Clarkston, Michigan. Easily one of the most underrated cities in Southeast Michigan. And just to boost this fine city’s ego a little more, A man by the name of Henry Ford Maintained a summer home and weekend cottage on Main Street, not sure if you heard of him or not, he was ONLY the founder of Ford Motor company.
On top of his getaway homes, he also owned a mill that is called the Mill Pond now, along with an old school for his apprentices. It’s safe to say the Ford family left a little mark on the city of Clarkston, but if you’re planning to make the move out that way, be sure to stick around as I break down the BEST things about living in Clarkston Michigan, along with a few resident reviews that will put the cherry on the top.
A YouTuber subscriber by the name of “Jim” left a comment on one of my most recent videos, so I felt obligated to showcase this beautiful town, because before he commented, Clarkston wasn’t really a go-to city on my mind, but I have spent quite a bit of time there and can attest it’s very much underrated. So thanks Jim for virtually and indirectly yelling at me to touch on the fine city of Clarkston.
I would have to say that as a Michigan local when I hear Clarkston, I immediately think of the Pine Knob Music Theatre. Whenever your favorite musician or act comes to town, there’s a good chance they’re coming there to the 15,000-seat outdoor pavilion, that includes lawn seating, as well as some bleacher seating closer to the stage.
I have been there more times than I can count over the years, and it’s always been an amazing experience, and I would highly recommend, especially if you’re someone who enjoys going out to a concert every once in awhile. It’s very unique in a sense that most concerts are inside venues and you’re packed shoulder to shoulder. Well, at Pine Knob you’re outside, laying down a blanket on the lawn overlooking the stage.
Not only is there the amphitheater there’s also the Pine Knob Ski Resort, and just south of both is the Pine Knob golf course. So there’s most certainly no shortage of things to do within Pine Knob.
Another cool aspect of Clarkston is the awesome small town feel. The village of Clarkston itself is just over 0.52 square miles with a population of around 1,000 people. It’s actually the smallest city by land area in Michigan, if you can believe that. But, what a lot of people don’t understand is that Independence Charter Township surrounds the whole city of Clarkston, and covers over 36 square miles, and has a population of around 35,000 people. Despite the dense population that surrounds Clarkston, the town is walkable and very much historic!
It’s one of those towns where you’re driving along and a few minutes later you’re like, wait that’s it? I’m sure a lot of you out there can probably relate. That might age the city a little bit and make you think it’s old and run down, but that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. There’s so many new restaurants and shops that are opening up in downtown Clarkston, and many residents say these small and established businesses have done a great job of creating a close knit community.
On top of the city offerings, the town is also very well located. Clarkston is about 40 or so minutes from downtown Detroit, and offers I-75, Dixie Highway and M-15 all within a few minutes drive to get to wherever you need to go.
We can’t talk about Clarkston without talking about Clarkston schools. They have established a great school district where they have two national blue ribbon schools and six others that have earned Michigan exemplary Blue Ribbon school status, which as you may or may not know, is a national program that recognizes schools based on their overall academic excellence and progression.
According to the Village of Clarkston’s website, they were recently named Forbes Magazine’s Top Suburb to Live Well, citing their graduation rates, class sizes, MEAP scores, and overall education. On top of that, Clarkston’s grades are among the best in Oakland county, and just last year alone, their graduates earned over $5 million in scholarships. So if you’re moving out this way just for the schools, you won’t hurt my feelings.
IT’S GOT “FINE” WRITTEN ALL OVER IT
And I wouldn’t be a Realtor if I didn’t check out the real estate in the fine city of Clarkston. I’ll bring up a map again to show that main street goes through downtown, but once the businesses come to a halt, the houses start. If you ever have a second to drive down Main street in Clarkston, you should! Especially if you’re a fan of remodeled historic homes that kept all the fine details that you don’t see in homes today, and if for some reason, you’re not a fan of the old historic homes, there’s plenty of newer construction homes in the area.
REAL RESIDENT REVIEWS
Transitioning over to some reviews left by some current and past residents of Clarkston, Michigan. I’ve looked at reviews for the majority of the cities in southeast Michigan, and I can honestly say I’ve never come across one with a first sentence like this one, saying they love the city so much they plan to die there, then continues on to talk about their personal opinions about the city from the close knit community, great restaurants (even gave you some insider knowledge about the go-to places), and their wonderful experience with Clarkston’s United Methodist Church.
Jumping to the next one, this resident talks about how friendly the city is, and how they’ve lived in Clarkston their whole life and don’t plan to go anywhere else.
The next review talks about the love for the smaller town. The kind people, and always having so many things to do around town. On top of that, it’s very clean and safe which is a plus in any city.
Last but not least, this review throws out that first sentence like it’s nothing. Stating it’s a place no one wants to leave, and it’s definitely a true statement. As of recording this, there’s exactly one home for sale in the village of Clarkston and 61 homes for sale in Independence twp. ranging from $129,000 to $3 million.
That sums up my list of the BEST things about Clarkston, Michigan. If you have any questions about the area or some of the surrounding areas, please feel free to reach out anytime. I’m always happy to be a resource.
Andrew McManamon is a licensed Real Estate Professional in the great state of Michigan. His philosophy to put people first has paved the way to his extraordinary real estate career. Born and raised in Brighton, MI, Andrew acquired a bachelors degree in business management and marketing from Cleary University in Howell, MI. The combination of his experience and education allows him to take a strategic approach towards every transaction and help his clients make more informed and confident decisions.