Michigan's Upper Peninsula

 
 

Spend some time wit da friendly Yoopers, yah!...              

 
         
   

  Michiganís Upper Peninsula, the U.P., is decidedly different than its lower Michigan counterpart. The U.P. covers about a third of the stateís land area, but only about 3 percent of Michiganís residents live there. The U.P.ís largest town, Marquette, has a population of around 19,000 (not much larger than Coshocton). With its rich Scandinavian heritage influencing its distinct regional dialect, the U.P. has a particularly strong regional identity. Sports fans will typically back Wisconsinís Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers rather than Michiganís Detroit Lions or Tigers. Bordered by Lake Superior to the north and Lake Michigan to the south and filled with hundreds of small lakes, U.P. residents and visitors are never at a loss for outdoor recreation. Even in the winter, brave Yoopers enjoy skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.

The area is known for some great regional cuisine, fresh walleye and whitefish, smoked fish and the pasty (pronounced PASS-tee)... beef, potato, rutabaga and onion folded within a semicurcular pie crust and baked.

The Keweenaw Peninsula is the northernmost part of the U.P. Jutting about 50 miles north into Lake Superior, the Keweenaw Peninsula once had a population of about 100,000 at the height of the copper boom near the end of the 19th Century. Today, its major industries are logging and tourism. Copper mining has virtually ceased in the Keweenaw, but many relics of the industry remain. Ghost towns dot the rugged landscape. Provisions are being considered for the preservation of the historic Quincy Smelter in Ripley. Tours of one of the defunct mines are a popular attraction. Gift shops sell copper art, jewelry and gifts.

The Keweenaw Waterway bisects the peninsula connecting to Lake Superior at each end and separates the northern Copper Island from the southern part of the peninsula. Only one bridge crosses the 30 mile waterway. The distinctive Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the peninsulaís two largest communities, Houghton on the south and Hancock on the north. The bridgeís center section lifts vertically to allow boat and ship clearance. Constructed in 1959, the unusual bridge has become an area icon.

With a modest population of about 7000, Houghton is the regionís largest community. Located on the south side of the Keweenaw Waterway, the hilly town is home to Michigan Tech University, a historic downtown area and the Ranger III, the largest ship owned and operated by the National Park Service. The Ranger III transports freight and transportation service to the isolated Isle Royale National Park.

Easily accessible and within easy walking distance of downtown shops and restaurants, the 7-story Best Western Franklin Square Inn represents the Keweenaw Peninsulaís best lodging facilities. Amenities include indoor pool, steam room, hot tub, free wireless internet, free parking and a hot deeply-discounted hot full-service breakfast. The 7th floor conference center, full-service restaurant and large lively cocktail lounge all provide scenic views of the Keweenaw Waterway and Copper Island. Franklin Square Inn is genuinely friendly. The front desk personnel cordially greet guests and answer questions as if they were asked for the first time. Passing in the corridors, the housekeepers will smile and exchange pleasantries. The rooms are comfortably spacious... and true to the consistent Best Western brand, the hotel is clean, safe, well-maintained and has plenty of extras... all for double-digit rates.

Lakes, rivers, waterfalls and lighthouses are abundant. Michiganís Upper Peninsula is ideal for those seeking beautiful scenery and plentiful outdoor activities.

         
           
    PORTAGE LAKE LIFT BRIDGE - HOUGHTON-HANCOCK   RANGER III - SERVICE TO ISLE ROYALE   QUINCY SMELTER - RIPLEY   BEST WESTERN FRANKLIN SQUARE INN   ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK
                     
           
    ISHPEMING   DA YOOPERS TOURIST TRAP - ISHPEMING   DA YOOPERS TOURIST TRAP   DA YOOPERS TOURIST TRAP   MYSTERY SPOT - ST. IGNACE
                     
           
    GRAND ISLAND NAT'L RECREATION AREA   GRAND ISLAND FROM MAINLAND   MUNISING RANGE LIGHTS - 1907   PICTURED ROCKS NAT'L LAKESHORE   MINER'S CASTLE - PICTURED ROCKS
                     
             
    ROADSIDE SHOP   ROADSIDE PASTY STAND   PASTY   CHRISTMAS, MICHIGAN