The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

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FrugalInvestor
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The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:09 pm

My wife and I are going to drive through the UP in mid-August. We have whatever time we need. We are active, will probably have our bicycles with us and like to hike and walk as well. We are not campers, a comfortable motel, B&B or nice cabin is our preference. As close as we've been to the UP is taking the SS Badger car ferry from Ludington to Manitowoc to visit friends in Milwaukee and to see a Cubbies game in Chicago. This time we're planning to drive around.

Suggestions for things to do and places to stay would be appreciated.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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goblue100
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Re: The UP in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by goblue100 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:25 pm

I assume by UP you mean the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? I haven't been there in quite a while, but tahquamenon falls is quite nice.

https://www.michigan.org/property/tahqu ... state-park

Also, the Soo locks might be interesting for kids to see.

https://www.michigan.org/property/soo-l ... er-cruises

Don't forget to eat a pasty:
http://www.lawryspasties.com/
Last edited by goblue100 on Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The UP in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:30 pm

goblue100 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:25 pm
I assume by UP you mean the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?
Yes, that's the place. I've modified the subject to make it clear.

No kids involved, just my wife and I.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by randybobandy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:03 pm

Pictured Rocks is amazing!

https://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm
Copper Harbor is pretty nice, though likely out of your way.

If you are on US-2 keep your eyes peeled for Injun Joe's trading shack. I have never stopped before but it looks...unique, every time I drive by.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by dknightd » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:33 am

My wife and I are (were) thinking about visiting in July. The original plan was to get an airb&b near Munising. But all the good ones are booked. So you are wise to start your search early. We might do something different this year then revisit visiting the UP in another year.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by rkhusky » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:41 am

Mackinac Island (not technically in the UP, but close). Quincy Mine in Hancock. The Mystery Spot west of St Ignace :-).

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by HoosierJim » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:51 am

Beautiful place - my kind of population density,

Make sure you are prepared for the black flies, mosquitos or can't-see-ums. August should be better but you never know. We noticed a big difference between the upper lower and upper penninsula when we attempted to circumnavigate Lake Michigan.
Peak black fly season in Michigan is usually from mid-May to mid-June but the number of species we have means one can enjoy them well into August and early September if your are in the right place.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Carl53 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:22 am

Pictured Rocks Lakeshore is definitely worth a visit. You can take a tour boat to see them best as well as hike along the shore for different vistas.
We did a week plus several years ago hiking into a number of UP water falls that was quite the experience, although I expect the water flow might be less impressive in August. We stayed at a variety of mostly mom and pop motels for one or two nights. Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls are a favorite as we probably have been there a half dozen times at different times of the year. The only biking we have done is on Mackinac Island, using rentals. There are a number of trails throughout the UP. http://exploringthenorth.com/mtbike/mtbike.html We have hiked along the Lake Superior lakeshore to see lighthouses, the Porcupine Mountains and the North Country Trail near East Lake where we once rented a cabin. While hiking the NCT we experienced the Niagara Escarpment, prior to our visit we had no knowledge of. One last thought is to be sure to get to St Ignace to view and or cross the Mackinac Bridge. I prefer the view from any number of points along Lake Huron west of town. If your stay extends to Labor Day you can walk the bridge, but I would definitely get a reservation right away if I was going to do this.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by NerdicSkier » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:51 am

Thimbleberries.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by oldfatguy » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:57 am

Definitely Pictured Rocks

Yooper16
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Yooper16 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:14 am

My favorite area of the UP is from around Munising to the Kewanee Peninsula. The Kewanee is probably my favorite among favorites. Probably would remind people of the coast of Maine etc. The is more of the rugged area. Dozens and dozens of waterfalls, most with a small sign directing you. No expressway except from the bridge to the Soo. Much of your driving will be 2 lane state roads, some 4 lane.

Marquette is the upcoming center of the UP. 20k population with another 20K students at Northern MI University. Pretty liberal actually. Progessing into the 21st century.

We live in the eastern end which is more agricultural principally grazing and growing hay for the winter feed. Soo Locks are cool, to see 1000ft boats going thro. The oldest city in the state est 1668.

Mackinaw Bridge is a beautiful work of art. Mackinaw Island is gorgeous, big$$ have summer cabins. Lots and lots of toursits. One of those places that is being spoiled by tourism.

The thing to do in the UP, is not to do anything. Don't plan-- just wander.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by dcb » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:28 am

Don't know how you are approaching the UP - coming across the Mackinaw bridge or through the Wisconsin border, but don't underestimate the size of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From the western tip to Drummond Is. on the east end you will travel over 500 miles and if you add in the Keweenaw Peninsula another couple hundred miles, almost all on 2 lane roads. That being said here are my suggestions for places to visit , more or less from west to east.
- Porcupine Mountains
- Copper mine in Hancock and trip up to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula at Copper Harbor.
- Pictured Rocks at Munising
- Seney National Wildlife Refuge
- Kitch-iti-kipi (a must see natural Freshwater spring in Palm State Park near Manistique)
- Tahquamenon Falls ( my favorite way to see it is the Toonerville Trolley and Riverboat cruise down the river to the upper falls.)
- Fayetteville Historic State Park on the Garden Penninsula ( restored iron mining and manufacturing town)
- Whitefish Point and Lighthouse
- Sault Saint Marie and the Soo Locks)
- St. Ignace and Mackinaw Island (Grand Hotel)
- Drummond Island (Short 10 min. ferry trip on the eastern end of Upper Pen. Great fishing and lots of bike and ATV trails.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Yooper16 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:31 am

Most everything, from history to present, revolves around wood, weather, water and the extraction of natural resources. In Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and Larium you will find the visual remainders of enormous wealth that was created from copper. Sadly you will also see the decaying remains of the production. They still find mine openings scattered around.

The Quincy tour is quite the eye opener to get a partial understanding of the danger of the work. Outside of Calumet, just for fun is the snow thermometer. The most depth was about 30ft in 1990s.

Check out https://www.pasty.com/ as reference to everything Kewanee.

Just say the above post. It mentioned Whitefish bay and the lighthouse. My grandfather spent 60 years sailing on the Great Lakes and North Atlantic(duing WW2). He always said that the storms on the lakes where more intense than in the Atlantic. There is a lifeboat from the last freightor that sunk--Edmund Fitzgerald-- at the lighthouse museum. It is twited and torn like like a pop can.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:38 am

dcb wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:28 am
Don't know how you are approaching the UP - coming across the Mackinaw bridge or through the Wisconsin border, but don't underestimate the size of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Most likely coming north through Michigan and departing south toward Milwaukee.
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by 22twain » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:45 am

Yooper16 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:31 am
The Quincy tour is quite the eye opener to get a partial understanding of the danger of the work.
I remember seeing in the museum there, old bilingual warning notices: English and Finnish!

On that trip about 15 years ago, we picked up one of these bumper stickers at a souvenir shop:

Image

I was living in Michigan in the early 1980s when they first appeared, as a parody of then-Gov. Milliken's "Say Yes to Michigan" feel-good publicity campaign. At that time, the state was in a recession caused by a downturn in the auto industry.
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by detroitbabu » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:48 am

It is out of the way from Michigan side.
But if you want to explore true wilderness, you should visit Isle Royale National Park.
It is in the middle of Lake Superior.

https://www.nps.gov/isro/index.htm

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Rdytoretire » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:52 am

Not in the UP, or as rugged, but not much of a detour. Sleeping Bear dunes, Traverse City, Petoskey and Charlevoix areas are well worth visiting. M22 is one of the most scenic drives in the country. And part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Lots of small towns like Glen Arbor that are wonderful to explore and plenty of opportunities for cycling and hiking.

https://www.m22michigan.com/


If staying in the UP you may consider this place.
https://www.magnusonhotels.com/hotel/ma ... -paradise/ - Paradise Michigan
Last edited by Rdytoretire on Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by James P. Bipps » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:17 am

https://www.awesomemitten.com/mittentri ... vid=3w1xEU
As a local resident, this article was very accurate at the time it was written. If you go through Escanaba, the article might give you some things to consider. Best bar food with a view of Lake Michigan...Breezy Point. Best Pasty...Grams. Best food...The Stonehouse. The UP State Fair is in town in August, if that’s your kind of thing.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by dknightd » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:56 am

What about agett (SP?) beach? is that in lower or upper Michigan?

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by F150HD » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:06 am

I don't do much touristy stuff on trips, but a boat tour at Pictured Rocks is cool and not expensive.

make sure you fuel up your vehicle whenever you can, some gas stations you see on Google may no longer exist when you pull up -small downs, no jobs, things close - have seen it a few times in the UP.

Worth driving through :D http://www.exploringthenorth.com/christmas/chr.html

I have ridden the UP on a motorcycle a few times, pretty country.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by dcb » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:11 am

dknightd wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:56 am
What about agett (SP?) beach? is that in lower or upper Michigan?
If you mean Agate Beach it is in the UP on Lake Superior near Houghton. Don't know much else about it.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by willygreen » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:49 pm

Pictured Rocks boat tour, try to get the sunset cruise although it sells out early. If the sun is out while setting, the reflections against the rocks are amazing.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by detroitbabu » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:53 pm

Pictured Rocks boat ride is 2.5 hours long.
For me and the wife, after first 15 minutes it was really boring.
But to each his/her own, I guess.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:00 pm

We went to the western side of the UP a couple of years ago in October and thoroughly enjoyed it. We stayed at a B&B in Copper Harbor (PM me if you would like more info) for one night. The Lake of the Clouds is worth seeing if you are in that area.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by MJS » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:41 pm

Bishop Baraga Shrine (& gift shop) ... on a very famciful pair of snowshoes. Good for bit of local history.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by rooms222 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:57 pm

MJS wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:41 pm
Bishop Baraga Shrine (& gift shop) ... on a very famciful pair of snowshoes. Good for bit of local history.
Yes, my parent's bought small items from the sculptor. A quiet place to pray and contemplate life. It had high hopes as a huge tourist attraction at the opening.

Coming up from the bridge:

In St. Ignace, we stop here for freshly smoked fish and beef jerky: https://stignace.com/shopping/mackinac- ... h-company/

If you go West on US 2, about 20-30 miles from the bridge there are free public beaches that you will see cars stopped at. We love swimming here. The Northenmost part of Lake Michigan is warmer than Lake Superior.

This motel was nice. A roadside motel turned a little modern. https://www.adobanaubinway.com/

This town has a bar that serves food and cheap prices.. If you have a beer while waiting, try an Upper Hand draft, from an affiliate of Bell's brewing whose motto is that they will not sell in Michigan below the bridge. Great beer, and less than $3 at the bar in town.

Get some Upper Hand in its many varieties to take home as gifts and souvenirs.

The UP State Fair was fun when we went a couple of years ago.

West of Munising there is a roadside park (free) that has both Lake Superior access, a beach, and BBQ/Picnic Table. Fun, but the water is cold.

In the Keweenaw, I would stay here https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Revie ... higan.html

When you go to Copper Harbor be sure to go up Brockway Mountain Drive one direction and stop and take in the view at the top.

Also, be sure to go to the Jampot in Eagle Harbor if open to visit the monks and buy jam and baked goods. If you can arrange to be there Sunday morning, go to mass with them instead. They are in union with the Catholic Church, but celebrate the Eastern tradition. It was a very special day when we got to go. They had cake and coffee afterward with nice conversation. They ask that you do not eat at all on Sunday before the service (rather than the current 1 hour), but, cannot require it because of their communion. A friend of mine and I had differing views on that. Also, men and women sit on opposite sides of the church and women should wear a hair covering. It is a very friendly and fascinating experience I recommend if at all religious or interested in religious culture. You can still buy their stuff by mail order if you do this.


Also, you can get some Baroni's pasta, the best canned ravioli in the world. It is at most major supermarkets up there.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Rdytoretire » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:11 pm

Lake Michigan Circle Tour information

http://www.lakemichigancircletour.com/

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Yooper16 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:50 pm

Happy to read that you will have "whatever time you need". And that hiking and biking are part of your gig.

Life here is like the melting snow-- it will melt when it does-- no sense trying to rush it. Funny thing that that attitude is both the blessing and curse of the UP.

One of the biggest complaints we hear from guests and passerbys is that the service, particularly in eateries, is slow. It is and that just the way it is.

If you spend time along Superior, have a jacket available. Also storms can pop up very quickly so have rain gear handy.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by samsoes » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:26 pm

As another poster mentioned, familiarize yourselves with Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
It's the national anthem of the UP.

Don't forget to try trenary toast and pasties. Delicious!
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:34 pm

samsoes wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:26 pm
Don't forget to try trenary toast and pasties. Delicious!
.

If there's any flour in them they won't work for me, unfortunately. But that helps me keep my weight and cholesterol down. Always tradeoffs, right? 🙄
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by killjoy2012 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:39 pm

I think the others have covered most of it, but would mention visiting lighthouses, waterfalls and ship wrecks too if interested. My favorite area of the UP is the Keweenaw Peninsula. And as others have said, don't underestimate the size, ruggedness & sparse population. e.g. Driving from Detroit to Copper Harbor is 10 hours easily, and you haven't even crossed a state line.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by Yooper » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:47 pm

Bug spray, make sure you have a fair amount. Can in the car, can in your backpack/purse, etc. Some summers aren't too bad, others are atrocious, but you never know until it's on you what sort of summer you're going to have - with regards to bugs. It looks geeky, and you tell yourself you'd never be caught dead wearing one, but I'd pack one of those mosquito head nets. Gnats, black flies, stable flies could care less what flavor of bug spray you're wearing, they'll just bounce off your face, in your ears/eyes/mouth/nose. Completely ruin your time - - until you pull out your mosquito head net (smile). You might not need it, but if you do it's just the ticket. I'd consider packing a very light long sleeve shirt you could put on when needed. Same theory, a little air gap between your skin and the bugs if/when the time comes. I guess what I'm trying to say is, when it comes to bugs - plan for the worst and you'll never regret it. Other than that, you'll have a grand time and get a chance to see a part of Michigan that is VERY different from what's below the bridge.

Oh, and be prepared for a number of cellphone dead spots. Our coverage isn't that great. The good thing is, if you get in jam, all you have to do is flag someone down and they'll be more than happy to help out.

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by imbogled » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:06 pm

Whitefish Point and the SS Edmund Fitzgerald Museum were a highlight of our recent visit to the UP. At Whitefish Point the monster boats of the Great Lakes pass by. Make sure to eat at Brown Fisheries Fish House in Paradise MI very near to Whitefish Point. Fresh off the boat whitefish, sweet and mild tasting. Another highlight was the Au Sable Lightstation near Grand Marais MI. It's a beautiful 1.5 mile walk along the lake to reach the lightstation and you will walk past shipwrecks along the way.

https://www.thingstodointheup.com/au-sable-light-house/

https://www.thingstodointheup.com/thingstodointheup/

A very helpful website listed above.
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:06 pm

My family is in northern MN and my wife's family is in Northern MI (lower peninsula). Having spent most of the last dozen years in one of those two places, we've driven through many dozens of times.

Lots of good tips above already. I will also add the remnants of Fayette, now a "ghost town" in the Garden Peninsula. If you're into beer, there are a good number of breweries sprinkled throughout, including fun little place at Tahquamenon, Grand Marais, Copper Harbor, and Calumet.

:beer
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by travelspot » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:32 pm

If being active and enjoying hiking includes being able to do a 10-11 mile day hike (there is camping for through hikers but you don’t want to camp), the best scenery-to-mile ratio is by far the Chapel Loop Trail near Munising. Absolutely gorgeous and a great way to see Pictured Rocks.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7019624/chapel-loop
http://www.mymichigantrips.com/wp/hikin ... lakeshore/

Also I’d recommend at the Porcupine Mountains seeing Lake Of The Clouds (right near the parking lot) and strolling some trails in that area, plenty of options on the trail map.

https://www.theoutbound.com/michigan/hi ... ment-trail
If you don't do stuff, then you don't do stuff.

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burt
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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by burt » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:14 pm

I might recommend Houghton/Hancock in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Home of Michigan Technological University. Previously known as the Michigan School of Mines.
The Portage Canal separates Houghton and Hancock with beautiful views from both sides of the canel.
The best Sub sandwich I've ever had after 40 years was at the Ambassador Restaurant. Not sure if they changed.
Pasties are a meat pie wrapped in a crust which the miners took with them to the mines back in the day. Pasties must be made with rutabaga. Pasties must be eaten with gravy.
Smoked whitefish is a real treat. From what I understand a lot of whitefish is exported to Scandinavian countries.
I never appreciated this place until I graduated and moved to the big city. This is a special place.

burt

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Re: The Upper Peninsula (UP) in August....What to do, Where to stay?

Post by EdNorton » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:49 pm

Take the pictured rocks sunset cruise. Stay in downtown Marquette at the historic hotel, can't recall the name.
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