Michigan August 13, 2017
9 Undeniable Differences Between Michigan’s Upper And Lower Peninsulas
Many Michiganders speak about the Upper Peninsula as though it’s a whole separate state — and, in some ways, it is! While neither peninsula is objectively better or worse than the other, there are certainly quite a few differences between the two. If you’re curious about what sets these two gorgeous regions of our state apart from one another, read on…
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The accent
If you’re from Michigan, you know the drill: there’s a special sort of accent that comes along with living in either area of the state. Residents of the Lower Peninsula are known for their somewhat nasally pronunciation and a penchant for adding the possessive "s" where it’s not needed. Upper Peninsula residents, however, are far more likely to say "eh!"
2. The snowfall
Lower Peninsula residents complain — and rightfully so — about the heavy snowfall that arrives each winter. That lake effect snow is no joke! But the further northward you move within Michigan, the more intense the winter weather becomes. Some Yoopers might scoff at the amount of snowfall received each year in Grand Rapids or Detroit. Regardless of location, though, Michiganders are pros when it comes to bundling up and shoveling.
3. The slang
For those in the U.P., Lower Peninsula residents are known as "trolls." For Lower Peninsula Michiganders, people residing north of the Mackinac Bridge are typically referred to as "Yoopers." These terms aren’t meant to be derogatory -- they’re simply what we’ve always called each other.
4. The food
Don’t get us wrong: our mouths water just thinking about cuisine from either peninsula of the Great Lakes State. But there are certainly a few differences when it comes to what each part of Michigan chooses to eat. Lower Peninsula dwellers are keen on coney dogs, Detroit-style pizza, and "fancier" foodie-friendly eateries, while Yoopers enjoy a steady diet of pasties, fresh fish, and more!
5. The nature
Both peninsulas are overflowing with gorgeous natural beauty. While the Lower Peninsula’s outdoor attractions are largely centered around soft, sandy shorelines and sweeping views of Lake Michigan or Lake Huron, the U.P. is known for a slightly more rugged terrain. Blackrocks at Marquette, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and plenty of waterfalls… the list continues.
6. The hobbies
We Michiganders are an active bunch, but our hobbies differ slightly based on where we reside. You’re far more likely to find Upper Peninsula residents partaking in regular snowmobiling, intensive hiking, hunting, and other outdoor activities. Don’t get us wrong, Lower Peninsula Michiganders are just as active — but we simply have different levels of access to the great outdoors.
7. The pace of life
Things just seem to move a bit slower in the Upper Peninsula, and Yoopers like it that way! The Lower Peninsula is certainly more bustling when it comes to everyday life, especially given its larger concentration of people throughout several sizable metropolises. When you’re looking for a slightly more laid-back escape, the U.P. is the place to be.
8. The tourist attractions
The Lower Peninsula is booming with things to do throughout the year. From Detroit Tigers games to breweries to charming beach towns, there’s something here for everyone. The U.P has its very own set of attractions, many of which are more centered around appreciating unspoiled wilderness or visiting quirky "tourist traps." If you’re looking to chase a few waterfalls, camp along the shores of Lake Superior, or visit the gravity-defying excitement of the "Mystery Spot," head north!
9. The cities
Both peninsulas of Michigan are home to cities, but the Lower Peninsula certainly houses larger metropolises. From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Lansing to Grand Rapids, there’s a city here to suit every preference. Marquette and Escanaba are the largest cities in the Upper Peninsula, but they undoubtedly boast a slower, calmer pace of life than cities found south of the Mackinac Bridge.
Tell us, Michiganders: what are some other obvious differences between the two peninsulas of our wonderful state? No matter what separates us, though, one thing is for sure: we’re all proud (and fortunate) to be from the Great Lakes State.