There’s a laundry list of things that make Marquette an incredible place to live, and we’re sure that you’ve at least heard a few, which is why you’re reading this article, but what’s really it like to live here? And, most importantly, where are the best places around town to plant roots? Luckily for you, we have the answers you’re looking for! If you’re thinking of becoming a full time, part time, or permanent resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, rest assured that you’ll find something utterly wholesome & unique here in Marquette. Our balanced lifestyles, accessible outdoor activities, and unapologetically focus on community are all hard at work making Marquette, arguably, one of the best places to live in the United States. While many hands have been hard at work to make Marquette what it is today, it’s natural beauty and energy come naturally.
For the sake of simplicity, we’ve put together a convenient collection with the most notable neighborhoods in the Marquette area. And while Marquette, broadly, has a lot to celebrate & offer, we’ve gone to the trouble of detailing each of these neighborhoods simply because they’re so absurdly unique. In certain parts of town, just crossing a street can throw you from a bustling downtown into one of the most gorgeous, wide-open views of Lake Superior you’ll ever see. If you aren’t excited about living in Marquette yet, you will be by the end of this article, so, why don’t we get started?!
Of all the reasons why people choose to live in Marquette, our sheer amount of space and attractive outdoor lifestyles are some of the first considered; there’s just so much to do & see here! And so, starting off on our neighborhood adventure, we’d like to celebrate that connection with nature by talking about one of the best areas to live for quick access to the widest variety of outdoor activities; North Marquette.
With Northern Michigan University’s main campus as its centerpiece, you’ll find this neighborhood to be predominantly made up of students & renters, which in turn, means it’s hosting the highest residency turn-over rate in the Marquette area with new and affordable housing is constantly in rotation. Purchasing homes in Marquette can be a bit of a race, so if you’re looking to quickly inject yourself into the area, North Marquette can be a great option to camp out & familiarize yourself with the local landscape while you keep tabs on the housing market. It’s worth noting that North Marquette is pretty firmly established, so while not much in the way of new housing & development is currently happening here, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how much variety there is in the different styles of homes. When you’re closer to campus you’ll find a plethora of victorian-style houses, but venturing even just a half-mile north along the 550 highway will reveal some lovely rustic cabins and a-frame villas. And while the houses themselves are often spoken for, they aid as examples of just how differently you can choose to experience living in Marquette, without sacrificing on things like access, maneuverability or your commute. Woven throughout North Marquette are biking paths & walkways that make this neighborhood, like we mentioned earlier, one of the best parts of town for getting outdoors. Just as easily as you can bike down to campus or one of your favorite coffee shops, you can find great spots for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing & rock-climbing, just to name a few. Also home to one of the most naturally-intact shorelines in the Marquette area, popping out for an evening stroll through Presque Isle Park or even just walking your dog along the harbor will make you wish you’d decided to live here sooner.
Also locally referred to as “SOMA”, South Marquette is the oldest neighborhood in the city and is often sought after for its various, discreet subdivisions & forested areas. Whereas North Marquette is relatively low-lying, the southern parts of Marquette can be quite mountainous (championed by Marquette Mountain, our local ski-hill, which can be found just a bit further south of this area). South Marquette’s geography helps to keep its housing low-key, but also benefits hikers & mountain bikers with its many interconnected trails (Marquette Mountain even doubles as a mountain biker’s paradise during the warmer months). Situated just south of the bypass, it can be a bit tricky to gain access to the Lake Superior shoreline without the use of a vehicle, however a number of new apartment buildings & townhome residences have begun popping up along the southern parts of Marquette Bay (just south of Founder’s Landing) that at the very least, can provide some of those incredible, sweeping views of the Great Lake. Otherwise, South Marquette is a stellar place to look for some striking single family homes, or purchasable lots if you’re thinking of building something from the ground-up. The pliability of this well-balanced neighborhood has become so increasingly attractive to Marquette’s most well-established residents, that it’s also growing to be an excellent hub for local businesses. It’s most notable additions: Huron Mountain Bakery, The Courtyard (craft cocktails & a built-in food truck), Drifa Brewing Company (Michigan’s first cooperatively owned craft brewery), The Compound (ski shop), Mares-Z-Doats Feed Pet & Garden, as well as a number of small convenience stores & services make South Marquette a rising option for buyers looking for a new place to call their home.
Whereas the other neighborhoods on our list tend to be a bit loosely-drawn and vaguely precise, the East Side is firmly set & distinctive to our locals. So much so, that you could almost draw a straight line for this neighborhood right down the middle of N 4th Street. The East Side of Marquette is home to a multitude of small-lot, single family homes, as well as a scattered number of continuously renovated, privately-owned student housing. Between these two demographics, exists a blissful, buzzing energy that is absolutely unique to this cut of Marquette. Without knowing exactly who to thank for that liveliness, we’re immensely grateful that its result is a thriving strip of local businesses lined almost wall-to-wall all the way down N 3rd street. Properties in this neighborhood sell so quickly, it’s difficult to even find listings for the area, but managing to snag one of these spots is often quickly rewarded. Local beaches, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, bodegas, cafes, breweries, and an onslaught of various service-based businesses & amenities means that you’re walking distance from almost anything you could possibly need to cultivate a long, gratifying lifestyle in Marquette’s East Side.
Situated just west of the East Side (opposite that line we drew down N 4th Street), Central Marquette is one of the few areas of town that’s almost purely residential. A healthy mixture of student & family housing, these small-lot to medium-sized homes & some scattered apartment buildings can be some really great spots to get your foothold in the Marquette region. With US 41 near its southern border, you’ll find quick access to grocery stores, retail shopping & most of Marquette’s fast food restaurants. The warm, neighborly atmosphere here makes this yet another popular section of Marquette, but don’t mistake its subtlety for its lack of ambition. In addition to their sizable off-campus student population, Central Marquette is simmering with creative business ideas, innovative community members prowling for their next opportunity, and excited young residents itching to start a new family (with pets and/or children, we’ve seen it all).
So far in this article, we’ve given you descriptions of the central neighborhoods in Marquette County. Without going as far as Ishpeming, Negaunee or Gwinn, outside of the official city limits exists a small handful of outlier neighborhoods. You wouldn’t find them listed on any official city zoning maps, however they’ve managed to grab enough attention within our various communities, as well as being familiar enough with the local real estate agents, to warrant a spot on this list. So continuing on with our neighborhood recommendations, we hope you find something to enjoy about these additional three:
With a handful of Marquette’s school systems nearby, along with a clean commute into town or even over to Northern Michigan University’s campus, this nice, neighborly section of Marquette is one of our most favorable locations for growing families looking to spread out into some larger lot homes. Local watering holes like Rose’s Dugout help to keep this neighborhood lively, but all the while its geography (as well as its surrounding forests) manage to keep it one of the quietest neighborhoods we have to offer. Many of its current residents will tell you that its central location makes this a great option for anyone with potential for a busy schedule, so running out for a quick lunch, dropping your kids off at school, grabbing that second coffee, or even if you’re looking to spend some time exploring some local trails or waterfalls, you can find most everything to be about 5 minutes from your front door.
Farthest from Lake Superior, Brookton Corners currently shoulders the weight of Marquette’s continuing westwards expansion. As one of our developing neighborhoods, you’ll find fresh, new homes, as well as a number of purchasable properties that work well for either building or investment. As long as you don’t mind an occasionally winding commute into town, Brookton Corners can be quite an attractive option for those wanting that forested backyard, or for those who don’t mind wrestling with a few of those unforeseen circumstances that are commonly attached to an emerging neighborhood. Situated opposite U.S. 41 from Trowbridge Park, northwest of Southern Marquette, this similarly nestled location can also be a great spot for families looking for some extra space. Retail shopping, grocery stores and an assortment of local restaurants make Brookton Corners an enticing addition to our growing & ambitious town.
Forestville, while sought after, can be one of the trickier places to live in Marquette. With all that beautiful lake-effect love from Lake Superior during the winter months, it’s no wonder community members recommend indulging in a set of cross country skis as the Noquemanon Trail Network’s Forestville Compound lies right outside your door at the . While the larger lots & homes you’ll find out there are often expensive, the seasonal trails, biking paths, rivers, natural waterfalls, and one of the most sought-after cross country ski tracks in Marquette make Forestville a coveted, scenic neighborhood that often rivals Lake Superior itself. If you’re well-prepared to weather every one of Marquette’s incredible seasons, Forestville could easily be the best place to live in town.
Finishing off our list here, we thought we’d reel it back into Marquette’s city limits and talk about a few notable subdivisions around town. Subdivisions, if you aren’t familiar with them, are essentially neighborhoods within neighborhoods. Over time, Marquette has accumulated a small number of hotspots, so to speak, or notable areas of town that fall within the existing neighborhood limits. Now we wouldn’t normally include these on a list of neighborhoods within which to live, however people often treat them as separate neighborhoods altogether, so to aid in our mission to familiarize yourself with as many neighborhoods as we can, we’re including four of our most notable subdivision in town for you:
Downtown Marquette (within Central Marquette)
Marquette’s pride & joy is our downtown, so if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in this area, you might have to be prepared to get rowdy with a few locals first. Marquette’s downtown area is completely local, and intentionally protected from national companies and corporations. From our breweries, to our shops, restaurants & art galleries, every single inch of it is remarkably intact and well-respected. Featuring some of the original buildings from the late 1800’s, during Marquette’s earliest founding years, our downtown is cleverly repurposed and full of life. You’ll find 1-2 bedroom apartments, condos and a small handful of single family homes populating the housing market here, and with its stunning, utterly unique location right on Lake Superior, you’re sure to become just as obsessed as we are.
Founders Landing (Bridging Central & South Marquette)
The Founders Landing area here in Marquette, sort of directly south-east of Downtown along the shoreline, is one of the most interesting cuts of land in Marquette, covering only about ¼ mile of waterfront development in total. Completely comprised of apartment buildings, hotels & condos, it’s not a very diverse area for a prospective tenant. It’s uniformity, however, is made up for with its incredibly wide, uninterrupted views of Lake Superior, and you’ll find that the area is remarkably well-suited for outdoor enthusiasts as well. The Iron Ore Heritage Trail, that runs the entire length of the Marquette coast & beyond, connects your front door to a seemingly endless supply of exciting outdoor activities & experiences for almost any day of the year. Founders Landing, although at a high rental rate, is a potent, quickly developing residential powerhouse that aims to encapsulate all of the amazing aspects of what makes Marquette an incredible place to live.
Shiras Hills (within South Marquette)
Shiras Hills is a popular residential community just narrowly hugging the eastern shoreline in South Marquette. Initially developed after World War II, you’ll find that these large lots embody the distinctive, suburban dream of post-war America, and for that reason, make perfect homes for growing families. The unique geography of the greater southern Marquette area ensures that these newer homes all have a grander sense of privacy than most other neighborhoods on this list. Additionally, most of these spots have backyard access to popular hiking trails that wind up the scenic Mount Marquette. This hillside neighborhood is a quick recommendation for anyone who wants to feel like they live on the outskirts of town, all while being about a two-minute drive from Downtown.
Harlow Farms (within South Marquette)
Conceptually very similar to Shiras Hills, except you’ll find it westwards in South Marquette, and without the dense, woven forest. Harlow Farms is centrally located in Marquette, a bit further from Downtown, but all newer homes built in 2007 & newer. Recommended as one of the best places to buy a new house in Marquette, this subdivision stands apart from the rest by being uniquely blended into the surrounding natural landscape by design of its developer. Nice, large houses with integrated walking & biking paths tethering the entire neighborhood to city biking paths really makes Harlow Farms an intentional, modern & appealing addition to the Marquette area.