Superior Bay view (see photo 4), but if you look in the other direction you have a view of the power plant.

    My favorite are the McCarty Cove beaches (see photos 1 – 3). The first area in McCarty cove is located next to the US Coast Guard Station near the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard and East Michigan Street. This area near the lighthouse is at the south end of Shiras Park. This park has a variety of beach areas as you drive or ride your bike along McCarty Cove. As you check out the beach accesses along the cove you will find areas with volleyball nets, lifeguard watch stations, picnic tables, park benches, restroom facilities, cooking grills in three of the parking areas, and a playground with wooden play equipment for children at one beach access point.

    S. End of Siras Park in McCarty Cove McCarty Cove Beach in Siras Park, McCarty Cove S. Beach Non Power Plant View
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Spend Time in Harbor Park

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mattson Lower Harbor Park covers 22 acres, and has a large grassy open space area, park benches, picnic tables, a children’s playground filled with wooden structures to play on, a concession and restroom facility, boat ramp, and a large nearby breakwater. Lower Mattson Harbor Park is the site for many festivals, such as the Seafood Festival (see photo 3), the International Food Festival, Winterfest, concerts, fireworks, as well as group projects, often centering around art. A lighted outdoor ice rink is located in the park during the winter months. Walk around, and enjoy the many boats from the nearby marinas, let your children play in the playground area, have an ice cream cone at the concession located near the children’s playground, or on many summer nights just sit and listen to the various bands that perform in the park. If you enjoy riding your bike, the shoreline bike path also runs through the park. The first photo is from 1999 when people were invited to decorate poles to be displayed in the park. In 2007 people had painted doors to honor women. See photos 4 and 5 for examples of these doors. The Second photo is of the lighted historic fire bell that forms an entranceway to the city dock in the park.

    For photos of some of my favorite poles and doors, see my travelogue, “Summer Art In Mattson Lower Harbor Park.”

    1999 Art Project In the Park Before Phones, This Bell Warned of Fires Setting Up for the Seafood Festival in August 2007 Doors Honoring Women in the Park Clothing and Paint Was Seen On Many Doors
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Festivals
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Dead River Falls

    by yooperprof Written Jan 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Dead River Falls are something of a local secret. They are located on land owned by one of the local electric utility companies, so they don't have the formal "park status" of other waterfalls in the area. But they are dramatic, popular, and certainly scenic. Of course, they have the most "flow" in the springtime, at the time of the big melt-down. The Dead River was given its name because the local Native American community regarded this as a sacred stream down which the spirit of the great leaders flowed into "the great water". There's still something holy about it today.

    whitewater
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    South Beach

    by yooperprof Written Oct 27, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Summertime in Marquette - on those hot days when the temperature climbs to the low 80s, local folk seek refuge on our beautiful sandy beaches. Some of the beach-lovers are attracted to South Beach, just beyond the Municipal Power Plant. The "skinny" is that the water here is warmer than at the beach by McCarty's Cove. But don't get your hopes up - it's still Lake Superior, which will never be mistaken for the Gulf of Mexico!

    life's a beach
    Related to:
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    M-28 Beach

    by yooperprof Written Dec 20, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Another nice beach close to Marquette is just off M-28, about 15 minutes drive from downtown Marquette. It's at the first "pull-out" as you are heading eastward on M-28.

    I like to come to the M-28 beach to watch the sunset over Marquette.

    the sun ablaze in the lazy haze calm of the evening
    Related to:
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Laughing Whitefish Falls

    by yooperprof Updated Aug 17, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Laughing Whitefish Falls is one of the most substantial in the Upper Peninsula, and so it's worth a drive out. The Falls are located about a half hour drive to the south and the east - follow US 41 south to Michigan State Route 94, head east on 94 toward Munising - and follow the signs to the Falls. (The road to the falls is about 4 miles to the east of US 41.)

    The Falls are located in a wooded area, and it's about a half-mile walk from the parking area to the falls themselves. The best view of the falls is from a platform down down several flights of wooden stairs.

    The falls are at their "fullest" in the springtime, after the meltdown. On the other hand, from early June to early August the area of the Falls is likely to be home to many blackflies and mosquitos. Be prepared!

    early June flow leafing out whitewater water beats rocks (over time)
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Sugarloaf in the Fall

    by yooperprof Updated May 13, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An easier climb than Hogback is Sugarloaf, which has its own paved parking lot, clearly visible from County Road 550, and a well-marked trail that has been furnished with wooden staircases climbing to the top. (There are also back-routes that you can follow up the rocky hill.) Sugarloaf is closer to Superior than Hogback, but both have very nice vistas. If you're planning a walk up Sugarloaf, why don't you stop at Phil's 550 Store and make a picnic of it?

    Blue skies
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Hogback Mountain

    by yooperprof Updated May 13, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hogback Mountain is a mildly strenuous hike that will reward you with a fine vista of the Lake Superior shoreline and forested hills for miles around. Give yourself at least two hours to walk up, enjoy the scenery, and return to your car. There are several trailheads for Hogback; the one that I use most often is approximately six miles north of Marquette, on County Road 550. It's about a quarter mile past the Sugarloaf mountain trailhead, on the west side of the road, in the parking area designated for "Mead Pond." This hike does involve some scrambling up rocks, and in late spring/early summer is NOTORIOUS among local people for ravenous BLACKFLIES. Be forewarned.

    Overview at Dusk
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Black Rocks

    by yooperprof Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Presque Isle is an interesting place to take a hike. Walk on the outer perimeter path, taking care not to get too close to the edge (please don't fall over). On the back side of the island you will find the geologic formation known as the black rocks. These are exposed volcanic rocks that are among the very oldest formations in the Western Hemisphere. My colleagues at the University tell me that the Black Rocks are close to 2 Billion years old, but I have a hard time putting my brain around that figure! It's certainly a good place to go on a sunny day and reflect upon the evanescence of time - or whatever fluff is in your mind that day.

    38 sitting on 2,000,000,000
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Presque Isle Park

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Oct 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Presque Isle Park is on the north side of the city, and is one of the jewels of Marquette. A 323 acre area, the park juts out into Lake Superior, offering self-guided nature trails, beaches, and a paved one lane road that circumnavigates the peninsula. The peninsula is mainly forest with deer and some moose. One of the hikes takes you ¼ mile through a bog with boardwalks and interpretive signs. The most interesting part of this hike for me was seeing pitcher plants, a red “flower” that is carnivorous. As well as nature trails the park also offers a small marina, picnic facilities, rock hunting, an out-door swimming pool, and a small pavilion that offers ice cream, soft drinks, coffee, and hot chocolate. Or, you might enjoy walking out on the breakwall toward Presque Isle Lighthouse. Sometimes in the summer you may find an evening concert to relax to. In the winter the nature trails are available for cross country skiing.

    Gazebo in Presque Isle Park
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Peter White Public Library

    by yooperprof Written Feb 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A Public Library as a "Must See" Activity? Yes, when it is as good a library as Peter White. It's named after Marquette's first mayor, a New Englander who wanted this community to be more than just a sleepy little port. Peter White recently completed a major renovation and expansion, funded entirely by local people dedicated to preserving the vision of a library as a true community center. This library is much more than a place to check out books; there is also an arts center, a gallery, performance space, bookstore and cafe. There are great views of the harbor from the window-nook seats on the top floor.

    Library AND Community Center

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    St. Paul's Episcopal Church

    by yooperprof Written Feb 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The nave of St. Paul's was completed and consecrated in 1874; the corner tower dates from the 1890s. There are two exquisite Tiffany Windows, the gift of prominent and wealthy parishoners from the turn of the century. Mornings and Saturdays there is usually someone at the church; look in and ask if you can look around.

    Piety in Stone

    Was this review helpful?

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo

    Father Marquette Mural

    by yooperprof Updated May 13, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jacques Marquette was the first Euro-Man to visit this area. This French Jesuit came in 1671, looking for a way to travel by water to the "great south running river" (the Mississippi). The Euro-men who decided to establish a permanent settlement here in 1849 chose to name the community after the great explorer - after considering and then rejecting the more prosaic "Iron Bay." This mural is in the Post Office in downtown Marquette - a W.P.A. project from the 1930s.

    Un voyageur

    Was this review helpful?

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo

    Trails

    by KimberlyAnn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you enjoy hiking or biking, the Marquette Region has 25 miles of various loop trails. These range from easy to very difficult, with level to steep and hilly terrain. You will find mostly forested trails, with several lakes and overlooks, as well as a lakeshore route. You may pick up a trail guide at the Chamber of Commerce as well as some businesses in the area. On one of our bike rides, as we followed the path along the lakeshore leading to Presque Isle Park, we saw the Lee A. Tregurtha, a ship at the newer working Ore Dock. It was being loaded with tacomite. (See photo 2) We sat and watched the process for some time. It was quite fascinating to see the shoots lower and the tacomite slide down the shoots into the holds.

    The Main photo for this tip shows an area along the bike trail where you will see the Old Lower Harbor Ore Dock, which is no longer in use, and the beach nearby. For more information on the Holly S. Greer Shoreline Bike Path, visit the web page listed on this tip, scrolling to the trail entry at the bottom of the web page.

    Old Lower Harbor Ore Dock, and Beach Lee A. Tregurtha Loading at the Newer Ore Dock
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Cycling
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Marquette

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

33 travelers online now

Comments

Marquette Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Marquette things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Marquette sightseeing.

View all Marquette hotels