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What is a ‘Workcation’, Anyways?
A workcation (also hilariously known as “bleisure”) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. To most, you might assume a workcation refers to your usual business person weaving in the odd vacation-esque practices into an out-of-office business trip. For your typical employer, mixing up your workday commitments with some sightseeing, exploring or any amount of relaxing within throwing distance of a pool could be seen as being unsavory, work computer in tow or not. But that’s just it – those were workcations of the past, things are changing – and changing quickly.
There’s been a shift in the occupational tide over the last year or so, chiefly an outcome of the COVID 19 pandemic, but as a result, the idea of working at a distance from your employer is no longer the wild, escaping concept it once was. With, in some cases, more than half of an entire employer’s workforce satisfying their job requirements remotely, workcations are simply becoming more & more commonplace these days. Since all you really need is a wifi connection for most remote work, there are opportunities to work from pretty much anywhere you can find one. Here at Make it Marquette, our aim is to seamlessly embody this new, exciting digital age of remote working possibilities.
We’ve already taken the initiative to list out 10 places around Marquette where we think you can enjoy a pleasant morning or afternoon of remote work, but today, we’re hoping to hone in on a slightly different working experience. With digital nomads, creators, travelers & entrepreneurs in mind, we’ve collected an accessory list of not only some excellent places to stay, but also some modern-day amenities and some unmissable, totally unique experiences to the Marquette region that’ll surely add some flavor to your ambitious workweek.
Where to Stay
First thing’s first, if you’re planning a trip to Marquette, it’s important to be familiar with some of the best places to stay. With all of these listings we’re about to rattle off, we’d recommend making your reservation well in advance of your projected stay. Most of these unique stays have exploded in popularity over recent years, so be sure to lock your dates in as early as possible. The summer months from May to about September here in Northern Michigan are the particularly busy ones, so make sure to keep that in mind when you’re thinking about booking.
For anyone who’s unfamiliar with what an Airbnb is, they’re rentable, privately owned fully furnished apartments, condos or even sometimes entire houses – perfect for travelers & remote workers. Hosted on Airbnb’s online platform & app, Marquette’s unique locale & scenery have given rise to a growing number of these incredible boutique experiences. If you’d like to learn more about Airbnb’s in general, you can find some additional information here. While there are numerous places to book your visit to the area, there are only a handful of incredible curated experiences from which to choose. We’re also being careful to keep in mind that not every one of these spots will meet your specific needs, so we’ll be sure to mention what we know they’re best suited for. First up-
100 North is a very quick recommendation from us here at Make it Marquette. Its location, in-house amenities, and walkability make this apartment one of the most sought (and highest rated) stays on our list. Situated right on the corner of Marquette’s infamous downtown, it’s within walking distance of the Lake Superior shoreline, as well as a generous number of our local bars & restaurants. Upon entering the space for the first time, you’ll quickly understand why this space is often booked months in advance. The modern, minimalistic style 2-bedroom layout with a large kitchen & social space means this could be a great option for hosting a small gathering, for any photo/video-related content curation or conferencing, traveling with a business partner or even as a local hub for strategizing. The space’s kitchen also comes equipped with a pair of growlers for use with any of the local breweries you can find within walking distance, which is a lovely touch we’ve found to be just as whimsical as it is endearing.
The Clubhouse at The Trestle Building
With a total of 4 bedrooms that comfortably fit a total of 9 guests, The Clubhouse at The Trestle Building is the perfect place to host a large-scale meet-up or just a simple, albeit spacious workcation littered with incredible modern backdrops. Also located in the heart of our downtown, living right above our very own Zephyr Bar, there’s some serious restauranting & cocktail potential included with your overnight stay. With a full cook’s kitchen, this is a unique amenity that could easily be tailored to any traveling culinarian, and as such, would be an excellent accessory to utilize with home-cooking or nutritional bloggers and the like. With a gorgeous view of the lower harbor & ore dock, you’ll have spectacular natural light spilling in from those Lake Superior-side windows for several hours of your morning which, of course, would be stunning to use for any photography or video work (have we mentioned the private deck yet?). The Clubhouse is an unmissable stay in downtown Marquette, even as a stay-cation for some of our locals, so you’ll want to make sure you take advantage of everything there is to offer here.
Point of the Point
As our only Marquette-based Airbnb on this list not located in our downtown, we’re excited to tell you all about the potential behind Point of the Point. A gorgeous, rustic wooden cabin with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking Lake Superior, this is an absolute must-stay for any creative itching for a peaceful, inspiring remote stay. As a 3-bedroom modified A-frame, there’s plenty of room for guests, but believe us, you’re going to want to keep as much of this cabin to yourself as is possible. Even accommodating stays during the winter months (and yes, there’s a fire pit) Point of the Point promises to be the scenic workcation you didn’t even know you were looking for. With up to 2 dogs allowed per stay (for an additional fee), you can even bring along your trusted remote working companion to help balance out your day. Recently hosting The Cabin Series, which we’ll talk about further along in this article, Point of the Point is a trusted space for gatherings & local events. Also, don’t you worry, there’s wifi.
Union Station Depot
We’re venturing just a little bit outside Marquette proper for this one, but absolutely couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make sure you’re aware of one of the most unique Airbnb stays in the whole region. Located just a few miles west of Marquette in the West End, this 110-year-old renovated train station is certain to add some character to your workation experience here in the U.P. Comfortably sleeping a grand total of 12 guests within this rustic station, it’s decorated with amenities that include a fully-functional fireplace. There’s lots of table space here, so it’s a great spot for a meeting or crew gathering, but with so much additional room to spread out in, each of your co-workers could almost have a private workcation of their own! There’s an added emphasis by this Airbnb’s host to explore the trails & wilderness surrounding this depot, and with the coveted Iron Ore Heritage Trail living literally right next door, we couldn’t agree more.
If our rustic cabin Airbnb’s aren’t quite cutting it for you, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a few recommendations for a slightly more rugged, outdoor camping experience. Each of these locations are very near to Marquette, and each offers wifi on-site. For a broader list of campgrounds with wifi in the greater U.P. area, make sure to check out our upcoming article here.
Gitche Gumee RV Park & Campground
Still nestled alongside the Lake Superior coastline, Gitche Gumee is just a short, 15-minute drive from Marquette city limits. Whether you’re bringing an RV or just a simple tent, this campground is a true Upper Michigan experience. Featuring ATV trails & so much iconic lake-side campfire potential it’s ridiculous, Gitche Gumee promises to be the remote camping escape you’re looking for. Be sure to stock up on supplies in town before you settle in though, you’re probably not going to want to leave.
Marquette Tourist Park
You might be surprised to learn that Marquette Tourist Park is actually within city limits. A favorite among residents & visitors alike, this campsite spans a portion of the Dead River Basin, so there’s some fun potential involving the water frontage for swimming & fishing. Hiking, biking & picnicking are also some go-to’s for campers here, not to mention the quick access to local restaurants & eateries. You can really take advantage of this campsite’s prime location, but not for an extended stay. Marquette Tourist Park limits your camping to 2 weeks for anyone with an RV and requires that those beastly vehicles be off-site for 48 hours before returning for another reservation. This may sound like a negative, but the aim of this policy is to make sure that there’s a healthy rotation of visitors to this campsite, and that it’s accessible to anyone who’s interested in experiencing everything the greater Marquette area has to offer.
Rippling River Resort
Perhaps one of the wildest additions to our list here is Rippling River Resort. Not only equipped with traditional sites for tenting & RV hookups, they also have rentable luxury & rustic cabins, as well as 2 “glamping” sites in their arsenal. There’s a pool, gift shop, playground, an event area and a small collection of those rentable cabins are good to go for year-round accommodations. Located nearby the Noquemanon Trail Network, as well as having easy, ski-right-out-your-door access to the Marquette Mountain Ski Resort, Rippling River Resort is an easy choice for any outdoor activity enthusiast. Having a number of family programs added to their seasonal schedules, in addition to their almost nightly “Live Music Around the Bonfire Pit” events, may be your best option in the area if you’re thinking of allowing your family to tag along on your workcation.
Who to Follow
Getting to know Marquette for the first time can be a little overwhelming, so our recommendation would be to make sure you’re following this shortlist of accounts, which represent some of our best Marquette hustlers. Not only do they strive in the self-development department, they often have some fun, new ways to experience Marquette, and can have some excellent recommendations you should try. Make sure to check out their individual blogs for some wicked dives into their respective specialties, and also occasionally mention some undiscovered local goodies & activity recommendations.
This account belongs to Rachel Bloch, a local health coach & educator. Not only is she a great resource for healthy living, but she’s also an enthusiast for travel, outdoor activity & adventure. A recently new mother, make sure to check out her Instagram account (linked above) for some inclusive recipes, quick tips, and the occasional outdoors destination to check out. Her website, which can be found over at SteadyRhythmWellness.com is where she hosts her very impressive blog and coaching sessions. She even advertizes specialized workshops, where she’ll host group presentations on various health-related topics, and will even book 1 on 1 cooking lesson with you in your own home. If you’re staying in one of the local Airbnb’s that we mentioned earlier, these cooking lessons or group presentations could be exactly what you need to give your workcation in the Marquette area a little extra…zest.
Tieka is the face behind Selective Potential, a local influencer who’s made it a personal mission to visit each and every one of Michigan’s lighthouses (just in case you’re curious…there’s 129 of them, the most out of any other state in the country). She’s up to more than just lighthouse hopping however, although her travels are often tied back into her work, she runs a popular blog on her website, maintains an impressive portfolio of graphic design work, and shares her journey with discovering her personal style (along with everything else) with her current 17k+ followers on Instagram. You’re absolutely going to want to make sure you’re following along for some of the best recommendations for Michigan-based adventures.
Bugsy Sailor, our local sunrise enthusiast, dedicates his mornings to the natural world. On a personal mission to photograph every single sunrise since January 1st, 2019, without fail, Bugsy has not only been capturing the sun, but also the love & attention of a great number of the U.P.’s residents for his unique, rooted daily routine. Currently nearing 1000 sunrises photographed (at time of writing), Bugsy is a tireless, dedicated Yooper through and through. His Instagram account (linked above) is where you can find his ineffable collection of sunrises (also being published on his website yearofthesunrise.com), but also, his equally dedicated attitude towards life. Bugsy’s of the mindset that “no matter how gray the day, the sun still rises”, and as you might expect, his daily adventures have never been about the actual photographs. According to Sailor himself, “it has always been about the wind on my face, the sand between my toes, and feeling the sunrise. I stand by the notion that no photograph of a sunrise is better than a sunrise in person” (yearofthesunrise.com). Encouraging any and all of those who are curious to join in on this daily ritual, following @bugsysailor is a fast recommendation for anyone looking to broaden their horizons.
A professional freelance writer, as well as an avid hiker & reader, Sam Rosenfeld’s the local expert on how to absolutely nail that whole work-life balance thing. Decorating her already impressive portfolio with insightful blog posts on the business of writing, it’s also clear that Sam’s immensely passionate about self-development. Carefully balancing her impressive collection of reading material with outdoor explorations & activities, she’s the perfect candidate to inspire your upcoming workcation. She’s recently hinted at an exciting (currently secret) new venture over on her Instagram, so make sure you follow her along @imsamrosenfeld or check out her website samantharosenfeld.com to zero in on exactly what kind of creative dedication it takes to navigate the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
What to Do
While we’re absolutely certain that you can experience most of what Marquette has to offer without a chalked-full schedule (and we would encourage you to leave time for relaxing, by the way), we thought we’d lay out some of our favorite workshops, businesses & activities that are sure to compliment your already ambitious workation while you’re here in town. Starting off, with-
The Cabin Series
Hosted by Sabrina Langdon, Emma Lindemann & Bryana Palosaari, the trio runs an annual workshop retreat (often paired alongside some of those boutique Airbnb’s we keep talking about) that specializes in building skills & sustainable business within the world of professional photography. All heavily accomplished photographers individually, when paired together they lead a truly impressive creative summit that encompasses an array of masterclasses, as well as discussions revolving around editing techniques, client building & relations, pricing your work, business know-how, and much, much more. They even hire models to accompany the workshop sessions for that coveted hands-on teaching environment and promote a casual atmosphere for questions & discussions. Usually taking place in November each year, this workshop would absolutely be a worthwhile accessory to any workcation for photographers of any skill level who are eager to level up, or even just get started, with their creative businesses. You can find out more about The Cabin Series by checking out their website.
This is more of an honorable mention, but if you’re a content creator you’re going to want to make sure you’re keeping tabs on Studio South. Advertised as “a space to create”, this is Marquette’s first-ever bookable photography & content-creation studio. Located right downtown & open for just under a year (at time of writing) Studio South has quickly become a go-to location for product shoots, interviews for television commercials, brand photography, stunning portraits, film sets & more. It’s modern design aesthetic, paired with a variety of on-set backdrops, lighting & photo equipment makes Studio South an easy choice for studio work. Bookable online or by reaching out directly on their Instagram account, they’ve got you covered for your hourly or daily needs. Kim, (the studio’s founder) is not only a wonderful host, but her community-focused approach to her business means you may also catch the occasional event or creative social gathering on-site as well.
Connect Marquette is almost exactly what it sounds like; a place to “facilitate the growth of talent, connections, community, and leadership opportunities in Marquette County.” Connect Marquette is heavily invested in the long-term, meaning their ambitions are within securing long withstanding personal & professional friendships through community-focused development & networking opportunities. If you’re in Marquette, you will benefit from being involved with Connect Marquette, plain and simple. Obviously, it’s not exactly built for occasional visitors to the area, but if you’re finding yourself more & more attached to the Marquette community, we’d recommend checking it out. There are several events to participate in every month, and with discounted student memberships, we’re sure you can imagine just how vital and fantastic the potential is within each get-together. Pursue through the current list of members and you’ll quickly see that there’s something in the metaphorical waters of Connect Marquette, so see what they’ve tapped into and secure a membership today, Marquette would be thrilled to have you.
Business After Hours
Put on by the Lake Superior Community Partnership, Business After Hours is yet another local, community-focused event built around the idea of “casual networking”. There’s an emphasis on these events being “inexpensive and informal”, so while you may want to bring some business cards, you’ll want to bring your enthusiasm for building friendships & partnerships even more. Ideal for pretty much anyone who considers themselves a professional in their field, this is an exciting, free opportunity to push your business ventures into exciting new territory, in a casual, welcoming environment. Strictly taking place after normal business hours, in addition to recently adding virtual meetings to their list of events, you’re going to have a hard time missing out on these mutually beneficial gatherings. Be sure to take a peek at their events calendar for information on their upcoming networking opportunities.
Opportunities for Self-Care
We’re wrapping up here with a friendly message about self-care. Workcations aren’t all work, after all, so our advice? Make sure you’re taking time for yourself, especially in such an amazing place like Marquette. Here’s a list of our local favorites to guarantee some leisurely color in your otherwise productive workday. We’ll keep it close to your workation stay-of-choice with-
906 & Co.
One of the newest additions to Marquette’s downtown, 906 & Co. is a boutique candle, bath & home shop with one of the most glorious storefronts we’ve seen yet on the 100-block of Washington Street. With luxury & relaxation in mind, we’d strongly recommend stopping by to peruse their selection of hand-crafted soaps, salts, candles & more to strategically mellow out your workcation here in Marquette. Regularly accepting custom orders for most of their hand-poured products, I mean…we’re not sure if we need to say anything more, you’re going to regret not visiting 906 & Co., so…just go.
Unity Yoga Co-Op
One of the best things about Marquette is how effortlessly our community resonates with the natural world around us. With Unity Yoga Co-Op, they aim to push those essential northern values even further, by offering donation-based meditation, yoga and waterfront classes, group exercises & more. We’re hoping that by this point in the article you’re getting a sense for how important it is for maintaining a balance between work & life here in Marquette, so if you’re itching for an easy entry point during your workcation, simply drop into any of Unity Yoga Co-Op’s classes and you’re sure to be well taken care of. Accepting all skill levels & ages, there really is no barrier to entry for your health & curiosity. Also offering Youth Development courses & exercises, much like many of our Co-Ops in town, there’s ever-impactful respect for community building & education here that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Check out Unity Yoga Co-Op’s website to learn more, and to find their scheduled Open Yoga sessions if you’re itching to jump right in! And be sure to check out other spaces for Self in Marquette – Alluma Yoga and Rohana Yoga & Wellness.
Queen City Running Co.
Wrapping up our list here is, more than anything, a friendly nod at just how wonderful the community around here is with living a healthy & well-rounded lifestyle. Take a lunch break during your remote workday and join in on any of Queen City Running Co.’s running events. Locally owned & fitting shoes since 1946, this wonderful community addition to their business ambitions welcomes people of all abilities to participate in a number of scheduled runs during the weeks. A particular favorite of ours, the Babycakes run (or locally known as the Muffin Run), is a 4 or 7-mile loop around the city of Marquette, every Wednesday morning, before ending at none other than our own Babycakes Muffin Co. This is a super informal run, with anyone welcome to attend, and is a great opportunity to exercise, socialize & well…sample some delicious, hard-earned muffins afterward. Find out more about Queen City Running Co.’s events (and shoes) by visiting their website.
Expertly attuned to the needs of the human body, Be Well’s wide variety of human health services and welcoming spaces is well-suited for your physical & mental wellness needs. Their group classes, massages, therapies & consultations, among many more, are just a few reasons why we would encourage you to find some time to maximize your wellness during your stay here in Marquette. Housing the U.P.’s only salt room, in addition to their various memberships and class packs, Be Well is just as flexible as they are attentive. Make sure to check out their daily class schedule & special events for an easy way to get started.
Finishing up our article here is none other than MQT Nutrition, which is not only a great place to snag some delicious smoothies & juices, but it’s also a respected nutritional resource for our community here in Marquette. Dedicated to helping you live your best nutritional life, MQT Nutrition’s coaching, classes, forums, consultations, supplements, prepared meals & even their Ready To Blend Smoothies are all masterfully curated to best meet your individual nutritional needs. What guarantees them a spot on this list, out of everything they offer, is their exclusive fitness community. Secured with a simple free membership, you can access a nutritional database, connect with local community members, start a discussion or share a personal fitness story. The membership also allows for optional individual accountability, which we love almost as much as we love their Blue Velvet Smoothie.
There’s really nothing quite like a productive, sustainable work week. And so, we hope that by being armed with this extensive list of local perks & recommendations, you’ll be able to zero in on a workcation experience here in Marquette that’s truly unique, inspiring and all your own. In addition to our list, we highly encourage you to seek out new opportunities and experiences while you’re here in town as well! Marquette is so ripe with entrepreneurial energy, there’ll surely be something new to see or experience with every visit. So, make sure to keep tabs on Make it Marquette for any future recommended additions to your workcation package, but in the meantime, we’ll see you around town.