I often get asked about what to do in the Munising area, specifically for historical stuff. So today I’ve decided to come up with a list of area attractions or sites that detail Munising’s history. The location and admission is noted. (If you know of any others, please let me know and I’ll post them on here.)
Alger County Heritage Center
The heritage center offers a detailed look into the area’s history with its photographs, artifacts and Munising Woodenware collection. The museum also features an 1830s American Fur Trader log cabin that was moved from Grand Island. The cabin has been accurately furnished with authentic reproduction items to give visitors a true feel of what life was like for a fur trader. A new blacksmith shop was added recently and demonstrations are given during the summer (Call for schedule).
Details: Free admission – donations accepted; Open year-round Tues.-Sat. Noon-3pm;
Phone: (906) 387-4308
Location: Follow H-58 north of Munising. Then turn left on to Washington St. (Sand Point Rd.). Left side of the road.
Au Sable Light Station
Constructed in 1873-1874, this Lake Superior lighthouse once assisted vessels in making their way along the Lake Superior shoreline. During the summer months, the National Park Service offers 30-40 min. narrated tours of the lighthouse and grounds. The station is a 1.5 mile walk (one way) east of the lower Hurricane River Campground and there are a few bus tours during the summer for a small fee.
Details: $3 admission fee; Wed. thru Sun., June 3rd – Sept. 6th; 11am-5pm
Phone: (906) 387-3700
Location: 12 miles west of Grand Marais off H-58. Parking is located at the lower Hurricane River Campground and then follow the 1.5 mile trail to the lighthouse.
Bay Furnace Campground & Picnic Area
Back in 1869, this picturesque site was once a prosperious town called Onota and had a population of about 500 people. After fire destroyed this iron-smelting town, in 1877, the only remains left are the iron kiln ruins. This is a great spot to relax and enjoy the scenery plus learn a little about the area with its interpretative signs.
Details: Free access to historic site and picnic area, camping extra cost.
Location: Located 5 miles west of Munising in the town of Christmas. Access road just across the street from the casino.
Glass Bottom Boat Shipwreck Tours
This unique attraction offers viewers the chance to see actual shipwrecks resting on the Lake Superior bottom. The 2-hour, narrated tour passes over 3 different shipwrecks in Munising Bay. Learn the history and see artifacts from actual shipwrecks! The tour also includes a brief history of Grand Island and a close-up of the historic Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse. Rain or shine, this trip is definitely worth the money.
Details: Adult and children admission fees; Open end of May thru first of October; View Explore Munising listing.
Phone: (906) 387-4477
Location: Follow M-28 (Munising Ave.) west of the light and continue past the high school. Turn right on Bayview Dr. and then left on Commercial St. Look for the billboard and sign.
Grand Island Bus Tour
Grand Island is located 1/2 mile from the main land and features an interesting history unique to the area. After a short ferry ride to the island, take the ALTRAN bus tour’s 2 – 2 1/2 hour tour to learn about the cultural history of the island and see breath-taking overlooks and beaches. The narrated tours makes frequent stops along the way and the bus is handicap accessible.
Details: Adult and children admission fees: Runs mid June thru Labor Day; View Explore Munising listing.
Phone: (906) 387-4845
Location: Ferry is located off M-28 west of Munising on Grand Island Rd. Just past the Holiday Inn Express on the hill.
Also, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has some great info on these sites and attractions. Check it out here.