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10 Best Places to Live in Michigan

A general view of atmosphere during AMC's "Low Winter Sun" cast Q&A with Art House Convergence on July 29, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Thanks to Detroit, Michigan probably isn’t on a lot of people’s lists when it comes to best places to live. After filing for bankruptcy in 2013, the state’s most well-known city became the talk of the country – and unfortunately the conversation wasn’t good. However, what many people feel to realize is that there’s much more to Michigan than the Motor City, Michigan is a great place to call home. With lots of diversity, culture, and things to do – Michigan is full of all of the right ingredients to make a person happy and comfortable. Whether you’re looking for a big city vibe or a suburban atmosphere, Michigan has a place for you. Here are 10 best places to live in Michigan.

Grand Rapids

As Michigan’s second largest city, Grand Rapids has a lot to offer. Although Grand Rapids was dubbed a “dying city” in 2011, the area is making its way back to relevance and it becoming a hot spot for those looking to for an exciting atmosphere. With a big city feel mixed with a hint of midwestern calmness, Grand Rapids has been nick named Michigan’s creative center, and it’s easy to see why. The city is known for being home to several creative events throughout the years including Art Prize as well as other performance art shows.

East Lansing

As the home of Michigan State University, most people probably wouldn’t consider a college town one of the best places to live. However, East Lansing is proof that college towns aren’t just for students, and it is possible to enjoy a nice quiet life. East Lansing is affordable, accessible, and safe and great for residents of all age. Plus, living in a town with a big school can be a great opportunity for sports lovers to get out and cheer on their favorite teams.

Traverse City

If you love enjoying the out doors, you’ll fine Traverse City especially appealing. Not only is the area simply breathtaking, but there are plenty of parks and trails for residents to get out enjoy the natural beauty. But even if you’re not the kind of person who spends a lot of time exploring outside, Traverse City can still be a great fit. Although the city’s population is just a little over 14,500, Traverse City has a lot of things to offer including plenty of local entertainment and ample schools.

Royal Oak

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a place with the word royal in its name would be a great place to live. Although there aren’t any kings or queens roaming around Royal Oak, the city still manages to live up to its name. Not only is it home to the Detroit Zoo, but Royal Oaks also has a crime rate that is 29% lower than the rest of Michigan, and the homes in the area are also valued higher than the average. On top of all of that, Royal Oaks as also used as the setting for the popular 90s sitcom, Home Improvement.

Farmington Hills

Just 30 minutes outside of Detroit, Farmington Hills is easily one of Michigan’s best places to live. Considered an ‘affluent’ suburb, Farmington Hills is a little on the pricey side, but as with most other things, you get what you pay for. The crime rate in the area is nearly 40% lower than the state average, and the homes are valued well above average. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of amenities in Farmington Hills, but for many people, the beautiful scenery and quiet neighborhoods more than make up for that.

West Bloomfield Township

Located in Michigan’s Oakland County, West Bloomfield Township has a reputation for being one of the best places to live. In 2012, Money Magazine ranked West Bloomfield Township at 37 on its list of Top 100 Small Cities. West Bloomfield is also on the list of highest income places with a population of at least 50,000. Aside from those two stellar facts, West Bloomfield is also home to some incredible schools, great job opportunities, and a crime rate that is 56% lower than the rest of Michigan.

Portage

Portage certainly isn’t the biggest place on the list, but it’s one of the most popular. While people outside of the area may have never heard of Portage those living in or around it know that it’s a pretty cool place with plenty of things going on. The city is ranked high for amenities and local activities as well as jobs and education. Residents of Portage also have a higher median income than the state average. Unfortunately; however, no place is perfect, and Portage tends to have a crime rate that is higher than most of the other cities on the list.

Ann Arbor

Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is one of the state’s most popular cities. However, it’s popularity doesn’t have to mean that the city is overrun or overgrown. Despite being a college town, Ann Arbor is a great place to live whether you’re raising a family or flying solo. The city has great educational opportunities, plenty of amenities, and a low crime rate.

Midland

There’s never a dull moment in Midland, and that’s because the city is full of great restaurants and hang out spots that will keep everyone satisfied. Midland also has the perfect ingredients to create a wonderful environment. The city is one of the safest in Michigan, and has a higher than average median income (just over $48,000) and a lower than average cost of living.

Novi

When it comes to the best places to live in Michigan, there’s no doubt that Novi is deserving of this spot. The family friendly city is located just outside of Detroit and is known for being a popular place to shop. However, there’s much more to Novi than just a few stores. The city has high property values, safe neighborhoods, and great schools. Plus, residents in Novi have a median household income of $80,151 which is 73% higher than the state average.

(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for AMC)

Written by Camille Moore

Camille has a master's degree from Saint Joseph University's Writing Studies program. Her writing has been published on several websites, and she enjoys writing articles and short stories in her spare time. You can follow Camille on Twitter @CamealAshley.