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Lagers, Lakes, and Landmarks: things to do in Marquette, Michigan

February 15, 2024

“Lake life” looks a little different as you travel the coasts of the Great Lakes. The shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Marquette is one of our favorite places to visit.  

There’s great food, historic architecture, and nature to explore any direction you go; it’s everything we love about the north, where you can enjoy UP culture and nature, as well as enjoy a Lager for the Lakes. 

Here are five things to check out in Marquette: 

1. Presque Isle Park


A serene view of a rocky cliff covered in lush green trees, overlooking the calm waters under a partly cloudy sky.

One of the most iconic natural wonders right near Marquette is Presque Isle Park. The 324-acre park offers hiking, swimming and rock structures unlike any in the region. 

It’s right on Lake Superior, which is the largest freshwater lake in the world, holding about 10% of global fresh water. If you want to go swimming, be ready: temperatures can be a little chilly. 

One thing to see at the park are the iconic Blackrocks. These aren’t just any rocks — they are some 1.7 billion years old, some of the oldest on Earth. 

Learn more about Presque Isle Park 

2. Downtown Marquette

A serene view of a brick building adorned with a vibrant mural on its side wall. The mural features elements like waves, the sun, and the text “Marquette.” The scene is set against a clear blue sky, with a well-marked pedestrian crossing leading towards the cafe. The building houses the “TRENARY TOAST CAFE”

After a morning hike, it’s time to check out what the city has to offer! Downtown Marquette has great shops, bars and restaurants, but also some beautiful historic buildings. Make sure to check out Donckers for some homemade chocolate, and the Upper Peninsula Supply Co. for some fun crafted mementos. Also, just outside of town is the campus of Northern Michigan University, home to the Superior Dome, the largest wooden dome structure. There are also countless great bars and restaurants to visit throughout the downtown area. 

3. Ore Dock 

When you first arrive in Marquette, you’ll see a large, eight-story high concrete and steel structure near the water. What in the world is that? It’s the Ore Dock! 

Marquette was historically a shipping town, sending out lumber and iron ore around the country. Trains would bring the ore from the mines via tracks on top of the Ore Dock and dump the contents of their cars into freighters. Today, ships still occasionally use the dock, but it is a great landmark to visit, take some pictures, and marvel at the history of Michigan industry. 

4. Sugarloaf Mountain 

There aren’t many mountains in Michigan, but six miles from downtown Marquette is Sugarloaf Mountain. Its summit is 470 feet above Lake Superior, with multiple viewing platforms to see breathtaking views of the surrounding area. To get to the top, there is a 3,200-foot pathway and stairs to take. Here are more details on making the trip. Two other great spots to visit nearby are Little Presque Isle and Wetmore Landing, which has a great beach!  

5. Day Trips 

If you’re spending a couple of days in Marquette, you might want to take a day trip out to one of the many wonders of the UP.  

Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River and drops more than 50,000 gallons of water per second – that’s about twice the volume of a one-car garage. A little over two hours east of Marquette, it’s worth the stop if you’re heading that way on your travels. There’s a state park with ample hiking and activities. Learn more.  

Two Hearted River

If you’re headed to the Falls, you should check out the mouth of the Two Hearted River, which is just 20 miles to the west. There’s nothing like enjoying a Two Hearted IPA at the place that inspired so much of what we do. 

Big Bay

Big Bay is a great place to visit right on Lake Superior, just 30 miles from Marquette. It’s where the 1959 film “Anatomy of a Murder” was shot. Our UP sales rep Jon says the drive there along County Road 550 is a treasure trove of places to stop and hike and enjoy a Lager for the Lakes! 

Keweenaw Peninsula

To the northwest of Marquette is the Keweenaw Peninsula, which leads to the north most part of Michigan. Initially home to the copper mining boom of the 19th Century, there’s lot of neat historic buildings, outdoor adventures, and great places to eat and drink. Check out everything that’s there 

Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks offers some of the most stunning rock formations in the Midwest. Named after the streaks of minerals seen in the rocks, the lakeshore offers beaches and trails for hiking and kayaking. Book a boat ride to see the beauty of Lake Superior. Here’s more on making a trip. 

Upper Hand Brewery

How about a brewery road trip? Head south to Escanaba to visit our sister brewery at Upper Hand. They have lots of great beer on tap (including a pretty good Lager), tours of the brewing facility, and lots of exclusive UP stuff. Also, you get to see another lake – Michigan!  


Also, if you are planning a trip to the UP, consider going in the autumn to see the fall colors. 

Looking for more to do in Marquette? Here’s a list from our friends at Pure Michigan. 

Where are some of your favorite places to visit around the Great Lakes? Let us know! 

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