NY Times: Touring 109 Bars of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Great description and writing on why there are so many bars in the UP:
There aren’t too many perfect days in Sault Ste. Marie.
The second-biggest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it’s almost always too cold or too gray. In winter, which seems to last an average of eight or nine months, there is too much ice on Lake Superior, too much snow on the ground. Even in summer, which seems to last an average of eight or nine days, chilly winds blow in from the water. If the wind miraculously abates, the black flies and mosquitoes will have their way with your flesh. More often than not, it’s better to be indoors.
This is why there are so many bars in “the Soo” as everyone there calls Sault Ste. Marie (population 14,000 and shrinking), 13 of them within three blocks of one another in a downtown cluster known as the BARmuda Triangle: shot-and-a-beer joints, college bars, places where the Jägermeister and cinnamon whiskey flow and snowmobile trails lead right up to the door. It’s hard to get a suntan in the Soo, but it’s easy to get a drink.