A Tour of Downtown Sault Ste. Marie

Lace up your walking shoes and prepare to immerse yourself in the rich history of this charming Upper Peninsula city, where every step reveals a story from the past.

Exterior of a diner in downtown Sault Ste. Marie
Downtown Sault Ste. Marie | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

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Begin your journey at the iconic Soo Locks, where Great Lakes freighters gracefully navigate the waterways. Witness the engineering marvels of the locks and feel the pulse of maritime history in this bustling hub. As you stroll along the waterfront boardwalk, the panoramic views of the river and the distant Canadian shore will captivate your senses.

Next, meander through the historic district, where 19th-century architecture meets modern vitality. The quaint boutiques and local eateries beckon you to explore the unique charm of each storefront.

Exterior of the Chippewa County Historical Society
Chippewa County Historical Society | Photo Courtesy of Place + Main Advisors

As you traverse the city's streets, don't miss the Sault Area Arts Center, showcasing the vibrant local art scene. The historic buildings along Ashmun Street invite you to step back in time, each with its own tale to tell. Stop at the Chippewa County Historical Society to delve deeper into the area's indigenous roots and colonial past.

Give your feet a rest when you launch a kayak to take in the area from a different perspective – the water! Outdoor recreation near downtown is plentiful. Whether hiking, biking, stand-up paddle boarding and more. There are many opportunities for adventure.

A crêpe in a to go box on an outdoor dining table.
Oh Crêpe & Coffee | Photo Courtesy of Place + Main Advisors

No downtown tour is complete without indulging in local flavors. Savor a cup of freshly brewed coffee at one of the charming cafés or relish the taste of Northern Michigan's cuisine in one of the cozy restaurants. The warm hospitality of the locals adds an extra layer of authenticity to the adventure.

As the sun sets over the St. Marys River, find yourself back at the Soo Locks, where the evening lights create a magical ambiance. Reflect on the day's exploration, and marvel at the timeless beauty of Sault Ste. Marie. With its blend of history, culture and natural wonders, this walking tour promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.