Ontonagon was where I went for groceries, laundromat, shopping for souvenirs and eating out during my stay at Porcupine Mountains State Park (about 25 miles away). The first time I drove in, I lucked out by being just in time for the annual Labor Day pararde and festival.  I always enjoy these small-town, big-fun events!

Ontonagon - Labor Day parade

Superior Pipes & Drums strutting their stuff down River Street.

I had heard about Syl's Cafe as being "the" place to eat in Ontonagon, and I'm so glad I listened to that advice! I wound up going back there several times and checked in enough on Yelp to become a "regular." They don't take credit cards, so be sure to get cash or bring your checkbook.

Syls Cafe - Collage

I absolutely love a place that lets me have breakfast any time of day since I never can eat much in the morning but I love breakfast food.  Not only are the omelettes amazing, all the bread – and even English muffins – are homemade and so yummy!   I would frequently buy the English muffins to take home with me and couldn't believe how reasonably priced they were. Service was always good and friendly, too, so do yourself a favor and check it out.

Here's what Midwest Living had to say:

In Ontonagon on the northeast shore of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, plates at the booths and tables in Syl's cafe overflow with owner Kathy Wardynski's rolling-pin-size omelets, jumbo burgers and fried chicken. Kathy, who's Syl's granddaughter, says she also bakes 20,000 pasties (Cornish-style meat turnovers) a year, including mail orders. Be sure to check out the bakery case at the cash register up front.


I'm in the process of developing this special Michigan Miles site with many more pages of pictures and information about my summer of 2011 RVing around Michigan.  I wanted to be able to include comments, suggestions and feedback from readers about your own Michigan tips and experiences.

I will be including several pages of local businesses and area attractions I visited during the weeks I was lucky enough to call the Porcupine Mountains my home!

For now, here are other Michigan Miles pages related to Ontonagon:

Nonesuch Gallery

Links to More Ontonagon Information:

  • Ononagon Chamber of Commerce
    Community information and links to local businesses.
  • Ontonagon Information – Shopping & Attractions (The Enchanted Forest)
    Ontonagon – place of the bowl. Ontonagon was visited by voyageurs, Jesuits, and prospectors seeking copper from the late 1600’s until the mid 1800’s.
  • Ontonagon – Retail Shopping (Mlive.com)
    Links to retail businesses located in Ontonagon
  • Ontonagon (Michigan Back Roads)
    Ontonagon is perhaps the best kept secret in the western upper peninsula of Michigan. Steeped in the history of the copper country of Michigan, Ontonagon maintains traditional values while embracing the future. Take time to visit and enjoy a town you can walk through at night, stroll a beach just blocks from downtown and delight to some of the most beautiful scenery in Michigan.
  • Tourism in Ontonagon, MI (USA Today Travel)
    Nestled at the base of the Porcupine Mountains, the former mining town offers outdoor adventures aplenty, from hiking in the nearby mountains to fishing and boating on Lake Superior. First settled in the early 1800s, Ontonagon is a delight for history buffs as many of the village's earliest buildings have been preserved.
  • Visiting Ontonagon, MI (Trip Advisor)
    Links and information on accommodations, things to do and where to eat.


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I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: