Sault Ste. Marie
The second largest city in the Upper Peninsula, Sault Ste. Marie serves as a striking contrast to the surrounding hinterlands of northern Michigan. With a population of 14,300, this historic city is well worth a visit, especially to view the boat traffic through the famous Soo Locks that link Lakes Superior and Huron.
At the foot of Whitefish Bay, grand Lake Superior narrows to a close at the St. Mary’s River, the sole waterway that connects it to the other Great Lakes. With Superior 21 feet higher than the others, the St. Mary’s naturally erupted into a series of falls and rapids near Sault Ste. Marie.
Sault, pronounced SOO (and often spelled that way as a city nickname), means “falling water,” a name given by early French explorers. While in town, you should consider hopping across the river to Canada, where you’ll find Sault Ste. Marie’s sister city, considerably larger and also known as Sault Ste. Marie.
Getting to Sault Ste. Marie
While it’s possible to fly into the Sault Ste. Marie Airport (YAM) (www.saultairport.com) in Ontario and cross the International Bridge to Sault Ste. Marie, most travelers will reach the Soo from some other part of Michigan.
From the Lower Peninsula, head north on I-75. From the western U.P., head east on M-28 or U.S. 2 to I-75.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel