Why is solo travel so taboo in the Latinx community? I remember telling my parents that I was going to travel to Central America by myself for the first time, and they thought I was out of my mind. They were not supportive in the beginning. Perhaps it’s because our culture has such a huge sense of community and often does things in groups – with families, couples or friends. Hence, a solo trip can be seen as strange. But despite my parents’ initial disapproval, I can wholeheartedly say that traveling on my own has been one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done as a Latina woman.
So, in hopes of helping other women feel empowered as solo travelers, I want to share a custom solo travel itinerary for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Michigan is one of the best states to travel to on your own. There are a variety of amazing things to do that are adventurous, relaxing and most importantly, safe. Here’s my solo traveler’s guide to visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!
1. Visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
One of the most beautiful places in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Located on the south shore of Lake Superior, you’ll find the majestic Pictured Rocks cliffs; a road trip to the Upper Peninsula isn’t complete without a visit to the park. From hiking and kayaking to lighthouse chasing, there is something for everyone at this stunning national park.
2. Take a Hike at Tahquamenon Falls State Park
If you love waterfalls, you must check out Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This state park is home to the largest waterfall at 50 feet tall and 200 feet wide. It’s also known for its noticeably brown water, which is why it’s also nicknamed “Root Beer Falls.” There are two main waterfalls in the park: Upper Falls (the largest waterfall) and Lower Falls.
If you’re up for a big adventure, you can hike from the Upper Falls to the Lower Falls via the River Trail. This hike can be strenuous depending on the time of year and trail conditions but offers beautiful scenic views. It follows alongside the root beer–colored river.
3. Kayak Between the U.S. and Canada Border
Visit Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in Michigan founded in 1668. Here you can go kayaking along the St. Mary’s River which straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. You might even see a big steamer on your way toward the Soo Locks.
4. Go on a Lighthouse Tour
There are tons of unique lighthouses in the Upper Peninsula with amazing scenery and views. You can choose to do a self-drive tour visiting the lighthouses that appeal the most to you and explore at your own leisure or join a guided group tour. There are boat tours that depart from Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinaw City (located on the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula) that take you past some of the coolest lighthouses.
5. Enjoy the Scenery of the Kitch-iti-kipi Freshwater Spring
Want to see one of the most popular natural wonders in Michigan? Head to Kitch-iti-kipi, the state’s largest freshwater spring! Kitch-iti-kipi means “big spring” in the Ojibwe Indigenous language. It lives up to its name as it is 40 feet deep and 200 feet across – and at a constant temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. You can explore on a human-powered raft that allows you to glide across the crystal-clear spring.
So, if you’re up for a solo adventure, this is your sign to take the leap. It can be intimidating at first, so I always encourage others to start small. Traveling solo is a great way to get your feet wet, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has so much to offer. From picturesque waterfalls, various hiking trails of all levels and tons of natural beauty, this is where you’ll find it all. Solo experiences that push you out of your comfort zone are some of the most empowering.
Visit michigan.org for more details on how you can make the most of your solo trip.