4 Small Towns to Visit During a Pure Michigan Winter

Michigan is home to a plethora of small towns, townships and villages that are like hidden gems, waiting to be uncovered and experienced. From their quaint atmosphere, to great restaurants with fabulous dishes and winter carnivals packed with experiences that are sometimes a little offbeat, Michigan’s smaller communities can be a great way to escape the usual.

So if you want an experience that is anything but the usual, then here are four small towns that are great stops for your Pure Michigan winter adventure:

Quincy: Dubbed the “Gateway to the Chain of Lakes,” Quincy is home to the Quincy Chain of Lakes Tip-up Festival. If you're looking for a true Michigan small-town adventure, this south-central Lower Peninsula destination is for you.

The village is just north of the interconnected First, Marble, Middle, Archer and Bartholomew lakes which makes it perfect for ice fishing when the lakes freeze. The 2017 festival takes place on scenic Tip Up Island, which is on Marble Lake. The festival consists of a craft show, fisherman’s ball, fishing contest and games for children.

There are also snowmobile races, quad races and a woodcutter’s contest.

AndyPeninger snowmobiling_0.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Andy Peninger

Pentwater: Pentwater’s Winterfest is another great way to experience a Michigan winter. The week-long festival includes a fishing tournament, the Snowman Scram 5K and opportunities to go cross country skiing in the Pere Marquette State Forest.

Visitors can also go sledding in the Village Green, participate in a soup competition or take part in the Cork and Canvas Wine Tasting and Gallery Stroll Benefit for the Pentwater Arts Council. While there, spend time admiring Pentwater's tree-lined streets which show off the charming Victorian homes and cottages framed by beautiful snow-covered gardens. Enjoy time in the village where almost everything is within walking distance of the marinas, shoppingdining, public beach and village.

Beulah: Are you a fan of chili cook-offs? Do snowmobile races thrill you? Then why not pack the family up and head out to Winterfest in Beulah. With quirky activities like an annual fish toss competition and frozen turkey bowling, beautiful Beulah’s annual winter festival has something for the whole family to enjoy.

This fun festival also includes a bonfire on the beach and fireworks over Crystal Lake, one of the largest inland lakes in Michigan. In every season, the beauty of the area and the small town friendliness restores the souls of those who venture to this special part of the world.

Photo Courtesy of Gary Ennis

Kalkaska: Another one of Michigan’s quaint villages that is known for its winter activities is Kalkaska.

Established in 1965, the Kalkaska Winterfest is an annual celebration of winter activities that showcases local talent and brings out the spirit of living in northern Michigan. From the craft show to one of the largest sprint sled dog races in the nation, the week-long event is a point of pride for the community.

While Michigan’s more well-known communities have plenty to offer, its smaller towns are also a great way to break away from the usual.

For more information about these festivals, or other winter events taking place, visit www.michigan.org.