Distance: 5.2 miles

Walking time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Driving time: 16 minutes

Marquette, also known as Queen City, is the largest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but only the fifty-fourth most populous city in the state of Michigan. Don’t let its larger size fool you, however. Marquette has the distinction of being the “Best Small Town for Adventure” according to USA Today 10 Best, so there are plenty of things to do outside in every season of the year.

You’ll find whitefish on almost every menu in the Upper Peninsula. And for good reason — it’s fresh and delicious. Feast on whitefish sandwiches, whitefish dip, fried whitefish bites — you name it, you can eat it. Pasties are another UP staple — a savory meat pie born from the mining days, and a hearty meal to fuel your system after your outdoor adventures. This walking tour will take you to some of the best sights of Marquette.


Father Marquette Statue and Park, Front Street and Baraga Avenue

Dedicated in 1897, this beautiful brass statue from a renowned sculptor in Florence, Italy, is considered one of the finest works of art. The artist, Trentanove, made two trips to Marquette during its creation. The statue of Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette, Intrepid Explorer, has been in this particular location since 1913. Seeing the statue is a big reason to visit this quaint park, but there are other reasons as well. It underwent renovations in 2018 to incorporate stone benches and perennial gardens. It’s easy to mosey into downtown Marquette from this location.


Saint Peter Cathedral, 311 W. Baraga Avenue

Saint Peter Cathedral has been a landmark in the Queen City since 1864, though not without tragedy. The first structure was lost to a firein 1879 and then partially destroyed again 50 years later. Each time, however, the church was brought back to life and rebuilt in the same location. The structure today is made from Marquette brownstone and has ornate stone carvings throughout its façade. There are golf-leaf crosses on the church’s two domes. On the interior, the exsuisite stone and marble work lifts the eyes heavenward to the vaulted ceiling nearly 7 feet overhead. Bishop Baraga, the Snowshoe Priest, is buried here.


Donckers, 137 W Washington Street

A stop in downtown Marquette isn’t complete without stopping at this confectionary establishment. Donckers is a family-owned business that has been selling happiness for decades. Homemade chocolates, caramels, and a wide selection of sweets await you at the candy counter. You can also choose something more substantial and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch – in-house or to go with you – before you continue your tour of town.


Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 201 E Ridge Street

Marquette continues to impress its longstanding history as we continue our walking tour and stop in at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. The Upper Peninsula Brownstone of its construction is the perfect, unobtrusive backdrop for the church’s magnificent stained-glass windows. Think “European.” Inside, the church is as ornate as it is modest, featuring dark wood ceilings and arched beams featuring gothic-inspired décor to complement the colorful windows.


Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, 300 North Lakeshore Blvd.

We will turn our direction toward Lake Superior now to visit a truly iconic landmark in Marquette. Originally constructed in 1853 and then rebuilt in 1866, the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse has been a prominent structure for many, many years. It still serves as a navigation point, but its red exterior sits prominently against the blueness of the water around it, serving visual appeal as well. If you think of a “classic” lighthouse, this is it. This is the oldest significant structure in the city and has been a critical part of shipment in the Great Lakes for more than 150 years. You can take a lighthouse tour from mid-May through October, complete with guide from the Maritime Museum. For more information, including ticket prices, about the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, visit https://mqtmaritimemuseum.com/marquette-lighthouse.


At this point, you can choose to walk three miles along the Lake Superior coastline up to our next destination via the City Multiuse Path, which can be taken directly from the lighthouse, or drive the three miles on Lakeshore Boulevard and walk the final two destinations of this tour from there.


Ore Docks, 2939-2943, Lakeshore Blvd.

Just down the way of the park are a couple of famous structures that you see featured in all the travel literature when it comes to Marquette: ore docks. Slightly reminiscent of the dwarfish realm of Moria from The Lord of the Rings, these large-scale concrete and steel, historic landmarks stand as reminders of the city’s mining and maritime past. The Lower Harbor is out of commission, but a perfect spot to for a photo-op, while the Upper Harbor structure still loads ore into freighters.


Presque Isle Park, 1 Peter White Drive

Only a few minutes’ walk from the ore docks is one of the area’s favorite parks. Situated on a 323-acre peninsula, Presque Isle Park has many trails and scenic overlooks. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the plunge from the famed Black Rocks. According to the website, “the park’s claim to fame is that it was ‘designed’ by Frederick Law Olmsted. The famous landscape architect, who designed Central Park in New York, was in the area to design the grounds around a millionaire’s mansion but was also asked to create a plan to turn this rugged peninsula into a park. His advice? Don’t touch it. Today, Presque Isle is more or less the same wild land that Olmsted visited in the late 1800s.” Though the park is best explored on foot, you can choose to take Peter White Drive through the rugged “island,” as the locals call it, to see many of the park’s attractions.

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