We love small towns! Each small town has its own personality, claim to fame, best restaurant, gathering place, beautiful spot, and people with pride. Last year we spent 7 weeks exploring the small towns on the Great Lakes. Some are well known and others are secret gems. Though we had a blast throughout the trip, 5 towns stood out amongst the rest. Keep reading for our 5 favorite small towns on the Great Lakes!
Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
Located on the northeast coast of Lake Erie, Port Colborne is a great spot for a long weekend or an add on to a Niagara Falls trip.
The Welland Canal, which connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and is a key part of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, runs through the southern part of town. Cute restaurants and shops decked out with flowers dot the street along the canal, giving it a European town square vibe.
We had fun watching freighters come through and found an awesome restaurant called Canalside. We loved it so much we visited twice!
Interested in learning more about Port Colborne? Click here to check out our full post.
Kincardine, Ontario, Canada
Kincardine is a gem of the eastern Lake Huron coast. It’s known for its Scottish heritage including the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band which does a parade and concert every Saturday evening during the summer!
The parade was super cool, but there was so much more. We found a great restaurant, beach, and beautiful lighthouse. The sunset in Kincardine was one of the most beautiful of our trip!
Interested in learning more about Kincardine? Click here to check out our full post for more information on Kincardine and some other great towns you can visit while you’re in the area!
Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
If we had to pick our favorite town that we visited during our 7-week trip, Tobermory would win hands down. It was so great we didn’t want to leave!
Tobermory is located at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, which is the peninsula that lies between the Georgian Bay and the main basin of Lake Huron. This unique spot offers all kind of available adventures other than just visiting the town.
While in Tobermory, we saw the site of a shipwreck, visited the Fathom Five Marine Park, and experienced a rare fresh water Grotto.
We LOVED the town which is built around the marina and has a quaint New England feel. For more information on Tobermory, including the Tobermory Brewing Company where we had the best meal of our trip, click here.
Munising is located on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s upper peninsula, and is the home of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If you love natural beauty and outdoor activities, you’ll love Munising!
The town of Munising is cute and inviting. When you visit be sure to check out Falling Rock Café and Bookstore for the best food in town. You can also hop on a boat for a trip along Pictured Rocks at the marina in town.
If you have some extra time, Munising is a great home base for visits to Whitefish Point and Tahquamenon Falls, which are both fantastic outdoor adventure spots in the upper peninsula.
For more information on Munising and other awesome upper peninsula spots, click here.
St. Joseph, Michigan
The eastern shore of Lake Michigan is known for its beautiful little towns. St. Joseph, located on the south eastern lake shore, was or favorite.
In addition to a fantastic town center, St. Joseph has a beautiful beach, 2 lighthouses, and a large park along the lake shore. We had fun walking through the shops in town and had an awesome meal at Silver Harbor Brewing Company.
St. Joseph is also a great home base to explore other Lake Michigan towns. For more information about St. Joseph and the surrounding area, click here.
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