Are you looking to visit some of the best small towns in Michigan? If yes, then this article is the perfect place to start planning your trip!
Michigan is one of the top weekend getaways in the Midwest as it is bordered by the Great Lakes – Huron, Superior, Michigan, Ontario, and Erie.
If that wasn’t enough, the state is also home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, outdoor attractions, and cute towns that visitors can explore.
From pretty vineyards to gorgeous beaches, this state has something for all kinds of travelers.
So, whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, you can easily find fun Michigan towns to explore on your trip.
Are you still confused about which small towns in Michigan to visit?
Then, read on our list of the 15 best towns in Michigan that you should add to your bucket list!
15 Best Michigan Small Towns for Your Bucket List
Are you looking to visit some beautiful Michigan lake towns?
If the answer is yes, then you cannot miss out on a trip to Mackinac Island – one of the best small towns in Michigan.
This captivating small town has been car-free since the late 19th century.
As a result, visitors can enjoy the feel of Victorian times with horses and carriages being the only mode of transportation available on this tiny island in the USA.
This island is just 8 miles in circumference, making it easy for locals and tourists to explore around on a cycle.
Apart from that, one can get around the town using boats, kayaks, etc., making it one of the most eco-friendly destinations to visit.
There are many unique places to visit on Mackinac Island such as Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock natural wonder, the Grand Hotel, and more.
Trust me, this is one of the most fun towns in Michigan that you cannot miss.
One of the best things to do in Michigan is explore the university town of Ann Arbor which is located in the southwest corner of the state.
This town in Michigan is one of the best places to live in the state.
Here, you will find both technology and innovative ideas along with a happening downtown that makes it a fun place to live.
Another great thing about this small town in Michigan is that it is located on the banks of the Great Lake Huron.
As a result, if you want the facilities of the big city with the charm of the small Midwestern town, then this place is perfect for you.
Visitors can indulge in a lot of fun activities in Ann Arbor such as kayaking, rollicking, and more.
If that doesn’t convince you to plan a trip here, then you might want to know that the largest annual art fair in the nation is held here.
Whether you are a foodie, an art buff, or a nature lover, Ann Arbor is the perfect Michigan town to visit for everyone.
Traverse City Is One Of The Popular Beach Towns In Michigan
If you are looking for popular Michigan beach towns, then Traverse City definitely tops the list.
One of the popular beach towns in Michigan, Traverse City is a small and charming town that sees an influx of tourists in the summer season.
An interesting thing to note about this beach town is that it is also known as the Cherry Capital of the World.
You have 180 of shoreline to enjoy where you can sip on delicious wine while enjoying the scenic bay views.
Plus, it is located close to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore so there are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy around here.
If you are a nature or water lover, then Traverse City is one of the best towns in Michigan for you.
Frankenmuth Is One Of The Best Small Towns In Michigan
For gorgeous Michigan countryside views, plan a visit to the idyllic town of Frankenmuth.
This German town in the Midwest is also known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria and features all quintessential German things.
From Bavarian shops to covered bridges to a Bavarian Inn, this German fairytale town has it all.
Plus, you also get German delicacies here such as bratwursts, pretzel rolls, German beer, and more.
That’s not all, this town also organizes some fun and unique events such as a shopping bonanza at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a beer-tasting festival, and more.
There are several more fun things to do in Frankenmuth such as zip lining at Frankenmuth Aerial Park, tasting local wine, visiting Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark, and so on.
So, if you are looking to visit fun towns in Michigan, then Frankenmuth is the perfect choice.
With its pleasant year-round weather, Grand Rapids is one of the popular Michigan towns among tourists.
Also known as the beer city, this Michigan town boasts 30 breweries and a unique Beer City Ale Trail for beer lovers.
Apart from this, the town also has a fantastic art and music scene, making it an ideal vacation spot for different kinds of travelers.
Did you know Grand Rapids is named after the Grand River?
Well, so it makes sense to enjoy the miles of gorgeous beaches that one can find here. You can also visit the lakeside spots for a gorgeous sunset view from this Midwestern town.
From exploring the Grand Rapids Public Museum to hiking at Blandford Nature Center, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Grand Rapids.
Trust me, this is one of the best towns in Michigan that you must visit.
Where to Stay in Grand Rapids:
Luxury Hotel: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Grand Rapids East MI. Check Rates: Booking.com
Do you wish to explore a charming, small town in Michigan? If so, then LeLand is one of the best Michigan lake towns to visit.
It is one of the smaller Michigan harbor towns with a population of approximately 500 residents.
Located between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, LeLand is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state.
A popular attraction to visit in this northern Michigan town is Fishtown, a preserved shanty fishing village.
Learn the role of commercial fishing in Michigan’s growth over the years, visit preserved docks and shanties, or explore the shops and restaurants in this preserved fishing village.
There are many other things to do here besides exploring Fishtown.
Visitors can go on a Manitour Island tour, try local wines at Verterra Winery, buy souvenirs at Leland Gal, and so on.
Munising Is One Of The Most Charming Small Towns In Michigan
One of the popular Northern Michigan towns, Munising is a small town with a population of approximately 2500 people.
This charming town is located on the banks of Lake Superior and edges the Hiawatha National Forest, making it the top vacation spot for nature lovers.
Most tourists visit this small haven for the nearby Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore.
It is a collection of sandstone canyons that feature different layers of colors. The cliffs rise 50-200 feet above water and give this town a surreal backdrop.
Visitors can indulge in several fun things at this park such as hiking, biking, wildlife-watching, and more.
Apart from this national park, Munising has a lot of natural beauty that visitors can admire.
So, if you are looking for the best towns in Michigan for a fun vacation, then Munising is a good choice.
If you are a beach lover, then you cannot miss one of the best Michigan beach towns – Grand Haven.
With stunning scenery, small-town atmosphere, and gorgeous beaches, Grand Haven is a must-visit small town in Michigan.
It would make a lovely Midwest romantic getaway anytime of the year.
Apart from being home to the best beaches on the Great Lake Michigan, Grand Haven is also home to two marvelous lighthouses on a wonderful pier.
What’s more, this is not just a summertime destination.
Tourists can plan a trip to this beautiful beach town in the fall season when the colors are more dramatic.
Spend some time beach combing followed by a short kayaking or paddle boarding adventure before you watch a gorgeous sunset from the shore.
Honestly, if you are looking for a magical time on your trip, then plan a trip to one of the best beach towns in Michigan.
Another one of the small towns in Michigan that you cannot miss visiting is Petoskey along Little Traverse Bay.
This was one of the original resort towns in Michigan, built in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Petoskey is a scenic town that features amazing lakefront vistas and splendid architectural feats.
Visitors can indulge in a lot of fun activities such as visiting the bustling downtown, photographing the beautiful lighthouse, trying water sports, and more.
You can also enjoy wines from one of the popular wine breweries here and enjoy a stroll along the beach.
Trust me, if you want to enjoy some quiet time, then Petoskey is a great Michigan town to visit.
One Of The Best Small Towns In Michigan Is Holland
Have you always wanted to visit Europe? Well, no need to fly far as you get a piece of it in Michigan’s Holland town.
In every corner of this Michigan countryside town, you will find Dutch influences.
One of the main attractions of Holland is the famous Dutch windmill – DeZwaan Windmill, which is located on Windmill Island.
That’s not all, visitors can also enjoy their time on Lake Michigan by indulging in fun water activities such as jet skiing, sailing, and more.
Holland is one of the prettiest towns in the USA. Every year, they hold a Tulip Festival in which tourists can enjoy the springtime bloom that turns this place into a fairytale land.
Whether you visit this town to relax on its beaches or stroll around the cobblestone pathways, Holland has something for all types of travelers.
This is why it is one of the best towns in Michigan for a family vacation.
Are you looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation in Northern Michigan?
If the answer is yes, then Harbor Springs is one of the best Northern Michigan towns for you.
This is a classic Michigan town that features gorgeous waterfront views, fun winter sports activities, and several nature walk trails.
One of the top Michigan harbor towns, Harbor Springs looks especially magical during the fall season as the fall colors envelop this charming town.
This is one of the most amazing towns in Michigan that offers something to visitors throughout the year.
For maritime fans, there is no destination better for exploration than Marquette.
This is one of the smaller Michigan lake towns in the UP with a population of 22,000 residents.
Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Marquette is home to many family-friendly beaches, lakeside art galleries, waterfront restaurants, and so on.
As a result, this is the perfect summertime destination for tourists.
One can indulge in a lot of unique things in Marquette apart from the regular boating, fishing, and hiking adventures.
Try cliff diving from Presque Isle Park or chase the incredible lighthouses on one of the largest Great Lakes of Michigan.
In short, if you are looking for a memorable trip, then Marquette is the perfect destination for you.
With a population of approximately 350 residents, Empire is one of the best small towns in Michigan that you should visit.
This beach town in Michigan offers not only outdoor attractions but several cultural sights as well, making it a destination for all kinds of travelers.
Visitors can enjoy an easy hike on the Empire Bluff Trail for stunning summer views. Or go on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive for a wonderful time.
This small town is also located close to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The dunes are 300 feet in height and offer activities for both kids and adults.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or a lazy beach bum, Empire has you covered.
So, if you want to enjoy your summers to the fullest, then do plan a trip to the beach town of Empire.
Saugatuck Is An Artsy Small Town In Michigan
Popularly known as Michigan’s Art Coast, Saugatuck is a beautiful beach town in Michigan that is a must-visit.
This is a historic timber town that offers beautiful panoramic views and several family-friendly activities and attractions downtown.
One of the best things to do in Michigan is indulging in the classy beach vibes of Saugatuck where you will find several artistic sights.
You can find artworks from both local and international artists here to admire.
Plus, you can buy unique souvenirs from the handcrafted goods shops here.
Whether you are looking to enjoy the panoramic view of Lake Michigan or wish to experience a hand-pulled ferry ride.
Saugatuck is one of the perfect towns in Michigan for you to explore.
Grand Marais Is One Of The Charming Small Towns In Michigan
Another one of the unique towns in the UP of Michigan, Grand Marais is a historic village that you must visit once.
From gorgeous sand beaches to beautiful lighthouse views, there is a lot to do in this charming small town of Michigan.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, Grand Marais offers 50 miles of amazing shoreline that is perfect for hiking and features several stunning viewpoints.
There are also several amazing waterfalls to explore nearby and maritime fans can plan a trip to Light Keeper’s House Museum.
If you are planning to spend time on the beach, then don’t forget to watch the purple sunsets that are a specialty here.
Grand Marais is one of the best small towns in Michigan that you should add to your bucket list.
Packing List When Visiting Small Towns In Michigan
If you will be traveling, either by plane or by car to explore Michigan small towns, here are some tips on how to pack lightly.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when finding the best things to do in the small towns in Michigan..
It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone as I have. And wow is it fast!
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking photos during your London activities.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
The replaceable carbon filter ensures clean drinking water when you want it.
Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc…. No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.