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Old 04-09-2011, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, Isanti County, MN
3,194 posts, read 4,804,710 times
Reputation: 4304
I have never understood why this town is (was) not utilized as one of the great tourist spots in Michigan. Way up north, on an international border, seperated from Canada by a fantastic waterway containing the locks, the mighty Lake Superior just a stones throw away, very cool (and potentially REALLY cool) looking international bridge....

....and instead it's just another Michigan town with vacant buildings and residents that would rather be elsewhere. My wife and I spent some time there recently and were astounded at how run down and empty that town is. One local I talked with described the Soo as "The end of the earth". I know times are tough all over Michigan.....but if I were governor, I would definitely be eyeballing that town for a major makeover, and then I would pump it to no end. Michigan is an awesome state filled with awesome places.......and it's a shame we aren't seeing some of those places being pushed toward their potential.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,951,929 times
Reputation: 3895
I think it has something to do with the area. Its kinda flat and boring, not heavily wooded until you head west. There are really no lakes and rivers except for the St. Marys of course....I mean...its beautiful...just not like the middle and western half, and even the Canadian side is forested and surrounded by beauty. Look at Marquette....the beauty surrounding that city gives it a whole different...exciting feel. If the Soo was as awesome looking as Marquette, I would still choose Marquette any day of the week for these reasons.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,551 posts, read 13,280,269 times
Reputation: 17034
You can only watch ships going up and down so long before it gets boring.

...and I happen to enjoy watching ships go up and down.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:33 PM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
7,138 posts, read 12,184,474 times
Reputation: 6434
There's always the casino, some decent bars around LSSU, (Go Lakers!), and yes.....watching the ships come in can be very soothing......

I was born in the Soo (War Memorial Hospital).

Nice place to visit.

Wouldn't wanna live there.

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Old 04-09-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Marquette, MI
351 posts, read 704,452 times
Reputation: 177
I think The Soo got stuck in its 1950 era tourism. They tried to sell the locks and built that cheesy strip that sells fudge and trinkets etc... I always thought that cities need to be real and authentic first and foremost and let people like you for that and keep the tourism as a secondary industry. In all fairness I have not been there in years, except when I cross into Canada.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
7,150 posts, read 7,948,457 times
Reputation: 11862
I lived in the Soo for years and I will agree it is not for everyone. The town is old, and the weather is harsh. In my opinion however the access the town gives to the natural beauty in surrounding areas makes it a great place to live. The area of Ontario acrost the river is awesome, you have lake Superior shores just west of town, Taquanemen falls are about an hour away. Lake Michigan beaches are southwest about one hour. The Hiawatha national forest is close by. mi moldman is right, there are some flat areas right near town, and he is also right about Marquette being nicer, but the area offers alot. I currently live in the rural areas of the Saginaw valley and I would trade these bean fields for the Soo anyday. The original poster said he met a SS resident that said it was the "end of the earth", but from what I remember for every person there who ran down the eastern UP 5 others would profess thier love of living there. Wages are low, jobs are hard to find so the only reason people stay there is because they love living there. I loved living there, but family issues forced me to move to my current location. I am working hard to reverse that mistake.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,851,507 times
Reputation: 10268
Quote:
Originally Posted by joemits View Post
I think The Soo got stuck in its 1950 era tourism. They tried to sell the locks and built that cheesy strip that sells fudge and trinkets etc... I always thought that cities need to be real and authentic first and foremost and let people like you for that and keep the tourism as a secondary industry. In all fairness I have not been there in years, except when I cross into Canada.
I sort of think so too...although Vegas is a notable and shining example to the contrary. It's a pretty blah and depressing place to live IMO, although really fun to visit if you like that sort of thing.

Haven't been to the Soo in over ten years....definitely didn't strike me as either a great place to live nor to visit for more than a day.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,951,872 times
Reputation: 16907
I graduated High School from the Soo. It is one of the few places I have lived before or since that I would go back to without a seconds hesitation.

What is funny is the comment about the city needing to be "real" before tourism started back in the 1950's. I guess the 290+ years of history before that time isn't being real enough .
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Marquette, MI
351 posts, read 704,452 times
Reputation: 177
Bydand~ I ONLY was only referring to that tourist strip by the locks. I know the Soo is one of the oldest cities in North America and I said that I had not been there in quite some time. My point was when places, any place, tries to be "touristy" they loose their authenticity and IMO seem fail in some way. ( I would love to see some of their 290 years-- is anything saved? I will check it out next time I am passing through ....Been to Old Quebec city it was amazing and very authentic.)

Last edited by joemits; 04-09-2011 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:31 PM
 
356 posts, read 933,783 times
Reputation: 201
I have looked at the Soo with an idea to move there. I like historical places and was looking at the old part of town. It is very low cost but the housing is very old. One concern I had was that the steel mill on the Canadian side of the river was just upwind of the old town. I am not sure if it causes pollution or smells, but it might.

The Soo region is very attractive with the Canadian Sault Ste Marie just across the river, which is a much larger town. In fact, I think the Michigan Soo should be considered as a part of the larger Sault Ste Marie which includes both sides of the border. If you take the population of both sides, at 90,000, it is by far the largest city in northern Michigan.
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