15 Best Places To Live in Michigan in 2024

Last Updated on March 02, 2024 by Nikki Jain

We're going to let you in on a little secret – Michigan is an incredibly good place to live. Move here, and you'll be within spitting distance of The Great Lakes. You'll be in a place where the economy is on the rise, and the housing is incredibly affordable, too. You will be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to the best places to live in Michigan.

Our goal is to show you the best cities to live in Michigan. We have 15 remarkable places for you to live, and we will tell you about every one of them. This includes details on housing prices, job opportunities, and more. We've got a lot to cover, so let's just jump right on in, shall we?

Best Places To Live in Michigan

Table of Contents [Show]

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1: Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor
Dreamstime/Paul Brady

Kicking off our list of the best places to live in Michigan is Ann Arbor. This town, with a population of a little over 120,000 people, is known for being one of the most beautiful cities to live in Michigan.

We love Ann Abor as it seems to blend suburbia and city living almost perfectly. Despite being the 5th largest city in Michigan, it doesn't really feel like it. There are places you can walk through Ann Arbor where you feel as if you have the whole place to yourself.

The median home value in Ann Arbor is considerably over the national US average, sitting at $366,600, and prices are rising a little bit. This means that it is one of the more expensive places to live in Michigan, but with fantastic schools, a low crime rate, and plenty of outdoor activities (including several parks), many people can easily justify the price.

The area has fantastic employment opportunities, with the University of Michigan being a leading employer (plus the reason why most people end up renting in Ann Arbor). There are also plenty of jobs on tech websites, and Pfizer is the city's second-largest employer, offering many jobs to qualified people.

While there is a lot of nature around Ann Arbor, the fact that this is very much a university has resulted in many of the top things to do being very educational. This includes the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.

Things To Do in Ann Arbor:

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Ann Arbor

2: Lansing

Lansing
Dreamstime/Adeliepenguin

Lansing is a little smaller than Ann Arbor, with just 110,000 people calling this home. However, it is a much more densely packed suburbia, which leads to lower home prices. In fact, the median home price in Lansing is just $98,000. This makes Lansing one of the most affordable places to live in Michigan.

Those who end up living in Michigan will enjoy a very community-focused atmosphere, and you'll often notice plenty of community events you can take part in throughout the city. You'll also enjoy a downtown area packed with coffee shops, restaurants, and stores. In fact, Lansing is often praised for its nightlife and the various cultural events that it promotes.

The lower home prices and access to good schools make this one of the best places for families to live in Michigan. Plenty of children live in the area, and parents praise the overall low crime rate, the good schools, and the various parks and activities children can engage in.

As we said – Lansing is a place that takes culture seriously. Every Juneteenth, there is a major African American Parade through the area. Michigan Pride in August is also fantastic. Not to mention the countless farmers' markets in the summer and parades around Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Things to Do In Lansing:

3: Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan (after Detroit). It boasts a population of almost 200,000. The median home value is $168,700. This makes Grand Rapids a considerably cheaper place to live than most places in the US. The employment opportunities in Grand Rapids have helped to make this place one of the best places to live in Michigan for young adults.

Employment in Grand Rapids is fantastic. This is a hub for manufacturing, and a good chunk of the economy in Grand Rapids is based on that. It is also the home of several publishers, major grocery store chains, health insurance companies, building material companies, and farming. Basically, there are jobs for everybody here, and there almost always will be.

Live in Grand Rapids, and you'll be very close to Lake Michigan, which is fantastic to go and chill by during the warmer days of the year. If you stay within the city, you can enjoy several amazing attractions, including the John Ball Zoological Garden, Gerald R. Ford Museum, and more. You can also take a walk along the Grand River.

Throughout the year, there are tons of cultural events that you can take part in. This includes Pulaski Days in October, a Polish culture celebration. The city is also known for its booming selection of artists and art galleries.

Things To Do in Grand Rapids:

  • Visit Lake Michigan
  • John Ball Zoological Garden
  • Van Andel Museum Center (one of the oldest museums in the US)
  • Heritage Hill – One of the oldest historic districts in the US.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Grand Rapids

4: Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

Next up on our list of the best cities to live in Michigan is the fantastic city of Kalamazoo. With just 75,000 people living here, it is the smallest place on our list so far.

Kalamazoo has a median house price of $125,900. However, the low median rental price of $869 has attracted many people to live here. In fact, Kalamazoo has more renters than homeowners, contributing to the town's booming young professional population, which is just starting their careers.

While Kalamazoo isn't necessarily the best place to raise a family, the lower home prices make things a little more affordable for growing families. The schools aren't too bad either. The crime rate is slightly higher, but as with all crime, you can avoid it.

You'll also find events dedicated to the breweries in the area, animation, and more. This is also a fantastic place for music, being the founding place of Gibson Guitars. If you fancy educating yourself instead, you have various museums, including the Gilmore Car Museum.

Things to Do In Kalamazoo:

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in Michigan

5: Detroit

Detroit
Dreamstime/Sean Pavone

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan, and while it does have a bit of a rep for crime levels (which, honestly, are pretty high), we still genuinely believe Detroit to be one of the great places to live in Michigan, particularly for those on limited budgets.

Detroit is a vast city. This means that a range of accommodations is available, from insanely cheap to properties that the average person couldn't even dream of affording. The median home price is $57,000 here. This makes Detroit one of the most affordable cities in the US. Although, most people will probably want to spend at least $100,000 to steer clear of the areas with higher crime rates.

Because Detroit is one of the largest cities in the US, employment opportunities are numerous. Many major companies are based here, with several Fortune 500 companies offering ample employment in the region. However, healthcare companies and plenty of restaurants, bars, and grocery stores provide vital employment to the city.

In recent years, the local government has poured a lot of cash into boosting the tourism industry in Detroit, which means that museums, cultural centers, and more are going through a period of rejuvenation. This has resulted in the number of tourists in Detroit rising quickly.

Things to Do in Detroit:

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Detroit

Technically, Troy is a suburb of Detroit. However, most people see it as separate from Detroit due to the slightly different way of life in Troy. Troy has a much more dense suburban feel than the city living that the rest of Detroit offers. Although, this is reflected in Troy's median home price, which is over $335,000. You probably don't need us to tell you this is significantly over the US average!

Since it is located close to Detroit, Troy has quickly become a major business center. This offers many employment opportunities, particularly in healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. As a result, Troy has managed to attract a sizeable and growing young professional population.

As we said, the overall living situation in Troy is considerably different from that in Detroit. The crime here is significantly lower, and the schools are substantially better. This makes Troy a fantastic place to raise a growing family.

Despite being relatively small (in comparison to Detroit), Troy does offer several things to do. Obviously, you are close to the attractions within Detroit (including the numerous walking trails), but in Troy, you have the Somerset Collection, which is a tremendous shopping mall. You also have the Troy Museum & Historic Village. On top of that, you have fantastic parks, nature walks, and more.

Things to Do in Troy:

  • Stage Nature Center
  • Somerset Collection Mall
  • Firefighters Park
  • The Bhartiya Temple
  • Troy Family Aquatic Center

7: Rochester

Rochester
Dreamstime/Brandon Grenier

Rochester is another suburb of Detroit, and yes, once again, you couldn't possibly be further removed from Detroit living than here. Rochester has a population of just 13,000. This makes the area sparsely populated, and you get a lovely community feel to it. It is also one of the safest places to live in Michigan.

You will be paying for the privilege to live in Rochester, though. The median home value is $393,700. This makes Rochester one of the more expensive places to live in Michigan. However, this will result in you living in a safe location with fantastic schools.

In terms of employment, there aren't too many jobs available in Rochester itself. The area, while having stores, isn't a place where major businesses set up shop, mostly due to the land cost. However, this isn't a massive issue if you live here. Most people living in Rochester will be employed in nearby Detroit.

Just like employment opportunities, you won't find a wealth of major attractions in Rochester either. In fact, most of what you can do in this area will be focused on nature walks and the like. So, if you love being out in nature and enjoying parks, then Rochester is for you. If you love visiting museums, you must head to Detroit for that.

Things to Do in Rochester:

  • Various parks
  • Yates Cider Mill
  • Paint Creek Trail
  • Meadow Brook Hall
  • Meadow Brook Theatre

Berkley is one of the good places to live in Michigan if you are a fan of a sparse suburban way of life. While there isn't much to do in Berkley (more on that part soon), there is plenty of nature (the area was built on a cleared forest), and most homes have ample land around them. It doesn't cost much to live here either, with the median home value just $238,200. This is considerably cheaper than most other sparse suburban places around the US.

Berkley is a safe place to live, but it isn't exactly brimming with activities outside the housing situation. Employment here is low, but job opportunities are minimal. This is because most people travel 14 miles into Detroit to work. So, if you live here, you'll probably need to work in Detroit.

Despite the low population, Berkley does a fantastic job running various events throughout the year. This includes festivals in the summer and winter, a car showcase (Woodward Dream Cruise) every year, and the Art Bash, which regularly draws artists into the area.

Things to Do in Berkley:

  • Summerfest and Winterfest
  • Woodward Dream Cruise car show
  • 12 Mile Road hosts tons of restaurants, boutiques, and more.
  • Plenty of parks in the area
  • Visit Detroit

9: Muskegon

Muskegon
Dreamstime/Thomas Barrat

In our opinion, Muskegon is absolutely stunning. It sits on a harbor in Lake Michigan, offering some absolutely spectacular views. In fact, most of the homes in Muskegon will have views over Lake Michigan, and we can't help but feel it would be fantastic to wake up to a view like that every morning. Although, it probably does get a bit windy during the colder months of the year!

You would think this would come at a high cost, but it doesn't. The median home value here is just $84,300, and the median rent is $778. This makes it an affordable place for young professionals, but those with a growing family may struggle to find easily available homes to accommodate them. Most of the homes here are on the smaller side of things.

Despite the lower population, there is a surprising number of employers in the area, ensuring ample employment for the residents. This is mostly in manufacturing (including vehicle and aircraft part manufacturing), but a few tourism jobs are also available here.

Michigan's Adventure, the largest amusement park in Michigan, is in close proximity, and, obviously, you have Lake Michigan to enjoy. Throughout the year, you'll find food festivals, parties in the park, Christian music festivals, and even Broadway musicals making their way through Muskegon.

Things to Do in Muskegon:

  • Visit Lake Michigan
  • Taste of Muskegon Food Festival
  • WeDiscover Festival
  • Motorcycle rally every July
  • Parties in the Park at Hackley Park
  • Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Park

10: Traverse City

Traverse City
Dreamstime/Beautynature

Next up on our list we have the amazing Traverse City. It has a population of just 15,000. This offers Traverse City a rather dense suburban feel. The average home price here is over the US national average, coming in at $292,800. The median rent is slightly lower than the national average at $939.

Traverse City may sound like it is this big, glorious place packed to the brim with buildings, but it isn’t. One of the best things about living in Traverse City is that community feel. Everybody is so nice to one another, and they always take the time to say hello.

The area doesn't look too bad either. You are right on the river, and you have the bay of the river in the background, and it looks stunning. We are sure you can find plenty of places to walk around.

If you are into outdoor recreational activities, the Traverse region (i.e., the place just outside the city) is vast. You have 100 miles of trails, downhill skiing, shoreline on Lake Michigan, and more. We suggest you make a memorable trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is one of the most beautiful lake shores in Michigan.

Things to Do in Traverse City:

  • Visit Traverse City State Park
  • Traverse City Film Festival
  • Lots of road and off-road biking.
  • Lake Michigan
  • City Opera House.

11: Flint

Flint
Dreamstime/Lindaparton

Flint is one of those cities that many people tell you to avoid, mainly because there doesn't ever seem to be much going on here. However, a median home price of $35,000 may not look too shabby if you are looking for affordable living. Although, it won't necessarily be in the best area.

Employment opportunities in Flint are decent, although employment here has only started to recover after an economic downturn in the middle of the 20th Century. Still, some major employers can be found here, particularly in manufacturing and retail, so most people may not struggle to find a job. However, young professionals may want to look elsewhere.

Flint offers a few things to do. This includes the Sloan Museum of Discovery, Flint Farmers' Market, Flint Institute of Arts, and the Applewood Estate. You'll also find a few parks around the area, although some have struggled with a lack of investment over the years.

While we can't honestly say that Flint is the best place in Michigan to live (and the residents can say the same, too), it is a good place for very affordable living.

Things to Do in Flint:

  • Flint Farmers’ Market
  • Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad
  • Sloan Museum of Discovery
  • Flint Institute of Arts

12: Grosse Pointe

Grosse Pointe
Dreamstime/Bill Spengler

When it comes to good places to live in Michigan, Grosse Point is classed as one of the best places of them all. This suburb of Detroit is home to just over 5,500 people. Once again, you couldn't be further removed from the city living of Detroit if you tried. This sparse suburban area provides plenty of space for families to grow up together and an excellent, low-crime location where you can feel safe wandering around.

The median home value here is on the higher side of things, coming in at $347,500. Although, you do get a lot for your money here.

As you can probably imagine, the employment opportunities in Grosse Pointe are not that high. Most of the people that do live in Grosse Pointe are going to be working in Detroit. However, the shopping district and education provide a sizeable amount of employment in the area.

There is a bit to do here, but not too much. The real highlight is The Village shopping district. You also have Neff Park, a beautiful park on Lake St. Clair, and George Elworthy Field, a city park. However, the area is light on festivals and other cultural activities. You'll need to head to Detroit for that.

Things to do in Grosse Point:

  • George Elworthy Field
  • Waterman House
  • Lake St. Clair
  • Neff Park
  • The Village

Also Read: Best Small Towns in Michigan

13: Novi

Novi
Depositphotos/snehitdesign

The population of Novi is growing rapidly, at least in comparison to other towns and cities in Michigan. This means two things. Firstly – property prices are rising, meaning a property in Novi could be a good investment. It also means that the local government is investing more cash into making Novi a great place to live, which we see with the good schools and the low crime rate here.

The dense suburban Novi has a median home price of $336,000, with nearly 70% of the 65,000 residents choosing to rent here.

Novi is one of the fastest-growing cities in Michigan, leading to plenty of employment opportunities. Many people are employed at the Twelve Oaks Mall, and Kroger also maintains an office here.

Because Novi has only recently started to expand, there aren't that many cultural landmarks here. In fact, up until the mid-20th Century, most of this was farmland. Many of that has been turned into parks, and some are still used by Michigan State University for agriculture. Lakeshore Park is probably the best place to visit if you're into your walks. You'll likely need to head the 25 miles into Detroit for nightlife.

Things to do in Novi:

  • Lakeshore Park
  • Twelve Oaks Mall
  • Near to the Suburban Collection Showplace
  • Theaters

14: Saugatuck

Saugatuck
Dreamstime/Robert Philip

The population of Saugatuck is under 900, so, as you can imagine, the place is incredibly sparsely populated. It also means that the place doesn't have much going on outside of the tourism center, but since it is situated right on Lake Michigan, it is a beautiful place to live, especially if you love your watersports, hikes, and more.

The average home price is almost double the national average, reaching $441,500. The median rental price is a shade over $400. This is deceptively low since the rentals are mostly one-bedroom for tourists.

Most of the employment in Saugatuck is in tourism, although there are a few shops here. You must head to major towns and cities in the surrounding area for proper employment. However, we are sure you already know this, given that the place isn't large. It is more of a place to live if you want to take a getaway from it all. We reckon it would be an excellent place for those who work from home to live.

It is worth noting that this is an incredibly popular destination among LGBT+ people, and many spend their summers here.

Things to Do in Saugatuck:

  • Lake Michigan
  • Allegan State Game Area
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park

15: Royal Oak

Royal Oak
Dreamstime/Jon Bilous

Last but not least, we have another suburb of downtown Detroit. Royal Oak has a population of 58,000. The median home price here is $249,000. This isn’t bad for the dense suburban feel it offers.

Royal Oak was developed when the Detroit industry started to boom, and as a result, most of the people who live in Royal Oak are employed in Detroit. You really don't have much in the way of major businesses here, with most of the employment in Royal Oak being in retail. However, finding jobs in Detroit isn't too tricky.

Crime in Royal Oak is substantially lower than the rest of Detroit, and the schools are excellent. This does make Royal Oak a great place to raise children.

Royal Oak does have a large number of nightlife venues, though. This includes theatres, comedy clubs, and more. You also have the Detroit Zoo, one of Michigan's top attractions.

Things to do in Royal Oak:

FAQs

What are the Pros and Cons of living in Michigan?

Michigan is going through an economic boom right now, which means that employment is high. Despite this, the cost of living is low. However, some areas of Michigan can experience high crime.

Where is the best area to live in Michigan?

Saugatuck is one of the best towns to live in. It has a low population and is in a beautiful region.

Is Michigan considered a good state to live in?

It depends on where you live. When it comes to employment and cost of living, Michigan is considered good.

What is the safest place in Michigan to live?

Saugatuck is one of the safest places to live in Michigan. Most places are, assuming that you steer clear of Flint and Detroit.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to the best places to live in Michigan, you have no shortage of options. You have beautiful lakeside towns, sprawling cities, and towns amid beautiful forests. No matter where you live, you enjoy the low cost of living in Michigan and the state's booming economy.

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