Day 3: Exploring the historic Calumet area
Today you’re off to a different part of the Keweenaw! This Calumet Area trip guide fills each hour with local history, beautiful scenery, and delicious food.
[SCENIC VIEWS] Grab your walking or hiking shoes and set out south from the cabin on the curvy M-26. This twisty-turny road makes for a beautiful scenic drive along Lake Superior, leading you back into civilization and cell service in historic Calumet. Your first stop at Keweenaw Coffee Works is 45 minutes away, so make a cuppa joe at the cabin before you head out!
Historical factoid: In 1847, Calumet lost to Lansing by one vote to become the Michigan State Capital. Don’t believe us? There were over 100K people in the Keweenaw during the mining days, and while industry was booming, people arrived in droves.
Breakfast at Keweenaw Coffee Works: Stop at Keweenaw Coffee Works for delicious, locally-roasted coffee and a light breakfast. We love them for their commitment to environmentally responsible business practices and sourcing their coffee from small farmers.
⌚ This can be a quick 10-minute stop if you get your brekky to go, or stay and linger.
[EXPLORE] Arriving in Calumet: Now that you’ve had your coffee, take a quick stroll or drive through Calumet and make a mental note of what you want to explore after the waterfall tour. The churches and beautiful building architecture are of particular significance—made of local basalt and sandstone, these buildings were made to last for centuries.
⌚ 15 minutes or so.
[EXPLORE] Hungarian Falls: This is one of the most well-known waterfalls of the Keweenaw. There are around six or seven drops along the creek but the lowermost drop—a stunning plunge close to 60 feet high—is the primary waterfall. The walk to the falls is around one mile round trip if you visit all the drops.
⌚ 45 minutes to an hour is perfect.
[SCENIC VIEWS] Historical Quincy Mining Dredge: Make a quick historical pitstop at the old mining dredge—Quincy Dredge #2—that is partially submerged on the shore of Torch Lake. Operable for almost 100 years, this is one of two copper mining dredges that sank in 1968. The other dredge—Quincy Dredge #1—is farther out in the lake, barely visible.
⌚ 5-10 minutes here is plenty.
Historical factoid: If you meet any locals around here, you might get an earful about the darker side of the copper mining boom, and understandably so. Copper mining activities in the area from the 1890s until 1969 produced mill tailings (called “stamp sands”) that contaminated the lake sediments and shoreline. About 200 million tons of copper mill stamp sands were dumped into Torch Lake itself, filling about 20 percent of the lake’s volume. Stamp sands dumping sites are located all over the Keweenaw and local restoration efforts are well underway.
Lunch at Michigan House Cafe & Red Jacket Brewing Co.: Enjoy a slow lunch and relax at this Calumet institution dating back to the late 1800s. The food and beer make for an excellent slow-food and drink experience, so you’ll have plenty of time to take in the incredible historic building interior. It has been well-preserved and restored so that visitors can get an idea of the rich history of the Calumet area during the boom copper years.
⌚ Give yourself 1-1.5 hours for a slow lunch.
Explore Calumet on foot: The Calumet Historic District is a National Historic Landmark District that encompasses most of the village. In addition to the rich architectural history, there are great shops to explore. Walk down 5th Street for antiques, local gift stores, and area treasures.
Be sure to check out the Vertin Gallery which features over 130 fine artists, antiques, books, art supplies, and more. Cross Country Sports is a favorite shop of ours! Top off your walking tour with a drink and more history at Shutes Bar.
⌚ 2 hours should be plenty of time in Calumet.
[PIT STOP] Jampot: On your way back north, stop at the Jampot before they close to get breakfast for the next day. Their homemade preserves made from local berries are to die for and pair wonderfully with their baked goods. We highly recommend the Abbey Bread—laced with bourbon and made by monks!
[SCENIC VIEWS] Jacob’s Falls: Just a hop away you can peep the final 20-foot drop of Jacob’s Falls from the north side of the road. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the steep trail along the rim of the gorge that lets you get nice views of the next two drops.
⌚ You could spend up to 30 minutes here if you hike down.
[WALK] Beach time: Head into Eagle River where you’ll be having dinner and park along Front Street for public beach access. This is a lovely spot to explore the shore of Gitche Gumee before a delicious meal.
⌚ A 20-30 minute walk is perfect before dinner, depending on if you want to catch the sunset on the beach or from the restaurant.
Sunset happy hour and dinner at Fitzgerald’s: Locally known as “The Fitz” and touted as the “The best damn restaurant and bar on the shores of Lake Superior,” this casual waterfront spot does not disappoint. It’s known for the stunning views, mouth-watering BBQ, southern delicacies, and the best poutine south of Canada. Their bar menu is also very commendable!
⌚ This is a slow-food experience, no need to rush things.
Fresh Coast Cabins: Welcome home! Kick back in your cabin with some board games or a good book, listen to the waves with your favorite beverage, enjoy a bonfire on the beach…
About Keweenaw Peninsula Trip Guides
Whether you’re planning your first trip to the Keweenaw or you’re a repeat visitor, our curated trip guides will inspire you to get out and get moving. Each day is packed with adventures like hikes, waterfalls, nature sanctuaries, local history, and of course–delicious local food and drinks. All you have to do is book your cabin and show up!
Keweenaw Peninsula Trip Guides were curated by Fresh Coast Cabins + Friends. Collectively, we have over 10 years of time spent on these roads, in these woods, and supporting this community.