There’s something special about a small town, that you just can’t find in the 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 where you’d rather patronize because you know the families that run them.
Here are some of those charming, beautiful towns across the Wolverine State that you should be proud to call home.
16. Grand Haven
The beach town on Lake Michigan’s east shore thrives with tourists who enjoy the natural beauty Grand Haven offers. With a population of 10,412 and a family oriented culture, this small town invites long walks on the beach and days lying in the sand, according to the Michigan website.
The downtown area features souvenir shops, clothing stores and restaurants, casual and formal. The Grand Seafood & Oyster Bar features live jazz along with wine and food, as featured on the Visit Grand Haven website. The Bil-Mar has seating with lake views and outdoor dining for those wanting to hear and smell the lake while enjoying great food.
Kids have fun at the beach and the local attractions like the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. A history of the area, established in 1821 by Rix Robinson, sits in two historical buildings. Site seers get a look into the past of Grand Haven, Ferrysburg, Spring Lake and more, as found on the Visit Grand Haven website.
The city began as a trading post and grew into a prosperous hub with a ferry crossing and other commerce like logging and agriculture. The railroad expanded the city’s ties with the rest of the United States and the museum documents the stories of those people and times, the Visit Grand Haven website reports.
The world’s largest musical fountain draws residents and tourists to the downtown area for a show comparable to the Bellagio in Las Vegas, as reviewed on the Visit Grand Haven site. Show times find crowds gathered to watch the spectacular musical fountain.
The singing sands of Grand Haven mystify visitors until they learn how the sand can sing. Glaciers from the last ice age slowly etched out the Great Lakes and the surrounding landscape.
As the enormous mountains of ice scraped slowly over the earth’s crust, the tremendous pressure from their weight turned the top soils to finely ground quartz crystals. When walked on, the friction from foot to crystal make a squeaking or singing sound, which intrigues guests the Barbara-Spring website says.