As snowflakes dance delicately from the sky, there’s a certain magic that can be felt in the serene landscape of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Winter transforms this enchanting region into a wonderland of hygge, where warmth emanates from cozy cabins, crackling fires, and the genuine hospitality of locals. The chill of snow filled forests and the warm charm of the Keweenaw’s small towns encourage you to slow down and embrace the frosty chill of winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  

What is Hygge? 

Hygge, pronounced HUE-GUH, is a term found in Danish and Norwegian languages that captures the essence of coziness, contentment, and well-being in simple moments of togetherness. Rooted in the Scandinavian way of life, hygge encompasses the art of creating warmth, practicing mindfulness, and cherishing small pleasures in everyday life. According to Meik Wiking, author of “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well,” there are ten principles of the Hygge Manifesto: atmosphere, presence, pleasure, equality, gratitude, harmony comfort, truce, togetherness, and shelter.  

The slower pace of life during a Keweenaw winter makes it a perfect destination for those who want to experience the bliss of hygge. Follow along for the perfect recipe to embracing the hygge way of life on a winter vacation to the Keweenaw.  

Choose the Right Lodging 

The Keweenaw offers a variety of lodging accommodations that may inspire hygge during your stay. Choose a cozy cabin tucked away in a snowy hardwood forest or a modern room in the heart of one of the Keweenaw’s downtown areas. Amenities like fireplaces, soaker tubs, saunas, and hot tubs will make you feel cozy and at home during your stay. No matter where you choose to stay, you will be greeted with knowledgeable staff and fantastic customer service. Check out the Keweenaw’s unique variety of lodging options here.

Girl sits beside stone fireplace with warm drink.

From cozy fireplaces to in-room soaker tubs, our Keweenaw lodging accommodations have the amenities you need to feel comfortable and content. (Photo by Sam Brown - TC Mag)

Pack the Right “Gear” 

Hygge is all about comfort and creating an environment that feels warm. As you pack your bags for your weekend getaway, think about bringing items that make you feel happy and content. Pack your favorite fuzzy socks, a cozy sweater, a warm robe, or a lap blanket. Bring a good book, a deck of cards, or maybe a journal to write in during your downtime. Of course, if you plan on spending time outside during your winter vacation, be sure to bring a warm hat, gloves, snowpants, and any adventure gear you may need. Snowshoe, ski, and fat-tire bike rentals are available in our area if you don’t have your own.  

Girls play cribbage with beers at Keweenaw Brewing Company.

Pack something to enjoy during your downtime... a book, a journal, or a deck of cards are all great options. 

The Perfect Hygge Weekend Itinerary 

Friday Night 

Settle In 

A hygge vacation is all about taking things slow. Be sure to allow yourself ample time to unwind and relax. After checking into your lodging accommodation, we recommend taking some time to put your feet up and chill out after your journey to the Keweenaw. Perhaps pour yourself a cup of coffee or wine to enjoy as you read a chapter of your favorite book. Or simply pull up a chair and watch the snow fall against the landscape of the Keweenaw. Refresh with a hot shower or a soak in the hot tub and allow your body the time it needs to regain energy after your travels. 

Fuel Up 

Feeling hungry? It’s time to grab a bite! The Keweenaw has a great variety of restaurants that will satisfy your appetite. Visit the Fitzgerald’s Restaurant in Eagle River, MI and enjoy handcrafted cocktails and hardwood smoked on the shores of Lake Superior, or head to one of the Keweenaw’s downtown areas where you will find several types of cuisine to choose from. From the famous tostada pizza at The Ambassador to whitefish dinner or cheesy French onion soup at Quincy’s Dining Company, there is something for everyone.  

Pizza and drinks at the Ambassador in Houghton.

Fuel up with a pizza and a fishbowl at The Ambassador. 

Take a Stroll 

What’s better than a relaxing stroll after dinner? If you are in Houghton we recommend taking in views of the Portage Canal as you explore the Houghton Waterfront Trail. Hancock and Calumet both have walkable downtown areas beaming with historic charm. If your lodging is north of Calumet in Keweenaw County, we recommend heading to the western shore of Lake Superior to take in a sunset or to view the night sky.  Aerial of Downtown Houghton in Winter

Grab your hat and take a stroll in one of the Keweenaw's downtown areas after dinner.  

Wind Down 

The perfect hygge vacation should include plenty of down time for relaxation. Grab a drink at one of our cozy local watering holes and connect with locals over a game of cards or pool. Then head back to your lodging accommodation to wind down for the night. Grab your journal and take some time to reflect on the day. Or if your lodging features a spa area, this is a great time to warm up in the sauna or hot tub before heading back to your room.  

Pool area at AmericInn

Wind down in the pool area of your lodging facility during the evening. Pool pictured from AmericInn in Calumet, MI. 


Rise & Shine  

Make sure to start your day with a good breakfast. If you’re staying in Houghton, try the Finnish pancake (pannakaku) at Suomi Restaurant or southern style shrimp and grits at the Copper Range Depot. The Nisu Bakery & Cafe in Hancock is another great location for those who want to indulge in those authentic Finnish flavors of cardamom nisu or Swedish Lax. Those staying in the Calumet area will love the Brekkie Sammie at Keweenaw Coffee Works or a hearty omelet at Toni’s Country Kitchen in Laurium. If you're staying in Keweenaw County, check out the spicy skillet at Slim’s in Mohawk or grab a killer breakfast burrito and sip on a mimosa at The Fitzgerald’s Restaurant in Eagle River. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Be sure to take some time to enjoy.  

Rasberry jam being spread on finnish pancakes.

Start the day out right with a good breakfast. Consider trying the Pannakaku (pictured above) at Suomi Restaurant in Houghton.

Head Outdoors 

The Keweenaw offers endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors. The ability to easily connect with nature is one of the things that makes the Keweenaw such a great destination for a hygge vacation. Strap on some snowshoes or cross-country skis and experience the serene feeling of gliding through a pristine winter wonderland, where the only sounds are the soft crunch of snow beneath your feet and the occasional chirp of a distant bird. Whether you choose to explore Michigan Tech’s world-class trails in Houghton, the winding trails of Maasto Hiihto in Hancock, the meticulously groomed Swedetown Trails in Calumet, or the scenic and varied trails at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, we guarantee that you’ll feel a sense of peace wash over you as you venture deeper into our Keweenaw wilderness. 

Man admires snowfall during a cross country ski outing

Enjoy the peace and solitude of nature while skiing or snowshoeing on our regional trails. 

Hit the Spa 

After hiking or snowshoeing through vast Keweenaw wilderness, wind down with some wellness activities. The Keweenaw is home to many specialized massage therapists who offer an array of therapeutic options such as traditional Swedish massage, hot stone massage, or couple massage.  

Mount Bohemia offers a wonderful Nordic Spa with several indoor and outdoor features. Rejuvenate your body with hot and cold exposure in beautiful Lac La Belle. Warm up in Michigan’s largest outdoor hot tub before taking a dip in the cold pool or under the Nordic Waterfall. Mount Bohemia’s Spa also includes a panoramic Finnish sauna, a Himalayan Salt Sauna, and brand-new salt-pods to float in. These new salt-pods allow you to feel weightless as you leave all your worries behind.  

Three women relax at the nordic spa at Mount Bohemia

Soak in the largest outdoor hot tub in Michigan's Upper Peninsula located at Mount Bohemia Ski Resort.

Take a cruise to Eagle Harbor, and you will find yourself at Superior Steam. Superior Steam offers a tranquil sauna experience on the shores of Lake Superior. Warm up in the steamy sauna, take a cold dip in Lake Superior, relax with some replenishing drinks, and repeat! An afternoon indulging in wellness activities will make your hygge vacation the most revitalizing experience you could imagine.  

Take a Yoga Class 

Take a deep breath and enjoy some gentle yoga and meditation at one of our local yoga studios. Our well-trained yoga teachers are ready to help you relax your muscles after a fun day on the trails. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or new to the practice, our studios offer a welcoming and supportive environment for all levels. Unwind with soothing stretches, calming breathing exercises, and guided meditation to center your mind and rejuvenate your body. 

Grab Dinner & Drinks 

After a busy (yet relaxing) day of adventure in the Keweenaw, we encourage you to find a bite to eat. Maybe a delicious pasty or a hearty bowl of soup... It’s up to you, but we know our locally owned restaurants will provide the nourishment you need to refuel your body. Enjoy a cocktail at a historic saloon or grab a beer at the pub before heading back to your hotel to wind down. Find a place to grab a drink here, but be sure to get a good night’s sleep to recharge before you travel back home.  

Shute's Bar in Calumet

The Keweenaw is home to historic saloons like Shute's 1890 Saloon pictured here and several local breweries.


We hope you enjoyed a calm hygge weekend trip to the Keweenaw, but before heading out of town, be sure to eat a good breakfast and step outside. We recommend taking a walk (or snowshoe) at the Nara Nature Trail in Houghton before you leave. Weaving through a scenic wetland area, this trail features a beautiful boardwalk that will offer nice views of birds and other wildlife. As you explore this nature area, take a deep breath and experience the refreshing sense of comfort that Mother Nature provides. Taking a short hike will set your mind (and body) at ease before travelling back home. Of course, to reap the full benefits of your hygge getaway, we hope that you will take some time to reflect on the memories made during your visit to the Keweenaw once you return home.