By Jenna and Micah Kvidt
Marquette, Michigan is an outdoor adventure lover’s paradise. During our three-day visit to the region, we found out that—rain or shine—there’s always something exciting to do in Marquette. We explored stunning waterfalls, art, spacious restaurant and brewery patios, beaches, lighthouses, hiking trails, and lookouts. Marquette is the perfect place to get away from it all, and we could tell in an instant that our visit was going to be a memorable one!
We arrived in Marquette just in time for lunch, so our first stop was straight to one of the best patios in town: Sol Azteca. With 2nd floor views overlooking Lake Superior, we dined on delicious Mexican fare, while excitedly planning out our day.
There are plenty of trails to explore on Mt. Marquette, and we couldn’t wait to set our eyes on the views from the Mt. Marquette Overlook. As we hiked the secluded trails leading to the top, the path suddenly gave way to rocky outcrops with expansive views. We felt the cool breeze brush across our faces as we soaked up panoramic views of Lake Superior and Marquette.
We felt the cool breeze brush across our faces as we soaked up panoramic views of Lake Superior and Marquette.
To get in our art fix, we then made our way over to Lakenenland Sculpture Park. The sculptures were all created from scrap metal by Tom Lakenen. As we explored, we encountered towering works of art and quirky sculptures around every turn. It felt as though we were walking through a forest wonderland!
We couldn’t resist exploring Marquette’s brewery scene, so our next stop was the expansive patio at Blackrocks Brewery. Sipping on tasty brews and soaking up the sunshine peeking through the clouds was a relaxing afternoon treat.
Just as we left Black Rocks Brewery the rain started to fall, so we couldn’t enjoy one of the many patios in town for dinner. Instead, we went to the takeout only Thai restaurant, Rice Paddy. It came highly recommended by many locals and they didn’t let us down—it was delicious!
The next morning, we woke up to cloudy skies and more rain. We debated what to do and decided we might as well grab our rain jackets and hit the trails regardless of the weather. Boy, was that a fantastic choice! Waterfalls are still beautiful in the rain; plus, the moody weather added to the magic of the falls. Even though popular song lyrics told us not to, we spent our day chasing waterfalls. But, with an abundance of waterfalls near town, how could we not!?
After fueling up on bagels and coffee from Third Street Bagel, we set out for a day full of waterfall adventures. The five waterfalls we visited were Yellow Dog Falls, Big Pup Creek Falls, Alder Falls, Wright Street Falls, Morgan Creek Falls. To get to each of the falls, we journeyed through towering trees, and ventured across bridges and streams. Each time we got close to the falls we could hear the roaring rush of the water before even setting eyes on them. Time after time, the sight of the water cascading down the rocky river was a sight to behold.
Before we knew it, it was already time for dinner, and we had another restaurant on our list to check out. We ate at Iron Bay Restaurant and Drinkery, and we loved their burgers as well as the fresh whitefish straight from Lake Superior.
To end the night, we popped into Barrel + Beam for a couple of Farmhouse Ales. The Rightful Cider, Blanc Du Nord, and Synergy are three very different brews, but equally delicious. The inside of the brewery is cozy and cabin-like, but they have a fun outdoor patio, too.
On our last full day in town, we woke up to shining sun and bright blue skies! The beautiful weather meant we could enjoy another patio, so we high-tailed it to 231 West Patisserie for coffee and pastries on the deck. Then it was time for more Marquette adventures.
This time around, we made our way to Wetmore Landing for a morning full of hiking, paddling, and relaxing on the beach. We were excited to go for a paddle in the calm, crystal-clear waters of Lake Superior, so we set up our SUP and kayak and set out to explore. One of our favorite aspects of Lake Superior is the fascinating coastal features around every corner. We paddled next to giant boulders, rocky shores, forests, and hidden beaches.
After we could paddle no more, we relaxed on the sand, soaking up the warmth of the sun. Then, to add one more adventure into our morning, we set out on the nearby trails to do some hiking.
Soon our tummies started to rumble, so we made the short drive back into town to dine under the old theater marquee at Delft Bistro. Afterwards, we walked around Marquette’s adorable downtown to explore murals, sculptures, art galleries, and local boutiques. Throughout our three days in town, we managed to stop at a few cozy coffee shops, as well. BabyCakes Muffin Company, Contrast Coffee Co., and Velodrome Coffee Company were our favorites.
We couldn’t resist squeezing in one more nature filled adventure into our day, and Thomas Rock Overlook was calling our names. We love checking out the expansive views from an overlook, and this one was no exception. As we hiked the loop trail to the overlook, we took the opportunity to slow down and learn about the land surrounding us through the informational signs along the trail. The trail is an easy walk, and at the overlook, you will find a couple of perfectly situated picnic tables to sit at and soak up the amazing views. We enjoyed gazing at the lush green forests, vivid blue skies, and deep blue lakes in every direction.
Eventually, we had to pull ourselves away from the views to grab one last dinner in town at DIGS Gastropub. The newly opened DIGS City Beach is a back patio that offers tasty food and drinks in a relaxed, sunny atmosphere. It’s like a mini beach getaway right in the heart of downtown Marquette.
To close our last evening in town, we decided we had to get some night photos because Marquette has some of the best star viewing that we’ve ever witnessed. We didn’t have to drive far outside of town for the beautiful skies to shine, and we were amazed at the brightness of both the Milky Way and the NEOWISE comet!
Saying farewell to Marquette and all the friendly locals we met along the way was not easy, so we stretched out our last morning in town as long as possible. We popped into Cafe Bodega for a wonderful breakfast of local food made from scratch. Then, we made a stop at McCarty’s Cove for one last beach view of Lake Superior and a peek at the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.
Marquette offers all of our favorite things to do in a destination: a variety of outdoor adventures, beautiful scenery, a wide range of intriguing art, and great restaurants, breweries and coffee shops. After just three days in town, we can tell that Marquette will be a destination we return to again and again.