Have you ever wanted to get away from it all? Maybe you’d like to travel somewhere that’s close to nature but far away from the noise and commotion of big city life?
If you ever feel this way, you’re not alone. Among the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, all of them are shrinking as people look to get away from the hustle and bustle and find fulfilling lives that aren’t racked with traffic, crime, and way too many people. However, not too many people have found the hidden gem that is Lake Odessa, Michigan.
Lake Odessa, Michigan, is a cozy village near the center of the “Mitten State.” Located in Ionia County, this idyllic community boasts a population of just over 2,000 residents. Conveniently located, Lake Odessa has everything you would need to prosper in a slow-paced setting while sitting comfortably close to city life.
About a 20-minute drive north of Lake Odessa lies the city of Ionia, a dynamic community home to over 10,000 residents. When residents of Lake Odessa want to get into the quick-moving pace of city life, Ionia provides amenities like a thriving business center, home improvement shops, and a movie theater.
For those who need all the bells and whistles and wish to still remain fully in tune with the latest and greatest that city life has to offer, like Starbucks and outlet malls, Lake Odessa is also less than 40 minutes away from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Lake Odessa claims a rich history that goes back nearly 200 years. Before the expansion of railroad tracks, Lake Odessa was originally fertile farmland. Over time, as neighboring towns expanded to accommodate the rise in the industry, people began to move to Lake Odessa.
Many residents of another local town known as Bonanza originally made Odessa home. When the Detroit, Lansing, and Northern Railroad was built through the area in the 1880s, Bonanza was relocated a mile southwest, and Lake Odessa remained.
The village was named after two lakes, Tupper Lake and Jordan Lake, and Odessa Township, which had taken its name from the Ukrainian city of Odesa. The name was decided by a committee in 1846 based on the exclusive-sounding name and local appreciation of Ukrainian lore.
Although Lake Odessa is a relatively small town, it’s full of fun activities for both individuals who want to enjoy the charm of a small town and those who want to get out in nature. No matter your interests, there are plenty of opportunities for relaxation and recreation in the tight-knit community of this village.
One truly remarkable aspect of Lake Odessa is that it’s never far away from the fun of a golf course. If you’re in the area and looking to enjoy the beauty of this picturesque village, you’ll have your pick of the 10+ golf courses found in the areas surrounding Lake Odessa. Here are the top four we suggest you check out first:
Although there isn’t much in the way of fishing on Lake Odessa itself, that doesn’t mean you’ll leave the area empty-handed. Lake Odessa village is a central hub for anglers looking to find the best catch. Local fishing spots include Jordan Lake, Duncan Lake, Morrison Lake, Leach Lake, Sessions Lake, and more.
The bodies of water around Lake Odessa have no shortage of freshwater species to fish for. From bass to crappie, pickerel, pike, and perch, people drive hundreds of miles to catch fish when they are biting. In addition, the area is known for its trout trails, where you can find tens of thousands of cold, quality trout streams and plenty of lakes accessible to anglers.
Need more information about where you should fish, the equipment you may need, and where you’ll need to go? Just visit stepoutside.org/lake-odessa-mi/fishing/.
Swifty’s Place is a wonderful source of fun for the entire community around Lake Odessa to come together. Nearly a full block long and wide, Swifty’s P.L.A.C.E. serves as a beautiful venue for families, picnickers, joggers, and dog walkers alike.
Enjoy the open grills, take a shortcut to the lake, or spend quality time with your kids at the huge wooden playground. This unmissable playground follows a medieval theme, equipped with drawbridges, towers, and more to make the whole experience one set in fantasy and fun.
Lake Odessa Municipal Beach is the perfect spot for those seeking warm sand and proximity to a beautiful park. Sprawling across approximately 2.7 acres, the beach is a favorite of many residents throughout the week. Luckily, the village only has a population of about 2000 residents, so you’ll never be fighting for a space to relax by the water or challenge your friends to a bit of volleyball.
What’s better than knowing exactly where your food comes from? Because of the abundance of farmland in the Lake Odessa region, many residents are able to receive the freshest food available. Locals visit the nearby farmer's markets for all types of locally sourced organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and produce from farms near Lake Odessa, like Green Wagon Farm, Oak Row Angus Cattle, Chimney Creek Farm, and Rebel Pastures.
If that’s not enough, delis and meat shops in the area also source much of their meat from the animals raised on local castle farms and pastures.
Although Lake Odessa is a relatively small, peaceful town, there’s always something to do. More importantly, there’s always something to eat. Here are three of the top places to eat in and around the village
Buddy’s on the Beach is located right beside Lake Odessa. So if you’ve had a long day enjoying all the beauty of nature or angling at fishing hot spots, it’s easy to take a load off at this family-friendly restaurant.
Open from 11 am to 10 pm nightly, Buddy’s on the Beach offers mouthwatering food that comes at a reasonable price. Where else could you get a delicious sirloin for under $30?
Not only is everything on the menu affordable, Buddy’s on the Beach understands that picky eaters need to have options. On their extensive menu, you can pick from pizza, chicken, shrimp or fish baskets, salads, full dinners, and even Mexican food. For fans of dessert, Buddy’s also makes a secret-recipe carrot cake that’ll have you ordering seconds and a sinful peanut butter pie with an Oreo cookie crust.
Plus, if you want to enjoy some adult beverages, you can pick from over 15 cocktails or 10+ craft beers on tap. If you visit this beautiful village, do yourself a favor and don’t worry about cooking dinner. Let your buddies at Buddy’s make you a delicious meal.
The newest addition to the Lake Odessa family of restaurants is the delicious Los Primos Mexican Restaurant. Loved by locals and travelers alike, Los Primos offers the tastiest Tex-Mex dishes on this side of the Mississippi.
Not only is it lauded for its delicious and fairly-priced menu, but patrons also note the generous portion size, ambiance, fresh ingredients, kid-friendliness, and courteous staff as top reasons why you should visit this restaurant.
Open every day at 11:00 am, you can swing by Los Primos Mexican Restaurant and enjoy some of its many offerings. From a generous lunchtime menu with over 16 specials to on-the-go margaritas that you can enjoy lakeside, you can get your fix of flavorful food with all that Los Primos offers. You can even pick from various desserts, from flan and deep-fried ice cream to Chimi cheesecakes and churros.
After visiting some of the popular food spots around Lake Odessa, you may want to satisfy your sweet tooth. At Main Street Ice Cream Shoppe and Old Fashion Soda Fountain, you can indulge in classic treats that seem to take you back in time.
Choose from plenty of ice cream desserts, from turtle sundaes and banana splits to the locally-famous Bill Knapcakes, which combines the best of cake and ice cream. Additionally, you can pick from plenty of different flavored homemade soda pops to cool down on those beautiful, warm summer days.
Whether you’re looking for a place to live full-time or need an escape from grueling city life for a few months out of the year, Lake Odessa, Michigan, is an incredible place to live. You and your family can get closer to nature and a simpler way of living, but you’ll never be too far away from the amenities of bigger communities. Though nestled in a relaxing, pastoral setting, the village is within a short drive of larger cities like Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Kalamazoo, which offer all the cultural and recreational opportunities you could ask for.
Overall, Lake Odessa offers a peaceful, small-town lifestyle with access to outdoor recreation and nearby urban areas. This makes it a great place to live for those who want more out of life than just the grind of a 9-5 job, expensive mortgages, and the stress of raising kids in crowded and increasingly costly cities. In addition, Lake Odessa is safer than 60% of cities across the country.
The question comes down to this: What do you want for yourself and your family? If you want to make the most out of life, get closer to all that nature has to offer, and become a part of a close-knit community that cares, you may want to consider giving MCM Communities a call.
Finding homes in Lake Odessa, Michigan, doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Instead, you can contact the real estate professionals at MCM Communities to help you find the perfect home.
We are here to assist as you make the big decisions in life, all without compromising on the things you need. In our manufactured home communities, we offer affordable, well-built, and exceptionally maintained homes that provide excellent access to the outdoors as well as the community.
We don’t just meet your needs. Instead, we exceed your expectations and redefine what it means to live in a manufactured home community.
For more information on Lake Odessa and finding your new home nearby, contact us today!