#7 Marquette, Michigan
Capital of the U.P.
Leading Appeals: Huge diversity of fish, from native brookies to rainbows and lake-run brown trout to steelhead, salmon, lake trout, walleye and pike.
Median Home Price: $112,200
Amenities: Upper Peninsula's largest medical center, Northern Michigan University and thriving retail and arts scene.
Bottom Line: Trout share space with smallmouth in the U.P.'s pristine streams, and more than 100 lakes are accessible within a half-hour of downtown Marquette. The deer opener is like a national holiday here.
One of the best salmon and steelhead towns in the nation is hundreds of miles from the ocean. Just outside this thriving college town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, anglers cast to surly Chinooks, fight chrome-bright steelhead and play colorful lake-run brown trout.
Inland anglers prospect dozens of rivers for trophy brook trout and woodland lakes hold walleye, northern pike, whitefish and crappie.
But Marquetters save their vacation time for deer season, when the U.P.'s public land fills with downstaters looking for trophy bucks. Bear, ruffed grouse, ducks, coyotes, rabbits and a growing population of wild turkeys provide plenty of hunter days on the Hiawatha and Ottawa national forests and smaller state parks of the area.
"The coolest thing about living here is the public access," says fishing guide Brad Petzke. "I fish hundreds of miles of rivers every year and, because of our liberal stream laws, there are only a few spots you can't access."
Fishing is always good in the streams that feed Lake Superior and trophy lake trout are available in the big lake itself.
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