South Shore Lake Superior Circle Tour
Historic Lighthouse - Marquette, Michigan
Marquette is the Upper Peninsula's largest city with more than 20,000 residents. It is located on the western edge of Marquette Bay of Lake Superior. Marquette General Hospital is UP's largest health care complex and its largest employer. The city is also home to Northern Michigan University and 10,000 students. It is the gateway to Big Bay and the Huron Mountains, a recreational mecca for hiking, mountain biking, ATV trails, boating and fishing.
Marquette Winter & Holiday Events
Snow Fun and Holiday Parade - Dec 5th
Tree Lighting Ceremony - Dec 5th
New Year's Eve Ball Drop - Dec 31st
Negaunee Heikki Lunta Winterfest - Jan 18 - 19th
Marquette Noquemanon Ski Marathon - Jan 24 - 26th Marquette - Munising UP 200 Sled Dog Race
Feb 13 --17th
A must-see stop for visitors to Marquette is Presque Isle Park, a rocky peninsula with several miles of walking trails, scenic drives, picnic areas, a band shell with summer concerts, and a nature center. Wintertime offers cross-country ski trails. Marquette also offers a variety of golfing experiences, offering four 18 hole courses from the scenic and challenging Greywalls course to the newly renovated Northern Michigan University course.
Downtown Marquette offers a nice mix of gift shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels, and convenient access to waterfront walking paths and activities. On the north side of town, the city operates an RV and tent camping park (Tourist Park) with 110 sites on 40 acres along the Dead River.
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Downtown Marquette and Lakefront
Marquette's early settlement was due to the discovery of large masses of iron ore nearby in the 1840s. It was officially incorporated as a village in 1859 and a city in 1871. The city and its residents have done a great job preserving the old historic brownstone buildings.
Downtown is well elevated over the lake with trees, benches, and old-fashioned street lamps.
While mining remains part of the economic picture, the city is clean, with lots of big trees, well maintained residentail neighborhoods, and nice wooded parks.
< < < The city is full of classic, well maintained brownstone buildings like this church
The Marquette Harbor and park is just a few blocks walk from downtown.
The Vierling Restaurant has been at its downtown location for over one hundred years. In 1995 they expanded operations becoming one of Michigan's first brewpubs.
A very attractive dining & pub ambience and in addition we found the brews and the dining fare top quality at a reasonable price. Lake Superior Whitefish is one of their specialties; we found their burgers and chef's salads quite good too.
Donckers is another landmark Marquette dining establishment. Founded in 1896 and at the same location since 1914, this funky place is a combination full-service soda fountain, confectionary, coffee house, and deli-style restaurant. Great food, great service.
The soda fountain, confectionary, and coffee house are on one level; the deli-style restaurant is on the upper level. One of the few restaurants that were open on a downtown winter Sunday afternoon; we are glad we discovered it. To see more pictures and our Donckers restaurant review go here.
Parks & Golfing
Presque Isle Park is a 323 acre forested oval shaped headland/peninsula which juts into Lake Superior in the northern tip of the City. While the park has every other amenity you'd expect, it has no camping.
It is a nice place for some walking exercise, scenic views, or a picnic. If you are staying in the area there are summer concerts at the Band Shell, a municipal pool with a water slide, and a Lake Superior beach swimming area.
The Tourist Park Campground is open from mid-May to mid-October with 100 sites for either RV or tent camping and 10 rustic sites for tent-only camping. Amenities include a playground, ball diamond, picnic areas, swimming beach, full service restrooms, and RV dumpwater station.
Pioneer Days - July 8th - 14th - Negaunee, MI
Hiawatha Traditional Music Fest - July 20th - 22nd
Blueberry Festival - July 27th
Ishpeming Italian Fest - July 28th
Ishpeming Art Faire and Renaissance Festival
- August 4th, 2012 www.ishpemingrenfest.com
SeaFood Fest - August 23 - 25th
Marquette Blues Fest - September 1st - 2nd
Annual Fall Beer Festival - September 10th
In 1845 Geologist-Historian Charles Whittlesley spent two months exploring and documenting his travels from Sault Ste. Marie to the Ontonagon River. At that time the UP had only been open for settlement for 3 years and was still very much a wild and unsettled frontier. Until recently this faacinating account of life in the early UP was "lost" in 160 year old archives. Now recovered it has now been published by the Northern Michigan University Dept of History. It is available for $10 plus postage. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org