More than 12,000 people voted in MyNorth’s 2020 Red Hot Best competition, and if you were one of them, you saw we’ve changed it up. After more than a decade of sharing the winners in each category for Northern Michigan as a whole, we decided to dig into 11 different regions and discover the best in each unique area. So, without further ado, here are voters’ picks for best businesses, people and places Above the Bridge in our mighty Upper Peninsula.
Want to see the winners from other regions, too? Click here for Cadillac, Charlevoix, Gaylord & Grayling, Leelanau, Ludington, Mackinac Island, Manistee & Benzie, Marquette, Petoskey & Harbor and Traverse City.
Bar to Hear Live Music
1. Shooters Firehouse Brewpub, Munising
A hot live-music lineup sets fire to this laid-back, firefighter pub.
2. The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing Co., Grand Marais
3. Pickles Bar & Grill, Brimley
Beach for Sunset
1. Whitefish Point, Paradise
Park yourself on the due north side of this shark fin-shaped point and turn to the western sky as the sun sinks into diamond-dappled Lake Superior. Give Canada a wave—it’s only 20 miles away.
2. Sand Point Beach, Munising
3. US-2 Sand Dunes Beach, East of Brevort
Bloody Mary (Place)
1. The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing Co., Grand Marais
They call them Bloody Marais here and add a splash of their house-brewed stout to this tomato-and pickle juice potion topped with fresh horseradish, slices of lime, lemon and a pepper-sprinkled pickle. Olives, too, oh yes!
2. Harbor Haus Restaurant, Copper Harbor
3. Les Cheneaux Distillers, Cedarville
1. Falling Rock Cafe & Book Store, Munising
Browse the huge collection of new, used and rare books while your toasted bagel is bedecked with cream cheese and freshly caught and smoked whitefish. Or maybe you just want it with egg and sausage.
2. Hilltop Restaurant, L’Anse
3. Java Joe’s Cafe, St. Ignace
Brewery (Must Brew Own Beer)
1. ByGeorge Brewing Co., Munising
Part owner George Schulz makes healthy use of his Pharmacy and Chemistry degree at this brand new brewery that boasts a robust lineup of slurping-fine taps.
2. Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub, Paradise
3. The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing Co., Grand Marais
Campground (RV and/or Tent)
1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
If you’ve ever closed out a day near one of these limestone cliffs overlooking Lake Superior, you’ll know why this is a winner.
2. Tahquamenon Falls State Park Rivermouth Campgrounds
3. Straits State Park, St. Ignace
Chicken Wings (Place)
1. Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub, Paradise
Top a hike along the Tahquamenon falls with these seasoned, breaded and fried lip-smackers.
2. The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing Co., Grand Marais
3. Raber Bay Bar ‘N’ Family Restaurant, Goetzville
1. Tea Spoon Creek Farm and Bait, Newberry
From veggies to wigglers, a true U.P. experience.
2. Hall Farms, Rock
3. Roderick Farm’s Veggie Stand, Bessemer
Favorite Nonprofit (In Region)
1. Keweenaw Land Trust, Hancock
Protectors of the western U.P.—otherwise known as our last frontier.
2. Grand Marais Sno-Trails Association, Grand Marais
3. Michigan Association of Timbermen, Newberry
1. The Fish Basket, Munising
This permanent food truck with garage seating attached is becoming famous for its swimmingly fab fried whitefish basket. As they say—from Lake Superior into the frying pan!
2. Brown Fisheries Fish House, Paradise
3. Fred’s Pub, St. Ignace
Fishing Charter Company
1. Keweenaw Charter Fishing Co., Houghton
Captain Travis White splits his time chartering with work aboard Michigan Tech’s Lake Superior Research Vessel R/V Agassiz. You can trust him to get you your fish—and get you safely to shore.
2. Kimar’s Charters, Au Train
3. Sturgeon Bay Charters, Drummond Island
Happy Hour (Restaurant/Bar)
1. Boot Lake Bar & Grill, Manistique
$1 off drinks (more than 50 craft and domestic beers, local wines, full bar) from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday, awesome apps, classic rock playlist and friendly staff. Adds up to some happy hours!
2. The Wicked Sister, Sault Ste. Marie
3. Mackinac Grille, St. Ignace
Hardware and Building Supply Store
1. Superior Hardware LLC, Grand Marais
From stuff to fix your house to stuff to fix your snowmobile, this family-owned business is about helping you out of your fix.
2. DeTour Drummond Building Center, De Tour Village
3. Keweenaw Specialty Woods, Mohawk
Hotel, Inn or Resort
1. Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, Copper Harbor
Lovers of outdoor sports and Northwoods elegance have this circa 1934 rustic beauty on their recurring bucket list.
2. Sunset Cabins, Grand Marais
3. Eagle Harbor Inn, Eagle Harbor
Ice Cream Shop
1. The Frozen Flamingo, Munising
Fun, campy pink shop that takes cones to a new level: chocolate chip, oreo, pretzel and M&M’s. Now you gotta choose your ice cream … banana cream pie? Caramel Explosion? Peanut Butter & Jelly? Can’t choose? Order up an ice cream flight.
2. Miners Falls Mini Golf, Munising
3. Molly Moo’s Ice Cream Parlor, St. Ignace
Photo by Chris Guibert
Keweenaw Mountain Lodge // Photo by Chris Guibert
1. U.P. Trading Co., Newberry
You know that kind of place that you stumble on and come away with something you didn’t know you HAD to have? This is it.
2. Everson’s Home Furnishings, Newberry
3. Kirkish Furniture, Inc., Houghton
Local Insurance Agent (Name, Agency)
1. Kerry Lamoneaux, Alger General Agency, Munising
For 20 years Kerry and her bright, caring all-woman support team at Alger Agency have been making folks in Munising feel just a little more secure.
2. Kirby Carl Wendt, Forest Insurance Center Agency, Newberry
3. Tina Lauridsen, Danielson Insurance Agency Inc., Menominee
Mountain Biking Trail
1. Pictured Rocks Mountain Bike Trails, Grand Marais
Miles and miles of remote trails that wind through deep forest and by the Lake Superior shore. Beware of moose crossing.
2. Munising Mountain Bike Park, Munising
3. Iron Ore Heritage Trail, Republic to Marquette
Outdoor Gear Store
1. Grand Marais Outfitters, Grand Marais
In a region where wearing the wrong outfit could cost you a case of hypothermia, stop here before you head out into the wild.
2. Bird’s Eye Outfitters, Sault Ste. Marie
3. Paradise Recreational Sports, Paradise
Outdoor Running Trail
1. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
A trail runner’s heaven. A 40-mile path through the forest that threads along Lake Superior cliffs, beaches and forest. You may never go back to the asphalt jungle.
2. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
3. Crow Lake & Big Knob Pathways, Naubinway
1. Hillside Party Store, Munising
The area’s largest craft and domestic beer collection and a full liquor and wine inventory—with an emphasis on Michigan products. The Yooper hospitality? Priceless.
2. Melstrand Union General Store, Shingleton
3. Shottle Bop Party Store, Hancock
Place to Get Coffee
1. Falling Rock Cafe & Bookstore, Munising
Books—new, used and rare—mix with a fresh cafe menu and great coffee. Owners Nancy and Jeff roast their own beans, under the label Great Lakes Coffee Company, and serve it up black, espresso and with all forms of whipped milk. When your number is up on the birch log, your drink is ready.
2. Gallery Coffee Company, Munising
3. Les Cheneaux Coffee Co., Cedarville
Place to Get Pasties
1. Lehto’s Pasties, St. Ignace
While serving in World War II, Mr. Lehto dreamed of the little meat pies—pasties—his mom made back home in the Upper Peninsula. A year after his discharge, he started Lehto’s Pasties in 1947. Lehto’s is still family-run and still makes dreamy pasties.
2. Muldoons Pasties & Gifts, Munising
3. Roy’s Pasties & Bakery, Houghton
Place to Get Your Annuals and Perennials
1. Up Scapes, Chatham
From his high school lawn maintenance business to studying landscaping at college, owner Michael Saberniak knows his turf.
2. Northern Nursery, McMillan
3. Grow Maxx, Iron Mountain
1. Tracey’s at Roam Inn, Munising
Intimate, hip-rustic interior, a menu that fuses local and international flavors, full bar and great service. One for your UP gotta’ do list.
2. Antlers Restaurant, Sault Ste. Marie
3. Tahquamenon Falls Brewery & Pub, Paradise
Sport Gear Rental Company
1. Keweenaw Adventure Company, Copper Harbor
Looking to sea kayak Lake Superior? Mountain bike the famous Copper Harbor trails? Sam and his staff have you covered.
2. Grand Marais Powersports, Grand Marais
3. Bird’s Eye Outfitters, Sault Ste. Marie
Spot to Bird Watch
1. Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Seney
Almost 100,000 acres devoted to loons, sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, warblers osprey and other feathered beauties. Keep your eyes peeled: wolf make their home here too.
2. Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, Paradise
3. Hiawatha National Forest, Manistique
Summer Festival or Event
1. Pictured Rocks Days, Munising
Show your Yooper ID and hop aboard a Pictured Rocks Cruise free at this two-day festival in June. Live music, food booths and other fun stuff round out the weekend.
2. St. Ignace Car Show Weekend, St. Ignace
3. Upper Peninsula State Fair, Escanaba
1. Red Barn Weddings, LLC, Skandia
Get married in the rustic splendor of a circa 1900 big red barn set in wooded hills. Load up your wedding party on a carriage or wagon for photo ops at Laughing Whitefish Falls.
2. Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn, Curtis
3. Mackinac Weddings, St. Ignace
Winter Festival or Event
1. Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival, Houghton
When some 6,000 cold-weather thriving brainiacs (average high school GPA 3.78) compete in this festival’s famous ice sculpture competition—trust us, it’s worth a trip to Houghton to see them.
2. International 500 Snowmobile Race, Sault Ste. Marie
3. Trenary Outhouse Classic, Trenary