Sault Ste. Marie is a beautiful lakeside city and the county seat of Chippewa County on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is the county’s only city. Sault Ste. Marie had 13,410 populates in 2021.
The city is blooming with a unique maritime history and a waterfront full of activity. It is the oldest city in Michigan. The city is fondly called The Soo and has the iconic St. Mary River, nestled in the region’s central area, making it an ideal destination for enjoying the waterfront.
There are tons of activities to do, ranging from a boat cruising on Lake Superior to kayaking and fishing; there is something for everyone who visits this part of the country.
The city has a long history line as it contains plenty of beautiful landmarks that will interest any historian. Go down memory lane as you browse through the many popular historical destinations in the country and globally.
Are you planning to explore Sault Ste. Marie? Here aer the best and fun things to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
Things to Do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI
1. Chippewa County Courthouse
Another essential item to add to your itinerary of the best things to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, is a visit to Chippewa County Courthouse situated on Court Street.
The Chippewa County Courthouse was constructed in 1877 using the Second Empire style. It is a two-story beautiful stone courthouse with an elegant clock tower furnished with the statue of Justice that faces the direction of the lush front lawn.
In addition to the array of plants and trees here, the front lawn houses two elegant statues that you will love to see: “The Crane of the Salt” and the “The Wolf of Rome ”.
The Courthouse is about 100 years old and still fun to this time, making it one of the oldest functioning courthouses to see in the state. As a result of its essential role in this area, the courthouse was listed in 1984 on the National Register of Historic Places.
Address: 319 Court St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
2. Kewadin CasinoSuppose you are excited and have this feeling of luck around you when you are in Sault Ste. Marie, then make sure to check out the Kewadin Casino.
The Kewadin Casino is dedicated to providing residents and tourists with the best Las Vegas-style gaming experience, along with other leisure options, entertainment, and a lovely dining experience.
If you are not a fan of games, you can choose to play on any of the 800 slot machines on the ground or bingo. If you want to have some relaxing time, check out the variety of services offered at their indoor spa, check out their luxury indoor pool, or enjoy a show at their 1,500-capacity hall Dreammakers Theater.
When you get famished, head out to the restaurant on site known as the DreamCatchers, which provides you with all you need for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
When you are exhausted and need that rest, you can relax at any of their 319-room accommodations and enjoy the exquisite comfort at your disposal.
Address: 2186 Shunk Rd, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
3. Soo Locks in Action
One of the best places to visit in Sault Ste. Marie is the Soo Locks. The Soo Locks is most times spelled Sault Lock but is pronounced as soo.
The Soo Locks are a set of parallel locks managed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to aid ship transportation between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
This attraction helps in the safe transportation of freighters to their destinations and then back. All these can be attributed to its advanced mechanism that lifts and drops freighters with massive weights so they can be able to go through the locks.
The Soo Locks began the maintenance of ships and freighters in 1885. The Lock is a well-known system worldwide, as it receives about 7,000 freighters that travel its way every year.
A visit to Sault Ste. Marie allows you to see firsthand this beautiful structure. You can do this via a boat trip around this arrangement or enjoy views of the vessels from the Soo Locks Park observation deck.
If you have some extra cash, make sure to go on this boat trip. It is greatly recommended for tourists as it allows you to have a close-up view of these large freighters. It also lets you walk in through these locks.
There are many companies behind the boat tours in Soo Lock, so make reservations before your visit for an excellent trip.
At the Visitor center, you will get detailed information about the history and technology behind everything you are to see. They also provide visitors with the schedule for Ship movements. Hence, you will know when to go to the observation deck to get a view.
Be sure to note that Soo Locks closes during winter for about ten weeks as the lake gets frozen. Therefore if you intend to visit this destination, make sure to plan to stay in other seasons.
Address: Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
4. Museum Ship Valley Camp
Yet to have a gratified fill of your shipping experience in Sault Ste, Marie? Then, stop by the Museum Ship Valley Camp, where you will get to the Great Lake historic freighters.
The Ship Valley Camp was transformed into a museum after nearly half a decade of service. The Museum comprises a great collection of items relating to maritime, including shipwreck collections and artworks.
The most popular exhibit is the Edmund Fitzgerald memorial, which features two lifeboats recovered from the shipwreck on November 10, 1875.
After a tour of various exhibits, make sure to browse through the floor of the Ship to enjoy the beautiful times of the Valley Camp.
Some areas for visitors to see in the Ship include the pilot’s house, engine rooms, and crew quarters. In addition, Valley Camp contains large aquariums filled with local fishes of the Great Lakes region.
Address: 501 E Water St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
5. Tanglewood Marsh Golf Course
Suppose you are still searching for the best places to visit in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, then make sure to stop by the Tanglewood Marsh Golf Course.
The Tanglewood Marsh Golf Course is situated beside 16th Avenue. The 18-hole golf course provides a great deal of fun time for skilled and amateur golfers in its beautiful terrain that occupies 5,500 yards.
This destination has lots of natural endowments. The golf course and the attached government conserved and maintained the area’s marshlands.
After golf, you can check out the clubhouse to enjoy quality refreshments from their restaurant. They provide guests with great food and drink to rejuvenate themselves.
Address: 2600 W 16th Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
6. Soo Theater
If you want to have amazing entertainment, visiting Soo Theatre is the best thing to do in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Soo Theatre is a performing art center open to the entire public, offering a wide variety of shows such as opera, theater, musicals, off-Broadway shows, and dance recitals.
A firm restored the Soo Theater to foster the quality of life amongst locals by hosting production varieties, from Broadway musicals to operas and concerts.
It is a personal venue that was founded in 1930, creating several essential productions with complete orchestral shows up until 1974, when it was transformed into a 2-screen movie theatre.
The theater was shut down and abandoned in a bad state in 1998 before it was later refurbished to its former beauty in 2005 as a performing arts venue.
It is also geared towards providing an enabling environment where people can readily access arts and theatre education by providing cost-effective lessons for the general public.
The Soo Theatre exhibits show produced locally, including numerous music, dance, drama, and yoga lessons.
Make sure to check out the local talents showcased here and also do well to make reservations to watch a scheduled show at the Soo Theater.
Address: 534 Ashmun St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
7. St. Mary’s Falls Hydropower PlantClose to Soo Locks is a destination that should be a must-see for anyone.
St. Mary’s Falls Hydropower Plant was built during the 1800s. It uses the power from the St. Mary’s River and converts it into energy used by residents of this area.
The Hydropower Plant is operated and managed by the Cloverland Electric Cooperative and is known to be the oldest functioning, most expensive Hydropower Plant in the United States.
Being an iconic marker in this part of the country, it is also an architectural masterpiece, consisting of a gorgeous sandstone foundation and a beautiful facade diligently fabricated by Italian Masons.
It does not matter if you are a historian or scientist, do well not to miss out on visiting this destination.
Address: Sault Ste. Marie. MI, United States
8. Tower of History
One good thing about Sault Ste. Marie is that it is never lagging when it has to do with historical destinations to see. One of the top things to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, is to check out the Tower of History.
The Tower of History was constructed in 1968, adopting an urban style. The Tower has an elevation of 210 feet, making it the tallest structure in Sault Ste. Marie and Michigan’s State’s Upper Peninsula tallest observation tower.
The Tower of History is 25 stories in height and has 292 stairs. You can choose to either go up the stairs or take the elevator, but you are sure to see the magnificent views of Sault Ste. Marie.
The open space observation deck provides limitless panoramic vistas of Sault Ste. Marie from St. Mary’s River to Soo Lock and its residential areas; you can also catch views of Canada’s beautiful forest as far as your sight can go.
Address: 326 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
9. Sherman Park
Have a relaxing time from your stress-filled vacation schedule and have a peaceful Beach day at Sherman Park.
The Beach at Sherman Park is the only public beach. It promises many fun-filled activities for the entire family. It includes picnic tables, a playground, pavilions, and sports facilities such as horseshoe pits and volleyball courts.
If you intend to have a great deal of experience here, check out the playground on site, you can quickly put up a tent which comes at a cost, and immerse yourself in nature.
Sherman Park is a favorite place for many locals and tourists in the city as it features a variety of exciting amenities.
The park offers families a fun day out through the horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, boccie courts, and many more.
There are pavilions and picnic tables with outdoor grills for families and friends who would like to have a nice picnic.
Sherman Park features a large playground with play equipment for individuals of different ages, plus nature trails.
Furthermore, you can check out the different nature trails in the Park. This Park is also a famous X-country skiing Area during the winter season. The park no doubt offers many fun things to do in Sault Ste. Park, MI.
Address: FHPJ+RQ3, 1515 24th St W, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
10. Water Street Historic Block
Wondering what to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI? Visiting Water Street Historic Block will take you down memory lane to the times of the fur traders and the early residents.
There are tons of structures located here, made up of original furnishings and artifacts that showcase a typical picture of how things were back then.
You are to tour two houses during your trip, including the Kemp Coal Dock Office, which houses a museum that shows how trade was made in those years. If you are a historian, ensure to check out this place.
Address: Water Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, United States
11. Bird’s Eye Outfitters
Bird’s Eye Outfitters, to many, is seen as a casual adventure clothing shop, but it is way more than it looks.
Bird’s Eye Outfitters is a must-see destination if you want to enjoy water sports and guided tour activities in this area.
They will help you enjoy various outdoor experiences suitable for each season; you can go kayaking over Great Lake, enjoy hiking in warm conditions around the Upper Peninsula, or even enjoy the winter by going snowshoeing.
The Bird’s Eye Outfitters offers rental services for paddleboarding and kayaking. You can explore the lake alone if you are an experienced tourist.
Aside from Bern, a travel intermediary, Bird’s Eye Outfitters is a great location for hangout because of its restaurant, coffee shop, and the many fun events hosted here.
Address: 107 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
12. Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Tahquamenon Falls State Park is just an hour and 20 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie; it is worth the drive if you are around.
It is one of the most favorite destinations in Michigan and the abode for two gorgeous waterfalls with outstanding brown waters falling from its fringe, resulting in its name “Root Beer Falls.”
The Upper Falls features a 50-foot drop, whereas the Lower Falls are beautiful with their many gorgeous cascades.
The Park occupies a landmass of 5,000 acres and has a length of more than 13 miles, featuring many things to do all through the year. In the summertime, you can immerse yourself in the outdoors by going on a stroll to have a close-up look at the Upper and Lower Falls.
Fishing Is also an ideal activity to do here together with camping. In the winter season, the entire place turns into a magnificent wonderland where you can go snowshoeing and skiing. Fishing and camping at the park’s campsite are also possible.
During winter, the place transforms into a fun wonderland where guests can enjoy skiing and snowshoeing.
Address: 41382 W M-123, Paradise, MI 49768, United States
13. River of History Museum
The vital role of the St. Mary’s River in the early beginnings of Sault Ste. is visible even until this day. The River of History Museum tells this powerful story and its 8,000 years old history via its well-documented galleries.
The Museum is located on Ashmun Street in the downtown area of Sault Ste. Marie, comprising 11 galleries with outstanding exhibits that chronicle the River’s rich history, from its glacier formation to its early residents.
The River of History Museum has various artifacts about the River and its incredible history. The Museum also sells books, souvenirs, and educational gifts.
Address: 531 Ashmun St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
14. Rotary Island Park
Exploring the favorite destinations in Sault Ste. Marie might be stressful, and you surely will need some time off, so make sure to visit Rotary Island Park.
The Rotary Island Park is located on a little island on the St. Mary’s River. It is filled with rich greens that provide you with needful relaxation to de-stress yourself.
Visitors can have a relaxed moment just seated at any of the benches in the Park as they soak up the beautiful natural surroundings and view the boat passing by.
Rotary Island Park island is ideal for families as it features a playground area. In addition, it has a famous fishing pond situated inside the Park where children can go fishing for various types of fish.
Address: Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
15. Chippewa Country Courthouse
Chippewa Country Courthouse is a must-visit landmark in the town which attracts thousands of locals and visitors alike.
The courthouse was built in the second empire inspired style in 1877; it is a grand stone courthouse made up of two stories with a charming clock tower decorated with a justice statue facing the front lawn.
The front lawn features a plethora of plants and trees with two captivating statues worth more than a second look, including the wolf of Rome and the 1985 Crane of the salt.
Despite being built more than a century ago, the Chippewa Country Courthouse still stands firm and is known as one of the state’s oldest functioning courthouses.
In 1984, Chippewa Country Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its historical importance.
Address: 319 Court St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, Amurka, United States
16. The Palace Saloon
The Palace Saloon is an old dinner spot with elegantly styled decor and beautiful chandeliers.
They have provided top-class New American and Mexican dishes and locally-made cocktails for over a century.
The restaurant was founded in 1903 and features ornamented decor; the walls are furnished with memories of hockey and have a mahogany bar that provides guests with a vast selection of drinks.
Their seasonal menus include local Mexican foods with ancient recipes transferred from generation to generation. It also features unique American dishes like steaks, burgers, and salads. The restaurant is available for lunch and dinner each day.
Address: 200 W Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
17. The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge
The next item on our list of top things to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, is to check out the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge. It crosses the St. Marys River in the middle of the United States and Canada.
This historic bridge connects the Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan and Sault Ste Marie in Ontario. It is a bustling place for people traveling beside the border.
Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge was built in 1960 and was opened to the general public after two years for transport activities. The Bridge is a historical attraction in this part of the world and should be a must-see when you visit.
Address: 934 Bridge Plaza, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, United States
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18. Sault Seal Recreation Area
If you are visiting during the winter season, one place you sure do not want to miss out on visiting is the Sault Seal Recreation Area, as it offers numerous fun things to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
This destination provides the best winter activities for families to have fun as it features two tubing lifts and seven tubing runs together with a hill where you can engage in snowboarding or skiing.
There is lots of fun as you go sliding the entire area. It does not matter if you’re snowboarding or on a tube; you will surely enjoy the incredible snowy adventure.
Apart from being part of these adrenaline rush activities, visitors can go snowshoeing and browse the entire region through the Lynn Trail.
Afterward, you can head to the warm chalet on the hilltop to treat your stomach to a tasty snack and get yourself heated up and get ready to go snowshoeing again.
Address: 2601 Minneapolis St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
19. Karl’s Cuisine, Winery, and Brewery
The Karl’s Cuisine, Winery, and Brewery are situated in a building that takes the shape of a freighter, and it overlooks the Soo Locks. This place provides guests with an outstanding dining experience through its freshly and locally sourced foods, homemade wines, and beers.
Karl’s Cuisine, Winery, and Brewery are spacious inside, with cozy and elegantly fashionable decor. It also has a beautiful rooftop patio in case you choose to have an open-air diner experience over a background of lovely views of the Soo Locks; this allows guests to continue their observation of ships passing via the locks as they dine and wine.
Their menu includes freshly cooked foods prepared using locally sourced ingredients from local farmers. In addition, their Winery and brewhouse provide guests with a vast jumper of locally produced beers and local wines.
This destination is available for visitations from Wednesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, so make sure to stop by.
Address: 447 W Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, United States
20. The Point Iroquois Light
The Point Iroquois Light is a vital lighthouse perched on a bluff in beautiful Chippewa County.
The historic lighthouse and the land area where it is located is a part of the Hiawatha National Forest and is currently an underwater museum that chronicles the interest of the lighthouse.
The Point Iroquois Light is made up of beautifully styled apartments that accommodate the lighthouse caretaker, exhibits relating to navigation aids and lighthouse innovation, and a great collection of historical pictures; the museum is open seasonally to the general public.
Address: 13042-13260 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI, United States
21. Ojibwe Learning Center and Library
The original settlers of Sault Ste. Maria are Native Americans, and they created lasting memories of their historical deeds. The Ojibwe Learning Center and Library were founded by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
The Ojibwe Learning Center and Library is the abode to a collection of educational resources relating to the history and culture of Native Americans.
The Library contains more than one thousand books, and they all talk about the history and culture of the Native Americans. The Library displays tons of cultural accessories and art pieces that were fabricated by this tribe.
The Library also provides captivating experiences like languages to give visitors in-depth knowledge of this fascinating culture.
Address: Sault Ste. Marie, MI, United States
22. Soo Brewing Company
The Soo Brewing Company is devoted to producing beers that exceed our regular brews, something every Sault Ste. resident will be proud of.
And to achieve this result, this Brewery uses only top-quality ingredients and traditionally tested ways to brew various flavors of local beers that are unmatched anywhere, top quality, and affordable for everyone.
Make sure to stop by if you love good beer, you can enjoy the music, converse with friends, eat some delectable dishes and sample a freshly produced beer you want.
The brewery always has six freshly produced beers on tap that you can stop by and select from.
Address: 100 W. Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI, United States
23. Lockside Mini Golf
Lockside Mini Golf is family owned and operated establishment offering visitors of all ages exciting outdoor entertainment.
The attraction is located on the United States–Canada border as an 18-hole mini golf course offering picturesque views of the freighters.
Whether you’re an amateur or professional golf player, Lockside Mini Golf offers you the kind of thrills you need.
The golf course is next to Karl’s Cuisine restaurant, where you can stop by for a deliciously made dish before or after your tee time.
Karl’s Cuisine also offers well-crafted beers, wines, and hard cider in the facility. Lockside Mini Golf is an excellent place for parties and different activities.
Address: 447 West Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States.
24. Lake Superior State University
If you are a scholar, visit Lake Superior State University. Lake Superior State University is an educational institution with a campus area of 115 acres seated in the iconic site of Fort Brady that provides undergraduate degrees in wildlife management, fisheries, and engineering.
In addition to providing the general public with top-class education on a whole different level, the institution is famous for several of its distinctive traditions, such as the ‘Banished Words List,’ which features listed words that are banned in the university as a result of improper use or excessive use.
The ringing of the Hoholik Victory Bell after home game victories, the Snowman Burning to celebrate the first day of Spring, and the blasting of the Ship’s Horn after goals are scored at home games are other traditions.
Address: 650 W Easterday Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
25. Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church
Michigan’s Oldest Catholic Church, the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, is also referred to as St. Mary Proto-Cathedral.
The Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church was designed by Joseph Connolly, a Canadian architect. The current structure of the church was built in a Gothic Revival-inspired style with several charming architectural supplements.
The ancient Roman Catholic Church was formerly a cathedral and Marquette’s first Roman Catholic Diocese.
The Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church follows the Jesuit missionaries’ faith traditions dating back to over 350 years ago.
Address: 337 Maple St, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, United States
26. Zak’s Kandy Haus
Make sure to stop by Zak’s Kandy Haus for some great coffee. It should be a primary item on your bucket list of what to do in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, as you surely do not want to leave without having to taste their coffee.
Zak’s Kandy Haus is a mini cafe that provides guests with everything sweet and tasty. This Cafe shop is situated on Portage Avenue. It is a perfect destination to enjoy some sweet treats after observing the shape travel via the Soo Locks.
Visitors can choose from their great selection of Stroh’s (Mooney’s) ice cream, waffle cones, sundaes, floats, and hand-spun milkshakes. The menu includes sugar-free fudge, 12 flavors of hand-crafted fudge, cashew, freshly baked brownies, cakes, peanut brittle cookies, and freshwater taffy.
Address: 401 W Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783-1839, United States
Plan Your Trip to Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie provides guests with lots of captivating activities. Would you like to go on a historical exploration or a fascinating adventure on the lake, this city has got you covered.
The city is home to numerous exhilarating and captivating attractions that ensure both adults and children have fun moments.
You will undoubtedly enjoy every of its attraction and will hardly forget the experience. Have a fun trip!