expensive beach towns near traverse city

6 Most Expensive Beach Towns Near Traverse City 2023

Traverse City, located on Lake Michigan’s shores, is surrounded by several upscale beach towns. Buying a lake house near Traverse City can be expensive.

As demand rises for lakeside properties, these affluent beach towns near Traverse City attract buyers looking for premium lake homes.

In these wealthy beach towns, sandy shores, and sunset views come with a premium price tag.

Traverse City, MI

Below, we will go over the priciest beach towns near Traverse City where buying a beach house is the most expensive.

Here are the most expensive beach towns near Traverse City.

The information presented in this article are based on data from the US Census American Community Survey. The median sales price is residential sales data for 12 month period ending June 2023.

Traverse City, MI

Glen Arbor, Michigan

Glen Arbor is the wealthiest beach town near Traverse City with a mean income of $264,985.

It is an affluent lake town near Traverse City located on the western shores of the Michigan Mitten, surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan

Glen Arbor is a 40 minute drive from Traverse City.

With a median home value of $640,186, it’s one of the most expensive beach towns in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. 

Glen Arbor is close to the famous Sleeping Bear Dunes. A long stretch of breathtaking sandy beaches. Climbing the dunes is a very popular and exhilarating experience.

Finding a secluded spot on the beach to see the mesmerizing Lake Michigan sunset is a must-do. 

Glen Arbor is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Aside from the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Glen Arbor is near Crystal River for excellent kayaking adventures. 

Glen Arbor is home to a lot of retirees with 58.3% of residents being senior citizens over 65 years old. 

Glen Arbor, MI
Mean Income$264,985
Median Home Price$640,186
Distance to Traverse City40 Minutes or 27 miles

Leland, MI

Leland is the most expensive beach town to buy a house near Traverse City, with a median home price of $909,000. Its waterfront properties can range from historic cottages to luxury homes. 

Leland, MI

Leland is a town surrounded by water, with stunning beaches on both Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau.  

Van’s Beach, on Lake Michigan, is a local favorite with sugary soft sand, reminiscent of Caribbean beaches perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and watching sunsets.

While Nedow’s Bay Beach on Lake Leelanau, with its calm water, is a more sheltered beach experience- perfect for families!

Aside from the beaches, Fishtown, a historic fishing village in Leland is a major attraction. It’s a charming fishing village with weathered fishing shanties, docks, and classic fish tugs. 

Today, many of the old fishing shanties have been repurposed and now house a variety of boutiques, eateries, and galleries.

Leland is also where you can catch the ferry to Manitou Islands. The ferry ride is breathtaking with spectacular views of Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Mean Income$70,678
Median Home Price$909,000
Distance to Traverse City38 Minutes or 25 miles

Omena, MI

Omena is one of the most expensive places to buy a lake house near Traverse City with a median home price of $825,000.

Lake Michigan

It is a small beach town located along the northeastern shores of Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula, overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. 

Unlike some of the bustling tourist towns, Omena is a more intimate beach town. Its smaller size allows for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle.

Omena Beach is beautiful. The clear waters of Omena Bay are great for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The bay’s gentle curve provides a stunning backdrop for sunbathing or simply relaxing by the water.

The Leelanau Peninsula is renowned for its vineyards and wineries, and Omena is no exception. One notable spot is the Leelanau Cellars, where visitors can enjoy wine tasting with panoramic views of the bay.

Its calm beaches, quieter setting and scenic views of the Grand Traverse Bay make Omena one of the best beach towns near Traverse City.

Omena, MI
Mean Income$74,686
Median Home Price$825,000
Distance to Traverse City57 Minutes or 39 miles

Suttons Bay, MI

Suttons Bay is one of the wealthiest beach towns in Michigan. 

Suttons Bay, MI

Located on the eastern shore of the Leelanau Peninsula, along the tranquil waters of Grand Traverse Bay, Suttons Bay has a median home value of $608,306 and a mean income of $96,644.

Its beach, Suttons Bay Beach, is perfect for sunbathing, picnics, and family outings.

Suttons Bay is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with activities like boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, and sailing. 

The downtown Suttons Bay is charming with quaint shops and restaurants. 

Suttons Bay is also known for its vineyards and wineries perfect for wine enthusiasts. 

Suttons Bay, MI
Mean Income$96,644
Median Home Price$608,306
Distance to Traverse City28 Minutes or 16.5 miles

Empire, MI

Empire is one of the most expensive beach towns near Traverse City with a median sale price of $563,042.

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Empire is located within the boundaries of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan

Empire has some of the best beaches near Traverse City- spectacular sand dunes and panoramic views of Lake Michigan. With its vast stretches of sandy beaches, it’s a favorite spot for locals and tourists.

There is also Lake Michigan Beach Park in downtown Empire. After a day at the beach, stop by Empire’s quaint downtown. 

Explore the downtown area with its quaint shops, cafes, galleries and eateries.

Beyond just beach activities, Empire is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with numerous hiking trails, including those that lead up the dunes and through nearby forests. There’s also the opportunity for kayaking, canoeing, and bird-watching. 

Empire, MI
Mean Income$79,915
Median Home Price$563,042
Distance to Traverse City35 Minutes or 14 miles

Frankfort, MI

Frankfort is one of the more expensive places to buy a beach house near Traverse City with a median sale price of $538,563. 

Lake Michigan Beach

Located west of Traverse City, Frankfort is home to breathtaking beaches and an iconic lighthouse.

Frankfort Beach, located on Lake Michigan, is one of the main attractions. With its crystal-clear waters, golden sands, and a view of the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse, it’s a paradise for sunbathers and swimmers.

Frankfort has a charming, historic downtown. It’s a lively downtown lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants, perfect for exploring after a day at the beach! 

Just south of Frankfort is Crystal Lake, one of the largest inland lakes in Michigan, a popular lake for boating, swimming, canoeing and other water activities.

Frankfort, MI
Mean Income$74,767
Median Home Price$538,563
Distance to Traverse City57 Minutes or 39 miles

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