Living by the beach sounds more like a dream than reality, but for Michigan residents, it doesn’t have to be.
As long as you’re willing to take lake views instead of the ocean, you’re in luck in the Mitten state – not just for great places to visit on vacation, but for some of the very best places to lay down roots in the entire country.
WalletHub recently ranked the best beach towns to live in, and Michigan earned two of the top five spots when it comes to lake-based towns.
“Contrary to popular belief … many beach towns are suitable to everyday life – and easy on the wallet,” the financial site notes. It compared 192 cities “across 62 key indicators of livability” to find the best places to live near oceans and lakes.
Two top Michigan beach towns
The verdict? Traverse City came out at the very top of the lake beach towns rankings, earning the No. 1 spot after being rated on its affordability, weather, safety, economy, education, health and quality of life.
Traverse City is known to many metro Detroit dwellers for its sandy beaches, wineries, annual cherry festival and its nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The popular summer-getaway spot also has a happening downtown area with plenty of unique eateries and shops.
The next-best beach town in Michigan, according to WalletHub, is Holland, which came in at No. 4. Beyond the world-famous tulip festival, the Dutch heritage city is known for its beautiful beaches and sunsets, sand dunes and parks.
Eight more worthy contenders
Looking for other Michigan beach towns you might love to explore – or even move to one day? Consider these eight other places.
This northern Michigan city came in at No. 18 on WalletHub’s best beach towns list. It boasts art galleries, a quaint downtown and wineries.
2. Port Huron
This town was the 31st best beach town in the U.S., according to WalletHub. It’s home to lighthouses and the Blue Water Bridge.
This carless island is popular for summer getaways, but you could also live there year-round. In 2017, 470 people did just that.
4. Grand Haven
Explore beautiful state parks, a musical fountain and beaches at this Lake Michigan town.
It’s another Michigan beach town many people know and love. Don’t miss the Mushroom House tours!
You don’t have to move hours north of the Motor City to make your home in a lakefront town, after all. Shores residents can enjoy waterfront parks, homes with lake access and all that the Nautical Mile has to offer.
Submarine tours, parks and white sandy beaches make this town popular with vacationers and year-round residents.
8. St. Joseph
Another southwest Michigan city, this town has lighthouses that date back to the early 1900s and a historic restored merry-go-round.
What’s your favorite Michigan beach town? Tell us in the comments!