"Gateway to the Keweenaw Peninsula" Houghton by yooperprof

Houghton Travel Guide: 92 reviews and 185 photos

Techies, Yoopers, and Swede-Finns

First, some vocabulary for visitors to Houghton:

Techies: Students at Michigan Technological University

Yoopers: General term for residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - though your family needs to have lived here for at least two generations before you are really accepted as such. (Yooperprof is only an honorary Yooper, having lived here only for 11 years.)

Swede-Finns: Ethnic group found in great abundance in and around Houghton - having emigrated from Swedish language regions of Finland, or Finnish language regions of Sweden. Here you'll find Swedish Keskimakis and Finnish Johnsons - and there IS a difference.

Houghton really has a nice town feeling. The main downtown street, Shelden Avenue, is lined with handsome red brick and red sandstone structures from the early 20th century. The backs of these buildings overlook the Portage Canal, and higher floors often overlook the steep bluffs (and ski-hill) beyond. There are a few small cafes, an excellent coffee shop, a great microbrewery, and interesting shops and boutiques. And the World Market grocery has a selection of food products that you'll find nowhere else in the entire Upper Peninsula. (It's because of the very cosmopolitan student and faculty of Michigan Tech.)

One of the annual highlights of Houghton is the Parade of Nations, an annual celebration involving flags, traditional clothing, and a wide variety of ethnic and regional foods. It's held in the middle of September.

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  • Last visit to Houghton: Sep 2012
  • Intro Updated Nov 5, 2012
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