Oct 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Enjoy Beauty of Northern Michigan

So seniors, have you been to the UP yet? The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. More casually it is known as the land above the Bridge (above the Mackinac Bridge linking the two peninsulas). It is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by the St. Mary’s River, on the southeast by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the southwest by Wisconsin.

The Upper Peninsula contains almost a quarter of the land area of Michigan but just three percent of its total population. Residents are frequently called Yoopers, derived from  U.P.-ers and have a strong regional identity.

The view from the bridge is remarkable, especially coming from the north. You see Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the east. The vast expanse — water, peninsulas, and islands — is even more riveting when accented by a huge freighter passing under the bridge, 155 feet below the roadway deck.

So seniors, spend some summer or colorful fall time up north.  Summer is a state of mind up in the U.P. It could come as early as June and stay as late as a warm September day. Traditionally summer is bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day, but however long the season runs, warm months are always lived to the fullest in the U.P.  In the north country the summer sun lingers, casting angled rays across the pristine landscape of woods and water. Days are warm and nights balmy, encouraging folks to stay outside and gather by beach bonfires as twilight fades into quiet night.  Beauty abounds everywhere in the UP.  Sufjan Stevens has a song about the Upper Peninsula.

Here are some great travel tools to prepare your visit.  You can explore the dense forests of the Upper Peninusla and meet the many natives who live there. You may spot the elusive whitetail, moose and bear, or a beaver building his house. Travel down the almost untouched rivers and streams with not a cabin or person in sight. Explore the best fishing holes, test a new lure or work on the fine art of fly fishing. Enjoy the beautiful waterfalls and the many miles of Michigan and National Forests. This is an exciting place for camping, hiking or just driving down one of the many forest roads. My wife and I enjoyed exploring the Lake Superior lighthouses open for touring. Climb the lighthouse tower or visit the maritime museums within. Visit the Soo Locks where you can tour an old ore boat converted to a museum or follow the last voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Seniors Discover an Island Suspended in Time

And of course you will not want to miss Mackinac Island where you can indulge yourself with what is called the best chocolate in the world. It’s an island suspended in a forgotten, more innocent time. Mackinac (MACK-in-awe) became one of the nation’s favored summer resort destinations during the Victorian era. Vacationers arrived in large lake excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit seeking the cooler weather on Mackinac Island. Relive the simple pleasures of life like a leisurely carriage ride on silent, uncrowded streets.

The world’s largest summer hotel, the Grand Hotel was named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as One of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations.  The Grand Hotel has received a number of distinguished awards. Here you can view the list.  The Grand’s famous 800’ porch was promoted by W. Stewart Woodfill as the world’s longest porch.

If you love horses, this is the place to be since cars are not allowed on the island. Do take a carriage tour around the island.  This map of the Upper Penninsula will show you all that this fascinating country offers.  One thing is for sure, you will be totally taken with the UP. jeb

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  1. […] Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—the U.P., to almost everyone—extends from the Canadian border in the east to Wisconsin in the west. To the south lies the long oval bowl of Lake Michigan. Lake Superior, the deepest of the Great Lakes, pummels the peninsula’s rocky coast from the north. […]

  2. […] when you get up close to northern Michigan, plan on spending time in Petoskey and you’ll learn why it was selected as a Top Town. […]

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