Manistee : Michigan


What It Is Like to Retire in Manistee

Manistee, Michigan, is located at the mouth of the Manistee River on Lake Michigan, and is the county seat of Manistee County. The small town is a popular fishing, canoeing and tourist destination as it offers outdoor recreation, and a historic downtown. Manistee is also home to the SS City of Milwaukee, once a Great Lakes railroad car ferry, but now serves as a museum ship and is host to events on the waterfront. Other nearby attractions include Orchard Beach State Park, Manistee Golf and Country Club, and Little River Casino Resort. Photo of Tippy Dam courtesy of Wikipedia and Notorious4life (public domain); picture of SS City of Milwaukee at berth in Manistee courtesy of Wikipedia and Julus Ascanius (public domain).

Where to Retire in Manistee and Home Prices

Zillow reported the median home value in Manistee was $169,837 in early 2022.

What Is Special about Manistee

Manistee is a waterfront community with Manistee River offering fresh water fishing. The town boasts a marina, a lighthouse, a River Walk, beaches, a downtown that includes Victorian buildings, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

What Is Not Special about Manistee

The small town of Manistee is isolated, with the nearest large city, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over 100 miles away. Winters are long and cold with an average of 100 inches of snow annually.

Who Will Like Retirement in Manistee

Retirees who would like living in a small, walkable town that also offers beaches, and outdoor recreation may enjoy living in Manistee. The town also has a hospital, library, and an airport that provides flights to Chicago several times a day (nice for snowbirds heading south or west for the winter).

Local Economy Is Driven by

Manistee was once a booming logging center and later one of the leading shingle manufacturing towns. Today it is home to three salt factories located on Lake Manistee. But the main drivers of the economy are health care, and tourism.

Climate and Physical Environment

Manistee experiences all four seasons. January's average temperature is 25 degrees and July's average is 68 degrees. Manistee gets close to 100 inches of snow annually.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are several restaurants in the town, and the cultural scene includes the Ramsdell Theatre which provides art and entertainment with music, dance and performances.


The crime rate here is just below the national average.

Medical Facilities

Munson Healthcare provides a hospital and health care in Manistee.


Manistee is considered a walkable and bikeable community. There is a small airport here, but the nearest International airport is about 130 miles away in Grand Rapids.

Valuable Links

Visit Manistee County

Manistee, Michigan


What people are saying about Manistee

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