Northwest Michigan

A unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and breathtaking views combined with a thriving economy make Northwest Michigan an ideal place for those who love to play just as hard as they work. 

Region 2 information


  • What’s it like to live in Northwest Michigan?

    Northwest Michigan’s stunning beauty is the foundation of its economy, but its growth is due to a willingness to create common goals, collaborate and innovate. The area attracts people globally with its blend of an upscale, small-town vibe and abundance of cultural and recreational experiences.


    The region is home to some of the most visited communities in Michigan such as Traverse City, Manistee, Frankfort, Suttons Bay, Charlevoix and Petoskey. Northwest Michigan remains one of the fastest growing regions in Michigan because it balances excellent quality of life with economic opportunity.


    Northwest Michigan is home to outstanding colleges, universities, and academies:

     Interesting Facts

    • Petoskey/Charlevoix was listed as one of the top 3 areas in the country for living on the coast by Coastal Living.
    • This is wine country! Traverse City sits directly on the 45th parallel—halfway between the equator and the North Pole—which is the same locale as the finest wine regions in France and Italy.
    • The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was named by Good Morning America as the “Most Beautiful Place in America.” Its 64-mile curve of vistas, freshwater beaches, forested wilderness islands, and miles of hiking trails are a must-see.
    • Lake Michigan’s largest island, Beaver Island, offers many activities for nature lovers. The island also lies on a bird migratory path where birders can spot hundreds of different species.
    • The region boasts more than 1,200 miles of motorized and nonmotorized trails, as well as a variety of skiing and golfing opportunities for year-round fun. View a map of all northern MIchigan Trails.
    • The Headlands International Dark Sky Park, one of just 31 internationally, offers visitors a chance to learn about the night sky, hike or simply stargaze on the park’s 550 acres of pristine woodlands, including 2 miles of undeveloped shoreline.

  • Where do people work in Northwest Michigan?

    Northwest Michigan attracts people from around the world because of its upscale, small-town vibe and numerous cultural and recreational activities. As one of the fastest growing regions in Michigan, its residents experience an excellent quality of life and economic opportunity.

    Top employers

    Top industries:

    • Coming!

    Explore jobs in Northwest Michigan. 

  • What do people do for fun in the Northwest Michigan?

    From exploring quaint downtowns with boutique shops to wine tasting to countless opportunities for outdoor recreation whatever the season, you’ll find this region offers opportunities like no other.


    Places to see. Things to do.

    The state of Michigan’s Pure Michigan website lists a wide selection of events from around the state and area. Here are a few examples from Traverse City:

    • Named one of USA Today’s top 10 annual festivals, the National Cherry Festival is an 8-day celebration with more than 150 events (including the Navy’s Blue Angels air show).
    • Attend semi-pro baseball game and watch the Traverse City Beach Bums.
    • Traverse City is home to the Detroit Red Wings’ training camp.
    • Tall ships—big schooners, sloops and frigates—glide along the Lake Michigan shoreline, offering excursions and floating classrooms.
    • Enjoy a trip along M-119’s Tunnel of Trees, one of Michigan’s most spectacular drives through an area once largely inhabited by the Odawa, or Ottawa Indians.
    • Visit one of the region’s many wineries, distilleries, or breweries for drink or a tour—a bustling pub and agriculture scene, it’s an eclectic blend of good food, drink and northern Michigan life.



    • The Traverse Symphony Orchestra, often performing in the beautifully restored City Opera House, is easily on par with orchestras from large metropolitan areas.
    • The Dennos Museum Center features one of the largest and most complete displays of artwork by the Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic.
    • Founded by actor Michael Moore, the Traverse City Film Festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan.

Learn more about the Northwest Michigan and what it’s like to live, work and play in the area.  Also, visit our Resources page for State of Michigan Prosperity Region 2 Field Team contacts.