Forget about going to the swampy and salty southern states this spring. Throw your swimsuits in your luggage and bring your family or friends to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to play Marco Polo in our hotel pools. We’ve got so many fun spring break ideas — you will have reasons left over to return this summer.

Some of our favorite spring break destinations to visit 

This guide will help you customize your spring break vacation to make it fun for all of your traveling companions. Then check our weather page to make it easier to decide what to bring and wear while you are here. 

Spend a day on Mackinac Island

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More than a million people visit Mackinac Island each year, and it’s easy to see why. The island offers a unique step back in time, where it bans motor vehicles and nature and history reign in harmony. When you visit in March or April, expect a different experience than in the popular summer and early fall months. It’s not crowded so your spring break will be like a private island escape. 

While the horse-drawn taxi runs year-round, plan to walk everywhere, including up to eight miles around the island on a paved road. Along the way you will see spectacular views of Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge, stroll past the famous Grand Hotel and look up at historic mansions, Fort Mackinac and other landmarks. 

When you visit the island in the early spring, only a few eateries offer food and drinks, including a grocery store. Transportation to the island is also limited to the Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry or landing at the island’s airport (weather permitting).

The freighters are returning!

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The Soo Locks reopen for the shipping season on March 22, in time for most school spring breaks. An engineering marvel on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, it forms a linchpin of transportation in the Great Lakes. The locks connect Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and then beyond to  international markets. Operating since the mid-1800s, over 86 million tons of cargo pass through them annually.

You can stand amazingly close to the giant freighters at Soo Locks Park. Then, If the weather is warm, rack your bikes and ride one or more of the Sault Ste. Marie routes. Biking is one of the best ways to see the oldest city in Michigan and the third oldest city in the United States!


Sneak in some learning — we make it fun

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Learning more about the U.P.’s history and geology is NEVER boring. Just ask the kids who have a hard time leaving these favorites:


The “Big Spring” in Palms Book State Park near Manistique, tops our spring break must-see list. Nicknamed the “Mirror of Heaven” by the Ojibwe, Michigan’s largest natural spring rarely freezes so you can take the wheelchair-accessible raft across the water all year.
Stop and watch as 10,000 gallons of water per minute erupt from fissures in the limestone rocks on the spring’s floor This is Michigan’s largest natural spring and the clear view of its ethereal world below the surface is mesmerizing.

Two history museums, one building

While you are in the area, drive to Escanaba to see two of the newest museums in the U.P. The Webster Marble: The Inventing the Outdoors Museum and the U.P. Military Museum will open your mind to the life-changing impact Webster Marble and U.S. veterans and citizens had on American and world history. Both museums are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum

Children 1 to 13 years will have fun exploring the exhibits at this popular hands-on museum in Marquette. Parents and children helped design the interactive activities, so expect your younger travelers to be in no hurry to go on to your next destination.


Seney National Wildlife Refuge

This national treasure is a wonderful place to look for signs of spring, including animal babies, emerging plants and birds migrating north. You can hike or paddle in the refuge year-round, however, the Visitor Center and Marshland Drive will not re-open until May 15. Please take time before you visit to read these wildlife viewing tips.


Fayette Historic State Park and Townsite

A well-preserved site, this once-booming iron-smelting town in Garden also brings learning outdoors. The visitor center and preserved buildings aren’t open until May, but as you walk around the 20 buildings, you will see what 19th-century life was like. Look out across Snail Shell Harbor; some cedars on the limestone bluffs are 1,400 years old!


A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum

This nationally and internationally recognized mineral museum in Houghton houses the largest public exhibit and finest collection of minerals from the Great Lakes region and the world’s best collection of Michigan minerals. It’s a fascinating way to learn how minerals are important in your life today. You can even wow teens when you show them the Guinness world record holding 19-ton Lake Copper recovered from Great Sand Bay in Lake Superior. 


Hear waterfalls snap, crackle and ROAR!

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Early spring is a great time to go waterfalling. Many of our 300+ waterfalls may be frozen, so snowshoe to some and hike to others. On warmer days you can listen to the ice crackle as they thaw. Later in the spring season, they will roar as all that melted snow pounds over the rocky precipices. When you are visiting waterfalls near the coasts of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior, take time to see the historic lighthouses, too. This is definitely the time to have your camera ready.

Swoosh down those slopes

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If you love snow sports, come see us over spring break. Many areas in this vast outdoor playground will probably have snow on the ground through mid-April. Throughout the U.P., there are good snow bases on most of the cross-country ski and snowshoe trails as well as downhill ski and snowboard slopes. Stay current with conditions with our downhill ski report. This time of year look for stay & ski packages from the U.P. ski lodges and nearby hotels.  

Warmer daytime temps also make this a good time of year to roll and pack snowballs for building snowpeople and forts in our open fields and along our Great Lakes beaches. If you are bringing the kids, Ski Brule and Pine Mountain get top kid-friendly ratings. Ski Brule also has plans for several March and April spring break events, including college student discounts and an Easter Brunch and Egg Hunt.

Where to satisfy your hunger

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Give your taste buds a treat while spending memory-making time with family and friends this spring. If you are here on a Friday, you can catch a fish fry in just about every town. Our communities are very competitive about who serves the best combination of U.P. freshwater fish and sides. Or eat like a local when you try these delicious, unique-to-the-U.P. foods. Plus, there’s always the traditional spring break pub crawl across the U.P.

Book your spring break lodgings and go outside and play

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From Drummond Island to Ironwood or Copper Harbor to Menominee, we have lodgings that offer waterfront to mountain views, scrumptious foods and the amenities your traveling companions like when you vacation — from indoor pools, fireplaces, saunas and spas to exercise and game rooms. 

Our lodgings are near their favorite outdoor things to do, too. Hike and bike scenic trails, paddle pristine lakes and rivers, play disc golf, collect colorful rocks along our beaches and watch for migrating birds — just to name a few.

This spring, go where you’ll have more to talk about than mouse ears and princesses when you come home. Once you make the U.P. your spring break destination, it will easily become an annual tradition. See you soon! 

Share with Us

We would love to see your favorite spring scenes and adventures! Use our hashtag #uptravel for an opportunity to be featured on our social media, website or in our marketing materials. You can also upload your photos to our Spring Photo Crowdriff Collector below.