Summer, glorious summer. There’s no better time to explore the Fresh Coast. Blue skies, crystal clear waters, and long summer days stretched out in front of you to enjoy.
Make the most of your morning with breakfast at Bodega, where everything is freshly baked and locally sourced (when possible), including just-out-of-the-oven breads and fresh-squeezed juices for cocktails. Speaking of cocktails, Bodega has a full bar so you can sip a Mimosa or Paloma with your Huevos Rancheros or El Zorro Burrito.
Dive into some Fresh Coast history at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. The iconic red building is not only the perfect photo op, it also houses historical artifacts including the largest collection of Fresnel lenses on the Great Lakes, and an exhibit on shipwrecks and life-saving feats on Lake Superior, including the Edmund Fitzgerald. Take the guided tour, which includes a footbridge to the lookout. It’s worth the price of admission alone.
You’ll find summer’s bounty in abundance at the Saturday Farmers Market. Stroll the tables and fill your basket full of fresh-picked goodness: berries, baked goods, homemade jams, hand-rolled pretzels, and more. Swing by the Marquette Co-Op to pick up additional provisions and you’ve got the makings for an afternoon picnic.
BIG BAY CRUISE
Head out of town on 550 towards Big Bay for a leisurely afternoon cruise. Find the perfect picnic table and unpack your spread at Perkins Park on Lake Independence. Enjoy the walking trail and observation deck in this peaceful park, and if you’re feeling up for it, even a nice, relaxing dip.
SCENIC VISTAS & WATERFALLS
On your way back to Marquette, turn off 550 onto 510 and stop at Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook. This mellow one-mile stroll along a wide, flat gravel and paved trail offers big rewards with stunning above-the-treetop views of Big Bay, Lake Superior, and on a clear day, the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Continue cruising down 510 until it turns to dirt. After crossing the Yellow Dog River, park and follow the trail less than a mile down to Yellow Dog Falls. The sound of the rushing water will let you know you’re close. Surrounded by a lush green forest in the McCormick Wilderness, these spectacular falls are fairly easy to reach and refreshingly cold on a summer’s day. If you are up for a longer trek, several more sets of falls await you another mile or two in.
DINNER WITH A VIEW
Once you are out of the woods, head downtown for dinner at Iron Bay Drinkery, housed in an old brick foundry, with superior food and views of the Lower Harbor and historic Ore Dock. Sit on the patio and start with the smoked whitefish dip, served with watermelon rind pickles and sesame crackers. Then dig into a hearty burger or whitefish your way: chowder, tacos, tots, sammie, or fried with chips. Pair with a local brew or craft cocktail with fresh herbs from Iron Bay’s herb garden.
For a unique experience, head to Superior Culture, Marquette’s own small-batch kombucha house. If you have never tried this healthy, fermented tea before, order a flight of “booch” to discover your new favorite.
With 10 rotating taps featuring seasonal beer, cider, mead and seltzers made with fresh-pressed, organic and wild (when possible) ingredients—with alcoholic and nonalcoholic options—you never know what you might find, but you can be sure it will be delicious and refreshing.
Cap your evening off with a stargazing stroll along the shoreline at Presque Isle Park, or head 15 minutes down M-28 to Lake Superior Roadside Park. With lights of the city some distance away, and dark skies across the lake, turn your gaze upwards for a stellar view of the celestial skies.