My wife & I would like to plan a trip to the UP of Michigan and Wisconsin next spring or summer. We'll have spring break the first week of April then school will be out early June unitl late July (my wife is a school teacher... our kids are too cool to be seen with us).
When would be the best time to visit this area?
We don't want to visit during "spring storm" season... we had a bad camping experience with a storm last spring break.
We're also not looking for snow. We like cool spring temps, but don't want to be snowed in.
The best time is the time you can't go; the last part of August and the first part of September. For temperature averages go to www.weather.com and type in any city.
For where to go do a Google search for the area of interest and add the word `tourism' after it and read what the search provides.
2003 SunnyBrook 27FKS
2011 3/4 T Chevrolet Suburban
One wife, two bikes (both Electric Schwinn's with motor assist)
We travel the UP each and every year from Mackinaw to Ironwood. We go up there the last week of June and the first two weeks of July. We pack for all types of weather. You can experience heat, cold, dry and wet. I think you are safe from snow if you go from mid May until the first of October.
Much better to visit that far north in the summer rather than during spring break time as it's still quite cold. Summers are very beautiful in the U.P. with so much to do and see and there's lots of sunshine with no need for A/C. Days are usually in the upper 70's in June and around 80 in July. Nights are in the mid 50's in June and around 60 in July. Falls are very pleasant.
We live in the Lower Peninsula on the Lake Michigan shoreline about a hundred miles north of the Indiana border and go to the U.P. very often and know what it's like during all 4 seasons. Spring "storms" are few and very far between in the U.P. but you may see some rains. Springtime heavy storms almost always occur several hundred to over a thousand miles south like in Iowa, Southern Illinois, etc, and further south. As for snow storms the first part of April, it can happen but not the norm and you wouldn't be snowed in. They have and USE their very good road equipment and keep the roads well plowed all winter or when it snows. They're used to lots of snow every winter and they know how to deal with it. We've been there more than 50 times in the middle of winter and never came close to being snowed in. Most main roads are quickly cleared right down to bare pavement within a couple hours of a heavy snow.
You'll love it and will probably go back several times like most visitors do!
A superb CC LB 4X4, GM HD Diesel, airbags, Rancho's, lots more
Lance Legend TC 11' 4", loaded including 3400 PP generator and my deluxe 2' X 7' rear porch
29 ft Carriage Carri-lite 5'er - a specially built gem
A like new '07 Sunline Solaris 26' TT
One caveat I would have about the earlier travel times is bugs. I believe the black-fly season is May into June, which means that early July might be your best bet here (also from the weather standpoint.)
From a perspective of life long vacations to Northern Wisconsin and the UP the weather is always hit or miss. From late spring to late fall it can be cold and rainy for days/weeks to warm and dry for days/weeks. The odds of catching a 2 week cycle of warm and dry is about 1 in 3. July and August increase the odds somewhat for warm and dry. Because Lake Superior has a localized effect on the weather patterns for Northern Wisconsin and the UP, you may to want consider having a Plan B if weather is bad there. Door County which is fairly close by, on the thumb peninsular of Wisconsin and is also a beautiful area, can have a completely different weather pattern than Northern Wisconsin and the UP.
I've been to southern and central Wisconsin in April, that can be Spring, but may still cool, and most likely ahead of the Spring thunderstorms. But you will have to make a run through the Spring storm belt (in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois) to get there. June in central Wisconsin is approaching Summer.
I've been in the U.P. for Spring field trips in early May, and it may not yet be Spring. In April, you could still be dealing with snow, or it could be pretty nice. By June, Winter will certainly be over. July and August are Summer, and it can be cool, warm, or hot.
That will also be the thunderstorm season for the U.P. I remember one storm at Marquette in early July, temp dropped 40 degrees from the mid-80's in less than two hours; winds and rains were as fierce as anything I've seen in 30+ Oklahoma Springs. Within a week, temperatures topped 100 F for a couple days. Then back to "normal" if that term can ever be applied to weather in the middle of this continent.
We completed a similar trip this past summer. Our time frame was July 5 to July 22 - we had great weather for most of the trip. Yes, the weather can change quickly, especially right on Lake Superior.
Our stops included: St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, Whitefish Point, Tahquamenon Falls, Newberry, Pictured Rocks Nat'l Lakeshore, Munising. From there we headed south to Green Bay - LOTS of attractions there. PM me if you'd like more details.
I've lived in lower Michigan all my life. Been to the UP many, many times. This past summer wife and I were in Munising and did something that I recommend everyone do. We went to Seaburg pontoon rentals and rented a pontoon for 5 hours and went to the Pictured Rocks. It was awesome. I've hiked the shoreline but never saw the Rocks from the water. You can gently and carefully pull your pontoon right up the edge of the rocks. The water is crystal clear so you can see everything. Really cool. And just a note about Seaburgs, there pontoon was very clean and they are very nice people. Well worth the money believe me.