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Published: Sep 22, 2020
West Bloomfield Parks

This former apple farming community has grown into the quintessential Midwestern suburb. Thirty miles from Detroit, West Bloomfield has been a popular homestead for commuters since the 1960s. The draw is partly economic: Housing is reasonable (the median sale price is about $280,000) and incomes are high ($106,000 per household) with many residents working in the auto industry. But this town of 66,000 is also celebrated for its natural beauty and diverse population.

The city’s numerous lakes are popular for fishing and boating. During cold Michigan winters, the local park system even hosts ice fishing classes for kids. The well-regarded West Bloomfield School District maintains a 37-acre nature preserve called Apple Island, which is at the center of Orchard Lake. The island is home to 400 species of trees and plants, as well as several archaeological sites, which earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. — Samantha Sharf