Shoreline of Lake Michigan located in Ludington State Park in the lower peninsula of Michigan.

Summer is officially travel season in Michigan, but this state has many areas that are delightful to visit year-round. Plus, while the big cities gets lots of attention, travelers should consider hitting up some of the smaller towns that Michigan has to offer. Michigan really has some beautiful, adorable small towns that are welcoming no matter the season. With that in mind, here are 10 adorable Michigan small towns to visit any season.

By the way, if you’re wondering what designates a true small town, I’ve got the scoop. According to Barrington Residential, “a small town is defined by the US Census Bureau as having a population between 25,000 and 50,000 residents. It is slightly smaller than the average suburb, which is defined as a community within an urban area with between 30,000 and 70,000 residents.” A city, on the other hand, has a central population of 50,000 or more. Mid-sized cities have populations of between 100,000 and 250,000 residents, and large cities have populations of 250,000 or more.

Before we get to the list, I want to elaborate on a certain Michigan small town that’s actually most popular to visit in the winter months. That town is Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria. It’s home to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the world’s largest Christmas store. People come from all over America to visit this store during the holidays.

Frankenmuth dates back to the mid-1840s. German missionaries settled there. The town features lots of German food, music, culture and hospitality. Some popular activates when visiting Frankenmuth include dating a carriage ride, going on a river cruise, trying the different German food, drinking some German beer, snacking on fudge and more. Aside from Frankenmuth, there are so many great small towns in Michigan to visit. Read on for 10 adorable Michigan small towns to visit any season. Reach out to me with your picks here.

  • 10. South Haven

    South Haven is one of my favorite Michigan spots, no matter the season. My uncle lives around that area, and it’s simply breathtaking. The beach town is right on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, in the southwest part of the state. Its population is just over 4,000 residents, but it seems way larger during the summer months, as it’s a very popular tourist destination.

    Welcome to South Haven, Michigan | South Haven Visitors Bureau

    From the beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan to the eclectic eateries, award-winning wineries, quaint boutiques and the natural scenic surroundings - there's

  • 9. Frankenmuth

    I already mentioned Frankenmuth as being the Christmas hotspot of the world. It’s truly a wonder in the winter months, and it’s great in the summer, too. Some popular activates when visiting Frankenmuth include dating a carriage ride, going on a river cruise, trying the different German food, drinking some German beer, snacking on fudge and more.

    Frankenmuth Michigan | Frankenmuth

    Frankenmuth is a Michigan vacation destination with plenty of fun things to do. We have great restaurants, shopping, festivals, and events. Learn more.

  • 8. Northville

    Northville is located 30 miles northwest of Detroit, between Wayne and Oakland Counties, and truly has a great small town feel. You’ll find lots to do in downtown Northville, too, including shopping, dining, and live entertainment. It’s a fun stop for those on the east side of the state.


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  • 7. Holland

    Holland is on the west side of the state, and it’s famous for its Dutch heritage. Who hasn’t heard of the Tulip Festival? It’s a popular spring event that draws people from all over the world. Holland is a charming town to visit any time of the year, though.


    Holland is best known for its Dutch heritage, evident in many of its attractions and events. Visitors can walk back through time in the Dutch Galleries of the Holland Museum, the renovated splendor of the Cappon House and a recreation of 1890s Netherlands at Nelis' Dutch Village.

  • 6. Paradise is located in the Upper Peninsula about 70 miles northwest of the Mackinac Bridge.

    Paradise really is, well, paradise. The small town is located in the Upper Peninsula about 70 miles northwest of the Mackinac Bridge. It’s surrounded by water, as Paradise has Lake Superior to its north and east, the Tahquamenon Falls State Park to its west, and the National Hiawatha Forest to its south, as noted by Pure Michigan.


    Spend the day at Whitefish Bay on sandy beaches with great views of Lake Superior.Uncover hidden treasures at the Shipwreck Museum, ranked one of the top ten mari-time museums in the world.

  • 5. Saugatuck

    Saugatuck is another one of my favorite spots to visit year-round. My uncle lives fairly close to there, so I visit the small shops in the summer. Even though some of those shops are closed in the summer, it’s still a beautiful area to visit anytime. It’s off Lake Michigan.

    Visit Saugatuck Michigan - Saugatuck

    For a getaway that's rich in both recreation and relaxation, explore Saugatuck/Douglas and discover your ultimate escape.

  • 4. Ludington

    Ludington has plenty of beautiful beaches. This small town is on the coast of Lake Michigan and offers lots of beach area, outdoors activities and more. Stearns Park Beach is a popular spot.

    Visit Ludington Michigan - Visit Ludington

    Visit Ludington in West Michigan! Home to two lighthouses and the S.S. Badger carferry, Ludington is a favorite place for visitors & locals!

  • 3. Pentwater

    Another special spot on the west side of the state is Pentwater. This little village is off Lake Michigan and offers pristine, sandy beaches. It’s also smaller than Ludington, but nearby, so if you want a smaller place to escape while in the area, it’s a good pick.

    Pentwater, MI

    Discover Pentwater. Come for a day. A week. A life. Pentwater, Michigan - the village, township and surrounding area - is a quintessential, old-fashioned, laid back community with a rich history on the shores of Lake Michigan's clear waters and sugar-fine sandy beaches. It surrounds a 500-acre inland lake that's fed by a vibrant river.

  • 2. Marquette

    Going up north, Marquette is a choice spot for a trip. Since it’s so far north, it’s very cold in the winter, but if you love snow, then it’s a great choice. Marquette offers lots of nature and outdoor activities.

    Marquette, Michigan | Hotels, Restaurants & Things To Do

    Experience the fun and adventure in Marquette, Michigan. Find comfortable hotels, great dining options, and attractions both in town and out to explore.

  • 1. Petoskey

    Coming in at No. 1, I have Petoskey as a must-visit destination no matter the season. I remember as a little kid, going up to Petoskey and getting a real Petoskey stone. One of the bets spots to hunt for local stones is at Petoskey State Park. Enjoy it.

    The Petoskey Area

    Petoskey is located on the shores of Lake Michigan's beautiful Little Traverse Bay in northwest lower Michigan. Long a resort area, Petoskey is known for its fresh air, spectacular beauty and, of course, Michigan's state stone, the Petoskey Stone.

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