A relaxing and freeing tradition dating back 2,000+ years, Sauna culture still burns strong in the Keweenaw. The Finnish do it best, their Sisu culture is known for inventing sauna documented in writing as early as 1112. Finnish saunas are known for reaching up to 170+ degrees with a nice steam. With nearly 50% of the Keweenaw population claiming Finnish heritage, you can count on our saunas to give your body a good detox. Find Finnish saunas in the Keweenaw at Mount Bohemia Ski Resort’s Nordic Spa and at Fresh Coast Cabins with Superior Steam.



A sauna (pronounced SOW-NA by locals) is an enclosed, heated place that you sit in to sweat. This health-centric activity comes with a range of benefits. The structure can be made of many materials, but often you’ll find a wood or log sauna build. A stove heats the room, which can be powered with electricity, gas or wood. Once the sauna reaches a desirable range, typically 150+ degrees, people can take a seat inside and feel the heat. Some saunas feature rocks you can pour water over, raising the humidity instantly and coating you in a hot fog of steam.

Water is poured over rocks in traditional Finnish sauna.

In some saunas, water can be poured over hot rocks to create steam. It’s important to relax and hydrate after a sauna. (ERIN BILLMAN/47 NORTH PHOTOGRAPHY, Taken at Superior Steam)


Saunas are reported to give you a range of physical and mental wellness benefits. For your mind – the heat is a testament to what you can endure. Take in the sauna’s heat while  sweating out toxins from your body and clearing your busy mind. Take deep breaths, feeling your worries slip away with each slow exhale.

For your body, it’s a purge. The skin is your largest organ and it's responsible for pushing out 30% of your body waste through sweat. The sauna helps this process and relaxes your muscles along the way with heat. You’ll feel less congested with clearer airways after a session and your skin will be rosy and glowing. Your circulation will increase and it will burn some extra calories while you sit.

Combining the sauna with a cold plunge or snow dunk is a great way to shock your body and reset your systems. Just make sure you have somewhere to warm up (like the sauna) right after a plunge.



You can comfortably enjoy a sauna and break a good sweat at 150-170 degrees. Look for a thermometer to see what temperature a sauna is so you don’t overdo it. That temperature will feel warm on your skin and will soothe your body. If you begin to feel uncomfortable or light-headed at any point, step out immediately.



1.)    Don’t overdo it! Make sure you’re not staying in the sauna too long. Try going in for 5-15 minutes for your first time, cool off and try another round. It’s important to stay in touch with how your body is feeling. Don’t stay inside if you begin to feel dizzy or too hot!

2.)    HYDRATE! Seriously. You will want to make sure you are on top of hydration especially before and after your sauna. You need to replenish what you sweat out. Avoid drinking alcohol around the sauna. The two don’t mix.

Couple sits outside sauna to relax and hydrate.

It’s important to relax and hydrate after a sauna. (ERIN BILLMAN/47 NORTH PHOTOGRAPHY, Taken at Superior Steam)

3.)    Combine with a cold plunge. Both Superior Steam and Mount Bohemia’s Nordic Spa offer cold plunges. Cool off fast with an icy dunk and get back in the sauna for another round. Some folks like to stay in the cold plunge for an extended period but it is not required.

Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals and this is not intended as medical advice. You should talk with a health care professional if you have concerns or any underlying conditions before using a sauna.



To raise awareness and appreciation of Finnish sauna culture, the Finlandia Foundation has declared the last week of February National Sauna Week. In 2023, the Finlandia Foundation announced an investment to preserve cultural assets previously held by Finlandia University (Suomi College) in Hancock. 

The upper Midwest is known as the Sauna Belt. The Finnish Theme Committee (FTC) in Hancock says the Keweenaw is the buckle of the belt. To prove that point, the FTC is hosting a variety of sauna events during National Sauna Week. This year, National Sauna Week is Feb. 18-24.


Sauna week Hancock

Look out for the following events all week long:

Sauna Week Exhibits: (Feb. 18-23, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily at Finnish American Heritage Center) 

See sauna week art poster exhibits, featuring Calumet Debbie Paver’s winning poster. Learn about sauna culture and history through stories and see a Finnish Log Building exhibit. Copper Island Academy third-graders will also submit Sauna Week projects to be displayed at the Heritage Center. They interviewed grandparents and elders about sauna and sauna traditions.

Sauna Stories: (Feb. 19-23 on Hancock Quincy Green) 

These will be recorded in a fun style by 2nd Sandbar Productions. The oral history project from the Finnish Theme Committee invites the public to share their most memorable sauna memories inside a Copper Country Sauna! Recordings will take place through the week in 15-20 minute slots. The recordings will be available and archived at the Finnish American Heritage Center. Sign up for a slot and check out the event details online.

Sauna Forum: (Feb. 24, 10 a.m. @ Finnish American Heritage Center) 

A public forum to discuss the possibilities of a public sauna in the area. Inspired by the “new” public saunas going up in Finland, the idea has been raised here. National Sauna Week is a good time to talk about the possibilities of more public saunas in the Keweenaw. The forum is free and open to the public and hosted by the Finnish Theme Committee of Hancock and the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce – Upper Peninsula Chapter.

Sauna Expo: (Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Hancock Quincy Green) 

Enjoy several locally crafted saunas on display in Downtown Hancock. The saunas are supplied by local sauna manufacturers and high school shop classes. Builders will be on hand to answer any questions and to facilitate viewing the saunas on the Quincy Green.

Copper Country Sauna Tour: (Sunday, Feb. 25, 1-5 p.m.)

Take a self-guided tour of Copper Country Saunas throughout the central Keweenaw. Each one is unique, set off on an afternoon adventure to discover the saunas that reside within our community.

Tickets will contain a map and a list of addresses for the tour.

The price is $10 a ticket and they are available for purchase physically during Sauna Week.

You can find tickets at the following locations:

  • Sauna Forum @ Finnish American Heritage Center (Feb. 24)

  • Sauna Expo @ Quincy Green (Feb. 24)

  • North Wind Bookstore

Or, email FinnishTheme@gmail.com


Head to Mount Bohemia’s Nordic Spa for a blissful hot cold cycle. Soak in the Upper Peninsula’s largest outdoor hot tub and kick around the warm pool.

Finnish sauna and cold pool at Mount Bohemia Nordic Spa

Mount Bohemia’s Finnish Sauna has great views of the ski hill and is right next to the cold plunge pool.

Try three levels of sauna at the Nordic Spa. Ease into the Russian Sauna inside the Log Cabin Bar, then work your way into the Himalayan salt sauna outside for a nice dry heat up to 150. If you like it hot – step in the Finnish sauna with great views of the hill and temps closer to 170. You can pour cold water on yourself with buckets and ladles or on the fire to make steam. Enjoy a cold dunk in the ice pool featuring a waterfall to really get you cooled off.

Himalayan Salt Sauna at Bohemia

Mount Bohemia’s Himalayan salt sauna is spacious and offers a bone warming heat.



Superior Steam is offering buy one get one 50% off sauna tickets for Sauna Week. Bring a friend Feb. 20-24, 2024 for either a 4:15 p.m. or 6 p.m. and save 50% off their ticket. Go to lakesuperiorsteam.com and use the code SAUNAWEEK to get the promo on two tickets in your cart.

Try out the tradition of a Finnish Sauna on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior in Eagle Harbor. Superior Steam runs a wood-fired Finnish sauna and has trained sauna guides to walk you through your experience.

Lake Superior can be seen from inside the Superior Steam sauna.

Superior Steam offers striking views of Lake Superior from the sauna. (ERIN BILLMAN/47 NORTH PHOTOGRAPHY)

You’ll be provided with electrolyte water and linens for your visit. Superior Steam’s beautiful wooden sauna is perched on Lake Superior’s rocky shores, giving you stunning views of the shoreline just outside the window. Sizzle water over the rocks and bask in a hot sauna in Eagle Harbor. Stay on site for an extended sauna getaway at Fresh Coast Cabins. Keep an eye out here at night for the northern lights on the Keweenaw’s north shore.

People relax in Superior Steam sauna

Relax and unwind with your partner or friends in a wood-fired Finnish Sauna at Superior Steam. (ERIN BILLMAN/47 NORTH PHOTOGRAPHY)


Take a rejuvenating sauna in the comfort of a classic hotel. Stay at the AmericInn by Wyndham in Calumet and gain access to the hotel's newly renovated sauna. Rest your body in the electrically heated wet sauna environment. This sauna reaches temps of at least 130-140 degrees. You'll be able to cool off in the pool and warm up in the sauna or hot tub. The AmericInn is centrally located on 6th Street in Calumet. Guests have unlimited access to the sauna, while the public may inquire about Zumba classes that include a sauna pass. The sauna was completely renovated in December 2023, going over the floor, stove and inside. The pool makes a great addition for kids!


The Keweenaw is a relaxing place. Our beautiful landscape is surrounded by the lulling waves of Lake Superior and there are many ways to focus on your health and wellness while you’re here.

Go for a hike, take a yoga class or schedule a whole wellness retreat in the Keweenaw. Wind down your day in a steamy, hot sauna to destress and get a great rest.