All 15 Yooper Counties

My adventure started at the Michigan Welcome Center. While the inside appeared to be closed, the log cabin outside was cool to see.

The first courthouse I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was Menominee County. Only 14 more to go!

The Delta County Courthouse in Escanaba was the second courthouse I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Escanaba seemed like a cool little town to explore. I didn’t have much time to hang around since I needed to head to the next county, but a few things did catch my eye.

I ended up sleeping at a boat launch between Escanaba and Manistique. There was a storm that rolled through that night, but in the morning it made for an awesome sunrise!

The awesome thing about driving in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the massive forests and picturesque coastline that you get to see for large amounts of the drive.

The Schoolcraft County Courthouse was the third of 15 courthouses I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Along US-2 on the way to St. Igance, there was a lot of awesome coastline that had great places to pull off the road and get down by the water.

Mackinac County was the 4th courthouse I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was the first courthouse in all the courthouses I have visited where a sheriff’s deputy came out and asked me what I was doing taking pictures.

The Chippewa County Courthouse in Sault Ste. Marie was the 5th county I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Sault Ste. Marie had a very historic feel to it and judging by how packed it was downtown, it looked like a popular place to explore. I was looking to avoid people, so I snapped a few pictures and headed to the next county.

Luce County was the 6th courthouse I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This courthouse appeared to be a one stop shop for all county government services.

Alger County in Munising was the 7th county I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Just about halfway done!

After doing a ton of driving, I needed to stretch my legs. I checked out the views from the Munising Marina and did my best to avoid people who had the same idea as me.

Just as I needed to stretch my legs, I needed to eat something. While on the Great Lakes, I always love to eat fresh fish. The second I saw a blue building that said “smoked fish,” I had to stop!

Christmas, Michigan likes to spread Christmas cheer all year round!

Marquette County was the 8th Upper Peninsula of Michigan county I visited. I finally reached the halfway point of my adventure and also got to see the UP’s largest metropolis of a little over 21,000 people.

Baraga County was the 9th county I visited. This courthouse was small, but it had a really nice view.

Baraga Cliff Roadside Park had a steep drop beyond the fence, but that made for an awesome view!

The Houghton County Courthouse in Houghton was the 10th Upper Peninsula of Michigan county that I visited.

Keweenaw County is the 11th county I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is the northernmost county in Michigan and also the least populated. Its courthouse has also been standing for over 150 years!

With Keweenaw County being the least-populated county in Michigan, the jail and sheriff’s office easily fits into this house.

I finally hit a dozen counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! Ontonagon County was the 12th county I visited.

The sun was setting on my drive from Ontonagon to Bessemer. I couldn’t really find a good spot to pull off until I found a boat launch near Silver City. Luckily, I got there in time for some awesome views!

Gogebic County was the 13th county I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By this time, I was seeing the finish line and there were only two more counties to go after to this!

Did you know the concept of a rest stop was invented in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a little over 100 years ago? This roadside park was the first location that sprouted an idea that took off nationwide.

Iron County was the 14th county I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

An interesting quirk about my part of the drive to visit all 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is that I had to cut through Wisconsin when I took US-2 from Crystal Falls to Iron Mountain.

The 15th and final county I visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was Dickinson County in Iron Mountain. The first place I ever visited in the UP was Iron Mountain, so it was cool to be back.

I needed to kill some time before the place I wanted to get food at opened. I found this awesome park to relax at and start going through the pictures I had taken along this trip.

Getting a burger at Recreations Lanes in Iron Mountain, Michigan was something I specifically chose to do (and not impulsively did) as part of this trip. Some people I know often make the comment to me, “Are you going to drive 100 miles for a burger?” In some ways, it seems like a joke, but in other ways, it seems like a taunt because I hear it often enough from the same people. It seems certain people can’t wrap their minds around traveling outside their bubble and trying new things.

Well, the “100 miles for a burger” stems from a trip I took in my pre-blogging days. I was in Wausau, Wisconsin, and impulsively decided that driving to Iron Mountain, Michigan would be fun. I hadn’t been to Iron Mountain or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a few years so I thought, “What the heck?”

I just drove up to Iron Mountain to drive to Iron Mountain. I wasn’t intending to do anything specific or eat anything specific, but obviously, after driving a couple of hours, I was naturally hungry. I figured a bowling alley burger would be good, so I stopped by Recreation Lanes.

I was right in that assumption and the burger hit the spot. Fast forward to this trip to visit all 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula. Dickinson County in Iron Mountain was going to be the last county for me to visit. I arrived a few hours before Recreation Lanes opened, so I hung out at a city park and patiently waited.

I got there around opening time. This time, I got my burger to go and ate it in another park. It once again hit the spot. So now when someone asks if I’m going to drive 100 miles for a burger, I’m going to say I’ll drive over 1000 miles for a burger and then mention this trip. I obviously had a bit more of an agenda than just driving somewhere for the sake of driving somewhere, but besides the courthouses that I visited along the way and Recreation Lanes, everything else was impulsive.

I can say it was awesome to celebrate this three-day weekend trip that took me to all 15 Upper Peninsula of Michigan counties with a burger from the place that I visited on one of my earliest impulsive trips (If memory serves right it was early 2011).

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