One of the things I hear from people who aren’t from Michigan is how much they love the culture of our state. The fact that there are so many little towns with their own unique charm scattered throughout the lower and upper peninsula.

It’s hard for me to say which, small town is the best out of all of them, but Presque Isle and Alpena are two of my favorite places in the Lower Peninsula, places like Iron River hold a special place in my heart for the Upper Peninsula as well. But one town above the rest was recently named the 25th best town with less than 10,000 residents.

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It wasn’t a town in the upper peninsula, but in fact, it was Saugatuck, Michigan, as they describe how they made their choice


Population: 978
Why it’s a great small town: Every summer, people from all over come to Saugatuck to enjoy Oval Beach. Once you’ve had your time in the sand, try local wines at Fenn Valley Tasting Room.
Fun fact: Saugatuck was an art colony during the 19th century.

Saug-tucky was a pretty good pick, but I was very surprised they only chose 1 Michigan town to top their list of the 100 best towns with less than a 10,000 population. I feel like they missed out on some of the U.P. charm, and feel it's only fair to include at least one town in the U.P. on lists like these.

I have a feeling once the people who made this list visit Michigan, they'll re-think their choices.

The 100 Worst Small Towns in Michigan

Discover Michigan's worst small towns through's latest rankings, examining crime rates, education, employment, and more. delved into factors like population density and unemployment using FBI data and the Census. With updated research for 2024, uncover the least desirable locales. Explore why low crime, education, and stable economies matter when choosing a hometown as we count down the 100 Worst Small Towns in Michigan.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow