Small Town Escapes

Small Town Escapes in West Michigan

By Jillian Manning

Capture the tranquility and hospitality of a small town on your next getaway in West Michigan. You’ll find dozens of hidden gems throughout the region, but here are three to get you dreaming!


Bellaire quite literally means fresh air, and there’s plenty of it in this quaint village tucked into the Chain of Lakes. 

What to Do: Hike the trails at Grass River Natural Area or hop on a bike to explore the rolling glacial hills in the region. 

Where to Eat and Drink: Treat your tastebuds with a visit downtown to Short’s Brewing Company, Bee Well Meadery, or Mammoth Distilling

Where to Stay: Make Shanty Creek Resort your home base for the trip, where you’ll have golf, skiing, and dining options for four seasons of fun.



Water is a way of life in Ludington, a city with a long history on the shores of Lake Michigan.

What to Do: There are four lighthouses to visit, as well as the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum to explore.

Where to Eat and Drink: Head to Jamesport Brewing Company for craft beer and hearty appetizers and entrees with creative flavors.

Where to Stay: Step back in time at the Stearns Motor Inn or rent a lakefront cottage at Blue Lake Resort.



This cool, artsy beach town is not to be missed in the summer—or any time of year!

What to Do: Take an adventure with Saugatuck Dune Rides or rent a kayak from Big Lake Outfitters to paddle around town at your own pace.

Where to Eat and Drink: Find incredible food, beer, and spirits at Saugatuck Brewing Company, Guardian Brewing Company, and New Holland Spirits.

Where to Stay: Experience cozy comfort at Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast or relax with water views at the Bayside Inn