What to Know Before You Go Up North This Summer

Bring your hiking boots, buy local, and make reservations
up north michigan travel
Aerial photos capture the beauty of Petoskey, one of the Up North communities hoping vacationers wary of long-distance travel will stay in-state this summer.

The coronavirus pandemic means this summer Up North won’t be the same as in the past. Here are some tips shared by Northern Michigan entrepreneurs and tourism leaders for what to consider before you and yours venture Up North:

Call ahead!

Or at least do a cursory web search. Your favorite tavern might have adjusted its hours, be offering carry-out only, or maybe even closed. Don’t assume that things last year are things this year.

Let’s make a deal.

Hotels could be operating at about half the usual occupancy, so prices may be noticeably lower. Search different dates to find the best prices.

You’re on your own.

Many big summer events have already been canceled, including the Traverse City Film Festival, the National Cherry Festival, the Interlochen Arts Festival, and the Mackinac Bridge Walk. So, map out your own celebrations as needed.

Reservations, s’il vous plaît.

Many walk-in businesses and attractions, such as restaurants and historic sites, may limit or entirely exclude walk-ins to maintain social distancing. Many plans are still in the works or subject to change. You may have to wait longer to get into certain attractions or even need reservations.

Bring your hiking shoes.

Tourists are encouraged to choose their own adventures – and crowd-free spaces – by getting away from town centers and exploring the countryside.

Buy local, unless you can’t.

Up North businesses including grocers, party stores, and gas stations can really use any extra cash you may have to spend. Then again, some small-town grocers may have supply issues to work through.

What’s best is still the same.

The coronavirus hasn’t affected how beautiful Northern Michigan is. Just be flexible and roll with adjustments while enjoying the sun, shore, and scenery.