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House of Flavors in Ludington, MI. Creative Commons photo by Bill McChesney.

If you live in and love Michigan, you know one of our best assets is the water.

On a recent trip to this town, it was easy to fall in love with the mix of small town feel, historic architecture, and beach access. It was also near parade time, so the town was gearing up for what is clearly a fun event.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise – even though we’re biased toward Detroit – that Ludington, Michigan made Outside Magazine’s list of 16 Best Places to live in the United States.

The honor was also bestowed on cities like Billings, Montana; Denver, Colorado; Hanalei, Hawaii among others. The magazine, as you might be able to tell by the title, values outdoor activities and outdoor life.

Here’s a bit of what they had to say about Ludington, located on Lake Michigan:

It all starts with the water. Ludington State Park (5,300 acres) and the adjoining Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area (3,450) have a combined ten miles of Lake Michigan frontage. What’s more, Hamlin Lake, which forms the eastern boundary of the state park, is warm, and its outflow into the big lake heats up the usually frigid waters early in the season. “So instead of it being 60 degrees, you have 70-degree water,” says 20-year resident Andy Klevorn, the head of technology for the school district and a cyclist and paddler when he’s off the clock. Then there’s the 64-mile Pere Marquette River, a blue-ribbon fishery that flows through 540,344-acre Manistee National Forest before reaching the Great Lakes.

For a complete roundup of cities, click here.