5 Misconceptions about Winter Travel to the U.P.

It’s no secret that with the beauty of Michigan in winter, some stereotypes come along with it. This certainly rings true in the Upper Peninsula, which some people think is nearly inhabitable during the cold weather months. But as U.P. residents and enthusiasts will tell you, there’s so much to enjoy during a Pure Michigan Snow Day in the U.P. Read below as two U.P. guest bloggers share five misconceptions about traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the wintertime. 1.       Winter travel limits the fun Those who live in and oft-visit the U.P. never let a little snow get in the way of a good time! Enjoying an evening on the town while avoiding slippery roads is easy in a place like downtown Sault Ste. Marie, where dozens of taverns, restaurants, and shops are found within a short three-block area. Plowed sidewalks are pedestrian friendly and snowmobiles are allowed on Downtown streets for those who arrive via trail. Who needs a car?

Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the winter

Photo Courtesy of Wolverine Photography

2.       Everything is closed in the winter Many attractions remain open all year long in the Upper Peninsula but take on a delightful new appeal when covered in snow. Visit Tahquamenon Falls State Park this winter to see incredible ice displays sculpted by Mother Nature herself. Anglers see their lakes transformed for a new catch and hikers get a new perspective when exploring snow-covered forests by snowshoe. At the day’s end, bundle up with hot cocoa or an Irish coffee at one of the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s four casinos.

sault

Photo Courtesy of Michigan Nut Photography

3.       It’s too cold to do anything outside Some people think that because the Upper Peninsula is so far north, it’s nearly impossible to do anything outside. Guess again! Between guided snowshoe hikes, dog sled races, antique snowmobile runs and restaurants ready to serve up a nice hot plate with a beer brewed locally, you’re sure to enjoy the outdoors.  Some residents say it’s just as busy in the winter as it is in the summer! One thing that folks in the Keweenaw Peninsula know is that Lake Superior actually moderates temperature enough to keep it cold, but comfortable, in the winter.

View from the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

Photo Courtesy of Tim Burke

4.       There’s nothing to see in the U.P., especially in the winter Let’s kick this misconception to the curb right away – you get to cross the western hemispheres’ LARGEST suspension bridge when traveling to the U.P.! Ask any Michigander who has crossed the bridge, it is a rite of passage. Besides the obvious, there are the beautiful campuses of Lake Superior State University, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan University, and the breathtaking porcupine mountains. 5.       There’s nothing in the Upper Peninsula that you can’t find in the Lower Peninsula Not true! Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is famous for the amount of snow it gets, sometimes even up to 200 inches a year! While the L.P. has countless Pure Michigan Snow Day activities, the U.P.’s top-rated snowmobiling trails, ski resorts and winter festivals make it a blast for any visitor. What do you love most about the Upper Peninsula? Share with us below! Hoath-print   Linda Hoath is the Executive Director of the Sault Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, a post she has held for 13 years. Linda is an outspoken advocate for the Eastern Upper Peninsula and also plays an active role with several state and regional organizations.     amanda_oppe-300x300Amanda Oppe is the Social Media & Marketing Manager for the Keweenaw convention and visitors bureau. Originally from Illinois, Amanda and her family were drawn to the Keweenaw and have been living and working in the Copper Country for almost 4 years. Since coming to the KCVB, Amanda has established our presence along with advertising on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Since the forward movement with technology Amanda has grown our audience by thousands. This past year Amanda completed a full upgrade to the KCVB website to make it mobile and user friendly, and designed and implemented a new mobile app that is an in-depth vacation guide making a visitor’s trip just a little easier. Amanda truly loves the Keweenaw and loves helping visitors enjoy the Keweenaw Peninsula and all it has to offer.

Happy 179th Statehood Day, Michigan!

Happy Statehood Day, Michigan! On this day in 1837, Michigan officially became the 26th state of the United States of America. In celebration, we asked residents and visitors of the Great Lakes state to tell us what they love most about Pure Michigan.

What do you love most about Michigan? Share with us by commenting below!

Name These 7 Pure Michigan Things: Blue Monday Edition

Happy Blue Monday! What is Blue Monday, you ask? Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) reported to be the most depressing day of the year.  So as we look to kick the winter ‘blues’ with travel packages, deals and other incredible adventures during a Pure Michigan Snow Day, try your luck at guessing seven locations, phrases or landmarks that are ‘blue’ in Michigan. 1. This bridge is a major international crossing over the St. Clair River at the southern end of Lake Huron. Located between Port Huron and Point Edward, Ontario connecting both Interstate 94 and Interstate 69 with Highway 402 it is one of the fastest links between the Midwest and Ontario as well as the Northeast United States.

Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron

Photo Courtesy of Facebook Fan Tom Hughes

2. For more than 35 years, this fine arts camp has been providing instruction through three distinctive programs, the Summer Camp Program, International Exchange Program and Blue Lake Public Radio. Nestled in Michigan’s western lower peninsula, 15 miles from downtown Muskegon, it welcomes young musicians, artists, dancers and actors to experience a time of fun and learning. 3. If you travel to an iconic Great Lakes state university located in Ann Arbor, you’ll hear this phrase emphatically chanted around on campus and at sporting events.

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

4.This particular shade of blue is worn by Pure Michigan’s NFL team, the Detroit Lions. Since coming to Detroit in 1934, the Lions have worn this color, in addition to silver, except for 1948 when then head coach Bo McMillin changed it to maroon. (influenced by his years as coach at Indiana). Since calling Detroit home in 1934, the Lions have won four league championships. 5. Delicious fruits that you can pick at Michigan U-Pick farms, when in season. During August, Montrose has an entire festival dedicated to the delectable fruit, where delicious _________ pancakes and pies can be enjoyed.

Michigan Blueberry Pie from Achatz Handmade Pie Company

Photo Courtesy of Zack Achatz

6.This annual Upper Peninsula pond hockey championship, taking place Feb. 11-14, is one of the few tournaments where their ‘pond’ is actually one of the Great Lakes! The pond hockey tournament is played on the frozen ice of Moran Bay, Lake Huron. Thirty 75′ x 150′ rinks are created and over 250 games are played during a fun-filled weekend every year. Plan your stay in St. Ignace when looking to attend the tournament!

Labatt Blue Ice Hockey Championship in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

7. Though not always physically blue, these Pure Michigan panfish make for great eating and can be caught on the shores of Michigan’s many inland lakes. If Ice Fishing is your hobby, try to catch one or many of these fish during the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Free Fishing weekend Feb. 13 and 14. What did we miss? Share with us by commenting below! *Answers: 1. Blue Water Bridge. 2. Go Blue. 3. Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. 4. Michigan Blueberries. 5. Honolulu Blue. 6. Labatt Blue Ice Hockey Championship. 7. Bluegill.