12 Unique Things to Do in St. Ignace, Michigan

St. Ignace is a wonderful jumping off spot to stay if you’re interested in exploring the eastern side of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s within striking distance of many of the tourist attractions in the area.

Plus, the gas and lodging costs are reasonable compared to some of the other more popular UP destinations.

But did you know there are plenty of unique and fun things to do within St. Ignace itself?

After spending a long weekend at Straits State Park, we discovered a lot of really unique and interesting things to do.

Here are 12 Unique Things to Do in St. Ignace, Michigan:

1 – View the Northern Lights

The sun has been especially active this summer giving us lots more opportunities to view the aurora than normal. St. Ignace is far enough north to have a front row seat to this beautiful phenomenon and several people have been fortunate enough to capture the lights dancing over Mackinaw Bridge.

You don’t have to drive very far away from the town lights to be able to enjoy the aurora. If you’d like to see our Aurora Adventure, you can watch the below video!

Chasing the Aurora! Bucket List Item - See the Northern Lights at Whitefish Point!

2 – Mystery Spot, N916 Martin Lake Rd, St Ignace, MI 49781

You will begin to see billboards advertising the Mystery Spot well before crossing the bridge. This gravity-defying spot was discovered in the early 1950’s by surveyors whose equipment didn’t work properly there. They also noticed they felt lightheaded in the area.

This spot has now been turned into a tourist experience where a tall person seems small, balls roll up hill, and you can climb a wall and tilt dangerously in the air without falling. The Mystery Spot also features zip lines, a maze, mini golf, game arcade, and a souvenir shop.

This location is especially fun if you visit with children or with a group so you can enjoy seeing other people’s reactions.

3 – Boondock in Hiawatha National Forest

This national forest is a 894,836-acre forest which is an excellent place for hiking, boating, biking, wildlife viewing, and more.

There are also plenty of areas where dispersed camping is allowed. This is a great way to get out even more into nature than what a campground allows. If your setup allows you to go without electricity, consider giving boondocking a try for a unique experience!

Want this beautiful picture of the Mighty Mac in your home? Learn More!

4 – Pictures of Mackinac Bridge from the Other Side

Mackinaw City is a popular destination and many pictures you see of the bridge are taken from this location. St. Ignace will give you a more unique vantage point of this beloved icon.

The pic below was taken from within Straits State Park near the beach. They also have an overlook where you can take photos.

5 – Historic St. Ignace Walking Tour

On a sunny day, it’s pleasant to walk along the waterfront boardwalk through downtown St. Ignace. At the south end, you will enjoy the Chief Wawatam Lighthouse.

There is also a splash pad, restaurants, marinas, and plenty of shopping. If you’re interested in the history of this area, check out this 40-page booklet by the Michilimackinac Historical Society.

6 – Father Marquette Memorial, Boulevard Drive, St. Ignace, MI 49781

The Father Marquette Memorial is located in the Straits State Park on the opposite side of the highway from the campground. Visitors will learn about Father Jacques Marquette and about French and Native American cultures in the 17th-century deep in the North American interior.

Besides the memorial, there is also an interpretive trail which has a Mackinac Bridge overlook.

7 – Museum of Ojibwa Culture, 500 N. State Street, St. Ignace, Michigan 49781

This museum was a lovely surprise for us. It contains indoor and outdoor exhibits that give visitors a glimpse into the Ojibwa culture and the lifestyles of the Huron.

This is also where the French Jesuit Mission was located, where Father Marquette resided, and is the final resting place for Father Jacques Marquette. We learned a lot of history when visiting this museum and had our eyes opened about some of the struggles that took place in the area.

This museum is donation based and is worth a visit!

If you’d like to see inside the museum as well as other St. Ignace sites, you can watch the video below.

We've Learned A Lot About Weekend Trips - Here's What We've Found Out!

8 – Hike the North Country Trail

The North Country National Scenic Trail is the longest in the National Trails System, stretching 4,800 miles across eight states from North Dakota to Vermont. It cuts all the way through Michigan from the bottom to the top and we enjoy hiking on it whenever it passes through an area we’re visiting.

The trail passes through Straits State Park and passes by this unique overlook of the Mackinaw Bridge.

Want to see us these views of Mackinac Bridge yourself? Check out the video below!

UNIQUE Views of the Mackinac Bridge + North Country Trail from Upper Peninsula

9 – Mackinac Island

This is one of our absolute favorite destinations of all time and is visible from St. Ignace. You can take ferries over to the island from St. Ignace or Mackinaw City. We highly recommend at least a day trip to the island if you’re in St. Ignace for any length of time.

We have several posts about Mackinac Island on our site. You can learn our tips for newbies or read about our favorite things to do on the island.

10 – Castle Rock, N2690 Castle Rock Rd, St Ignace, MI 49781

This is one of those tourist attractions that has been around for ages. We have memories of climbing Castle Rock when we were children and the pic below is when we took our sons years ago.

The rock is 200 feet above the surrounding area and it provides a stunning view of Mackinac Island, Lake Huron and the surrounding area. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs to get to the top.

It doesn’t take long to explore everything at this location but it’s fun for kids.

11 – Deer Ranch, 1540 W. US 2, St. Ignace, MI 49781

Deer ranch feature dozens of native Michigan Whitetail Deer and fawns including white deer all in a natural setting which you can photograph and feed while walking along a nature trail. They even have albino deer!

Call ahead to see if you can help bottle feed some of the fawns.

12 – Fort De Buade Museum334 N. State St., St. Ignace, MI 49781

The Fort de Buade museum began as the collection of Dr. Benson, a doctor from Lansing. He collected Native American artifacts his entire life and had 2,500 items of historical value by the time of his death.

His wife sold his collection to the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians who then donated them to the city of St. Ignace.

This museum is run by donations and even includes the famous Newberry Stones. You can read more about the museum here.

St. Ignace is a beautiful town that’s packed with history and lots of activities for nature enthusiasts. It’s a hidden gem for sure. We highly recommend giving this town a try the next time you want to venture into Michigan’s upper peninsula.

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