Population: 14,272

Land Prices in Sault Ste. Marie: $65,000 buys a 1- to 5-acre waterfront lot with trees and a dock.

Why we love it: Because Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced Soo Saint Marie) sits above Michigan’s “mitten” across the river from its twin city in Canada. We also love that its main waterway spills into the world’s largest freshwater lake: Superior. And we can’t overlook the fact that the town sits in the Upper Peninsula (the U.P.), which contains one-third of the state’s land mass and about 3 percent of the people.

The Soo is Michigan’s oldest city known for its Native American and fur-trade history and for the locks linking Lake Superior and Lake Huron. This is Yooper territory, eh, where the dominant religion is hockey and people are proud of their regionalism.

Land is plentiful up here and so is the snow. Bring your skis, snowshoes and ice skates and a taste for whitefish.

Why you’ll love it: There’s no getting around it: The U.P. is gorgeous. Stand by shining big-sea waters of Gitche Gumee and you’ll see what we mean—all soft creamy beaches, fragrant forest and aching blue water. Then there’s Tahquamenon Falls, the Hiawatha National Forest and Canada’s Laurentian wilderness area and the no-cars-allowed Mackinac Island. There are so many natural wonders and attractions around here that you’ll wonder why movie stars still line up for lift tickets in Aspen.

July highs average a heavenly 76 degrees, which is why Lower Peninsula types swarm the U.P. in warmer months. The Soo, dominated by its gorgeous views of the steel truss arch International Bridge, also has a growing economy (albeit slow), a good state college and several ice arenas so you can practice your triple salchows or raise an NHL goalie.

Sault Ste. Marie Web Resources: saultstemarie.com

Photos by: saultstemarie.com


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