Southeast Michigan, USA

Living in Southeast Michigan

Iyna Bort Caruso

Southeast Michigan counts some of the state’s wealthiest zip codes among its communities. The area centered around Detroit is the legacy of automotive barons.

The Greater Detroit region is the state’s financial power base. Although the auto industry still dominates, the banking and services industries contribute to an increasingly diverse economy. Entrepreneurship is thriving, supported by one of the country’s largest philanthropic-led economic development initiatives.

The waterways of the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie define the region’s eastern border, anchored by Detroit. Chic suburbs and historic neighborhoods fan out from there. There’s no shortage of open land. The Huron-Clinton Metroparks, a greenbelt surrounding metro Detroit along the Huron and Clinton rivers, covers nearly 25,000 acres.

Grosse Pointe and its collection of tight-knit communities collectively referred to as The Pointes are situated on or along the shores of Lake St. Clair.  The Pointes enjoy an outsize reputation for their small-town quality of life and breadth of pre-World War II estates.

Oakland County, north of Detroit, has a population with the state’s highest per capita income. Homeowners love it for its top schools, rolling hills and amenities. Hikers and bikers flock to the 16-mile long Clinton River Trail that follows an old rail line. Within the county is one of the country’s most sought-after communities, Bloomfield Hills, a virtually all-residential city populated by Fortune 500 executives and professional athletes. Bloomfield Hills boasts an exclusive country club and hunt club. Frank Lloyd Wright designed two homes in the city and it’s also where the Finnish-born master architect Eero Saarinen lived and worked.

The city and county is a showcase of serious architecture, both historic and new.

Nearby Birmingham is a shopping destination with a central downtown district of high end retail and tony restaurants. Beverly Hills, Huntington Woods, Rochester and Farmington are also among the county’s elite addresses.

Just west is the city of Ann Arbor, home to scientists, academics, executives and students. Pedestrian-friendly and loaded with small city charm, the University of Michigan is the catalyst for a booming cultural scene of art, music and festivals. And, of course, sports. Every Saturday during football season, more than 100,000 pack the “Big House,” Michigan Stadium, to root on the Wolverines.

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