Select Page




Leisure, Recreation and Culture

Welcome to nature’s playground! There are few places that can boast as wide a range of spectacular natural resources, and we’ve got ‘em. Twenty-eight miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, rolling sand dunes, 2,000 miles of rivers and streams, 40 inland lakes and over 450,000 acres of Manistee National Forest are waiting to be enjoyed all year long.

The beauty and mystery of Lake Michigan are undeniable. Calm enough for swimming, building sandcastles on the shore and watching beautiful sunsets one day, it can kick up a fuss with big drama just 24 hours later. It provides thrills for the adventurous and intrigue for the imaginative and those who like to walk its shoreline, collecting shells, fossils and driftwood. Under all conditions it is a magnet for the curious.

Every manner of activities for outdoor lovers are available at our state and local parks and natural areas. For hikers and cyclists, fishermen and fisherwomen, kayakers and canoers, boaters and kite-boarders, paddle boarders, or golfers and tennis players, opportunities abound, whether athletic and adventurous, serene and contemplative, or somewhere in between.

That mystery and magnetism are extended to the Manistee National Forest and all of our natural areas. Just as important, the beauty of our natural surroundings has played as big a part in our history as it does in our daily lives, and is reflected in our museums, our cultural trails and the preservation of our two lighthouses and other historic structures. It also informs and inspires our cultural activities, creative endeavors and even our festivals. There is much to celebrate, and a joyful attitude permeates all we do.

“As a cottage owner in Mason County for almost 5 years, spending every weekend year-round in this beautiful community, we decided to move up north and raise our girls in our lake home. After a couple years living here, we created our own business by starting Cottage Works LLC in 2009, and expanded to a retail location in 2015. We have lived up north full-time for eight years now, and from the start have found this small town quality of life, its residents and tourist to be welcoming and supportive. Mason County is now the only place we call home.”

Julie VanDyke

Owner, Cottage Works