Smithsonian Magazine has made a list of America's best small towns. Due to the pandemic, the publication says it wants people to appreciate America’s small towns now more than ever. A northern Michigan city has made the list of top 15 small towns in the country.

Photo by Peggy Paulson on Unsplash

With its mushroom houses, large castle and a giant cherry pie pan, Charlevoix is tops. Smithsonian Magazine took different things into consideration when making the list. They looked at independent shops, hidden gem parklands, historic sites and architecture, and unique restaurants.

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The article mentions South Pier Light Station, Hotel Earl, Castle Farms and the famous Earl Young Mushroom Houses as things to visit while in Charlevoix. Smithsonian wrote of the mushroom houses,

"Young created more than two dozen mushroom houses that look as though they’ve been plucked straight from the Shire of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional middle-earth. Made of local stone and topped with cedar-shake roofs, some are rentable, though curious souls can also embark on a guided or self-guided tour to view them all."

Photo by Peggy Paulson on Unsplash

"Turquoise blue waters" were also attributed to the glory of Charlevoix. The magazine said,

"Whether it’s bicycling along the 26-mile-long Little Traverse Wheelway from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, or hitting up the hiking trails, ski slopes and ice-skating rink at Mt. McSauba, Charlevoix offers plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. The 2,678-acre Fisherman’s Island State Park is home to tree-covered bogs and sand dunes, more than six miles of unspoiled Lake Michigan shoreline and waters ripe for swimming.”

Photo by Adam Kring on Unsplash

14 other cities made Smithsonian’s list. They include:

  • Council Grove, Kansas
  • Fayetteville, West Virginia
  • Muscle Shoals, Alabama
  • Manitou Springs, Colorado
  • Hatch, New Mexico
  • Goshen, New York
  • Nevada City, California
  • Bath, Maine
  • Brevard, North Carolina
  • Dyersville, Iowa
  • Ely, Minnesota
  • Wallace, Idaho
  • Natchez, Mississippi
  • Litchfield, Connecticut

LOOK INSIDE: You Could Stay At One of the Famous Charlevoix Mushroom Houses

There is a lot of unique architecture to see in the state of Michigan from the historic homes in Detroit to the Broad Art Museum on Michigan State University's campus. One of the most well-known is the mushroom house in Charlevoix.

These cute little cottages were designed by architect Early Young and overlook beautiful Lake Michigan. Take a look inside one of them, and if you're interested, you can even book a stay in it through airbnb!