The Occasional Yooper

Guest Michigan Blogger Robin Driessen Bruecker shares her “Pure Michigan Moment,” an annual trip to the Upper Peninsula with her husband.

Flickr Photo Credit: John Noltner

Miner's Beach in Munising

There’s something magnetic about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Maybe it’s the mile after mile of forests or the vast stretches of refreshingly undeveloped land. Maybe it’s the vibrant sunlight or the pale sand and blue waters of a sunny Lake Superior summer day that reminds me of the beach in Kauai. Maybe it’s the rolling hills, alive with color in autumn; the charming cottages of all sizes, conditions and styles; a small lake completely ringed with wild roses; or an abundance of wonderful waterfalls.

Our most recent escape to the Upper Peninsula was last July. We stayed at the Knots Log Cabin, part of the Cabin Fever Cabin Rentals, nestled deep in the woods near Grand Marais. On a trip into town, we found we had arrived the same weekend as the Great Lakes Sea Kayaking Symposium. The bay was bustling with kayakers on their colorful watercrafts. We ate at the Lake Superior Brewing Co., where we found new culinary favorites: the turkey panini and beer-battered Lake Superior whitefish were delicious enough for a second visit during our weekend vacation.

We trekked to Munising for lunch at The Navigator, where I had Babe the Blue Ox blueberry pancakes (something I discovered on our last trip—I had been waiting a year to taste them again!). At nearby Open Wings Pottery, I found a great locally made souvenir—a luminary with a cutout of the Upper Peninsula.

On our last morning, we returned to Grand Marais and sat on a bench overlooking the bay, watching the anchored boats and the remaining kayakers. The serenity of it all was perfect for simply sitting and watching.

I’m Wisconsin born and raised with many summers spent “Up North,” but Michigan’s Upper Peninsula fills an equal space in my heart.

Robin, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, wrote about her “Pure Michigan Moment” for Michigan Travel Ideas. Robin tells us, “Some of the best things about the UP are the vast expanses of wooded land, the lack of traffic and crowds, the Lake Superior shoreline and what we felt were relatively lower prices.”