Escanaba is the Upper Peninsula's second largest city, an historic community on the shores of Little Bay De Noc. The town has many things to see and an abundance of recreational opportunities.
The Upper Peninsula State Fair
is Michigan's only state fair and has operated in Escanaba since 1928. The fair is held in mid-August at the fairgrounds on North Lincoln Road (US-2/US-41/M-35). National musical acts, local entertainment, food, animals, carnival rides, and much more are part of the fair.
celebrates the finest in Michigan wines and beer
each October. The festival is held near the waterfront behind Hereford & Hops in downtown. There's brewing demonstrations, food, and lots of beverages to taste.
Free concerts happen on Monday nights at 7 p.m. in July and August at Ludington Park's Karas Band Shell. If it rains, the concert will happen on Tuesday night. The concerts are presented by the
Bay Area Art Association.
Museums, Historic Locations, and Markers
Escanaba has two museums, Delta County Historical Museum and the U.P. Steam & Gas Engine Museum, and many historic structures and historical markers. See the historic locations and attractions page
for more about the historic locations in Escanaba, like Sand Point Lighthouse.
Ludington Park Trail System
Paved trails for biking, walking, jogging, and roller-blading wind around Ludington Park and Aronson Island. The total length of the trails is approximately two miles. Delta County Historical Society Museum, Escanaba Municipal Marina, Escanaba Yacht Club, and Sand Point Lighthouse are located along the northern trail that loops past the water plant. Two historical markers are also close to the trail. The trail on Aronson Island is not far from the municipal beach and boat launch. Parking is available at several areas near the trails.
Parks in Escanaba
- Dickson Field has dugouts, concessions area, and an electronic scoreboard. The baseball diamond is located along North 21st Street, across the street from Catherine Bonifas Civic Center and the Senior Citizen's Center. A parking lot is on the south side of the park.
- Lemerand Field is a softball complex on the south side of Escanaba at 18th Avenue South and 21st Street. The fields are used for youth games and include a pavilion and concession building.
- Ludington Park is the largest recreation area in Escanaba. The park is home to the Escanaba Municipal Beach, which is on the east side of Aronson Island. The sandy swimming beach is open from early June to mid-August. A beach house with changing facilities, restrooms, and showers is located nearby. A playground, and picnic area is also close to the beach.
Ludington Park offers lots to do. The park has a soccer field, basketball court, baseball diamond, sledding hill, volleyball courts, tennis courts, playgrounds, and numerous picnic tables. The park also has a trail system, boat launch, and fishing piers.
Karas Band Shell is located on the south end of the park and hosts concerts during the summer. A veterans memorial is at the center of the park. A scenic gazebo is located on the north side of the park, across from the municipal marina.
- Ness Field is at 18th Avenue South and 16th Street, near the Lemerand Field complex . The well-maintained field is used by area teams and includes lights, restrooms, dugouts, and an electronic scoreboard.
- Rose Park is a pie-shaped park along Washington Avenue. Rose Park has a large playground, picnic area, and a tennis court. Parking is available on the Stephenson Avenue side of the park.
- Royce Park has two tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and a basketball court. The park's baseball diamond is used for little league games. Royce Park has an area for an outdoor ice rink during the winter.
- Stephenson Park has a playground, basketball court, and a baseball diamond for little league games, which includes a dugout and bleachers.
- Webster Park has a wading pool and a building with restrooms and changing facilities. The shallow pool is for children, ages 3 to 10 years only. The wading pool is open from early June through mid-August.
- Veteran's Park has a baseball diamond for little league games, with dugouts, bleachers, and a scoreboard. The park also has a playground, basketball court, picnic area, and two tennis courts.
Wells Sports Complex
Located just north of the Escanaba city limits, Wells Sports Complex is home to the Escanaba Area Junior Hockey Association (EAJHA). The ice arena also hosts
high school and recreation league hockey games and area figure skating and curling clubs. Open skating is available periodically. Check the EAJHA web site
for the ice rink schedule. Wells Sports Complex is located at 1647 17.4 Road.
The Escanaba Municipal Marina is open from early May to early October. Located at Ludington Park, the marina has 128 seasonal boat slips and 37 transient slips. Amenities include gas, diesel, pump-out service, electrical service (30 and 50 amp with 220 volt available), bike rental, long-term parking, cable TV hookup, laundry, free high-speed Internet, ice, restrooms, and showers. For reservation details, call (800)700-9614 or visit the marina's web site.
Escanaba Yacht Club
is located at Escanaba Municipal Marina, across from Sand Point Lighthouse. The club was established in 1934 and hosts several races and events for members during the summer. The yacht club welcomes interested sailors to join.
The Aronson Island Boat Launch is located across from the marina. Day-use and seasonal permits are available from the harbormaster and are required to use the launch. The boat launch has a weight restriction of 6,000 pounds and a length restriction of 26 feet maximum. Vessels exceeding the weight or length restrictions require a special permit from the harbormaster.
Little Bay De Noc is known for great walleye fishing. Fishermen can also catch
smallmouth bass, salmon, northern pike, perch and others from the waters near Escanaba.
For those who like to fish near land, two fishing piers are located at Ludington Park. One pier is located southeast of the water plant near the entrance to the harbor, and the other is west of the boat launch overlooking the harbor. Parking is not far from the fishing piers.
When winter comes and a thick sheet of ice covers the harbor and Little Bay De Noc, local fishermen like to ice fish. Fishermen like to use the boat launch ramp on Aronson Island to lower ice shanties on to the ice surface in the harbor, near Ludington Park.
A valid fishing license is required to fish in Michigan, so be sure to have one when you fish the state's lakes and waterways. You can get a license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site
and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.
The Escanaba Farmers Market
brings fresh produce, flowers, and much more to downtown Escanaba. The market is open Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from early June through October. The market is located on the south side of First Avenue, near North 9th Street.
More About Escanaba
William Bonifas Fine Arts Center
features art exhibits and cultural events throughout the year. Art workshops and other educational opportunities are also offered through the center, which is at 700 First Avenue South near downtown.
Catherine Bonifas Civic Center
hosts community events and recreational activities throughout the year. The civic center is at the corner of North 21st Street and 2nd Avenue North.
Escanaba has flavorful restaurants to satisfy just about every taste, ranging from fast-food eateries to family restaurants. Many are located along North Lincoln Road (US-2/US-41/M-35) and Ludington Street.
For lodging, the House of Ludington is the closest to Ludington Park, the waterfront area, and downtown. Several hotels are located on North Lincoln Road (US-2/US-41/M-35), including Days Inn, Econo Lodge, Travelodge, and Super 8 Motel. On Ludington Street (US-2/US-41), Best Western and Comfort Suites are not far from downtown.
Family-owned shops can be found in downtown Escanaba on Ludington Street. Large stores, like Walmart, Kmart and Super One Foods, and many other retailers are on North Lincoln Road (US-2/US-41/M-35).
Willow Creek Cinema 8 and Family Fun Park Adventure Golf & Go Karts are on 3rd Avenue North, just west of North Lincoln Road.
and Fayette Historic State Park
are other places to visit in the area.