SMALL TOWN SERIES: Arcadia, a no-stoplight town
Anyone who knows me understands I dig big cities: The myriad cultural opportunities, dining experiences and architectural sightseeing means you’re never at a loss for something to bide away the time. However, occasionally, you just need to chill and that’s when small towns can come in and save the day. This is the first in an ongoing series on some of the Midwest’s best small-town getaways.
According to the 2010 census, this small Lake Michigan town located about a half an hour north of Manistee has just 291 residents. With a population that small, that’s why you won’t find a stoplight or grocery store for miles. This northern Michigan town has long been a favorite of Caitlyn’s, whose grandparents live on a large piece of property right off Lake Michigan. Even though there’s a small population, the township is still home to the swanky Arcadia Bluffs golf resort and restaurant and at least two more economical inns as well as a B&B.
Love God and the beach? Hit up Camp Arcadia, a family-friendly Christian resort located right on the water, with tennis courts and plenty other fun activities to get you and your little ones moving. Not ready to get your Jesus on? There’s a public park on the beach “in town” (town consists of a historical museum, small library, a post office that’s closed more than it’s open and an
annual arts and crafts festival called Arcadia Daze, always the fourth weekend of July).
If you get ants in your pants – and it’s likely, given all the trees and other flora in the area – take a nearby trip to the tourist destinations of Frankfort (to the north) or Manistee (to the south). Hit up Kilwin’s in Frankfort for some tasty fudge (it’s a northern Michigan thing) and wander into the various antique stores and boutiques in Manistee. Both are 20-30 minutes away from Arcadia.
Whatever you do, make sure you have enough gas before arriving into Arcadia, as gas stations are few and far in between up there. Of course, the primary reason for going to this beach town is precisely for that – the beaches. Kick back, read a book and splash around in the water on a warm, sunny day.
Travel time from various cities:
Chicago – 4 hours, 45 minutes
Cleveland – 6 hours, 50 minutes hours
Columbus – 7 hours, 20 minutes
Detroit – 4.5 hours
Indianapolis – 6.5 hours
Milwaukee – 5 hours, 11 minutes (requires ferry trip)