Senior Resources » Where are the Best Places in Michigan for Retirement?

Where are the Best Places in Michigan for Retirement?

Unsurprisingly, the “Great Lakes State” boasts over 11,000 inland lakes and 116 lighthouses. Tourism is the heart and soul of Michigan. As such, there’s always something interesting to see and do! Historic Mackinac Island, Windmill Island, and the Henry Ford Museum are just a few of this state’s many attractions.


Like much of the Midwest, the cost of living in Michigan is fairly low. Michigan experiences all four seasons, with the southern part of the state experiencing more temperate winters. Over 17 percent of the population of Michigan is aged 65 or older. If the idea of retiring in the Great Lakes State appeals to you, then you’re in luck! Read on to learn more about the best small towns in Michigan for retirement living.


South Haven

This beautiful coastal town of approximately 4,000 residents is situated along Lake Michigan. Built in 1872, South Haven Lighthouse is one of only four surviving lighthouses in the state. The Michigan Maritime Museum features interactive exhibits tied to South Haven’s nautical heritage. This community also sits on the edge of Michigan’s wine country. Cogdal Vineyards is open year-round for wine tasting and tours, as well as seasonal events.


Suttons Bay

Suttons Bay boasts picturesque views of Lake Michigan, two public beaches, and unique specialty shops. The many farm-to-table restaurants in the area provide everything, from local wines to fresh-caught fish.


This resort town of approximately 6,000 residents is famous for its relaxed pace and Victorian charm. The Petoskey Trolley offers a fun way to explore all the shops, boutiques, and art galleries that make up downtown. In Pennsylvania Park, there’s a bronze statue of the town’s most celebrated past resident, the famous American author Ernest Hemingway. Visit Lavender Farm during the summer months and take a relaxing stroll through fields of fresh lavender.


Nicknamed “Charlevoix the Beautiful”, this gorgeous small town offers exquisite of two major bodies of water: Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. Summers in Charlevoix are for sailing, fishing, and swimming. During the winter, Mt. McSauba offers skiing and ice skating.


With a population of just 1,050 residents, Saugatuck is one of those hidden gems along Lake Michigan. Saugatuck Center for the Arts hosts a wide range of performances and shows, from dances to musicals to concerts. The annual film and jazz festivals draw both tourists and locals to town every summer. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder many tourism sites hail Saugatuck as one of the best the small towns in Michigan!

Marquette, Michigan.

Lake Odessa

Nestled halfway between Lansing and Grand Rapids, Lake Odessa has been named a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This village of 2,000 residents offers a fun variety of activities year-round. Nearby Swifty’s Park is a favorite of visitors and residents alike. Nestled among hundreds of towering oak, maple, and beech trees, it’s the perfect place to play, picnic, or simply enjoy nature. The fairgrounds are home to the annual Lake Odessa Fair, a six-day festival that features comedy shows, derby night, and much more!

More Michigan Resources

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Originally published January 30, 2024


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