Michigan: Traverse City and Lakeshore
This charming town and nearby National Lakeshore is "a Midwestern secret of beaches, dunes, lighthouses, cherry orchards."... Downtown Traverse City thrives with locally owned businesses.
But all is not rosy for the region:
"In moderate trouble. Trash on the beaches has degraded the environment and high-speed personal-watercraft wake can be destructive. As people move up from Detroit to retire, they may be a boon or bane to the environment depending on whether they embrace a land ethic."
More info: 133 Places Rated: About the Survey