10 Best Christmas Towns in Michigan to Celebrate the Holidays

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Couple in Michigan at Christmas

Christmas towns in Michigan provide a magical ambiance. Visiting the northern state during the holidays also increases your chance of a winter wonderland. 

Whatever time of year you visit, we found ten towns in Michigan that are sure to bring you joy. Keep reading to learn what Michigan is known for, including the famous Christmas town that brings in visitors from near and far. 

Let’s start the festivities! 

What Is Michigan Known For? 

Michigan is a state in the northern United States that shares a border with Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Canada. But it is famously surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes.

The state has a lower and upper peninsula separated by two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron.

Michigan is known for the Great Lakes and its hundreds of smaller lakes, rivers, and waterways scattered throughout the state.

It typically gets a lot of snow in the winter months. Snowmobiling, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports are popular. 

Little girl in the snow looking at window display in a Christmas town in Michigan

What Is Michigan Weather Like in the Winter?

Michigan’s weather varies in the winter, depending on your location. For example, the upper peninsula can get frequent below-zero Fahrenheit temperatures with a lot of snow.

And if you’re close to the western part of the lower peninsula, you’re likely to see a lot of lake effect snow from storms that accumulate over Lake Michigan.

On average, you can expect a snowy and freezing climate in the winter.

Traveler’s Tip: Head out on the highway and look for adventure on one of these 10 Best Scenic Drives in Michigan.

Where Is the Famous Christmas Town in Michigan? 

Frankenmuth is known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria. It’s the most famous Christmas town in Michigan. Over three million visitors come from near and far to visit Frankenmuth every year. 

The tourist destination came to be in the late 1950s. Frankenmuth’s small community united over the Christmas theme and Bavarian ambiance.

Nowadays, it has shops, restaurants, and more that highlight the joyful time of year. You can visit shops stocked with holiday ornaments, decorations, and gifts year-round.

Family enjoying Christmas in Michigan town

10 Best Christmas Towns in Michigan to Celebrate the Holidays

Christmas towns in Michigan can do the trick to increase your holiday spirit. Check out these ten towns throughout the state.

1. Frankenmuth, MI

About: Frankenmuth is on the eastern side of Michigan’s lower peninsula. The city goes all out for the holidays year-round. It has a Bavarian theme that grew in the 1950s into the expansive tourist attraction it is today.

Best Christmas Features: Frankenmuth has it all, horse-drawn carriage rides, an ice rink, and Santa Claus. Additionally, the famous Bronner’s Christmas store is the main attraction, which stocks thousands of unique ornaments, holiday lights, trees, and other decorations.

2. Christmas, MI

About: Christmas, Michigan, is in the north-central region of the upper peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior. It’s a small town of about 400 residents.

It was given its name by a man who started a roadside holiday gift factory in 1938. The factory no longer exists, but the town is a popular resort area and draws snowmobilers in the winter.

Best Christmas Features: The businesses in the town are themed with holiday cheer. You’ll find Santa Claus on signs, a Mrs. Claus statue, sleighs, souvenirs, and all sorts of Christmas decor.

3. Mackinac Island, MI

About: Mackinac Island is a small island in Lake Huron between the upper and lower peninsula. About 500 people reside there permanently.

It can be seen from the famous Mackinac Bridge adjoining the two peninsulas. And you can access the island by ferry boat from either side. The island is a popular tourist destination; it has no cars and is incredibly charming. 

Best Christmas Features: Mackinac Island is a hot summer destination, but the island turns extra magical in the winter. It’s a winter wonderland with a large Christmas tree in the middle of the quaint shops. Occasionally, you can get lucky enough to even catch a real-life sleigh ride!

The ferry system stops running once the water freezes over. So, to get to the island in the winter, you’ll need to take a small aircraft or snowmobile over when conditions allow. 

4. Holland, MI

About: Holland, Michigan, is a city of just over 34,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan. The town claims a Dutch heritage that dates back to its first settlers in 1847. Holland is known for its International Tulip Festival, which takes place in May each year. And since it knows how to throw a party, Christmas time is extremely festive in the city.

Best Christmas Features: Holland is a favorite Christmas town in Michigan. While there, enjoy its quaint downtown shopping area.

The businesses are covered in holiday decor, and from late November to early December, there’s a Kerstmarkt Holiday Market. The city also hosts various events during the holiday season, such as a Holiday Parade with Santa Claus.

5. Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI

About: Dearborn is a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. And it’s the home to Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford Museum. Greenfield Village puts on a magnificent display during the holidays. 

Best Christmas Features: Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village is a festive event during the holiday season. You can mingle with merrymakers while chestnuts are roasting and bonfires are around to warm your hands.

There are also carolers roaming throughout the Village, which is decorated to look like a traditional historical village would have. In addition, you’ll get to partake in a historic Model T ride, a carousel, or a horse-drawn wagon. And there’s even a fireworks finale at the end of the evening. 

Lastly, you can also book dining experiences like Supper with Santa and Holiday Nights in Eagle Tavern. Special reservations are required.

6. Petoskey, MI

About: Petoskey sits on Lake Michigan in the northern region of the state’s lower peninsula. The quaint small town is home to a little over 5,600 people.

It’s known for its Victorian architecture and historic gaslight shopping district. Additionally, it is known for the Petoskey stone, which is a treasure if you find one on the beach.

Best Christmas Features: Petoskey is decorated for the holidays to make you feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie. Furthermore, it holds special events like the Holiday Parade and Holiday Open House in the shopping district.

7. Detroit, MI

About: Detroit is the largest metropolitan city in the state. Yet it still is one of the best Christmas towns in Michigan. The city is known for the Motown music sound birthed here in the 1960s. 

Best Christmas Features: You’ll find various holiday events throughout Detroit. From an ice rink to holiday shopping and dining, it’s a festive city to visit during Christmas.

The lights and Christmas trees bring the city alive, especially in the evenings!

8. Traverse City, MI

About: Traverse City is a small city in northern Michigan. It’s known for its vineyards and wineries. And people come from miles around for its Cherry Festival. The city has just over 15,500 people, but it multiplies with tourists year-round.

Best Christmas Features: Traverse City transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays. It hosts a tree-lighting event and a Santa Parade. And the shops and restaurants downtown are full of cheer and holiday specials throughout the season. 

9. Grand Rapids, MI

About: Grand Rapids is a medium-sized city in western Michigan. It’s the home of the late President Gerald R. Ford, where you’ll find his presidential museum and burial spot. Additionally, the city is known for its microbreweries and small businesses. 

Best Christmas Features: Grand Rapids’ city center is the location of an ice skating rink, Christmas tree, and lights during the holidays. You can also participate in several events around the city throughout the holidays and winter.

Traveler’s Tip: While in Grand Rapids, grab a drink at one of these 5 Best Breweries In Grand Rapids, Michigan You Don’t Want to Miss.

10. Rockford, MI

About: Last, Rockford, Michigan, is a small city just north of Grand Rapids. It has a quaint shopping district that sits on a river. Michigan residents frequent the city for a shopping getaway, its farmer’s market, and restaurants. 

Best Christmas Features: Rockford turns on the charm during the holidays with a tree lighting ceremony and Christmas cheer throughout the downtown district. 

Is Visiting Christmas Towns in Michigan Worth It?

Visiting Christmas towns in Michigan are absolutely worth it! You can travel to one or more of the places on our list to light up your holiday spirit. And each of them offers something special any time of the year. 

Michigan puts on the charm during the holidays and winter. Bundle up for fun in the snow.

Which Michigan town will you visit this holiday season?

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