9 Loveliest Small Towns To Visit In Michigan This Summer

Looking for the perfect summer getaway? Michigan has you covered. With its charming beach towns, quirky historic villages, and vibrant downtown districts, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re enjoying wine at a vineyard on the Leelanau Peninsula or relaxing by Lake Michigan, each small town in Michigan offers its own unique experience. Pack your bags and discover why Michigan is the ultimate summer destination.


Start your adventure at Saugatuck’s Oval Beach, ideal for swimming and sunbathing with stunning Lake Michigan views. If you love water activities, you can kayak or paddleboard on the Kalamazoo River.

Hikers will appreciate the sandy trails and towering dunes at Saugatuck Dunes State Park, and the panoramic view from Mount Baldhead is worth the climb. In downtown Saugatuck, explore art galleries and boutique shops on Butler Street, and catch a summer performance or exhibit at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.


Frankenmuth, famous for Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the “World’s Largest Christmas Store,” brings festive cheer all year. Dive into the town’s German heritage at the Frankenmuth Historical Museum, or take a scenic cruise on the Cass River aboard the Bavarian Belle Riverboat.

Families will love Zehnder’s Splash Village, an indoor water park, and adults can unwind with local brews at the Frankenmuth Brewery.


Charlevoix is a haven for unique architecture, outdoor fun, and cultural events. Don’t miss the Earl Young Mushroom Houses with their whimsical designs. The Charlevoix Circle of Arts offers local art exhibits and workshops, while the Venetian Festival dazzles with parades, fireworks, and concerts.

History buffs will enjoy the Charlevoix South Pier Light Station, and Lake Charlevoix is perfect for boating and fishing. Explore the beautiful gardens and historic buildings at Castle Farms.

### Harbor Springs

Harbor Springs, accessible via the scenic Tunnel of Trees on M-119, is perfect for a road trip. Golfers will love the Harbor Point Golf Club’s views of Lake Michigan, while Nub’s Nob Ski Area becomes a summer hotspot for mountain biking and hiking. Enjoy a picnic or watch boats at Lakefront Park. The Harbor Springs Historical Society offers a look into the area’s past, and you can savor local wines at Crooked Vine Vineyard & Winery.

Grand Haven

Grand Haven is a picturesque summer spot. Grand Haven State Park is great for beachfront camping and various recreational activities. A sunset walk along the Grand Haven Lighthouse and Pier is a must for stunning views.

The annual Coast Guard Festival, complete with parades, adds a festive atmosphere. Take a historical tour on the Harbor Trolley and shop for fresh produce at the Farmers Market. Don’t miss the evening light and water shows at the Grand Haven Musical Fountain.


Petoskey offers a blend of outdoor and cultural experiences. Petoskey State Park features sandy beaches and wooded trails, ideal for swimming, hiking, camping, and sunbathing.

Hunt for unique Petoskey Stones along the shores. The Historic Gaslight District is perfect for charming shopping and dining, while the Crooked Tree Arts Center showcases art exhibits and performances.

South Haven

South Haven is made for summer adventures. The iconic red South Haven Lighthouse on the pier invites leisurely strolls. The Kal-Haven Trail is excellent for biking and hiking. Explore maritime history at the Michigan Maritime Museum and ride a historic vessel.

Visit the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum, a historic home and botanical garden. In August, enjoy the Blueberry Festival, packed with food, music, and fun activities.


Leland, known for its historic charm and natural beauty, is a must-see. Visit Fishtown, a preserved fishing village with original shanties and historic buildings now housing shops and eateries.

Charter a fishing boat or rent one at Leland Harbor. The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail offers numerous wineries and vineyards to explore. Stay at the cozy Leland Lodge with scenic views.

St. Joseph

St. Joseph combines beach fun with cultural experiences. Relax at Silver Beach, where kids can enjoy the carousel and playground, and visit the Whirlpool Compass Fountain. The Blossomtime Festival celebrates the local community with parades and events.

Art lovers will appreciate the Krasl Art Center’s contemporary exhibits and outdoor sculptures. The St. Joseph Lighthouses are perfect for historical insights and photo opportunities. The Downtown District offers shopping, dining, and seasonal events.


From the bustling boardwalks and sandy shores of Lake Michigan to the historic streets of quaint villages, Michigan’s diverse attractions make it the ultimate summer destination. Each town offers a unique slice of Midwestern paradise, ensuring that every corner of Michigan is ready to serve up another unforgettable escape.

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