15 Best Small Towns to Visit in Michigan

Originally a French interpretation of an indigenous tribe’s word meaning “large water,” the name Michigan fits this state perfectly. The only state to be comprised of two peninsulas, it is one of the most popular boating destinations in the United States, and with coastlines that stretch along 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, there is plenty to do in Michigan for both beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

Take a break from your busy life and disconnect a little. Whether you travel on your own or take a travel partner, take advantage of small town charm and do some shopping, or relax and enjoy nature or a beachfront view!

Check out our list of the 15 best small towns to visit in Michigan for those of you wanting a break from city life or to reconnect with nature.

1. Saugatuck, Michigan

Oval Beach, Saugatuck

Source: flickr

Oval Beach, Saugatuck

Transformed from a lumber town and port on the Kalamazoo river into an art colony and tourist destination in the late 1800s, this town continues to charm people of all walks of life. Take a stroll and peruse the art galleries, or walk down to the harbor. Spend an afternoon checking out the offbeat shopping opportunities, sneak in a nap on Oval Beach, or take a tour of the Kalamazoo River on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry, which starts at Wick’s Park and goes through the town side of the river. Don’t forget about the many art or music festivals offered throughout the year! If you’re more of an outdoorsy person, check out the view on Mount Baldhead, the Saugatuck Dune State Park or  Allegan State Game Area nearby.

There are plenty of bed and breakfasts, such as the Bayside Inn, offering cozy accommodations, so why not take a trip and relax while also getting a peek into the deeply rooted artistic creativity of this historic lakeside town.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Michigan (MI)
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List of Image Sources

15 Best Small Towns to Visit in Michigan:

South Haven, Michigan

  • Oval Beach, Saugatuck: flickr
  • Frankenmuth, Michigan: flickr
  • Copper Harbor Lighthouse: flickr
  • Baw Beese Lake, Hillsdale: flickr
  • Little Traverse Bay in Downtown Petoskey: flickr
  • Tecumseh, Michigan: wikipedia
  • Lake Mitchell, Cadillac, Michigan: flickr
  • Mackinac Island in Fall: flickr
  • South Haven, Michigan: flickr
  • Tahquamenon Falls: flickr
  • Sunset over Grand Traverse Bay: flickr
  • Charelvoix Lighthouse: flickr
  • Ludington Lighthouse: flickr
  • Marshall, Michigan: flickr
  • Long Lake – Colon, Michigan: flickr