America's Best Little Beach Towns
This former lumber town on the shores of both Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River has been a Chicago artist magnet since the 19th century, giving it the nickname the Art Coast of Michigan. Come and sketch the crazy-high sand dunes—the most popular being Mount Baldhead, a calf-burning 282 steps high—or ride the hand-operated chain ferry, the only one of its kind left in North America.
Stay: Even if the beds at The Wickwood Inn are wrapped in chintz and romance, you definitely want to come down for breakfast. This 11-room B&B is run by successful cookbook author Julee Rosso, whose credits include The New Basics.
Eat: After scaling a few massive dunes, reward your appetite with lamb chops, cassoulet, and other French country classics at Restaurant Toulouse.
—Katrina Brown Hunt