The Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan is one of the most beautiful places in the world to vacation.
While all of Michigan is known as “the Great Lakes State,” the Upper Peninsula is literally surrounded by three of the Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan and Huron.
If you are in Lower Michigan, you must cross the famous Mackinac Bridge to enter the U.P., which contains 29% of the land in Michigan, but just 3% of its total population.
Residents are frequently called Yoopers (U.P.-ers) and are proud of it! Many of the residents are Finnish, Danish, Swedish or Norwegian, and descended from those who came to work in the copper mines.
In addition to mining, the U.P. economy is based on logging and tourism.
Tourism in the U.P.
Other than the five popular Indian casinos in the U.P., tourism is almost entirely based on the beautiful nature everywhere.
Waterfalls abound in the U.P. In fact, the Upper Tahquamenon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. The falls are contained within the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which is about 13 miles of mostly undeveloped beauty.
There is also a popular tour of the Lake Superior Shoreline containing “Pictured Rocks.” This tour will take you past natural and gorgeous rock formations with names such as Miners Castle, Lovers Leap, Indian Head, Grand Portal, and Chapel Rock.
Shipwrecks were frequent occurrences in the history of the area’s frigid waters, and even those who don’t scuba dive can enjoy glass bottom boat tours. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is also fascinating. It is located where the Edmund Fitzgerald and its 29 sailors vanished in 1975.
There are also lots of historic light houses to see throughout the U.P.
Tours of the many mines in the U.P. are also popular. The Delaware Mine, where copper was mined from 1847-1887, is Keweenaw’s premier tourist attraction.
Tourists can visit the Delaware Mine’s Shaft No. 1 at a depth of 110 feet to see pure veins of copper exposed in the mine walls. There are also walking trails to the mine ruins, saw mill, large antique engine display, and train collection.
For more information about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, please see the U.P. Travel website.
This article was originally published on 10/9/2012.