6 Must-Visit Upper Peninsula Coffee Shops

Today, featured blogger Jesse Land of Things to Do in the U.P. describes six Upper Peninsula coffee shops that are perfect for a quick pick-me-up after a busy day.

Have you ever needed to grab a coffee while traveling and just haven’t been able to find a place? I know I have. And because I care about my fellow coffee lovers, I’m here to give you the skinny on where to get your caffeine fix while exploring the Upper Peninsula.

Dead River CoffeeMarquette, MI

Dead River Coffee is primarily a coffee roaster, and if you’re timing is right, you might catch Theo (the owner) roasting a batch of beans as you order your favorite coffee drink. (The smell is amazing!) Grab a pound of his popular “Harbor Girl” roast for the road. 119 W Baraga Ave. Marquette, MI

5th and Elm - Calumet, MI

This cool coffee shop is housed in a nicely restored historic building in downtown Calumet. Formerly a gas station, the building now houses one of the two 5th & Elm locations (the other is in Houghton) and serves up ice cream and sandwiches as well as coffee. 501 Elm St. Calumet, MI

Moose Jackson CafeIron Mountain, MI

Moose doubles as one of the town’s social hubs. It’s often busy, especially around lunch time when sandwiches, wraps, salads and paninis fly out of the kitchen as busy lunchtime chatter fills the space. They do a great job getting orders out, though, and the food is good enough for this to also be a very legitimate breakfast or lunch spot. 221 E A St. Iron Mountain, MI

Stone Cup Coffee House & Stones Deli – Escanaba, MI

Are you seeing a trend here? Yes, most of the coffee shops in the U.P. also double as restaurants. And the Stone Cup Coffee House & Stones Deli in Escanaba is no different. This is a great place to grab a mouthwatering breakfast or lunch as well as a quality coffee. 1222 Ludington St. Escanaba, MI

Falling Rock Cafe’ – Munising, MI

The Falling Rock is a true gem, nestled in downtown Munising, just south of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Part coffee shop, part bookstore, this is a place where you could easily spend a couple hours. They also serve a wide selection of ice cream for those hot summer days, and a full menu of soups and sandwiches if you’re in the mood for lunch. If you happen to be visiting Pictured Rocks and mother nature rains on your parade, grab a coffee, crack open one of their more than 1,000 new and used books and relax for a while. 104 E Munising Ave., Munising, MI

The Serving Spoon – Menominee, MI

Tucked inside a house along Menominee’s historic waterfront district, The Serving Spoon is a breakfast hotspot as well as coffee shop. From here, it’s just a short drive (or nice walk) to Menominee’s North Pier Lighthouse. 821 1st St. Menominee, MI

Now that you’ve got a good idea where to get your caffeine fix in the U.P., I’d love to hear about any other great coffee shops out there. What’s your favorite Michigan coffee shop?

This post was written by Jesse Land, publisher of the Upper Peninsula travel website Things to do in the U.P. on behalf of Travel Marquette Michigan.

 

 

A Picture Perfect Fall Color Tour

Jesse Land, founder of Things to do in the U.P., is back to take us on another fall color tour around the Upper Peninsula. If you missed his last two posts, be sure to check out his recommendations on tours around the Keweenaw Peninsula and the central area of the U.P. 

For more ideas on fall color tours around Michigan, see this week’s Pure Michigan fall color report on michigan.org.

So far, I’ve taken you on one fall color tour through the rugged Keweenaw Peninsula, and on another “off the beaten path” through the central U.P. Today, I’m going to lead you from Marquette to Grand Marais, via the one of the Upper Peninsula’s crown jewels, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera along for this one!

Before we get started, Marquette has oodles of great places to stay. A couple of my favorite are the historic Landmark Inn and newly constructed Hampton Inn, both of which are within walking distance from Marquette’s many excellent eating and drinking establishments. (The Vierling is one of my favorites.)

Breakfast in Marquette

Both of the aforementioned hotels have good breakfast options. That said, the Sweetwater Café has been woven into the fabric of the Marquette breakfast scene for as long as I can recall, and is well worth a look. According to their website, they serve “both old fashioned favorites and unique dishes inspired by flavors from around the world.” Having eaten there more than a few times, I’d say that’s a very accurate description. Drink some coffee. Eat breakfast. Leave with a smile on your face.

The Morning Drive

Now that you’ve got a full belly and some caffeine in your system, lets’ hit the road! M-28 east stretches about forty five miles east from Marquette to Munising. It’s a pretty drive full of fall color. It also hugs the Lake Superior shoreline most of the way so you’ll see “the big lake” appear through gaps in the vibrant hardwoods every now and again.

Pictured Rocks – Via Boat Tour!

To make the most of your day, get to Munising in time to catch the 10:00 AM Pictured Rocks boat tour. The “regular cruise” lasts about two hours and forty minutes, and will show you some of the most popular Pictured Rocks sites, including Miners Castle, Lovers Leap, Grand Portal, and many others! It’s the best way to see much of what Pictured Rocks has to offer in a relatively short period of time. (2012 tours run through October 21st)

The Famous Highway H-58

Highway H-58, stretching from Munising to Grand Marais, is a wonderfully curvy drive. You’ll pass by the White Birch Forest (brilliant in fall) and wind through an endless stand of hardwoods as you drive east toward Grand Marais.

If you’re up for a hike, I’d recommend the venturing off on the three mile (round trip) hike to Chapel Falls. It’s roughly midway between Munising and Grand Marais, and leads down an easy trail through a forest of hardwoods that are always full of color in autumn.

H-58 boasts several scenic turnouts, but I’d highly recommend stopping at the Logslide Overlook. Once literally used to slide huge logs down the 300 foot drop to Lake Superior, Logslide is now a gorgeous scenic overlook that offers wonderful views of the Au Sable lighthouse to the west and the expansive Grand Sable Dunes to the east.

Destination Grand Marais

A little further east lies Grand Marais, a wonderful little harbor village that fills up in the summer but offers travelers some elbow room in the fall. As far as places to stay here, I’ve heard great things about the Hill Top Cabins, though they’ve always had no vacancy when I’ve called! (I’m thinking that’s a good thing.)

I recommend checking out the one of a kind Lake Superior Brewing Company for great pizza, fresh fish and locally brewed beer. And if you end up staying the night, the West Bay Diner is a standout breakfast spot!

If you do even some of what I’ve recommended, at the end of the day you should have a good handle on what Pictured Rocks is all about, and you’ll hopefully also have filled up your camera with picture perfect memories!

Jesse Land is the founder of Things to do in the U.P., a website dedicated to helping people discover the best of the Upper Peninsula. For regular Upper Peninsula travel tips, follow Things to do in the U.P. on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thingstodointheup.

11 Little Known Facts about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Jesse Land, a native Yooper, runs the U.P. travel site “Things to do in the U.P.” (www.thingstodointheup.com). Today on our blog, he shares 11 little known facts about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

1. The Mackinac Bridge fare today for a standard passenger vehicle is $4.00. When the bridge first opened in 1957, the fare was $3.75. That’s about $28.71 in today’s dollars! The reason for the seemingly high fare was that was the cost of a ferry ticket to get across the straights of Mackinac was $3.75. So, drivers could either pay $3.75 to ferry across (which took a while) or pay the same price and drive across in just a few minutes!

2. Former U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt once sued an Upper Peninsula newspaper for slander, and won. He sued the paper for the nominal charge of 6 cents, or in his words, “The cost of a good newspaper.” The paper in question was called the Iron Ore, and had accused Roosevelt of public drunkenness.

3. “Win one for the Gipper” is a famous quote from the 1940 movie “Kunute Rockne All American,” starring Ronald Regan. In real life, George Gipp, aka “The Gipper” was Notre Dame’s first All American player, and he was from the little town of Laurium in the Upper Peninsula!

4. Michigan has eighty three counties, and the last one to be formed was Dickinson County in the Upper Peninsula. It was formed in 1891 from parts of Marquette, Menominee and Iron counties.

5. The largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula is Lake Gogebic.  Its fourteen miles long and two and a half miles wide, covering 13,380 acres.

6. The state bird is the robin. The state stone is the Petoskey Stone. The state flower is the apple blossom, and the state tree is the Eastern White Pine. The state gem is chlorastrolite, which is commonly known as “Michigan Greenstone” and found largely in the Upper Peninsula.

7. Almost all of Michigan is located in the Eastern Time Zone. However, the Upper Peninsula has four counties that lie in the Central Time Zone. Those counties are Iron, Dickinson, Gogebic, and Menominee.

8. Bishop Baraga could possibly soon be “sainted” by the Catholic Church, and if that happens, the Upper Peninsula can expect a big bump in religious tourism by people interested in learning more about “the snowshoe priest,” who’s currently buried in the Upper Peninsula. Much of Baraga’s work was carried out in the U.P.

9. In August of 1923, three of the most famous American entrepreneurs made their first camping trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The three men were Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and the trip would eventually spur much economic activity in the U.P.!

10. Isle Royale National Park, part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is the least visited national park in the country. It has fewer visitors’ in an entire year than Yosemite has in a single day!

11. “Anatomy of a Murder” was a famous book (and subsequently movie) written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker (under the pen name Robert Traver). Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney. The film was shot in several locations in the Upper Peninsula, including Big Bay, Marquette, Ishpeming, and Michigamme.

A native Yooper, Jesse Land lives in Iron Mountain and enjoys hiking, biking, boating, and camping with his family. He runs the U.P. travel site “Things to do in the U.P.” (www.thingstodointheup.com).