From the beautiful beaches along Lake Michigan to its charming downtown, South Haven offers lakeside fun for the entire family. South Haven provides a walkable downtown with unique shops and restaurants, award-winning wineries, and enough maritime history, arts, live music, and culture to keep visitors coming back time and time again. The surrounding area offers beautiful nature trails, gorgeous golf courses, and stunning inland lakes.
Gobles is located about 20 miles east of South Haven and the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Gobles area boasts more than 36 freshwater lakes and is rich in natural resources and beauty. Visitors are sure to find plenty of activities to do yearlong in this town steeped in a sense of old-fashioned community.
In addition to its many parks, lakes, and golf courses, Kalamazoo offers and an assortment of cultural attractions that we usually expect to find in larger metropolitan areas, including music, visual arts, dance, and theater. Kalamazoo also hosts the Kalamazoo Promise, three higher learning institutions, and two nationally-recognized health care systems. A wide variety of industries and businesses call Kalamazoo home, including major players in the pharmaceutical, medical science, and craft beer industries.
World-class Binder Park Zoo and numerous parks, forests, rivers, and recreational opportunities make Battle Creek a family-friendly area for outdoor experiences. The city’s urban downtown is experiencing a revitalization to accommodate food science and other innovation industries. Battle Creek has a proud history and promising future, providing the world’s leading food brands, research, and training.
Jackson is a hard-working, vibrant city with the charm and warmth of a quaint town. The Cascades have stood as a symbol of the city for more than 85 years, with the colors in its cascading waterfalls as unique as the city’s personality. Jackson is home to one higher learning institution and 22 parks totaling more than 600 acres. As the birthplace of the Republican Party and the state’s first prison, Jackson offers music, fine dining, art museums, trails, and shopping. The city features limitless outdoor recreational opportunities with 20-plus golf courses, thousands of acres of protected forest surrounding the city center, and bountiful lakes in which to take a kayaking, fishing, or birding trip.
The natural recreational areas and beauty surrounding Pinckney truly make it a “Gateway to Play.” The village was incorporated in 1835 and is known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes. Within a short distance of downtown Pinckney, visitors find ample opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, boating, sailing, horseback riding, kayaking, paddle boarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and fishing. The village is also home to Pinckney State Recreation Area, a paradise for backpackers, mountain bikers, and anglers with more than 40 miles of multi-use trails with remote campsites.
Brighton offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation at area parks such as the 1,540-acre Huron Meadows Metropark, complete with golf course, boat, and ski rental; the Imagination Station, a large wooden play structure; Mt. Brighton Ski Area and Island Lake Recreation Area, a state park with hunting and fishing opportunities including boating, camping, a shooting range and 19 miles of multi-use trails. The Brighton area is also home to many different forms of art and entertainment, including orchestras, live music at local pubs and free concerts at parks, the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts, and outdoor sculpture. The town offers a 20-screen cinema, an annual Brighton Film Festival, and an annual Fine Art & Acoustic Music Festival.
Green Oak Township
Green Oak Charter Township was established in 1835 and is home to plentiful rolling hills, streams, woodlands, and lakes. Well-preserved historic districts and parks abound in the township, with 20 percent of the township being public parkland. The Huron Meadows Metropark and Island Lake State Recreation Area along the Huron River offer plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities.
Pontiac’s river and surrounding forests provide many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Its numerous parks offer boating, canoeing, fishing, and golfing. The city also offers a historical and art museum, a skate, Rollerblade, and bike facility, an 18-hole disc golf course, and a nature center with 335 acres of hardwood forest and restored prairie. As Michigan’s first inland settlement, Pontiac’s central location along the Clinton River and Railroad helped it attract professionals and become the capital of the automotive industry. Its International Airport and access to a network of highways allow Pontiac to continue being an industry leader.
Concord is a lovely small village filled with turn-of-century homes. Victorian ear homes, many of which are on the National Historic Registry. The downtown business district of Victorian-era red-brick buildings is home to prosperous local businesses and small-town urban living. The village is home to many parks, including a 37-acre nature area with a boat launch, and offers many water recreation opportunities. It is rumored that some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the state can be found in Concord. The Village of Concord’s nonmotorized trail system is part of the Falling Water’s Trail (which runs into Jackson), the Great Lake-to-Lakes Trail #1 (which runs from South Haven to Port Huron), and the Iron Belle Trail (which runs from Belle Isle and to Ironwood).
Tucked into the Southeast corner of Ingham County, this village is home to about 1,260 citizens, with another thousand or so living in the surrounding township. Abounding in miles of peaceful agricultural farmland, the community is characterized by an agricultural past, and several large-scale family farms still exist just outside the village.
Hamburg Township is home to 32 named lakes, along with numerous smaller ponds, marshes, creeks, and streams. Hamburg has a “northern Michigan” vacationland feel while being located in southeast Michigan near urban centers. The township is proud to house 5 miles of the paved Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park, a local favorite destination to walk and bicycle. Hamburg is also home to a significant portion of the Brighton State Recreation Area, which offers rustic and modern campsites, a swimming beach, a boat launch, picnic areas, and hiking trails.
Wixom and its neighbors offer a variety of opportunities to get outdoors. The city offers parks covering a total of 132 acres and 292-acre habitat restoration. Wixom’s parks provide safe places to be active and enjoy nature and help preserve the environment while bringing people together. Neighboring Kensington Metropark and Proud Lake State Recreation Area offer a wealth of additional opportunities to enjoy nature. The City of Wixom offers fine dining opportunities, a brewing company, and many festivals and events.
The City of Orchard Lake Village is nestled among sparkling lakes in Oakland County, about 25 miles northwest of Detroit. About 43 percent of the City of Orchard Lake Village is occupied by lakes and ponds. The City surrounds its namesake, Orchard Lake, but also includes a portion of Upper Straits Lake and borders, along its northern limits, the waters of Cass Lake. These water features and their associated woodlands and wildlife have long attracted settlers to the area – from the Native Americans, who hunted and fished among the lakes, to current residents who enjoy the beauty, recreational opportunities, and comfortable living that the community provides.
The Village of Armada is located in beautiful, rural northern Macomb County. This quiet bedroom community, with its tree-lined streets and historic homes, is surrounded by family-owned farms and orchards. Armada offers visitors a quaint 1850s-era downtown with many shops and restaurants to enjoy. The village is a wonderful spot to rest and recoup along the popular Macomb Orchard Trail.
Richmond is proud to offer the Macomb Orchard Trail and a strong commitment to maintaining its small-town quality of life. Richmond works with surrounding townships on farmland preservation and smart growth while working to stop urban sprawl. Its leadership works to control growth to continue to complement and enhance rather than detract from the unique characteristics of this exceptional community.
The waterfront city of Marysville rests on the banks of the St. Clair River and is abundant in commerce as well as recreation. The city offers convenient retail and restaurants, while its dynamic city park and its picturesque setting along the river provide enjoyable pastime activities such as hiking, paddling, and biking. Marysville City Park boasts 58 acres near the riverfront, complete with a splash pad, picnic areas, fitness areas, and playgrounds, and hosts events such as concerts, fine art shows, and classic car shows. Marysville also offers a swimming beach where visitors can take a dip or look for passing freighters and a boardwalk perfect for strolling and fishing.
Port Huron is known as the Maritime Capital of the Great Lakes and offers many unique sites to explore. Featuring a public marina, the city is home to the only existing lightship on the Great Lakes: the Huron Lightship. The city also features the Great Lakes Maritime Center, Fort Gratiot Lighthouse (Michigan’s oldest working lighthouse), and the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. Port Huron also boasts a historic downtown district with quaint specialty shops and enriching art galleries. Visitors will enjoy waterfront dining along the St. Clair River or Black River. Sightseers can take a cruise or hop aboard the 10-cent Blue Water Trolley or enjoy picnicking, walking, and biking on the beautiful Blue Water River Walk.