You’ll find a string of motels along M-64 between Silver City to Ontonagon. Many are plain, somewhat tired mom-and-pop-type places, but they work just fine after a long day outdoors. Tomlinson’s Rainbow Lodging (2900 M-64, Silver City, 906/885-5348, $79–189 d) offers motel rooms and cottages on the shores of Lake Superior, with a private sand beach. Some units have whirlpools and kitchen facilities. Pets are welcome.
You’ll also find a large selection of mom-and-pop motels along U.S. 2, many of which have great deals and clean, comfortable, if simple, rooms. A good choice is the Sandpiper Motel (1200 E. Cloverland Dr., Ironwood, 906/932-2000, $39–79 d). Reserve well ahead of time during ski season. Meanwhile, the larger area ski resorts offer slopeside (or near-slopeside) accommodations, ranging from dormitories to simple motel rooms to deluxe condominiums.
The Indianhead Mountain Resort (500 Indianhead Rd., Wakefield, 800/346-3426, www.indianheadmtn.com, $105–483 d) offers some of the nicest rooms and condos (and the closest to what you might find in Aspen).
If you get hungry while exploring the area, head to Ontonagon, where you’ll find Syl’s (713 River, 906/884-2522, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. daily, $4–9), a classic small-town café, with some of the best pasties around. Their breakfasts are so big, you may not need to eat for the rest of the day.
In Ironwood, you may spot what looks like a classic corner tavern, but Don & GG’s (1300 E. Cloverland Dr., Ironwood, 906/932-2312, hours vary, $5–14) might surprise you with its vegetarian dishes and smoked trout salad. Don’t worry—you can still get burgers and chicken dinners, too.
The Ottawa National Forest (E6248 U.S. 2, Ironwood, 906/932-1330, free–$17) maintains 27 auto-accessible campgrounds, all with tent pads, fire grates, and toilet facilities. Many are located along rivers and lakes. Most tend to be quite rustic and secluded, with the exception of Black River Harbor, Sylvania, and Bobcat Lake. A few, like Black River Harbor, require a fee and allow reservations.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel