10 Things to Do in Houghton MI – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to Houghton, a hidden gem in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula waiting to be explored. This charming town offers a plethora of exciting things to do in Houghton making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty. From picturesque hikes along the shores of Lake Superior to exploring historic copper mines, Houghton has something for everyone. Join us as we uncover the top attractions and activities that make Houghton a perfect getaway for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Get ready to be captivated by the beauty and charm of this enchanting town!

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Quincy Mine

Things to Do in Houghton MI

Essential Information

– Address: 49750 US-41, Hancock, MI 49930
– Opening Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (May – October)
– Fee: $18 for adults, $8 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families


Quincy Mine in Houghton, Michigan, stands as a testament to the region’s rich mining history. A visit to this historic site offers a fascinating glimpse into the copper mining industry that once thrived in the Upper Peninsula. The guided tours provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the mining process, from the early days of exploration to the challenges faced by miners deep underground. The well-preserved structures and equipment at Quincy Mine offer a tangible connection to the past, making it a must-see destination for history buffs and curious travelers alike. Explore the depths of the mine and gain insight into the hardships and triumphs of those who toiled in the underground tunnels, shaping the landscape and economy of the area. A visit to Quincy Mine is a journey back in time, offering a unique perspective on Michigan’s industrial heritage.

Isle Royale National Park

Essential Information

– Address: Houghton, MI
– Opening Hours: Varies by season
– Fee: Entrance fee required
– Visit Duration: 2-3 days
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts


Isle Royale National Park in Houghton, MI, stands out as a must-see destination for those seeking an authentic wilderness experience. This remote island sanctuary, located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, offers a unique opportunity to explore untouched natural beauty. With over 165 miles of scenic hiking trails, visitors can immerse themselves in the rugged landscape and encounter diverse wildlife, including moose, wolves, and a variety of bird species. The park’s pristine waters also provide excellent opportunities for kayaking and fishing, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life or simply appreciate the wonders of nature, Isle Royale National Park promises an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Great Lakes region.

Keweenaw National Historical Park

Essential Information

– Address: 25970 Red Jacket Road, Calumet, MI 49913
– Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
– Fee: Free admission to most sites
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, outdoor lovers


Keweenaw National Historical Park in Houghton, Michigan, offers a captivating journey through the region’s rich mining history. The park preserves the heritage of the Keweenaw Peninsula, once a booming center of copper mining in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can explore historic sites, museums, and scenic trails that showcase the area’s industrial past. From the Quincy Mine to the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, each stop provides insight into the challenges and triumphs of the miners who shaped this landscape. Whether you’re intrigued by industrial heritage or simply enjoy outdoor exploration, Keweenaw National Historical Park is a must-see destination for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Michigan’s mining legacy.

Copper Harbor

Essential Information

– Address: Copper Harbor, Houghton, MI
– Opening Hours: Varies by season, typically 9am-5pm
– Fee: Some attractions may have entrance fees
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts


Copper Harbor in Houghton, MI, is a must-see destination for those seeking a true escape into nature. Surrounded by the stunning beauty of Lake Superior and the lush forests of the Upper Peninsula, Copper Harbor offers a serene retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can explore the rugged coastline, hike through picturesque trails, and marvel at the breathtaking views from Brockway Mountain. The area is also rich in history, with opportunities to learn about the region’s mining heritage and maritime past. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or simply a peaceful getaway, Copper Harbor provides the perfect setting for a memorable experience in Michigan’s scenic wilderness.

Houghton County Historical Museum

Essential Information

– Address: 53150 US-41, Lake Linden, MI 49945
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
– Fee: $5 for adults, $3 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and families


The Houghton County Historical Museum in Houghton, MI, offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich past. With exhibits spanning from the copper mining boom to the industrial revolution, this museum is a must-see for history enthusiasts and families alike. Step back in time as you explore artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that showcase the area’s heritage. From the intricate craftsmanship of mining tools to the stories of immigrant communities that shaped the region, the museum provides a comprehensive look at Houghton County’s history. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor passing through, a visit to the Houghton County Historical Museum is a rewarding experience that sheds light on the cultural tapestry of this historic area.

Mont Ripley Ski Area

Essential Information

– Address: 431 E Montezuma Ave, Houghton, MI 49931
– Opening Hours: Varies by season, check website for details
– Fee: Prices vary, check website for current rates
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Families, winter sports enthusiasts


Mont Ripley Ski Area in Houghton, MI, is a premier destination for winter sports enthusiasts seeking thrills on the slopes. With its convenient location and diverse range of ski runs catering to all skill levels, Mont Ripley offers an exciting experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned skier looking to challenge yourself on the black diamond trails or a beginner eager to learn the basics on the gentle slopes, Mont Ripley has something for everyone.

The ski area’s well-maintained facilities and friendly staff ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit for families and individuals alike. From skiing and snowboarding to tubing and snowshoeing, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout the day. With stunning views of the surrounding landscape and a cozy lodge to warm up in between runs, Mont Ripley Ski Area is a must-see destination for anyone looking to embrace the winter wonderland of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Hungarian Falls

Essential Information

– Address: Hungarian Falls, Houghton, MI
– Opening Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers


Hungarian Falls in Houghton, MI, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The falls offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, providing a tranquil setting to unwind and reconnect with nature. The cascading waters create a picturesque backdrop, perfect for capturing memorable photos and enjoying a peaceful moment in the great outdoors.

Visitors to Hungarian Falls can embark on a leisurely hike along the well-maintained trails, taking in the sights and sounds of the surrounding forest. The lush greenery and fresh air provide a rejuvenating experience, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a break from the city. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a relaxing stroll, Hungarian Falls offers something for everyone.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Hungarian Falls and immerse yourself in the beauty of Michigan’s natural landscape. With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery, this hidden oasis is a must-see destination for anyone looking to escape the ordinary and embrace the wonders of the great outdoors.

Michigan Technological University

Essential Information

– Address: 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
– Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Students, families, and tech enthusiasts


Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, is a must-see destination for those interested in cutting-edge technology and innovation. As a leading research institution, this university offers visitors a glimpse into the future of engineering, computer science, and environmental studies. The campus buzzes with energy and creativity, making it an inspiring place to explore for students, families, and tech enthusiasts alike.

With its state-of-the-art facilities and renowned faculty, Michigan Tech provides a unique opportunity to witness groundbreaking research in action. Visitors can take a campus tour to learn about the university’s history, academic programs, and ongoing projects. Whether you’re interested in robotics, renewable energy, or materials science, Michigan Tech offers a fascinating look into the world of STEM education and innovation.

Don’t miss the chance to visit Michigan Technological University and discover the exciting advancements shaping our future. Plan your trip today to experience the dynamic atmosphere of this prestigious institution firsthand.

Houghton Waterfront Park

Essential Information

– Address: Houghton, MI
– Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, nature lovers


Houghton Waterfront Park in Houghton, MI, is a must-see destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. With its picturesque views of Portage Lake and the surrounding lush greenery, this park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, have a picnic with your family, or simply relax and unwind in a tranquil setting, Houghton Waterfront Park has something for everyone.

The park’s well-maintained walking trails provide the perfect opportunity to soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings while getting some exercise. Birdwatchers will delight in the diverse avian species that call the park home, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Additionally, the park’s convenient location near downtown Houghton makes it easily accessible for visitors looking to explore the charming shops and restaurants in the area.

Overall, Houghton Waterfront Park offers a peaceful oasis where visitors can connect with nature and rejuvenate their spirits. Whether you’re a local looking for a relaxing weekend escape or a traveler passing through the area, this hidden gem is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Portage Lake Lift Bridge

Essential Information

– Address: Houghton, MI
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 30 minutes
– Ideal for: History buffs, engineering enthusiasts


The Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton, MI, stands as a testament to engineering prowess and historical significance. This iconic bridge, spanning the Keweenaw Waterway, serves as a vital link between the cities of Houghton and Hancock. Visitors are drawn to its impressive structure, which features a unique lift mechanism allowing large ships to pass beneath. The bridge’s strategic location offers stunning views of the surrounding area, making it a popular spot for photographers and sightseers alike. Whether you’re a history buff intrigued by its past or an engineering enthusiast marveling at its design, the Portage Lake Lift Bridge is a must-see attraction in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Food and Cuisine


Why is it so special:

Pasties are a beloved local dish in Houghton MI, brought over by Cornish miners in the 1800s. These hearty hand pies are filled with a mixture of meat, potatoes, onions, and rutabagas, seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. The flaky crust and savory filling make pasties a comforting and satisfying meal that showcases the region’s mining heritage.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic pasty experience, head to Roy’s Pasties and Bakery, a local favorite known for their traditional recipe. If you’re looking for a more upscale setting, try the pasties at the Keweenaw Co-op, where they offer a gourmet twist on this classic dish.

Whitefish Chowder

Why is it so special:

Whitefish chowder is a must-try dish in Houghton MI due to its fresh and flavorful ingredients. Made with locally caught whitefish, potatoes, cream, and a blend of herbs and spices, this creamy soup is a comforting and delicious choice for seafood lovers. The rich flavors of the whitefish combined with the creamy base create a dish that is both hearty and satisfying.

Where to Try It:

To savor a bowl of delicious whitefish chowder, visit the Ambassador Restaurant, a local diner known for their homemade soups and hearty portions. For a more upscale dining experience, head to the Harbor Haus and enjoy their gourmet take on this classic chowder.

Events and Festivals


Bridgefest is an annual festival held in Houghton, MI, celebrating the iconic lift bridge that connects Houghton and Hancock. The festival features live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, a parade, and various family-friendly activities. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Portage Lake while participating in the festivities.

Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival is a beloved tradition in Houghton, MI, showcasing the area’s winter spirit and resilience. The carnival features snow sculptures, ice skating, broomball tournaments, a torchlight parade, and the famous Outhouse Races. Visitors can also enjoy delicious food, live music, and a festive atmosphere during this winter celebration.

Canal Run

The Canal Run is a popular annual running event in Houghton, MI, attracting participants from across the region. The event offers various race distances, including a half marathon, 10-mile run, 5-mile run, and 5-mile walk, catering to runners of all levels. Participants can enjoy scenic views along the Portage Canal and experience the community’s support and camaraderie during this well-organized race.

Interesting Facts

– Houghton, MI is home to Michigan Technological University, known for its strong engineering programs and research in areas such as renewable energy and materials science.
– The Keweenaw Waterway, a historic canal system connecting Lake Superior to Portage Lake, runs through Houghton and provides a picturesque setting for recreational activities like boating and fishing.
– Houghton is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, an area known for its stunning natural beauty, including rugged cliffs, pristine forests, and numerous waterfalls.

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