I’m always surprised when I meet someone who has spent little or no time in the Upper Peninsula. It’s a long drive, to be sure, but it is home for many of the state’s finest natural features, all great travel destinations where superlatives are in order. Those include the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, spectacular at any time of year, the breathtaking power of Tahquamenon Falls and the beautiful isolation of Point Abbaye on Lake Superior in Baraga County, among others.
Our 384-mile wide northern peninsula, with its national forests, designated wilderness areas, lakes, rivers and rugged topography, has become a trendy playground for outdoor enthusiasts. But the ‘Yoop,’ as many call it, isn’t just a hub for bird-hunters, anglers, hikers, bikers, paddlers and nature buffs. It also is home to theater, arts, culture and history — fascinating sites that memorialize past eras in the state. For example, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, where maritime history comes alive, or the Keweenaw National Historical Park that presents Michigan’s copper mining era or the 47-mile long Iron Ore Heritage bicycle trail between Marquette and Ishpeming.
In this Travel & Adventure issue of BLUE, we bring you an assortment of destinations around Michigan. Journalist Marla R. Miller details some of the cultural and natural landscapes found along Lake Superior between Grand Marais and Marquette in her feature about the region.
“Marquette is the Upper Peninsula’s largest city, and it has a growing foodie and brewery scene. Northern Michigan University brings in 8,000 college students every year, making this the region’s hippest and most urban area. It also serves as a four-season playground for outdoor adventure types,” she writes.
Amy Eckert, an award-winning travel writer, explores Isle Royale National Park on foot with her husband, looking to hike the 40-mile Greenstone Ridge Trail. Meanwhile, author Tom Renkes shares his insights from a 1,000-mile solo kayaking trip on Lake Superior.
Perhaps you’ve wondered where Chicago gangster Al Capone vacationed in Michigan and which resorts he might have frequented?
Author Dianna Stampfler chased that down for BLUE readers, separating the facts from fiction and legend with some surprising findings.
Shipwreck fans should be prepared for the haunting photo feature shot during a 2018 underwater expedition to the SS Daniel J. Morrell, a steel freighter on the bottom of Lake Huron in 200-plus feet of water. All but one of its crew perished when it sunk in 1966.
This issue also treats readers to a true boutique winery in southwest Michigan, a gorgeous historical inn renovation in Lexington and the story of Michigan’s own “Green Book” listings in the pre-civil rights days when African American tourists needed guidance to know where they might stay without harassment.
Howard Meyerson, Managing Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine