Appropriately titled “Big Snow Country,” Ironwood has made a name for itself through its dense population of ski hills, and indeed, this is a rich part of the city’s history. Ironwood’s innovative, entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to creation are still alive and noted—as some of the U.P’s largest employers still call Ironwood home, including the 100+-year-old famous hat maker, Stormy Kromer.
Top it off with amazing access to Lake Superior, excellent schools, and a very well-established community college, Ironwood is indeed a place that is easy to call home.
Nestled in the middle of one of Michigan’s largest counties and bordering the one-million-acre Ottawa National Forest, Iron River is one of the U.P.’s true gems. Many of the world’s most famous basketball courts are harvested and manufactured on the land surrounding Iron River.
Featuring consistent early skiing at Ski Brule and Young’s — one of the state’s great golf courses. Iron River is a place where it is hard to get bored. Throw in the U.P. Championship Rodeo and you’ll be glad you burrowed into your saddle. In Iron River, you have an opportunity to live, work, and play in an area some people only dream about.
Home to one of the United States’ most picturesque state parks, Porcupine Mountain, your heart will be captured the second you lay eyes on the fall colors contrasting against a brilliant blue sky.
The lakes and rivers in your foreground are icing on the cake as you ski, fish, snowshoe, and snowmobile until you finally lay your head in this quiet, serene piece of the U.P. Sprinkle in one of Michigan’s great music extravaganzas, the Porcupine Mountain Music Festival, and you’ll find Ontonagon a great place to call home.
The Keweenaw Peninsula was once home to a dense population of explorers, entrepreneurs, and laborers. The foundation laid 150 years ago created two successful universities, Michigan Technological University and Finlandia University. Each college consistently yields brilliant and groundbreaking research and innovation recognized all over the world.
With innovation ingrained, hockey at heart, a vast amount of Lake Superior shoreline, dark night skies flashed with Aurora Borealis, world-class biking and hiking trails, and the some of the lightest, driest, and deepest snow in the United States, the Keweenaw is truly a special place.
Home to some of the most untouched shoreline of Lake Superior and the highest point in Michigan, Baraga County’s majestic setting is a magnet for nature lovers. Deeply rooted in Native American history, its culturally driven summer festivals, world-class, year-round fishing, hundreds of miles of recreational trails, and the simple way of life lend to Baraga County’s allure.
A town absolutely infused with spectacular inland lakes and rivers, Iron Mountain’s Italian heritage shines through its food and culture in bright fashion. Iron Mountain receives noticeably less precipitation than most other parts of the U.P., making time outdoors a little less wet.
Home to Timberstone Golf Club, whitewater rafting, a thriving water ski show team, an annual ski jumping tournament, and a fun-filled Italian festival every summer, there is no shortage of amazing ways to spend time in Iron Mountain.
Nestled along 211 miles of shoreline, most of which is situated on Lake Michigan, Escanaba and its surrounding area are full of trophy-sized fish, wildlife, rivers, lakes, and streams. Also home to the U.P. State Fair and frequent stops on national walleye tournament routes, the town offers year-round family-friendly activities.
Boasting some of the U.P.’s largest employers, a robust community college network, abundant locally-crafted wines and beers, and live music venues, this coastal paradise has something for everyone.
As a still-thriving shipping port, the history-rich city of Marquette is full of museums, eclectic shopping, great restaurants, and world-class recreation that will tickle anyone’s tastes.
With Northern Michigan University as its anchor, Marquette is the epicenter of business in the Upper Peninsula, making it not only the largest employment area, but also a city hosting a large variety of employers. It is a culturally relevant city tucked into the shores of the world’s largest source of fresh water, making it an extraordinary area to live, work, and play.
The heartland of the Eastern Upper Peninsula recreation scene, Newberry is full of fascinating beauty singular to the area. Home to Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Newberry is also one of the nation’s highest ranked snowmobile destinations.
The area’s lush forests provide a perfect setting for hiking, Michigan morel mushroom picking, bird watching, photography and more. It is also uniquely situated in relation to Lake Superior, which sets it up nicely for the dry, consistent lake effect snow that so many crave throughout the winter. Newberry is a tourist’s dream town, and to think you could live there makes it that much more special.
sault ste. marie
A gateway to Canada, surrounded by water and home to some of the most majestic shipping locks on the planet, Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced “Soo Saint Marie”) easily captures hearts, minds, and imaginations of those who visit. Each year about 7,000 vessels pass through the locks that move them 21 feet (up or down to the next lake) as they safely carry more than 85 million tons of cargo in 1,000-foot ships. It’s a sight that never gets old.
With the vibrant Lake Superior State University in town, excellent access to the outdoors, tribal casinos, restaurants, and nightlife will keep you humbly occupied as you settle in at “the Soo.”
Almost 4 million vehicles pass through St. Ignace every single year on their way to other destinations in the Upper Peninsula. And while it’s true there is much to see and do in the U.P., St. Ignace is a town completely capable of pulling you in and making it hard for you to leave.
In the summer, hop on a ferry to Mackinac Island, head to a local fishing hole, or simply enjoy the view of the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. Winter is no different; enjoy the endless miles of snowmobiling and ice fishing, or cozy up next to your favorite blackjack table at the casino. Your time is always well spent when you live in or visit St. Ignace.