top of page

Yooper Bob lists 50 top 'UP things' on 906 Day

As the only true Yooper in the race for Michigan's first Congressional district, Bob Lorinser is celebrating '906 Day' by listing his top 50 favorite "Yooper Things".

Happy 906 Day, Upper Peninsula. If you're enjoying our content, please consider making a contribution and help elect a Yooper to Congress.

In no particular order...

Where does a Yooper wear their hat? O'da'noggin'. Stormy Kromer hats are not only a stylish accessory, but they also provide warmth and protection against the harsh Yooper winters.

The world's largest piece of float copper is in Marquette, weighing 53,100 pounds and worth over a quarter of a million dollars. Much of the UP history pays homage to a rich mining culture started sustainably by Indigenous people 7,000 years ago in the Copper Country.

Clyde's is a popular Upper Peninsula restaurant known for its mouthwatering burgers and friendly service. We love stopping at Clyde's on the campaign trail in the summer, just before heading over the bridge.

The Yooper Scooper is the ultimate snow shovel. Before snowblowers were a standard, necessary tool for Yoopers, you could find these hunks of aluminum in nearly every garage across the UP.

Sadly, the Hilltop Restaurant in Baraga closed its doors earlier this year, but their world-famous sweet rolls were a go-to sugar boost for US41 travelers and locals alike.

The Lumberjack Tavern in Big Bay is the site of the original murder of this bestseller. When adapted for the big screen, the tavern was used for several barroom scenes, and it was the first time that a Hollywood film had been shot in the place of an actual murder.

Our surfers are world-famous for braving the winter weather and growing ice beards.

If you've never seen Reindeer Games starring Ben Affleck, Charlez Theron, and Gary Sinise, it's worth a watch. The film was filmed in Canada, but the plot is set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula has the best snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, cross-country skiing and outdoor winter recreation in the world.

Mystery Spot is a popular tourist attraction that defies gravity and challenges visitors' perceptions with its mind-boggling optical illusions.

There's just something about a Yooper Bar that makes the perfect gift bag stuffer. In 1906, a young Lebanese immigrant named Joseph Sayklly pursued the American dream by opening his own shop on Ludington Street in Escanaba in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's open to this day.

It's the best-tasting and most gratifying fish to catch, and it's best caught and grilled by a Yooper. Whitefish is a delicious local fish commonly enjoyed in the Upper Peninsula, either grilled or in fish boils.

Connor Sports in Amasa has been supplying the Final Four courts to the NCAA since 2006. They use sustainably harvested, first-grade, northern hard maple. Horner Flooring in Dollar Bay also just recently supplied the court for the NBA All Star Game.


There's a lot to be proud of here in the 1st District when companies employ Yoopers, responsibly use Made In Michigan natural resources, and lead the Nation in quality flooring.

You may know it as Walt Lindala's favorite comfort food. Swedish Pantry Pancakes Panuukku is a mouthful to say, but it's a delightful Yooper dish made with Finnish pancake batter and served with syrup.


If you'd like to try Pannukakku, several places around the Keweenaw serve up this homemade Finnish delight, including The Suomi Bakery & Restaurant in downtown Houghton and The Kaleva Café in downtown Hancock.

This Upper Peninsula sweet, crunchy treat has even made it to space! It's best dipped in coffee, and they recently opened a new local diner with one of the most beautiful murals in the UP.

Blueberry season usually runs from July through September, and sometimes longer. Many farms welcome you to "pick your own" and enjoy the adventure of a fun farm experience. Blueberry Fest in Marquette is one of the largest downtown gatherings in the UP.

Escanaba in the Moonlight is a famous play set in the Upper Peninsula, celebrating Yooper humor and culture. Jeff Daniels's original performance in the movie is comical, but the most accurate renditions come from our very talented local theatre groups.

Houghton is considered the birthplace of professional hockey, and our youth athletes are some of the best in the country. Two cities, Marquette and Calumet were named 'Hockeyville USA', a remarkable accolade that was celebrated by the entire nation.

Agates are beautiful gemstones that can be found along the shores of Lake Superior, making them a popular treasure for collectors and beachcombers.


Agates aren't inherently exclusive to the Upper Peninsula, but Lake Superior agate hunters believe our beaches to be the best place in the world to pick these colorful gems.

Asparagus is not native to the UP, but it does have an interesting story. You can mostly find asparagus growing under UP powerlines because birds will eat the stock from neighborhood gardens, perch on the powerline, digest, and 'plant' the seeds below.

Some of our towns have more coffee shops than gas stations. Yoopers know how to make a good cup of joe. Generally speaking, small businesses in the UP employ almost 70% of our workers.

Toivo Aho is the founder of the Trenary Outhouse Classic. This was his baby more than 20 years ago. Today, they feature some of the most eccentrically decorated outhouses around, modified especially for racing. The event draws thousands and even features a 'Best Fur Hat' contest.

Craft brewing and beer culture are a big deal in our region here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We're known for having some of the best brewmasters in the Midwest, who take advantage of the freshest water in the world to create unique and delicious brews.


Every year, we look forward to Beer Fest on the shore of Lake Superior, which draws in crowds of beer enthusiasts from all over the country. It's not just about the beer, though - craft brewing is also an important part of our local economy, supporting small businesses and creating jobs.

Can't go muckin' without a good set of camo muck boots.

Mackinac Bridge is an iconic landmark connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan, offering scenic views and serving as a symbol of Yooper pride.


Built by union ironworkers, this iconic feat of engineering is a marvel to every Michigander no matter how many times we cross it.

Our district is home to some of the world's best engineers who work tirelessly on advanced technology in the electronics industry. They manufacture a wide range of products including printed circuit boards for national defense, aeronautical, and PPEs, as well as medical devices.


These products are manufactured right in our backyard, providing employment opportunities for thousands of people in America.

Maritime history is a crucial part of the culture in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Soo Locks have played an essential role in the economy and job market of the region for many years.


The tragic sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, immortalized in Gordon Lightfoot's haunting song, serves as a reminder of the dangers and sacrifices of life on the Great Lakes.

A gem and mineral dealer in the U.P. made this glowing discovery. Erik Rintamaki discovered a rock that glows under an ultraviolet light made of a mineral never seen before in Michigan.


Without knowing what they were or why the rocks glowed, he named them “Yooperlites,” so the story goes. Today, hunters will go with fluorescent flashlights on the shores of Lake Superior to find the biggest and brightest rocks.

Vollwerth & Co. was started in 1915 by a German immigrant by the name of Richard Vollwerth. The company's quite humble beginning, in the basement of a Hancock home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, had one very important outcome in mind - to make great, quality sausage. They haven't stopped since.

The Upper Peninsula has a strong immigrant history, and Italians made their mark by introducing this unique Yooper sausage with pork, spices, and often served on a bun with cheese and marinara sauce.

Hunting is a time-honored tradition that calls enthusiasts of all ages to head for the woods and waters for the chance to track whitetail deer, elk, bear, turkey, grouse, waterfowl, and other wildlife.


Firearm season for whitetail deer is the season hunters across the state look forward to, and some hunters - like the one pictured above - have creative ways of getting from camp to their venison-making kitchens.

The UP has some of best cannable berries in the world! Most notably, Jampot Bakery is run by monks from Poorrock Abbey and creates organic delectables such as cookies, muffins, candies, fruitcakes, and world-famous jams and jellies.

Fudge is a sweet treat that you can find in many Yooper shops, with Mackinac Island being particularly famous for its delectable creations.

Leeks are a type of wild onion that grows in the Upper Peninsula, adding a unique flavor to dishes and often used in traditional recipes. The best part about leeks is finding them. They're elusive!

Doncker's has been making chocolates and caramels in their cherished 124-year-old building nestled in downtown Marquette. Donckers' fair trade chocolate and caramel is carefully crafted by the attentive crew and has been a confectionary staple for Yoopers and visitors for over a century.

Black Rocks is a stunning cliff formation along the Lake Superior shoreline, known for its dark, volcanic rock and popular among locals for cliff jumping. It's a great way for Yooper weddings to commemorate the ultimate 'I do.' Jump.

Moose and Isle Royale are incredibly important to the Upper Peninsula. They are a major part of the region's natural heritage, and they play a vital role in maintaining the local ecosystem.


Moose are often seen as a symbol of the region's rugged beauty; like at Isle Royale, a true gem of the Upper Peninsula, offering visitors a chance to explore some of the most pristine habitats in the entire country.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Upper Peninsula. The colorful rock formations, crystal-clear waters, and scenic hiking trails attract visitors from all over the world.


The park is not only important for the local economy but also for preserving the natural beauty of the region. It's a must-visit spot for anyone traveling to the Upper Peninsula.

Many residents of Michigan's Upper Peninsula enjoy searching for morel mushrooms in the spring, as these delicious fungi are rare and in high demand. Morel hunters are notorious for keeping their favorite spots a closely guarded secret.

Kitchitikipi, also known as the "Big Spring," is a mesmerizing freshwater spring in the Upper Peninsula known for its crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty.


Kitch-iti-kipi's clear waters are due to a combination of factors: constant fresh water replenishment, limestone filtration, and protection from wind and waves. These factors work together to create the mesmerizing clarity that visitors love.

No, yah, eh. Our accent is one of a kind and has even been featured on Jeopardy. It's been influenced by the Finnish and Scandinavian settlers who came to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, creating our distinct dialect. We feel it compliments the charm of the region.

Sisu is a Finnish word that roughly translates to "perseverance" or "grit." It refers to the ability to push through difficult times and maintain a sense of resilience in the face of adversity.


This concept is a prominent philosophy in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which has a strong Finnish heritage. The region's harsh winters and rugged terrain have helped cultivate a culture of sisu, as we Yoopers have learned to endure and thrive in challenging conditions. Sisu is an important part of our identity and is celebrated as a source of strength and resilience.

The UP is heavily dependent on industries such as mining, logging, and agriculture. These industries provide a significant boost to the local economy, creating jobs and generating revenue for the region.


Mining, specifically, has a long history in the Upper Peninsula and continues to be a vital part of the local economy. Logging and agriculture also play important roles in providing resources and sustaining local communities. Overall, these industries are essential to the economic well-being of the Upper Peninsula and our residents.

Plaid is prominent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan because of its strong association with the region's hunting and outdoor culture. Many residents of the area wear plaid as a practical and durable clothing choice for their outdoor activities.


Additionally, plaid has become a symbol of pride for the region, representing its unique identity and rugged beauty. 'Plaidurday' is the first Friday of October in the UP.

The northern lights in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are a truly breathtaking experience. The vibrant colors dancing across the night sky leave us all in awe and appreciation of the beauty of nature, every time, no matter how often they come out.


Photographers flock to the UP to capture the displays over Lake Superior.

Saunas hold a special place in the culture of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are a common sight in homes and public facilities, as they offer a much-needed respite from the cold, snowy winters.


Many locals view saunas as a way to connect with their Finnish heritage, as the tradition of sauna bathing was brought over by Finnish immigrants in the early 20th century. Saunas are not just a way to warm up, they are a way of life in this region.

Pasties - with ketchup, of course - are a beloved Yooper food. Favorited by immigrant miners in the 1800s - 1900s, this Cornish treat was perfect for a quick and satisfying meal on the go.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. With more than 200 waterfalls, visitors can explore the beauty of these natural wonders and experience the rush of water cascading down rocky cliffs.


Some of the most popular waterfalls in the area include Tahquamenon Falls, Munising Falls, and Bond Falls. Whether you're an avid photographer or simply love the great outdoors, the waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula are a must-see.

The North Country Trail is a wonderful route that passes through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The area offers many opportunities for those who love hiking, biking, or simply enjoying the scenery.


It's amazing to have access to such incredible natural resources in this state, and hikers and bikers from across the world visit the UP to travel along this famous trail system.


Comments


bottom of page