Best Places to Stay in Upper Peninsula Michigan
Nestled on the western peninsula, on the shores of Lake Superior, the bustling university city of Houghton offers rich history and plenty to see and do for all ages.
Houghton has been named as one of the top 100 places to live and if you don’t want to do a lot of driving, it’s the ideal city in which to spend an entire Upper Peninsula vacation.
Culture and nature lovers will enjoy exploring the Keweenaw Trails, visiting copper mining museums, and food connoisseurs will adore sampling rare delicacies of the area - thimbleberry jams and jellies.
You can discover Colonial Revival architecture on College Avenue or head for the commercial district for a spot of shopping and dining between Portage Lake Lift Bridge and Franklin Square.
Alternatively, if you feel more adventurous, hundreds of trails around the area are ripe for biking and hiking in the summer and skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in winter.
Accommodation in Houghton
Set along the north central peninsula on the shores of sparkling Lake Superior, Marquette is a pretty city with a small town vibe, offering an immersive vacation experience for discerning travelers who want everything on their doorstep, whatever time of year.
You can explore the bustling main street lined with trees, and sprinkled with specialty shops, diners and cafes serving the city’s famous pasties. Alternatively, if you prefer, surround yourself in the natural beauty of the area. There are beaches, verdant mountain parks and lakeside trails offering biking, kayaking, hiking and fishing.
Marquette is known to be one of the best places to see the fall foliage, and between August and April the Northern Lights also make an appearance.
During winter months, outdoor enthusiasts can strap on their skis or enjoy snowmobiling and when the day’s outdoor activities are completed, unwind with dinner and drinks in one of the city’s many restaurants or microbreweries.
Accommodation in Marquette
Iron Mountain in the south-central region is known as the gateway to the Upper Peninsula and the perfect city in which to stay for a few nights before exploring the larger, busier lakeside regions.
The area became popular in the 1800’s when it attracted immigrants from all over the world who came to work in the iron mines. Today, this historic influx of nationalities is remembered in the city’s buildings, reflected in its international restaurant menus and local attractions.
It’s a compact, upcoming destination on the shores of Lake Antoine and a great place for families, couples and friends. With parks, forest trails, children’s playgrounds and historic sites relating to the mining and logging industries, there’s plenty to see and do.
The area also hosts a multitude of outdoor pursuits throughout the year with fishing, golf, skiing, white-water rafting, rock climbing and biking on offer, making it a wonderful location for outdoor enthusiasts.
Accommodation in Iron Mountain
Escanaba, affectionately known as ‘Esky’ to locals, is the third-largest city on the Upper Peninsula. Once an important shipping port for iron ore, today, it’s a tranquil lakeside location where you can simply kick back and relax.
The city boasts several sandy beaches along over 200 miles of coastline, and it's known to be one of the best places in the USA to see burnished bronze, gold and red leaves of the fall foliage.
Escanaba appeals to couples and groups with specialty shops, microbreweries, live music venues and wine bars. However, it’s also popular with families with Escanaba River State Forest hiking trails, beautiful sandy shores, fishing, paddling, and canoeing all within a short distance.
It’s a charming, easy-to-get-around city in which to base yourself if you plan to visit Gladstone, Iron Mountain and Hiawatha National Forest, and a popular place to stay for a few days en-route from Green Bay to Marquette.
Accommodation in Escanaba
On the eastern peninsula across Mackinac Bridge, Saint Ignace offers a peaceful respite from some of the busier towns and cities along the Upper Peninsula.
Ideal for couples, families and solo travelers seeking historic sites, hiking, and beautiful sand dune beaches, Saint Ignace is unspoiled - a place in which to sample delicious, fresh seafood, and indulge in a well-earned spot of rest and relaxation.
Saint Ignace is the perfect town in which to end a week-long vacation on the peninsula, allowing you to wind down before heading back to work. It is small, easy to navigate even on foot, with low-rise buildings of Downtown housing historic gift shops, cafes, restaurants and local heritage museums.
By the lake, you can admire spectacular sunsets by the lighthouse, walk the trails, or jump on a ferry to Mackinac Island for the day. The small island transports you back to Victorian times with horses and carriages and you can pick up some delicious, home-made fudge for your journey home.
Accommodation in Saint Ignace