Munising and Grand Marais : Michigan


What It Is Like to Retire in Munising and Grand Marais

Munising and Grand Marais are two very tiny towns on the southern edge of Lake Superior. This is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and it is a very sparsely settled region. The towns are very similar and about an hour apart. Munising is the larger of the two with a population of about 2400. Grand Marais has about 300, although in summer and some parts of the winter the population gets a lot bigger with an influx of tourists. Hiking, boating, and camping are big in summer, while snowmobiling and cross country skiing are extremely big in winter. The setting for both of these lake towns is stunning. Each has a beautiful and sheltered harbor with sand beaches. Grand Island is off of Munising. There are restaurants and many outdoor equipment shops in both. This Grand Marais should not be confused with Grand Marais, MN, well off to the west on Lake Superior and much bigger.

Where to Retire in Munising and Grand Marais and Home Prices

There are a number of homes for sale in both towns, where the home prices are much lower than in the rest of Michigan and the U.S. The average listing in 2019 was in the $120's. Many homes and cottages are available for rent. Many offer stunning views of Lake Superior and the beaches.

What Is Special about Munising and Grand Marais

The setting along the lake, dunes, and beaches is truly spectacular. So is the hiking and the outdoor life. Boating is tremendous, as Lake Superior is almost as big as an ocean with many islands to explore.

What Is Not Special about Munising and Grand Marais

If you don't like cold winters, these towns could be your nightmare. They are remote and very small.

Who Will Like Retirement in Munising and Grand Marais

People looking to get away from it all and enjoy a peaceful time in nature and the outdoors will love it here. It is ideal for a snowbird because the cost of living is low and it is very different.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism in Grand Marais. In Munising there is timber, a paper mill, and some mining in addition to tourism.

Climate and Physical Environment

It never gets very warm here in the Upper Peninsula, almost in Canada. Average wintertime temps in Jan are in the high teens and in July in the low 60s'.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As tourist towns there are numerous restaurants, where fish is a specialty. The West Bay Diner and Delicatessen in Grand Marais is a great place to eat and meet local author Ellen Airgood, who also has a small bookstore and gift shop. Pictured Rocks Lakeshore is a big local site, which stretches between the two towns.


Crime rates are very low.

Medical Facilities

For most any serious medical condition one would head to Marquette, about one hour from Munising.


The Marquette Airport has convenient service to Detroit. Otherwise, the car is the best way to get around.

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