By Emily Bingham – Published on MyNorth.com on February 3, 2015
The Benzie County profile gives an overview of what life is like in this county, and how you and your lifestyle can fit in.
The 25 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline on Benzie County’s western edge is Michigan’s own gold coast: a vacationland studded with pretty port towns, gorgeous parks and sugar-sand beaches. Travel inland, and that dramatic Great Lakes beauty shifts to the quieter charm of the Northwoods: glacier-carved hills, hamlets, farmland, miles of sparkling rivers and 57 inland lakes. A vast stretch of Benzie is preserved in a national park, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore —the highest honor our nation bestows on an area of natural beauty.
At 316 square miles, Benzie is Michigan’s smallest county. Its population of about 17,000 swells to nearly 43,000 during the summer months, when vacationers and second-home owners come here live the dream life. But what locals know is that when autumn rolls around and the last beachfront cottages are shuttered for the winter, this four-season paradise continues to inspire. People live here because they love the laid-back lifestyle and the love the outdoors — and with eight golf courses, gorgeous fall color, rich opportunities for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and 135 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, there’s always something to do. Never being more than 45 minutes away from all the amenities in Traverse City is an added bonus.