More than just a bridge town: 5 things to do in St. Ignace

St. Ignace is often the first stop in Upper Peninsula for visitors after crossing the Mackinac Bridge

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

To some, St. Ignace is simply the town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that is closest to the Mackinac Bridge, or a place to stop briefly before journeying further into the U.P. going north, or going on the bridge if headed south.

But the town along Lake Huron actually has quite a bit to offer someone who wants to spend a day or two there.

Here are five things one can do in St. Ignace.

1. Book a waterfront hotel

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

There are several hotels that back up to Lake Huron with a clear sight of Mackinac Island in the distance. You can book a room with a view of the lake from a patio, and there is usually beaches to walk to from your room as well. You certainly can’t beat the sunrises!

2. Take a walk along the boardwalk

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

There’s a stretch of walkway in town called the Huron Boardwalk, which allows you take walks or bike rides along the edge of Lake Huron. You can not only get views of the water, islands in the distance and a lighthouse, but dream a little bit by looking at the big boats parked at the marina and imagine yourself owning one!

3. Grab a pastie at Lehto’s

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

For those who don’t know, pasties are a staple food in the Upper Peninsula. Pasties are a handheld pastry filled with meat and potatoes, and there’s NO place that does them any better in the U.P. than Lehto’s, which has been around since 1947. There’s a location in downtown, and also the original location a little further west on US-2. They are SO good!

4. Shop/dine downtown

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

There is a walkable downtown with plenty of local shops to get unique Michigan-made apparel and souvenirs. The Indian Village store is especially neat, with an assortment of clothing, artifacts and souvenirs that scream you are “up north” in a place right along the water. In addition, there is no shortage of places to get something to eat or drink.

5. Golf the course with views of the bridge

Photo by Keith Dunlap (GMG)

There aren’t many places you can play golf with views of the Mackinac Bridge in the background, but the St. Ignace Golf & Country Club gives you a chance to do that. It’s only a 9-hole course, but if you are a golfer, it gives an opportunity to get some swings in.

Bonus item - visit the Mystery Spot

OK, we are stretching this to six because of a place called the “Mystery Spot.”

The story with this place is that in the early 1950s, three surveyors from California were exploring the Upper Peninsula when all of a sudden, a spot of land 300 feet in diameter was discovered where their equipment didn’t work properly.

When using a plum-bob, it would always be drawn to the east even though a level was reading level.

The men also had a feeling of being light-headed at the spot, and so the “Mystery Spot” was discovered.

Visitors there today can experience physical sensations and optical contradictions at the spot.

There are also ziplines, a maze and a gift shop, among other activities.

If you have visited St. Ignace, what is your favorite thing to do? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.