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UNDERRATED: The Illusions of Mystery Spot Michigan

UNDERRATED: The Illusions of Mystery Spot Michigan

Michigan is the perfect summer destination for many reasons, including its Great Lakes and outdoor adventures. But there may be a couple of things that surprise you. As soon as you get close to the upper peninsula, you’ll begin seeing signs directing you to the Mystery Spot in Michigan. 

Curious? Keep reading to learn what it is and if it’s a mystery at all or just a tourism gimmick. We’ll also share how you can visit and experience what all the fuss is about. Let’s dig in! 

Where Is the Mystery Spot in Michigan?

Address: N916 Martin Lake Rd, St Ignace, MI 49781

The Mystery Spot in Michigan is about five miles west of St. Ignace in the state’s upper peninsula. Once you cross the Mackinac Bridge from the lower to upper peninsula you’ll begin seeing signs to help direct you there. 

It’s open from May to October. Plan on spending one to two hours, depending on how much you want to see and do. There is a gift shop on-site, and it has a medium-sized parking lot where you could loop through with an RV if needed. 

What is the World Famous Mystery Spot in Michigan?

In the early 1950s, surveyors in the area that is today the Mystery Spot in Michigan realized their equipment wasn’t working properly. They claimed to be lightheaded when standing within the 300 feet in diameter circle. Word got out, and it quickly became a favorite stop for travelers to investigate. 

Today, millions have visited the Mystery Spot in Michigan. It’s where a tall person seems smaller, and you can do things like climb a wall and tilt into the air without falling. Guided tours are a fun way to experience one of Michigan’s oldest and most famous natural wonders and tourist traps. 

As with most popular attractions, it’s grown to offer more to make it worth your time. You can enjoy their zip lines, a maze, miniature golf, a game arcade, and a gift shop. 

mystery Spot roadside sign from Michigan.org website
Things aren’t always as they appear in the Mystery Spot in Michigan.
Source: www.michigan.org

How Does the Mystery Spot in Michigan Work? 

The Mystery Spot Michigan is an optical illusion. It’s on a hill with a visual illusion of tilted things, defining the laws of physics and, more specifically, gravity. So you can see things such as a ball rolling up a slanted plank or people standing straight on a tilted floor.

The illusions you’re seeing are not what they appear. You see a particular height and orientation of objects that are actually on a hill. So the object, a house, for example, is titled so that when you walk in, everything looks wrong. But the slant isn’t obvious, making it look like a normal upright house.

Things that have a vertical reference point are removed or placed at an angle to help give the visual of an upright house.

Pro Tip: After exploring the Mystery Spot in Michigan, check out these 7 Underrated Michigan Tourist Attractions.

Man upside down in optical illusion house.
Optical illusion fans will enjoy exploring the Mystery Spot in Michigan.

Is the Mystery Spot Man-Made?

Spoiler alert! The Mystery Spot in Michigan is a man-made optical illusion. But that shouldn’t stop you from going and enjoying the laughs. It’s a fun stop for all ages. If you’re not interested in the tour of the Mystery Spot, there are other activities to partake in as well as a gift shop. 

You can actually find these man-made Mystery Spots in other parts of the U.S. Interestingly, they were popularized during the Great Depression. The entertainment industry was one of the few industries making a profit while other businesses closed due to the gap between supply and demand. So new types of entertainment started springing up, and mystery spots were born.

One of the most famous is near Santa Cruz, California, which opened in 1939. It’s based on the same optical illusion as the Mystery Spot in Michigan.

The mystery spot tourist attractions drew people in and gave reasons to smile. When you visit one today, those same smiles appear. And at the same time, they serve as a reminder of the Great Depression and how entertainment can bring people together. 

Pro Tip: Need somewhere to stay after exploring the Mystery Spot in Michigan? Check out these 6 Best Free Camping Spots in Michigan.

How Long Is the Mystery Spot Tour? 

The Mystery Spot Michigan tour takes about 45 minutes. It’s a guided tour, and you’ll get a lot of interesting and humorous commentary from the guide.

Be sure to take your camera for some photographs and videos. We can almost guarantee laughter and some gasps on this tour, which will make for fun memories if captured on camera.

Tours cost around $10 per person. 

Is Mystery Spot Worth Seeing?

The Mystery Spot Michigan may be a tourist trap, but it’s unique and nostalgic, so we think it’s worth seeing. If you’re staying near the Mackinac Bridge, it’s a short drive and is right off the highway. It can be the perfect outing on a cloudy day or a brief morning activity. 

If you’re near the Mystery Spot in Michigan, you’re close to Mackinaw Island. Consider making the Mystery Spot a stop on your way to or from the island. Ferries that go to the island in St. Ignace are approximately 10 minutes away. 

Do you plan to visit Mystery Spot? Drop a comment below!

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