Northeast Lower Michigan has a secret. I really hope I don't get blasted for posting this. This post is primarily focused on the Rogers City area, but applies for most of NE MI.
I can let you in on the secret by simply explaining what our secret isn't..if you love the following things, stop reading now because you will not find it here.
- big box stores
- crowded sidewalks/paths
- tons of traffic
- tons of chain restaurants
- overcrowded beaches
- unaffordable real estate
I believe the majority of people who call northeast Michigan "home" would rather shop local, aren't huge fans of crowded sidewalks and beaches, chain restaurants, crippling traffic, and they certainly aren't here because the real estate is super expensive.
This may come as a surprise, but the lack of the above are massive advantages to the people who live here and for people seeking new opportunities.
We try our very best to support local, family-owned businesses. Sure, there are a few big box stores about 45 minutes away (from Rogers City). So if you really need something that isn't available here, it's not like it doesn't exist. You can drive to the beach or to an inland trout stream in mere minutes or seconds depending on where you live. I've never been stuck in traffic, ever. There are many local, family-owned restaurants that typically serve better food at a better price than chain restaurants. In the summer there are people on the beaches, but it's never uncomfortably packed. You don't bump into anyone or have to search an hour to find a little piece of beach that isn't occupied. There is always room for everyone to relax and enjoy the pristine coastline. The real esate here is very affordable, relatively speaking. It's a steal when you compare our real estate to similar properties on the west side of Michigan. It's an ideal place for retirees, people looking for a vacation home, or for people who are tired of the hussle & bussle and want to slow down and plant their roots in a clean, beautiful area.
I'm proud to say that I grew up in Rogers City; my wife and I are now making a living here. I love traveling to other states/cities, it's fun and all, but I always end up missing the relaxed, yet adventurous atmosphere that northeast Michigan yields.
As a photographer, northeast Michigan provides a massive amount of outdoor photography opportunities. The beauty in this area has been a great influence and a huge reason why I enjoy landscape photography so much. I try my absolute best to showcase our "secret" lifestyle in each image. This is a unique place on the earth where no filter is required. All of our perceived disadvantages are really an advantage and provide a lot of opportunity for those who are willing to see it and embrace it.