A Casino Lover’s Guide to Vacationing In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

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Mackinac Bridge Night Lights, St. Ignace MIchigan.
BetMGM Sep 30, 2023, 4:32 AM

A state famous for its lakes, agriculture, and automobile industry, Michigan is a picturesque haven of beautiful landscapes, landmarks, and sights. Its upper peninsula only amplifies these claims. Surrounded by Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior, it’s a divine destination for casino lovers, thanks to the state’s legalization of online casino games in 2019. With gambling enthusiasts in mind, this blog post explores the state’s upper peninsula, providing tips on where to visit.

Where Is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?

Hypothetically, if you viewed the United States from above, you would notice that, geographically, Michigan is the only state mostly surrounded by lakes, which is why it’s called the Great Lakes State. Within its borders, you may also spot two areas separated by water but connected by a long bridge between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, which offers serene views of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Michigan’s upper peninsula is north of the bridge, which includes St. Ignace, Newberry, and Naubinway. By the same token, Mackinaw City and below is the lower peninsula – home to Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Both peninsulas boast mesmerizing beaches, diverse national parks, and delectable cuisine. 

Great Places To Visit in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

The Upper Peninsula has fantastic amenities, activities, and accommodations, from modern casinos to luxurious resorts and restaurants. For gamblers looking to take the whole family on holiday, there are few states more suited to meet the needs of all ages. 

Contrary to popular belief, Michigan is a casino paradise, with plenty of establishments on both peninsulas. Additionally, those who live in the state can also gamble in online casinos, whether it’s poolside, in a hotel room, or at a restaurant. Below are a few destinations and tips for planning a memorable casino vacation.  

Ojibwa Casino Baraga

Nestled on the border of Ottawa National Forest near Wisconsin and Minnesota, Ojibwa Casino Baraga is widely regarded as one of the best casinos in the upper peninsula of Michigan. With over 300 slots, roulette, craps, and blackjack tables, it’s easy to see why. 

Additionally, the casino features a boutique hotel, two restaurants, and a bowling alley, making it an excellent destination for the whole family. Other than the casino, there are many sights to explore, including Baraga State Park, Sand Point Lighthouse, and Ojibwa Marina. 

For those traveling to Baraga by plane, Sawyer International Airport, which is an hour away from Baraga, is the fastest route. Other options include flying into Chicago, followed by a six-hour drive.  

Bay Mills Resort & Casino

Situated in Brimley, close to the Canadian border, Bay Mills Resort & Casino is an exciting destination boasting a 144-room hotel, several restaurants, the stunning Wild Bluff Golf Course, and around 700 slots, making it one of the biggest casinos in upper peninsula, MI. 

While traveling there is tricky, you won’t want to leave once you’ve arrived. An adventurous way of getting there is flying into Detroit and driving the rest of the way, which will take approximately five hours. By doing so, you’ll be cruising through some of the state’s most heavenly landscapes and, of course, over the iconic bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsulas. 

Punters have multiple eateries to choose from alongside the beautiful beaches, lakes, and parks bordering the resort, such as Four Corners Bar & Restaurant and Wilson Creek Café.

Hampton Inn

Based in the bustling student city of Marquette and only a stone’s throw away from Kewadin and Ojibwa Casino (Marquette), the Hampton Inn offers a beautiful escape for relaxing and recharging. Overlooking Lake Superior, the luxurious Hampton Inn has an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center, and modern rooms to add to its opulent look and feel. 

With Sawyer International Airport online 30 mins. away, getting there is easy. 

Island Resort & Casino

As for casinos in upper Michigan with hotels, few are bigger and grander than Island Resort & Casino. Located in Harris, MI, only an hour and 15 mins. from Sawyer International Airport, it features over 1,200 slots and exciting live dealer casino games like Spanish 21, poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps.

In addition to the casino hall, it has a luxurious 326-room hotel, two golf courses, and eight restaurants. 

Kewadin Casinos – St. Ignace

If you’re driving from the lower peninsula, the Kewadin Casinos in St. Ignace is one of the closest casinos in upper Michigan you can play at. Once you’ve crossed the bridge connecting the two peninsulas, you’re only about 20 mins. away. That said, the quickest way to get there is to fly to Mackinac County Airport, only six minutes from the casino. 

Although there are no slots, the casino has blackjack, roulette, poker, and craps tables. And when you’re taking a break from gambling, St. Ignace is full of delicious eateries like Village Inn Restaurant and The Gangplank. 

Local Cuisine

From coney dogs and pasties to Detroit-style pizza and Mackinac Island Fudge, Michigan has no shortage of tasty local cuisine. Although mostly remote, the upper peninsula has many delicious restaurants that offer the state’s well-known delicacies. 

For instance, if you’re searching for local tastes in Marquette, great places to eat include Aubree’s Pizzeria and Grill, Donckers, and Portside Inn. Saint Ignace is another popular upper peninsula destination known for restaurants like Biere De Mac Brew Works, The Gangplank, and Bessie’s Homemade Pasties.

Michigan’s Automobile Industry

In addition to its local cuisine and diverse landscape, another fun fact about Michigan is its automobile history, which dates back to 1896. Nicknamed the “Motor City,” Detroit was the home of Ford, who sparked America’s automobile industry.

In Detroit itself, you’ll find many rare and beautiful cars that can’t be found anywhere else. For car enthusiasts, it’s the beginning and end of all things car-related.

Gamble Online With BetMGM

Want to play casino games online in Michigan? Look no further, BetMGM is the perfect answer. While beginners have the option of practicing with free demo games, experienced gamblers can enter tournaments and high-roller events.

Register today and enjoy a selection of themed tables, bonuses, and live dealer games. Whether you prefer poker, bingo, roulette, or blackjack, you can enjoy a seamless experience on any device, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.