Repost from Odessey
“Where living is a vacation.”
Lake Orion, Michigan is a town unlike any other. It was previously known for its incredible amusement park that was located on Park Island, and it was a huge tourist attraction to people from all over. When the park closed in 1955, the town stopped being a tourist destination as much as it was a permanent destination that people chose to live in. To this day, the town’s slogan is “where living is a vacation.” Although this cheesy slogan is something that its residents mock and make fun of today, it holds true in the fact the Lake Orion is a wonderful town to live in during the summer. Having grown up here, I was easily able to conjure up a solid list of all the spectacular reasons why living in Lake Orion really is like a “vacation” during the summer.
1. The water
Although Lake Orion has an actual lake called “Lake Orion” as its main body of water, there are also several other lakes and streams in the surrounding areas. Whether it’s fishing, boating, water skiing, tubing or any other lake activity, Lake Orion has a surplus of places where you can spend a day at the water.
2. DTE Energy Music Theater
Located at the Pine Knob Ski Resort, DTE is a 20-minute drive from downtown LO. Although not technically located in Lake Orion, it is where all the awesome summer concerts take place. Everyone grabs a blanket and a few friends and buys a cheap lawn ticket, and experiences summer concert memories that they will never forget.
3. The trails
Our two main trails used to be two separate railroad tracks that would bring in all the tourists to the Lake Orion area. Now, the 8.9-mile Paint Creek Trail and the 14.2-mile Polly Ann Trail serve as Lake Orion’s most popular trails for walking, biking, running, and exploring–perfect for summer adventures.
4. Friendship Park
I believe that a great majority of the residents that grew up in Lake Orion would agree that they spent much of their childhood at Friendship Park, whether it was for a sports game, a community event, or just to play on the awesome playground. The park recently tore down their old playground and put up a brand new one, which has been a big hit in the town so far. The park also has several trails, picnic areas, and open fields for games. Who doesn’t enjoy a good park during the summer?
5. Eva’s Dairy Cafe
Lake Orion is known for this incredible ice cream place. It is so popular that during the summer months there is almost always a long line stretching far into the parking lot. If you’re from the area, you’re almost guaranteed to see someone you know every time you go. Best ice cream in town, hands down!
Another iconic restaurant that Lake Orion residents enjoy is Sagebrush Cantina, one of the best Mexican restaurants around. The restaurant might be open all year, but there’s just something about heading to Sagebrush for a delicious burrito after a long day on the lake.
7. Canterbury Village
This Olde World village is anything but ordinary. Although it is most well-known for the extensive holiday decor during the Christmas season, the village has several unique stores that are great to explore during the summer, including a castle, a pub, and a store that sells Christmas decorations year-round. Most of the buildings are renovated farmhouses and barns from over a century ago, giving this village the perfect “old world” touch.
8. Great Lakes Crossing Mall
Located just outside of Lake Orion is Michigan’s largest outlet mall, which has dozens of unique stores to shop at. It is so convenient to have such a fun and interesting place to shop during the summer, and the mall also holds plenty of companies that promise to keep you entertained. There is a Legoland, an aquarium, a Rainforest Cafe, and a movie theater are all located at this mall!
9. The Annual Jubilee Carnival
We may not have the infamous amusement park anymore, but we do have a carnival that annually takes place in downtown Lake Orion and never fails to disappoint. Carnival rides and live music are available for your entertainment for five days out of the summer, and fireworks always take place at the end to top everything off.
10. The small town feeling
Lake Orion, although not entirely considered a “small town” anymore due to its growing population, has a small town feeling that no one can deny. Our quaint little downtown area makes us seem much smaller than we are, but that doesn’t erase the fact that you see someone you know almost everywhere you go. During the summer, this is one of the best things ever. It is so nice to be able to go to a popular place and hangout with all of your friends, as well as have people over or attend lake parties. Lake Orion has a very strong community feeling, and it is stronger than ever during the summer when everyone is out of school.
11. We’re close to everything
Anything that we don’t have within our town lines seems to not be too far away. Detroit is under an hour away, so we can experience the city life for a day. Lake Huron is only a bit farther than that, so we can escape to one of the Great Lakes for the day as well. Whatever sort of entertainment or day that you are looking for is most likely relatively close by to our town. Summers are never boring because of this; there is always a new adventure within reach.
Lake Orion, in all its uniqueness, is one of the best towns to live in during the summer. All of these points prove that it really is “where living is a vacation.”