21 Best Things To Do In Munising, MI 2024 

Disclosure notice

Looking for the best things to do in Munising? This charming little city on the Lake Superior Coast in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a year-round travel destination and a great addition to an Upper Peninsula Road Trip!

Munising is about 43 miles east of Marquette, which offers commercial flights.

The area is home to a wide array of outdoor activities! In addition to tours and activities, Munising offers serene waterfalls, historic lighthouses, hundreds of miles of trails, and numerous sandy beaches as attractions.

While most of these are popular summer activities, winter has its own activities, like snowmobiling, exploring ice caves, and ice climbing. Late September is a great time for fall colors.

My husband and I have traveled to Munising in the summer season and in the middle of winter. While the experiences are vastly different, the scenery always remains amazing.

It's important to book your accommodations well in advance, if possible. We've actually had more luck booking summer travel than we have for winter travel!

The winter trips are more last minute – don't want to go when it's too cold! Lots of trolls (those of us who live under the bridge – meaning lower peninsula) head across the bridge to snowmobile.

Best Things To Do In Munising

There is a little to do for everyone during a visit to Munising – regardless if you are big on an adventure or more of a take-it-easy and relax vacationer. Munising is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors.

Whether you’re planning a weekend trip or a week-long vacation, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best Munising activities.

1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured_Rocks_National_Lakeshore_ Sign

The National Park Service manages Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (PRNL) and extends 42 miles along the Lake Superior Shoreline.

It is home to unique sandstone cliffs along Lake Superior, with multiple waterfalls, nearly 100 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of beaches, and 5 miles of dunes. 

Hiking trails offer some cliff views, but the best views are from the water. Sandstone cliffs 50 to 200 feet above the water line provide dramatic views. Stay on the path – sandstone is fragile, and pieces break off!

There are three visitor centers for the National Lakeshore: Interagency, Munising Falls, and Grand Sable.

There is also an information center at Miners Castle Rock. The Interagency Visitor Center is the only one open year-round (closed on Sundays in the winter).

Passes can be purchased at the visitor center or online before your visit.

The Munising Falls is a short walk from the Munising Falls Visitor Center. There are multiple viewing platforms, each providing beautiful views.

The Alger Underwater Preserve is located along the coast of Lake Superior in the Pictured Rocks area. The preserve presents numerous distinctive diving attractions, such as “sea caves,” well-preserved shipwrecks, and submerged interpretive trails.

Most of the prominent shipwrecks are marked with buoys and predominantly located in sheltered waters.

Hiking at the PRNL is some of the best in the area. Trails vary from short to long and are easy to strenuous.

The North Country Trail runs through the PRNL and offers 13 backcountry camping sites. Fees and permits are required. Fires are only allowed in metal fire rings; the sites have no potable water.

Rustic drive-in camping is available at Twelvemile Beach, Hurricane River, and Little Beaver Campgrounds. The campgrounds have water, picnic tables, a fire ring with a grill grate, and vault toilets. 

Camping Reservations are recommended six months in advance. The camping season is from May 15th through October 15th.

Boating, Canoeing, and Kayaking are popular. Note that most of the rivers are too shallow for canoeing.

Also, realize that Lake Superior can be round and unpredictable, and waves can overtake small crafts. Beaver and Little Beaver Lakes only allow electric motors. 

Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing on the inland lakes and South Bay, snowshoeing, viewing ice formations formed over colorful sandstone cliffs, and ice climbing. 

There are many great places to visit within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Chapel Rock, Chapel Beach, Chapel Falls, Miners Falls, and Sand Point Beach, to name a few!

Fee: Good for seven days
Vehicle pass: $20
Motorcycle pass: $15
Walk, bicycle, snowmobile, or boat-in pass: $10/person

Address: N8391 Sand Point Rd, Munising

Note: Use your Annual/Senior/Military/Access/Volunteer/4th grader National Park pass!

Rock_formation_with_Lake_Superior_in_background

2. Grand Island National Recreation Area 

Grand Island is a part of the US Forest Service-managed Hiawatha National Forest. The island is about a half-mile from the mainland and is accessible via boat, kayak/canoe, or snowmobile. 

ferry service provides access to the island Spring-Fall. Guests are allowed to bring bicycles on the island, and camping is available throughout the island – either bring your tent or rent a cabin (you will need to bring any gear you need).  

Drinking water and rustic vault toilets are available at select locations on the island. Mosquitoes, black flies, and stable flies may carry you away if you aren't prepared by wearing layers of light colors of tightly woven clothing and applying insect repellent. Consider a head net.

Grand Island National Recreational Area provides scenic views, sandy beaches, and historic homes. Bike rentals and kayak rentals are available on the island. In addition, a bus tour is also available. The bus tour is 4 hours long (including time spent getting to the island) and stops at ten different stops.

If you choose to Kayak, the ride from the mainland to the island is relatively easy, and you will enjoy some breathtaking views of the sandstone cliffs. If you want to kayak around the island, it is over 25 miles around the island, and you will discover hidden beaches and historic lighthouses.

Grand Island is home to over 20 miles of trails and gravel roads. Hiking or biking the perimeter trails offers a fantastic view and white sand beaches. Guests are allowed to bike in most places but not all trails. 

Fishing is also a popular activity on the island.

I haven't personally been to the island, but every time we are up in the area, we say we need to do that next time! We had high hopes of going across via snowmobile last year, but the lake wasn't frozen during our visit.

Note: No boat docks are available – beach or anchor off-shore at your own risk. Also, check weather conditions before heading out for your adventure.

Note: Respect the private property signs.

Fee:
Hiawatha National Forest fee: $5/person
Round Trip Ferry (this includes the above fee): $23/adult, $15/ages 6-12, $10/bicycle
Bus Tour: $30/adult, $15/ages 11-0
Single Kayak Rental: $50/day
Tandem Kayak Rental: $75/day
Mountain Bike Rental: $30/day
Child Trailer Rental for the bike: $20/day

Ferry Address: 8016 Grand Island Landing Rd, Munising

3. Pictured Rocks Cruise

Pictured Rocks Cruises are offered from mid-May through mid-October, with three different cruise options.

The narrated tours vary from 2 hours to 2 hours and 40 minutes in length and highlight the history of the tour boat, local facts, and points of interest.

Cruises are the best way to view the natural wonders of the unique sandstone formations and the waterfalls that flow into Lake Superior.

Temperatures on the lake are often 10-15 degrees cooler versus being on shore. Plan to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Also, feel free to bring your snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on board.

Cruise ships, boats, or kayaking is the only want to see Spray Falls. Check out the Spray Fall Cruise!

Tip: Selecting a mid-afternoon to the late-evening tour will give you the best photography opportunities.

Note – seating is first-come, first-served, so line up early for the best choice. Plan to arrive 30 to 45 minutes before your departure time in the peak months of July and August.

Note – restrooms are available on the boat.

Fee:
Adults: $42-$50
Children 12-4: $14
Children under 4: $1

Address: 100 City Park Dr, Munising

Rock_Formation_from_Pictured_Rocks_Cruise

4. Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour 

Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tours runs tours rain or shine, the last weekend in May through the last weekend in September. Reservations are recommended at least a day in advance. Best viewing occurs on cloudy days.

The two-hour-long, narrated tour takes you to shipwreck Bermuda and shipwreck Herman H. Hettler, and it provides an up-close view of the East Channel Lighthouse (located on Grand Island).

The shipwrecks are about 10-20 below the water's surface. The water sometimes allows us to see 45 below the water's surface.

Similar to other boat tours, plan to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You are permitted to bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on board.

Fee:
Adults: $38
Senior Citizen/Military: $34
Children 12 and under: $14
Children 5 and under: $1

Address: 1204 Commercial St #1354, Munising

5. Riptide Ride

The Riptide Ride is a high-speed boat ride that takes you on a thrilling 25-mile-long tour that offers a unique perspective of the stunning 300′ high cliffs, rock formations, lighthouses, and waterfalls on Grand Island.

The excursion lasts approximately 90 minutes, and informative commentary about the area's history and natural features is shared throughout the ride.

This adventure is not for the faint of heart – there will be spins and turns throughout the ride, and you will get wet.

Photography is encouraged, but have a protective sleeve for your camera. Bring a raincoat or poncho to minimize how wet you will get.

Fee:
Adults: $45
Children 9-3: $35
Children under three are not allowed

Address: 1309 Commercial Street, Munising

Lighthouse_on_Grand_Island

6. Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls is a stunning natural attraction located in Munising. The 30′ high falls are part of the Munising Creek and are known for their horseshoe shape, which gives them their name.

Visitors can access the beautiful waterfall via a short hike (400 feet) through the woods. Besides visiting the waterfall, there is a Rainbow Trout Pond, Gnome Scavenger Hunt, Botanical Garden, and picnic area.

The trail is accessible, and leashed pets are welcome.

The fee is a little steep, but the falls are pretty!

Fee:
Adult: $10
Senior Citizen/Military: $8
Children age 12 to 3: $7
Children ages two and under are free

Address: 602 Bell Avenue, Munising

A view of Horseshoe Falls. One of the many things to do in Munising, Michigan.

7. Pictured Rocks via Kayaking 

Pictured Rocks Kayaking Tours provide an up close and personal view of the Pictured Rocks Shoreline. Multiple companies can provide full-day, half-day, and 2-hour tours along the shoreline. Evening tours are also available.

Dress in layers and be prepared for rain or cold weather. Depending on the tour, you may also be required to bring snacks or lunch.

Fees vary depending on the kayak tour company. The minimum age also varies from 5 and up to 8 and up.

Kayaking_in_Lake_Superior_at_Pictured_Rocks

8. Bay Furnace Ruins Historic Site and Interpretive Trail

This site is part of the Hiawatha National Forest. Once parked, you will find a 1/8 mile accessible trail loops around the blast furnace ruins.

This furnace made pig iron between 1870 and 1877 and is one of the last remaining blast furnaces in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

At the Bay Furnace Ruins Site, fifty campsites are available ($22/night). The beach is rugged, but the park is a great place to enjoy a sunrise, sunset, or, if you are lucky, the northern lights!

Bonus – The site provides excellent views of Lake Superior and Grand Island.

The site is about 5 miles west of Munising off of M-28 (past the Town of Christmas). The site is open from May 15th to Columbus Day. 

Fee: The National Park Service Pass covers the cost of using this park.

9. Miners Fall Mini Golf

Miners Fall Mini Golf is an 18-hole championship mini golf course with nine water obstacles, rivers, a pond, a fountain, and waterfalls.

If mini golf isn't your thing, you could always enjoy a premium ice cream treat!

Fees: Over 10 years old: $8, 4-10 years old $5, under 4 years old is free

Address: E9558 State Highway M28 E, Munising

10. Hiawatha National Forest

If the Lake Superior shoreline is busy, head inland to check out the forest and small inland lands of the Hiawatha National Forest. There are ample, well-marked hiking trails waiting for you to explore. Some tracks are open for ATV use.

The fall colors are outstanding in this area, and rustic camping is available. The summer months are also a great time to explore the area, never know, you might even spot some bald eagles!

Fee: The National Forest property requires a pass. The National Park Service pass works for this site. 

11. Spur Valley

Spur Valley is a beautiful and peaceful destination about 5 miles west of Munising in the Hiawatha National Forest.

The valley is a favorite destination for cross-country skiers, hikers, and mountain & snow bike enthusiasts.

Two parking lots are available for accessing trails. The main parking lot is at the lodge and provides access to ski, snowshoe, and mountain bike trails. The upper parking lot accesses ski trails and snow bike trails.

Fee: National Forest property requires a pass. The National Park Service pass works for this site.

Address (to lodge parking lot): E8017 State Highway M-94, Munising

Free Munising Attractions

There are several free things to do while visiting Munising, making it an affordable destination for travelers on a budget. Waterfalls are popular destinations that are free to visit, and the Mountain Bike Park is one of the best in the state.

12. Wagner Falls

Wagner Falls is located south of Munising on M-94, near the M-84 junction. Visitors can find a small parking area off the shoulder of the main road.

Once parked, you will see the trailhead near the right end of the parking lot. The 5-10 minute walk along the trail leads to the 20′ high beautiful falls.

Wagner_Falls_in_Munising

13. Alger Falls

Alger Falls is at the intersection of M-94 and M-84. When leaving Wagner Falls, head north, and you will see Alger Falls across the road just to the right when you are at the stop sign.

There is no dedicated parking for this waterfall; instead, park on the shoulder to view this cascading waterfall.

Alger Falls located near the edge of the road and largely hidden by trees.

14. Munising Mountain Biking Park

The Munising Mountain Biking Park is a popular destination for mountain bikers of all skill levels. The park features numerous singletrack trails through the scenic forest, a bike repair station, a vault toilet, and a trail map.

The park's trails range from easy to challenging, making it an excellent destination for families and individuals.

The park's terrain features natural rock formations, bridges, and berms, providing mountain bikers with an exciting and challenging ride.

The park is located on M28 just south of the Hillside Party Store.

15. Pictured Rocks Interpretive Center

The Pictured Rocks Interpretive Center is a good place to start for anyone visiting the area. The interpretive center is an interagency cooperative between the National Park Service and the US Forest Service.

It provides a plethora of information on all the public lands in the area (Pictured Rocks, Grand Island NRA, Hiawatha National Forest, and Seney NWR).

The center offers a video, exhibits, and displays that give visitors an overview of the area's geology, ecology, and cultural history.

Visitors can learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area, the logging and mining industries that helped shape the local economy, and the unique geologic features of the Pictured Rocks.

There is also a gift shop for those looking to take home a memento.

Address: 100 W Munising Avenue, Munising

16. Scott Falls

Scott Falls is one of the more minor falls in the area, standing at only about 10 feet tall. The waterfall, seen from the highway, features water flowing over a sandstone cliff into a small shallow water pool.

Scott Falls is unique because you can walk under the falls, which creates exciting pictures.

The falls are situated along M-28, near the town of Au Train, making them easily accessible to anyone driving in the area. H.J. Rathfoot State Roadside Park is located nearly across from the waterfall.

The roadside park has a lovely beach and restrooms.

Scott_Falls_in_Munising

17. Munising Front and Rear Range Lighthouse

Established in 1907, the Front and Rear Range Lighthouses shine continuously lit red light. Both are painted white; the rear light stands 33 feet high, while the front light stands 58 feet tall.

The front light is currently under restoration. Both sites are open to the public, but the towers are closed.

Address: Hemlock Street in Munising.

18. Alger County Heritage Center

The Heritage Center is a non-profit located in an old school building.

Visitors can learn about the Native American tribes that once inhabited the area, the logging and mining industries that helped shape the local economy, and the cultural traditions of the region's early settlers.

The center also hosts events and activities throughout the year and is free to visit. Plan to spend about an hour viewing everything.

Address: 1496 Washington St., Munising

Nighttime Activities in Munising

Despite its small size, Munising offers plenty of options for evening activities. From enjoying a stunning set, star gazing, or enjoying a cold brew, there are plenty of evening activities to keep you busy.

19. Star gazing/ Northern Lights viewing

The dark skies in the Munising area provide excellent conditions for stargazing and a chance to see the Northern Lights.

Head to a secluded spot in PRNL (Grand Portal Point, Miners Beach, or Twelvemile Beach) or along M-28 between Munising and Marquette to enjoy the ever-changing sky.

The Northern Lights are more likely to be seen between August and April. The peak months are April, October and November. The Northern Lights appear more often on clear, crisp, cold nights.

20. Enjoy a cold brew

Located in downtown Munising, you can find East Channel Brewing and ByGeorge Brewing, which offer rotating craft brews and ales. Bring your food/snacks and enjoy them on one of the cozy outdoor patios.

21. Admire the views on an evening tour

Schedule an evening kayak tour or rent a pontoon boat to spend the end of the relaxing. Or better yet, have someone else do all the work and book an evening cruise of the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore.

What a perfect activity to end the day!

Munising_Sunset

Visiting Munising: FAQs

While Munising is a small town, you will find endless activities to immerse yourself in during your stay, regardless of the season.

What are some winter activities in Munising?

The winter season is a fantastic time to explore Munising. The crowds are smaller than in the summer, but finding accommodations is more challenging. Plan to book a hotel early if you want to stay in Munising.

With over 300 miles of well-groomed snowmobiling trails, Munising is a premium destination for snowmobile enthusiasts.

Some winter activities in the Munising area include:

  • Ski or Snowshoe along the trails at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (PRNL)
  • Snowmobiling on closed PRNL roads and other local trails
  • Ice Fish in the Munising Bay
  • Ice Climb or explore Ice cliffs along the PRNL or Grand Island
Ice_Climbing_at_Pictured_Rocks

What are some nighttime activities in Munising?

After a long day of enjoying area activities, consider some lower-paced activities to complete your day.

Some evening activities in the Munising area include:

  • Star gazing/ Northern Lights viewing
  • Enjoy a cold brew
  • Savor the views on a boat tour

How long should you spend in Munising?

Suppose you're interested in exploring the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and participating in outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and fishing. Planning a few days in Munising to appreciate the area's natural beauty would be best.

However, a two-day trip can be a great option if you're passing through and want to see some of the town's highlights.

Two days would give you enough time to see some of the local waterfalls, take a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks, and visit some local breweries or restaurants.

Are there any underwater preserves near Munising?

Yes, Alger Underwater Preserve is located near Munising and offers opportunities for underwater exploration and preservation of marine life.

Where can I find more information about Munising?

For comprehensive information regarding Munising, you can refer to the Munising Visitors Bureau.

Munising Accommodations

Munising has a variety of hotel options to suit every budget and preference. Ultimately, you will need to decide if you want to be within walking distance of activities, restaurants, or a quiet place with great views.

In the summer, we camp at the Munising Tourist Park Campground – it's a great basic campground that sits right on Lake Superior and provides awesome sunsets! I shared a photo right before the FAQ's!

✔️Budget Suggestion

Alger Falls Motel offers affordable rooms near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The rooms at Alger Falls Motel are clean and spacious, equipped with all the necessary amenities such as cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning. Outside, there is a picnic area with a fire pit.

✔️ Luxury Suggestion

The Roam Inn is a charming 5-star boutique hotel located in downtown Munising. The inn features stylish and cozy guest rooms that offer all the modern amenities guests expect, including comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, and high-speed internet access.

The hotel features family rooms, and selected rooms come with a balcony. 

The Roam Inn also offers a variety of common areas for guests to enjoy, including a lounge area with a fireplace, a restaurant and a bar, and a sun terrace.

The inn's location in downtown Munising makes it an excellent base for exploring the area's attractions.

Sandstone_Cliff_along_Lake_Superior

Final Thoughts: Things To Do In Munising

Munising, Michigan, is a hidden gem with plenty of exciting things to do for visitors of all ages. From exploring the breathtaking Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to participating in outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and fishing, there is something for everyone in Munising.

Additionally, the town has several unique attractions like the Glass Bottom Boat Shipwreck Tours and breweries serving craft beers and ales. Visitors can also enjoy the town's many restaurants and shops.

With various lodging options available, from budget-friendly motels to luxury hotels or camping, visitors can easily make Munising their home base for exploring the area.

Munising is a destination that everyone looking for natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere should notice.

If you are looking for other nearby destinations, check out Christmas, which has a casino and outdoor activities. If you need a bigger town, head to Marquette or Manistique.

Choose the image(s) that resonate with you to pin to your travel board on Pinterest!

Images of: Lighthouse on Grand Island, Kayaking in Lake Superior, Waterfall, Grand Island Boat
Munising Waterfall
Waterfall, view of pictured rocks from boat, view of Lake Superior with beach, waves, and rock formations along shoreline

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