Who says you have to hop on an airplane or drop hundreds of dollars to make a journey to Europe? While there’s something special about making a genuine overseas journey, those of us who call Michigan home are lucky enough to have access to multiple European-inspired communities. One such spot offers visitors the chance to experience Swiss culture and charm without leaving the Great Lakes State. Head to the Little Switzerland of Michigan for an unforgettable adventure.
The town of Gaylord is located in Otsego County. While we’ve highlighted the town’s wintertime attractions in previous articles, we’ve yet to emphasize its status as a European-inspired gem here in Michigan.
With a population of just under 4,000 full-time residents, Gaylord is certainly a small community – but it packs a major punch. For visitors and locals alike, the town’s charming heritage truly sets it apart.
Gaylord is known throughout the state as an “alpine village,” so you’ll spot all sorts of enchanting chalet-style architecture and Swiss-inspired touches throughout town. In the winter, this vibe is especially magical.
In fact, the Swiss touches extend beyond architecture. Gaylord is a proud sister city of Pontresina, Switzerland, and even holds a variety of cultural events each year – most notably, Alpenfest.
During this summertime gathering, the streets of Gaylord come alive with touches of Swiss culture. Traditions like the burning of the Boogg, a statue that represents life’s troubles, add loads of fun.
When you visit for a weekend, be sure to dine at Bennethun’s Northern Inn or pick up wine from the Rusty Pelican after a long day exploring Aspen Park, Otsego Resort (ideal for skiers), or the Gaylord City Elk Park.
Take time to stroll through Gaylord’s downtown area, where you’ll find gems including the Alpine Chocolat Haus, the quirky Old Spud Warehouse, Saturn Booksellers, and all sorts of other charming businesses.
Whether you drop by for a cozy weekend in the midst of winter or make a point of visiting during Alpenfest, one thing is for sure: when you explore the town of Gaylord, you’ll fall in love with its endless Swiss charm.
For additional information about the Little Switzerland of Michigan, click here. Have you and your family visited Gaylord for a special event or a weekend getaway during previous outings? Share your experiences with us by leaving a Facebook comment or recommend another unique Michigan town by completing our official nomination form here.
If you’re looking for another enchanting place to explore, be sure to read about this castle museum in Michigan.
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