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  1. #1

    Default STL to UP and back -- looking for suggestions

    Hi all,

    My wife and I will be taking a short (5 day or so) road trip out of St. Louis leaving this Saturday.

    Currently we are looking at gouing up to the UP of Michigan, along the Superior shore some way into Wisconsin, and then ambling back. Aside from meeting some friends for lunch in Chicago the first day, our itinerary is wide open and can be easily changed. Anyone have any favorite sites, destinations, restaurants (of any type), or anything else they might like to mention that lie vaguely along this route?

    We have a moderate budget and are in decent shape -- ideas for short-to-medium hikes (say up to a few miles) are especially welcome.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Wisconsin and the UP

    As much as I've travelled through these areas, it has never been at the relaxed pace of a tourist. I've just got way too much family in the area (something like 35 first cousins!), so my suggestions are more in the way of things I've always wanted to do if I could just slow down. I'd of course spend some time in Door County (the peninsula that juts out between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. I have camped there and it is just as lovely a setting as I've found along the lake, and with far fewer small flying bugs than you'll find as you work your way north into the UP. I'd also take the ferry over to Madeline Island as you work your way westward across the southern shore of Lake Superior.

    Wisconsin also has a unique system of rustic roads. These are not like most state's scenic byways in that they typically aren't very long and don't necessarily go anywhere. I've always thought they would make better hiking than driving venues. Another cheap (free) quiet ferry trip can be made at Merrimac or you can cross the Mississippi on a ferry at Cassville and return to St. Louis on the west side of the river.

    Finally, Wisconsin is home to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo if such tickles your funny bone. It will, unfortunately, be too early in the season for there to be any fall foliage.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-25-2005 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Get the lake names right!

  3. #3


    This did help very much. Thank you. I hope you don't mind that this comes over a year after the trip.

    Unfortunately (?), we move fairly slowly so we missed a lot of your suggestions. They are in the hopper for a longer future trip though (and there will be one.

    The first day, we met some friends in Chicago for lunch at Bob Chinn's (excellent fish) and then headed up into WI for an overnight stay in Appleton. We (well, I) chose Appleton because i simply had to see the strange horse statue downtown. I must say that, from the right angle, it does indeed look like a horse nuzzling a certain part of the human anatomy.

    The second day, we regretfully bypassed Door County and made it to Munising. We spent the afternoon exploring Painted Rocks National Lakeshore and overnighted back in Munising.

    The third day, we meandered westward along the Lake Superior shore and explored the Keweenaw Peninsula. The overlook from the mountain above Copper Harbor (we hit it just before sunset) is marvelous. Overnighted in Houghton.

    The next day, we had pasties for breakfast in a little cafe in Hancock (whose name I forget). they weren't quite as good as my great-grandmother's (she was Cornish -- her family came over to work the Empire Mine just outside Grass Valley, CA -- which, ironically, I have never been to despite my folks living very near by -- I need to remedy that) but grandma's food is reallyhard to compete with. We continued exploring along the coast. Highlights of this day were the waterfalls along the Black River and the falls where the Montreal empties into Lake Superior right at the MI/WI border. Overnighted in Ashland, WI but didn't have time to make it out to the Apostle Islands.

    After that, we moseyed back South and spent the afternoon and evening in Cedarburg. Fun town, but the highlights of the trip were definitely the UP and northern WI.

    Final day, we had to hurry back to St. Louis as I had to be there by 6:00 PM the next day. We made it with a whole 45 minutes to spare after toddling about Cedarburg for a bit first.

    I look on this as a whetting of the appetite trip. My wife loved the shoreline and everything just felt crisp and fresh and wonderful. We barely scratched the surface on the region.

    We lucked out on weather and crowds. It was the last week of August/first week of September. We didn't get stuck in any traffic (I understand this is highly unusual in the UP) and the weather held the entire time.

    Wonderful trip.

    Thanks again, Buck.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-01-2006 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Format

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Different Strokes

    Thanks for the report, and since we're all still here and folks are still looking for ideas for things to do, a year's delay is no problem. I'm glad to see that my suggestions were helpful, but even more pleased that you were able to find other enjoyable activities. One of my recurring rants is that there is plenty to do no matter where you are and there's so much more than just a list of 'must sees'. In all the times I've visited Appleton, I've never seen or heard of the horse statue you mention. But that whole area around the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Apostle Islands is a true hidden gem.

    Yeah, I've got to get back there soon too.


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