Nestled along the southern shore of Lake Superior, the city of Marquette is the literal and figurative heart of the Upper Peninsula. Historic, vibrant, and filled to the brim with a unique combination of outdoorsy energy and urban sophistication, the seat of Marquette County is one of the very best places to live not just in Michigan, but in the country.
Named one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2010 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Marquette is the kind of community that still has a thriving downtown district. Historic Downtown Marquette still serves as the city’s shopping and dining hub and is where many community events are held.
Marquette is also a college town, having served as the seat of Northern Michigan University (NMU) since the turn of the century. NMU’s 360-acre campus is adjacent to the Marquette General Hospital (UP Health System-Marquette), Level II Trauma Center and the region’s premier medical center, which Thomson Reuters has ranked among the country’s top 50 cardiovascular hospitals. The city’s public schools are under the Marquette Area Public Schools district.
Home to a population of just over 21,400 (as of 2013 estimates), Marquette was established in 1849 as the village of Worcester. A year later it was renamed Marquette after Jacques Marquette, the famous French Jesuit missionary. It has earned a host of awards over the years and has been named a Tree City USA as well as one of the top five places to retire in the country by CNN/Money and one of the “Top 200 Towns for Sportsmen” by Outdoor Life magazine, among others.
Marquette MI Real Estate and Homes for Sale in Marquette MI
Marquette has a wide range of housing options and a diversity of neighborhoods. There’s something for everyone here!
Conveniently located just north of NMU, this area is ideal for those in the market for a student rental or a starter home. Real estate here is affordable and is composed mostly of one and two-story single-family homes. The North Marquette Outdoor Recreation Area is nearby.
This is where you’ll find the master-planned Harlow Farms Conservation Community. Edged by forests and spread out on a lush, rolling terrain of more than 100 acres, Harlow Farms features custom single-family homes and condominiums in seven distinct neighborhoods as well as over 25 acres of open spaces. Farther south, at the base of Mt. Marquette, is the Granite Pointe Conservation Community, a deeply forested development with 77 home sites, an extensive network of trails, and easy access to the ski area. Also here is the family-friendly neighborhood of The Summits and high-end Bishop Woods.
Home to the East Side, Marquette’s oldest neighborhood, this area is a haven for those who appreciate historic homes. Here traditional American Foursquares sit side by side with Colonial Revivals, Tudor Revivals, and so on. Downtown is just minutes away as are the lake and open areas such as Shiras Park, Williams Park and the Ellwood Mattson Lower Harbor Park.
Close to NMU as well as the Upper Peninsula Medical Center and Marquette Senior High School, this area is near the unincorporated community of Trowbridge Park. To the north are the Dead River and Marquette Tourist Park and the city’s multi-use path winds its way through the area. Farther west you’ll find the well-established neighborhood of Huron Woods, which features comfortable single-family homes on large lots.
There’s plenty to see and do in and around Marquette; the city is a true four-season destination. Below you’ll find some of the most prominent landmarks and attractions in the area.
- The Superior Dome – Rising 14 stories, NMU’s Superior Dome is the largest wooden dome in the world and serves as the home of the Wildcat football, soccer and track teams.
- Presque Isle Park – Extending across 323 acres on a peninsula overlooking Lake Superior, this is undoubtedly the city’s favorite open space. It features forested areas, pebble beaches and rocky promontories as well as picnic areas, a playground, a network of trails, and more.
- Marquette Harbor Lighthouse and Maritime Museum – Located on Lighthouse Point, the lighthouse and the nearby museum provide a glimpse into the region’s maritime heritage and its involvement in the iron ore trade.
- Marquette Regional History Center – Located on W. Spring Street near the waterfront, the center is the place to go for those who want to learn more about Maquette’s and the UP’s history, going back to prehistoric times.
- Iron Ore Heritage Trail – A multiuse interpretive trail system spanning 48 miles, it lets you explore the beauty of the region and become better acquainted with the story of iron ore mining and trading in the Marquette Iron Range area.
This is only a sampling of the many events that the city hosts every year:
- New Year’s Eve Ball Drop – Every New Year’s Eve, residents and visitors gather on the corner of Front and Washington Streets in Downtown Marquette to watch the illuminated ball drop from the Savings Bank Building. There has been an annual ball drop since 1988.
- The Midnight Run – This 90-mile sled dog race kicks off in Downtown Marquette in mid-February and the trail runs to Chatham. It is presented by the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association.
- Harbor Fest – Also known as the Seafood Fest, this fundraising event for the benefit of nonprofits in the area, is held on a weekend in August at the Mattson Lower Harbor Park. Includes a waterfront gala, live music, concerts, and plenty of family fun.
- Marquette Area Blues Fest – Blues lovers won’t want to miss this music festival held at the Mattson Lower Harbor Park in late summer. Apart from concerts, there’s also food, beer, arts and crafts, and a dance floor.
- U.P. Fall Beer Festival – Brought to us by the Michigan Brewer’s Guild, this event is usually held every September at the Mattson Lower Harbor Park. Get acquainted with hundreds of Michigan brews from over 50 breweries.
- Baraga Avenue Harvest Fest – Held in October at Downtown’s West Baraga Avenue, the event is presented by New Holland Carhartt Woodsman Beer and includes live music, street dancing, a fashion show, a variety of contests, children’s activities, and so on.
- Downtown Marquette Farmers Market & Late Fall Farmers Market – Running from August to October and November to December (the late fall market), every Saturday at the Marquette Commons. The market features everything from Scandinavian pastries to fresh produce, crafts, books and jewelry.