The Most Complete Guide to Escanaba, Upper Michigan

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Planning a trip to Escanaba, and don’t know where to start?

Escanaba is a great place to visit on your trip to Upper Michigan. You’ll find yourself falling in love with the beauty of Lake Michigan and its many beaches as well as the unique local culture. Escanaba is the perfect place to try the famous pasty, a local savory dish that dates back to 12th century England. The city lies sheltered in the Little Bay de Noc so it’s the perfect spot for a summer getaway or a family vacation. Definitely add Escanaba to your bucket list if you haven’t already.

The Most Complete Guide to Escanaba, Upper Michigan

Complete guide to Escanaba, Upper Michigan

Escanaba History and Facts

The town of Escanaba originated from a Native American village of the same name which existed in the early 19th century. The name “Escanaba” translates to either “land of the red buck” or “flat rock”. European settlers officially founded the town in 1863 and the harvesting and processing of lumber became the dominant industry of the town. The area around the Escanaba River was and still is known for being a notorious deer-hunting ground which dates back to the time of Native American settlers.

Escanaba’s port established itself as one of the safest in the area due to its sheltered location. As the import and export of lumber and iron ore increased Sand Point Lighthouse was constructed to help guide ships into the harbor. Tourists can still visit the lighthouse today and learn about its history.

In a 2010 census, Escabana had a population of just over 12,000 people making it the third-largest city in Upper Michigan.

Where is Escanaba?

Escanaba lies on the shore of Lake Michigan within the Little Bay de Noc in Upper Michigan. It takes under an hour to reach the Wisconsin border from Escanaba and around 1,5 hours to drive to Marquette. 


Why you need to visit Escanaba

If you love nature then Escanaba is the place for you. You’ll find yourself immersed in lush forests with an array of hiking trails, hidden bays, and opportunities for biking, trekking, and many other outdoor activities. The area is rich in history so there are plenty of opportunities to explore historic sites and tourist hotspots.

The Escanaba area is perfect for camping with its clear starry night skies. Make the most of Lake Michigan and enjoy water sports and boat tours on this incredible body of water. The shoreline is sandy and shallow so Escanaba’s beaches are a great place for the entire family.

Upper Michigan is known for its famous pasties but Escanaba might just have the best ones. You need to try this traditional savory pie-like dish at least once when you visit. Head to Dobber’s Pasties for the best home-made ones around.

How to get to Escanaba

Escanaba has a small regional airport, however, there are limited flights. Sawyer International Airport can be reached from Escanaba within an hour and has a much larger selection of flights available.

The easiest way to get to Escanaba is most likely by car. Since the city sits close to the Wisconsin border it’s easily reachable and you’ll have the added benefit of having your own car which makes exploring the surrounding area a lot easier. Highway 41 which stretches through most of the western peninsula runs through Escanaba and makes it easily accessible.


You can also get to Escanaba by bus. This will be the most affordable form of transportation, however, depending on where you are coming from it will also take considerable time and possibly multiple stopovers to get there. Visit the Greyhound website for more information on routes and tickets.

How to get around Escanaba

The best way to get around Escanaba is by car. There is little to no local public transport available so it is highly recommended to rent a car on arrival or take your own. This will also let you explore the surrounding area with a lot more freedom and flexibility.

When is the best time to visit Escanaba?

You can visit Escanaba year-round although the summer is most popular among tourists. During the months of June to August, you’ll be able to enjoy dry and sunny weather with temperatures of around 75° Fahrenheit (24° Celsius). Be aware that accommodation prices during this time will be at their all-time high and you’ll be enjoying the area alongside many other tourists.

To avoid the crowds you should consider visiting in either spring or fall (April-May or September-October) when temperatures will be slightly cooler but still enjoyable. Upper Michigan has a beautiful fall with incredible multicolored forests. This is a great time for hiking and trekking.


You can also visit Escanaba in winter, however, expect to encounter a considerable amount of snow. During the colder months, the area attracts ice fishers and is a great spot for snowshoeing and skiing. Be aware that some tourist attractions might be closed or inaccessible during this time.

Places To Stay Nearby

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