Best Small Towns In Upper Peninsula Michigan

Explore The Best Small Towns In Upper Peninsula Michigan

Best Small Towns In Upper Peninsula Michigan

Are you craving a getaway that’s a bit off the beaten path, but not quite sure where to start your adventure? We totally get it. There’s something incredibly special about discovering those hidden-gem small towns that aren’t plastered all over every travel guide.

That’s exactly why we dove deep into exploring one of America’s best-kept secrets: the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This picturesque area is brimming with charming towns like Copper Harbor and Munising, each inviting you to explore their unique sights and local hideaways.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through these enchanting towns, giving you a sneak peek into their must-visit spots and uncovering some of their well-guarded secrets. Are you ready to embark on this journey with us?.

Key Takeaways

  • Small towns in Upper Peninsula Michigan, like Brimley and Cedarville, offer peaceful getaways with stunning natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, and kayaking.
  • Places like Copper Harbor provide rich maritime history through attractions like Fort Wilkins State Park and shipwreck tours. They also have scenic views from places like Brockway Mountain.
  • Ironwood serves as a gateway to outdoor adventures with trails for hiking and biking in the summer and skiing or snowmobiling in the winter. It has a vibrant downtown area too.
  • Munising is known for its Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, offering breathtaking cliffs and waterfalls along Lake Superior’s shore. It’s great for kayaking, boat tours, and exploring local shops.
  • Historical sites enrich many of these towns. For example, visitors to Hessel can learn about Michigan’s heritage while enjoying the charm of small-town life beside Lake Huron.

Top 18 Small Towns to Visit in Upper Peninsula Michigan

A couple walking through a vibrant small town, captured with high-quality photography equipment.

Discover charming small towns like Brimley, Cedarville, and Copper Harbor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Explore the unique culture and history while embracing the tranquil beauty of these hidden gems.

1. Brimley

Brimley invites us with its quiet charm and scenic beauty. This small town is a treasure in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, often praised for its peaceful lifestyle and natural surroundings.

We find it perfect for those of us craving a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. The shores of Lake Superior offer breathtaking views and a sense of serenity that is hard to find elsewhere.

Exploring Brimley, we enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and taking long walks along the beach. Its proximity to attractions such as the Point Iroquois Lighthouse adds to our experience, making every visit memorable.

For anyone looking for a calming getaway with plenty of beautiful landscapes to admire, this town definitely stands out.

2. Cedarville

Cedarville is nestled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a hidden gem waiting for us to explore. Its tranquil setting offers the perfect backdrop for a relaxing getaway. This small town charms visitors with its beautiful landscapes and friendly locals, making it an ideal spot for anyone looking to unwind and embrace nature.

We find Cedarville captivating not just for its scenery but also for its unique vibe. The town invites outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking peace away from bustling city life. Whether we’re interested in fishing, hiking, or simply enjoying the quiet of the Upper Peninsula, Cedarville provides an unforgettable experience amidst Michigan’s stunning wilderness.

3. Copper Harbor

Copper Harbor is a hidden gem in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This small town offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior and is surrounded by dense forests. It’s perfect for those who love the outdoors.

Visitors can explore Fort Wilkins State Park, or hike Brockway Mountain for incredible scenery.

We also enjoy taking boat tours to see shipwrecks and lighthouses, showing Copper Harbor’s rich maritime history. The town has quaint shops and cozy places to stay, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful getaway.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do here, from kayaking on the lake to biking the trails.

4. Crystal Falls

Crystal Falls, nestled in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking small-town charm and natural beauty. You can explore its stunning natural sights and engage in outdoor recreation amidst a picturesque backdrop.

The town’s rich history and culture provide an authentic experience, ensuring unforgettable moments. Crystal Falls is an ideal destination for travelers looking to discover not only the ever-changing landscapes but also unique historical sites in the heart of Michigan’s wilderness.

Venture into Crystal Falls to experience a tranquil setting that allows you to unwind amidst breathtaking surroundings. Whether it’s reveling in the stunning scenery or delving into the area’s history, this charming town promises something special for every visitor.

5. De Tour Village

Nestled on the shores of Lake Huron, De Tour Village offers a serene escape with its picturesque waterfront and tranquil atmosphere. The quaint village is known for its rich maritime history, including the historic De Tour Reef Lighthouse, making it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts.

Visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing or hiking along nature trails while taking in the stunning natural beauty that surrounds this charming lakeside community.

Located near the eastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, De Tour Village stands as an idyllic retreat boasting breathtaking views of Lake Huron and a peaceful ambiance perfect for those seeking a quiet getaway.

6. Drummond Island

Drummond Island, located in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, offers a serene retreat with its pristine natural beauty and quaint charm. This hidden gem is perfect for exploring secluded beaches, lush forests, and scenic hiking trails.

Known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, visitors can enjoy activities such as boating, fishing, and off-roading amidst the island’s peaceful surroundings. With unique attractions like the Fossil Ledges and Marblehead Preserve, Drummond Island promises an unforgettable experience for those seeking a tranquil getaway in nature.

7. Eagle Harbor

Eagle Harbor, nestled along Lake Superior’s shoreline, offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts. The historic lighthouse and maritime museum captivate visitors with tales of the town’s seafaring past.

This charming spot is ideal for leisurely strolls to admire the picturesque scenery or embark on scenic boat tours. Not only that, but Eagle Harbor also presents opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking near its cascading waterfalls and exploring pristine beaches.

Surrounded by natural beauty and steeped in history, Eagle Harbor invites exploration without the crowds often found in larger destinations. Here, tranquility meets adventure amid breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage – an invitation to discover authentic Upper Peninsula charm at its finest.

8. Hancock

Hancock, nestled in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, holds a unique charm that beckons exploration. This small town boasts stunning natural sights and rich history that is both engaging and awe-inspiring.

As you navigate through Hancock, don’t miss out on exploring its captivating outdoor recreation opportunities and quaint local shops. Tucked away in this scenic town lies a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences just waiting to be discovered – from hiking trails that offer breathtaking views to charming historical sites that transport you back in time.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Hancock while enjoying a relaxing vacation or weekend getaway.

9. Hessel

Hessel, a hidden gem in the Upper Peninsula, is a quaint small town nestled along the shores of Lake Huron. This charming destination offers a peaceful and picturesque setting, perfect for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Visitors can explore the natural beauty of Hessel by taking leisurely strolls along the waterfront or indulging in outdoor activities such as kayaking and fishing. The town’s rich history and culture are evident in its local shops and restaurants, providing a glimpse into Michigan’s unique heritage.

Hessel presents an ideal opportunity to immerse oneself in the tranquil ambiance of a small Upper Peninsula town while enjoying stunning views of Lake Huron. Whether savoring fresh catch at local eateries or admiring the serene landscape, this unassuming yet captivating destination promises an unforgettable escape for travelers looking to experience authentic Upper Peninsula hospitality.

10. Ironwood

Ironwood, nestled in the western corner of the Upper Peninsula, beckons with its rich history and stunning natural beauty. Visitors are drawn to its picturesque downtown lined with vibrant murals, charming shops, and delightful eateries.

The city is a gateway to striking outdoor landscapes like the Ottawa National Forest and Lake Superior‘s mesmerizing shores. Adventure enthusiasts can immerse themselves in Ironwood’s wealth of recreational activities including hiking, mountain biking, and winter sports such as skiing and snowmobiling across miles of pristine wilderness trails.

Ironwood is an idyllic small town offering a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s splendor while also providing opportunities for outdoor exploration tailored to diverse interests. Whether it’s discovering historical sites or seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, Ironwood truly embodies the spirit of an authentic Upper Peninsula gem waiting to be explored.

11. Ishpeming

Ishpeming, nestled in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is a charming small town waiting to be explored. Known for its rich history and outdoor adventures, Ishpeming offers visitors a glimpse into the rugged beauty of the region.

The town is surrounded by stunning natural sights like waterfalls and picturesque forests, making it an ideal escape for nature enthusiasts. In addition to its scenic landscapes, Ishpeming boasts a vibrant cultural scene with local festivals and events that showcase the community’s heritage.

Discovering Ishpeming opens up opportunities for hiking trails through pristine wilderness and enjoying local charm in cozy cafes and shops. The unique blend of outdoor recreation and historical sites makes this town an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic Upper Peninsula experience.

12. Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island beckons with its timeless charm and natural beauty. The island, located in Lake Huron, is free from the hustle of cars, ideal for peaceful exploration on bike or horse-drawn carriage.

History enthusiasts can revel in Fort Mackinac’s rich past, offering breathtaking views of the Straits of Mackinac and a glimpse into 18th-century military life. Don’t miss Arch Rock – a magnificent limestone formation towering over Lake Michigan that offers panoramic views worth savoring.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in world-famous fudge at one of the many quaint shops nestled along Main Street.

13. Marquette

Marquette, nestled on Lake Superior’s shore, offers a mix of natural beauty and urban charm. The town boasts several scenic spots along the lakeshore, perfect for leisurely strolls or picnics with stunning views.

In addition to outdoor activities like hiking and biking in its surrounding areas, Marquette also features local shops and restaurants worth exploring. It is home to Northern Michigan University, adding youthful energy to its atmosphere.

Plus, the historic downtown area showcases enticing art galleries and cozy cafes for a delightful day out.

14. Munising

Munising, known for its awe-inspiring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, is a must-visit gem in the Upper Peninsula. The natural wonders here are bound to leave you speechless – from cascading waterfalls to mesmerizing cliffs and pristine beaches along Lake Superior’s shoreline.

Moreover, Munising offers an array of outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, and boat tours that allow you to immerse yourself in the region’s breathtaking beauty. It’s not only an escape into nature but also a journey through history with attractions like the Alger Underwater Preserve where shipwrecks unveil captivating tales of the past.

The small-town charm of Munising is complemented by cozy cafes and local shops perfect for leisurely exploration. Also, don’t miss out on indulging in delectable fresh seafood at one of its renowned dining spots.

15. Newberry

Newberry, nestled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is a hidden gem worth exploring. With its picturesque setting and rich history, Newberry offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking a quieter getaway.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the town’s proximity to attractions such as Tahquamenon Falls and Lake Superior. The cozy atmosphere of Newberry makes it an ideal destination for immersing oneself in small-town charm while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.

Additionally, the town boasts unique local shops and restaurants that add to its appeal as an inviting place to visit.

Visitors can immerse themselves in Newberry’s tranquil ambiance while taking leisurely strolls through its quaint streets or savoring local delicacies at charming eateries. The historic context of Newberry provides insight into Michigan’s heritage, enriching the experience for curious travelers eager to learn about the region’s past.

16. Paradise

Nestled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Paradise offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Known as the gateway to Tahquamenon Falls, this charming town boasts breathtaking natural landscapes, including lush forests and pristine lakes.

Outdoor adventurers can explore miles of picturesque hiking trails or embark on a tranquil kayaking adventure along the winding rivers. History aficionados will be captivated by the iconic Whitefish Point Light Station, steeped in maritime heritage and home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum – an absolute must-see for those intrigued by nautical history.

Surrounding paradise are endless opportunities for birdwatching at the essential Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, offering a chance to spot rare species against striking backdrops.

17. Pickford

Located in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Pickford is a charming small town that offers a peaceful and picturesque setting for a relaxing vacation. Surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, this hidden gem provides an ideal escape for explorers seeking more than just the ordinary.

With its mix of outdoor recreation, historical sites, and local charm, Pickford delivers unforgettable experiences tailored towards all kinds of travelers. Visitors can enjoy activities like hiking and fishing while also exploring the local shops and restaurants in this quaint town.

Pickford boasts unique attractions that unveil the secrets of Upper Peninsula Michigan. It’s not merely a stop on your journey; it’s an opportunity to dive into the ever-evolving world of small-town exploration.

18. St. Ignace

St. Ignace, nestled on the northern edge of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, offers a tranquil escape with stunning views of Lake Huron and Mackinac Island. This charming town boasts historical sites like Fort de Buade Museum and breathtaking outdoor activities including hiking in Straits State Park or exploring Castle Rock.

The nearby Mackinac Bridge provides a picturesque backdrop for scenic drives, offering an unforgettable experience for those seeking peaceful small-town getaways in Upper Peninsula Michigan.

Must-See Destinations in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

The photo captures the stunning cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore overlooking crystal-clear Lake Superior.

Discover the rugged beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula, featuring historic copper mining sites and picturesque Lake Superior views. Explore the enchanting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where vibrant sandstone cliffs meet the crystal-clear waters of Lake Superior.

Looking for The Best Small Towns in Michigan? Click Here!

Keweenaw Peninsula

The Keweenaw Peninsula, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. This stunning area is home to the historic copper mining town of Calumet and the breathtaking views of Lake Superior.

Visitors can explore the picturesque towns nestled along the peninsula’s rugged shoreline, offering a glimpse into Michigan’s rich mining heritage. The Keweenaw Peninsula also boasts charming lighthouses like Copper Harbor Lighthouse, providing opportunities for scenic walks and historical insights into maritime life.

Throughout this area, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a range of activities from hiking through old growth forests to taking in panoramic views atop Brockway Mountain.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, offers magnificent coastal vistas and opportunities for outdoor exploration. From lighthouse tours to picturesque hiking trails, Lake Superior presents an array of activities for nature enthusiasts.

Not only does it provide breathtaking scenery, but it also boasts a rich maritime history. With its crystal-clear waters and secluded beaches, Lake Superior is an idyllic destination that promises tranquility and natural beauty at every turn.

Visitors can take in the stunning views while enjoying kayaking or paddleboarding on the lake’s calm waters. The area around Lake Superior is also ideal for birdwatching, with numerous species inhabiting its shores.

Mackinac Bridge

Spanning 26,372 feet (8,038 meters) across the Straits of Mackinac, the Mackinac Bridge is an engineering marvel that connects Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It offers breathtaking views of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, making it a must-see destination in the area.

This iconic suspension bridge boasts a rich history and is one of the longest bridges in the world. Whether walking or driving along it, visitors are treated to stunning panoramas and an unforgettable experience.

The Mackinac Bridge also serves as a gateway to unique small towns on both sides – from St Ignace with its charming waterfront to quaint communities near Hessel and Cedarville. The adventure seekers amongst us can revel in exciting water sports like kayaking under this expansive structure while nature lovers can bask in the picturesque landscapes surrounding it.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, located along Lake Superior, showcases breathtaking sandstone cliffs, pristine beaches, and dainty waterfalls. This natural wonder spans over 42 miles of shoreline and encompasses colorful rock formations that rise up to 200 feet above the lake’s surface.

Visitors can marvel at the striking hues of the rocks caused by mineral seepage and erosion over centuries – a sight worth capturing! Adventurous explorers can indulge in kayaking or boat tours to witness the awe-inspiring cliffs from an entirely unique perspective, all while soaking in the tranquility of this picturesque haven.

Prepare to be captivated by nature’s artistry as you meander through trails offering spectacular views of these majestic rock formations and crystal clear waters. Along with its scenic beauty, Pictured Rocks also boasts opportunities for hiking amidst lush forests and camping under starry skies.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located in the far western Upper Peninsula, is a must-see for nature enthusiasts. This park offers stunning natural sights and outdoor recreation opportunities.

With its rich history and culture, it provides unforgettable experiences such as hiking and fishing. The rugged beauty of Porcupine Mountains includes Lake of the Clouds, a picturesque lake nestled between forested hills.

Its scenic trails offer an ideal escape from city life.

Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls, located in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is a must-see natural wonder. The falls consist of two main sections – the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls – offering breathtaking views and tranquil surroundings.

With its cascading water and lush forest scenery, Tahquamenon Falls provides an ideal escape for nature enthusiasts. The area also features hiking trails that lead to various lookout points, making it perfect for those who enjoy outdoor adventures.

Additionally, visitors can relax at the nearby brewery or engage in birdwatching by the falls.

The beauty of Tahquamenon Falls lies in its unspoiled charm and serene ambiance. As one of Michigan’s most renowned attractions, it offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking tranquility amidst nature’s splendor.

Exploring the Beauty of Upper Peninsula Michigan

Explore the natural beauty of Upper Peninsula Michigan with stunning sights, abundant outdoor activities, and a rich historical and cultural tapestry. From captivating waterfalls to picturesque small towns, there’s so much to uncover in this hidden gem.

Stunning natural sights

Stunning natural sights abound in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. From the majestic Lake Superior to the breathtaking Tahquamenon Falls, the region offers a treasure trove of natural beauty.

Experience the awe-inspiring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and revel in the untamed wilderness of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, making it an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

The sweeping landscapes and pristine waters make this destination ideal for those seeking tranquility and unspoiled nature at its finest.

Outdoor recreation opportunities

Discover a wealth of outdoor activities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, offering breathtaking natural beauty and endless adventures. From hiking the majestic Porcupine Mountains to fishing along Lake Superior‘s pristine shores, there are ample opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

Embark on a scenic kayaking trip through the tranquil Keweenaw Bay or experience the thrill of mountain biking amidst the rugged terrain of Copper Harbor. Whether it’s birdwatching, camping under starry skies, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through charming small towns, there is something for every nature enthusiast in this serene and picturesque region.

Charming small towns

Charming small towns await us in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, offering a peaceful and picturesque escape from busy city life. From hidden gems like Hessel, Cedarville, and Pickford to the quaint village of L’Anse with its waterfalls and hiking trails, these towns are brimming with local charm.

Visitors can discover Ahmeek’s Sand Hills Lighthouse or meander through the inviting streets of Brimley as they explore unique historical sites and engage in relaxing outdoor activities.

Rich history and culture

The small towns in Upper Peninsula Michigan boast a rich history and vibrant culture. From the indigenous heritage of Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to the historical significance of Mackinac Bridge, every corner is steeped in fascinating stories.

Baraga County’s L’Anse is adorned with waterfalls and hiking trails, offering a glimpse into the area’s captivating past. As we explore these charming towns, we uncover layers of history that have shaped their unique identities – an experience that truly enriches our journey.

Visitors can also delve into the cultural tapestry by visiting local shops and restaurants where age-old traditions blend seamlessly with modern influences. Whether it’s immersing ourselves in historic sites or engaging with locals, each encounter reveals a compelling narrative that breathes life into these serene communities.

Unforgettable experiences

Explore the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to uncover unforgettable experiences. From hiking and fishing to discovering local shops in charming towns, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on visiting stunning places like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and Tahquamenon Falls.

Experience the unique blend of outdoor activities, historical sites, and local charm within the peaceful and picturesque setting of these small towns.

Best Small Towns In Upper Peninsula Michigan Conclusion

Discover the charm and beauty of Upper Peninsula Michigan’s small towns, from the scenic wonders of Copper Harbor and Munising to the historical richness of Hancock and Ishpeming. Unwind in picturesque settings, experience outdoor adventures, and immerse yourself in an array of unique activities.

Whether you seek tranquil getaways or exciting explorations, these hidden gems offer a delightful escape for travelers looking to discover something new. So pack your bags and set out to uncover the allure of these captivating small towns nestled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

Best Small Towns In Upper Peninsula Michigan FAQs

1. What are some of the best small towns to visit in Upper Peninsula Michigan?

Upper Peninsula, or the U.P., boasts charming towns like Sault Ste. Marie, Grand Marais, and Houghton. Each town offers unique attractions, from cascades in Grand Marais to the Keweenaw Brewing Company in Houghton.

2. Can you tell me about outdoor activities in these towns?

Yes! The U.P. is a paradise for sport fishermen and adventure seekers. From fishing in Sault Ste., exploring cascades near Grand Marais, to rafting adventures around Houghton – there’s plenty for everyone.

3. Why is visiting small towns in Upper Peninsula special?

Visiting these small towns lets you experience the heart of country life while enjoying natural beauty and local history… It’s a way to connect with Michigan’s rich past and vibrant community spirit.

4. Are there any historical sites to see?

Indeed! These towns not only offer stunning landscapes but also a peek into history… For example, Sault Ste. Marie is one of North America’s oldest settlements, offering insights into early American life.

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