7 Hidden Gems in the Upper Peninsula

With so many unique things to do and places to see in the Wolverine State, it can be a tough task crafting your itinerary. Venture off the beaten beat with our list of the top hidden gems in Michigan. Trust us; you won’t want to miss out on these incredible secrets!

If you want to make the most of your trip here, be sure to request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide!

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Discover The Top Hidden Gems in Michigan

Upper Peninsula

Chapel Rock

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is home to miles of Upper Peninsula shoreline, but a few locations stand out from the rest. Although this area is famous for striking pictures of Lake Superior waves crashing against the smooth rock formations, Chapel Rock is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Michigan. You’ll need to venture down a gravel road to the Chapel Basin Parking Lot. From that point, it’s a three-mile hike to the secluded beach where the majestic rock juts into the lake. 

Ocqueoc Falls

The UP is overflowing with gorgeous waterfalls. While Tahquamenon Falls draws most of the attention, you won’t want to miss Ocqueoc Falls. Not only does this small, beautiful cascade of water offer a spot to enjoy the tranquility of nature, but you can also play in the water (which is especially handy if you have little ones with you). 


If you stumbled across Kitch-iti-kipi, you might not even realize the significance of this small, tranquil pond. This Michigan hidden gem is the largest freshwater spring in the state at over 40 feet deep. The water is crystal clear, offering a look at the ancient tree roots and fish mingling in the pond.

Les Cheneaux Islands

Lack of easy accessibility makes this small chain of 36 islands one of the top hidden gems in Michigan. Les Cheneaux Islands offers tons of outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, kayaking, and more for families!

West Michigan

Meyer May House

Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Meyer May House deviates from the classic outdoor attractions that call the Wolverine State home. You can tour the house and view the cutting-edge interior and exterior to examine a piece of early 20th-century history.

Gilmore Car Museum

Few people know that America’s largest car museum lies near Kalamazoo on nearly 90 acres of land. The Gilmore Car Museum is home to over 400 vehicles, including rare models like pre-Model T designs. 

Northern Michigan

Arcadia Dunes

If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of Sleeping Bear National Dunes without the crowds, head south to Arcadia Dunes. The stunning golden sands of this gorgeous park are full of 15 miles of biking and hiking trails.

Plan Your Wolverine State Getaway


Discover your dream getaway with Freshwater Vacation Rentals. You can escape to every corner of our great state while staying in one of our incredible properties. Whether you want to explore the great outdoors of the Upper Peninsula or relax on the beaches of West Michigan, you’ll find the perfect accommodations for your family.

Start planning your trip today by booking one of our rentals. We look forward to welcoming you to the Freshwater family!