Travelers can add U.P. arts and culture adventures to trip plans

November 2, 2016  |  by Bonifas Arts Center

Lonely Planet, the long-trusted travel-guide publisher, recently named Michigan’s Upper Peninsula one of the best travel destinations in the world for 2017 in a “Top 10 Value” list of “bargains for the budget-conscious.”

Lonely Planet rightly noted the U.P.’s stunning array of water, woods, and shore, suggesting visitors experience, for instance, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and Isle Royale National Park in a region with “some of the country’s oldest forests,” “hardwood forests blanketing 90% of its land,” “hundreds of miles of beaches and lakeshore,” and “more than 300 waterfalls.”

Generally, these attractions, as national and state parks, have little to no cost and exceptional workers who will provide as much education as visitors can absorb about topics like the forest itself and birdcalls, also offering additional ideas about what to experience, said Tom Nemacheck, executive director of the Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association. “We are truly an affordable wilderness area,” he said.

While enjoying the U.P.’s spectacular natural wonders, trip-planners should not overlook the region’s plentiful restaurants and brewpubs serving up local flavor and warm hospitality. Visitors can continue their exploration by visiting the recently created Upper Peninsula Arts and Culture map at The map—designed for easy usability on smartphones—can guide the curious to galleries, studios, museums, historic sites, concerts, theaters, heritage sites and more.

These alone are trip-worthy or could be an additional activity or inspiring highlight of any trip to the U.P., said Pasqua Warstler, artistic director of the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba.

The U.P. has “tremendous historical attractions” preserving mining, Native American, natural, and fishing history, including the Keweenaw National Historical Park, dedicated to understanding Keweenaw copper mining (, said Nemacheck.

Lonely Planet’s high ranking of the U.P. isn’t a surprise, said Nemacheck, since other publications with an international scope have singled out the U.P. in the past.


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