Here Are The 12 Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Michigan

There’s something special about a small town that you just can’t find in a big city. Maybe it’s the way everyone seems to know you (that can be a good AND bad thing, but that’s another story). Maybe it’s the sense of pride that comes from making a difference in a tight-knit community. Or perhaps, it’s the friendly, independent shops. Lucky for us, we’ve got plenty of charming small towns in Michigan. And though the competition is fierce, the following 12 towns are among the best small towns in Michigan.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

So, what do you think? Are these the most charming small towns in Michigan? Did we miss your favorite small town? Tell us!

These towns are just the beginning of options for day trips in Michigan. There are plenty more. Click here to read about other things to do in Michigan.


The OIYS Visitor Center

Charming Small Towns In Michigan

August 19, 2021

What are the best small towns in Michigan?

When it comes to the best small towns in Michigan, Frankenmuth definitely fits the bill. It was founded by German Lutheran immigrants in the 1800s, so it’s oozing with old-fashioned European ambiance. The architecture alone is enough to transport you straight to Europe. However, if that doesn’t do it, a stroll down the Bavarian-style streets, which are dotted with ethnic eateries should do the trick. Sticking to its German roots, the town hosts an annual Oktoberfest as well as a Bavarian Fest and the World Expo of Beer.

What are some other things to do in Michigan?

Many of the charming small towns in Michigan boast great attractions. That’s definitely the case with Paradise, MI, which is home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. A true treasure, it’s billed as one of the top 10 maritime museums in the world. Open seasonally (from mid-June through October), it houses an incredible collection of artifacts from historic shipwrecks of Lake Superior. The museum’s perks don’t end there, though. Visitors can also tour the Lightkeeper’s Quarters. Built in 1861, the living quarters have been fully restored, offering a unique peek into the past.

What are the best day trips in Michigan?

As far as day trips in Michigan go, Oswald’s Bear Ranch is a can’t-miss. Not only is it rated one of the top 10 best family-friendly Upper Peninsula attractions, but it’s the largest (bear only) bear ranch in the country. The ranch opened in 1997 and has only gotten bigger and better since. Today, it’s home to dozens of bears, which visitors can admire from photo platforms. The elevated platforms provide a bird’s-eye view of the bears and their surroundings. For a real treat, plan to visit at feeding time, which takes place around 4 p.m. daily.