Detroit is anything but a small town. With a population of approximately 640,000 residents and a seemingly endless supply of things to do, the Motor City is beloved for its hustle and bustle. While those of us who call Detroit home certainly appreciate city life, there’s something so special about exploring a quaint, compact community. Here are six tiny towns near Detroit that might have slipped under the radar.
1. Village of Clarkston
As its name implies, Clarkston is a true village -- and its population of just under 1,000 reflects this fact. Don’t let its size stop you from visiting, though. Clarkston is home to the iconic DTE Energy Music Theatre, where top-ranked musicians and performers make appearances throughout the year. Other local attractions include the Pine Knob Ski Resort, Independence Oaks County Park, and more. Whether you’re dining, exploring nature, or taking in a great concert, Clarkston delivers.
Metamora is home to just over 500 full-time residents, but its appeals are seemingly endless. Fans of the great outdoors will fall in love with the small town, which is surrounded by spaces like Sutherland Nature Sanctuary and Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area. Take in the scenery before settling in for dinner at the famous White Horse Inn, which sits in a converted stagecoach station and provides a beautiful atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.
Beach enthusiasts will absolutely adore Lexington, a town of approximately 1,000 permanent residents that sits about 90 minutes by car from Detroit. When you stop by during the warmer months, you’ll enjoy shoreline beauty along Lake Huron, including access to Lexington State Harbor and seafood restaurants galore. Sip wine at Old Town Hall Winery or walk through the quaint downtown area -- what’s not to love?
This town of about 650 certainly isn’t the most famous destination near Detroit, but offers a charm all its own. One of the primary attractions in this tiny area is Calder Dairy Farm, which sits just five miles from the heart of town. Appreciate the outdoors at River Raisin Territorial Park or snag a meal at the delightful Charlene’s Curbside Cafe in Maybee. You’ll feel welcomed in no time at all.
Make the hour-long jaunt from Detroit to Deerfield, a community that’s home to just over 1,000 people. Once again, this village’s small size shouldn’t keep you from checking it out when you’re in need of an escape from city life. Deerfield sits just a stone’s throw from the beautiful River Raisin, so you might catch a few shoreline glimpses. In the warmer months, visitors can cool off at Deerfield Village Park Splash Pad before snagging ice cream from the beloved Shiver Shack. Talk about a wholesome adventure.
6. Lake Angelus
Tucked away near Auburn Hills is the exclusive community of Lake Angelus. As its name suggests, this tiny area encircles Lake Angelus itself and only houses a population of approximately 275. Access to the lake is highly limited, but the surrounding areas are worth driving through if you appreciate checking out beautiful homes, lakefront views, and plenty of foliage in the fall and summer seasons. After a relaxing drive, head to nearby Silver Lake Golf Course to enjoy a day of fun.
Have you visited any of these tiny towns near Detroit or perhaps even grown up in one of them? What are some of your favorite parts of exploring smaller communities? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another must-visit small town in Metro Detroit by filling out our official nomination form
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