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Retire Here, Not There

Aug. 20, 2014, 5:00 a.m. EDT

Retire Here, Not There: Michigan

Good deals on real estate in the “Riviera of the Midwest”

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By Anya Martin, MarketWatch

Continued from page 2


Shutterstock
The Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.

Marquette

Nestled on the shores of shimmering Lake Superior in the far northern arm of the state, Marquette is rich in outdoor activities. The Noquemanon Trail Network, which runs through town and all along the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is a favorite for walkers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers alike. In the winter, “fat tire biking” is a popular way to pedal through the snow. Downhill skiers hit Marquette Mountain, which boasts 169 skiable acres of mostly moderate terrain. Sailors love this town too: A local group, Fleet 35, has sailed on the Bay of Marquette every Wednesday since the early 1970s, and residents gather by the water to watch the local rowing club take their longboats out on evenings during the summer, says Pat Black, executive director of the Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The lake also offers more relaxing activities like kayaking and fishing. The area has six golf courses and plenty of land for both small- and large-game hunting.

“There are lots of cultural activities beginning to grow here,” Black says. The quaint, walkable downtown is lined with historic sandstone buildings that house eclectic restaurants, bars and shops. The Huron Mountain Club Gallery and Marquette Arts and Culture Center, both in the Peter White Public Library, host exhibits by locally, regionally and nationally known artists. Marquette is home to Northern Michigan University, where people over 62 can take classes free; the campus is also the site of the DeVos Art Museum. The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning offers low-cost classes in subjects like photography and bird-watching, along with social events. From early June to October, Marquette County hosts free events every weekend from concerts to festivals to athletic competitions, Black says.

Marquette does have a small airport with direct flights to Chicago and Detroit. Well-regarded Marquette General Hospital is operated by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, affiliated with Duke University.

By the numbers:

  • Population: 21,383

  • Median home cost: $159,900

  • Cost of living: 2.9% lower than average

  • Unemployment: 7.4%

Source: Sperling's Best Places

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