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15 Must-Visit General Stores in Michigan

sign for a general store in michigan

Discover 15 Must-Visit General Stores in Michigan

Whether you’re on a long road trip or taking a Sunday drive, these historic Michigan general stores are sure to please.

From kid’s toys to camping supplies (and everything in between), there’s no end to the treasures you’ll find in Michigan’s best general stores.

Read on to discover 15 must-visit general stores in Michigan.

Best General Stores in Northern Michigan

Old Mission General Store
18250 Mission Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Visiting this charming general store in downtown Traverse City is like taking a step back in time. Built in the early 1800s, this is Michigan’s oldest general store. They originally sold grain and feed to settlers of the area. Today, a small part of the original structure still supports the old potbelly stove inside the store.

The Old Mission General Store has all the charm of an old general store full of oddities and collectibles. Beyond that, they carry a variety of soups and sandwiches, as well as ice cream, snacks, and so much more.

You may be surprised that they also house one of the oldest post offices in the state! Whether you’re stopping to browse or grabbing a quick bite, this store should be a part of your next visit to Traverse City.

good hart general store
Photo from the Good Hart General Store

Good Hart General Store
1075 N Lake Shore Dr, Harbor Springs, MI 49737

Along Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees, you’ll find the Good Hart General Store. Opening its doors in 1934, this general store and US Post Office is a pillar of the Good Hart community. They’re a friendly shop that’s stayed authentic from day one. Here you’ll find a deli and bakery, general grocer, as well as a gourmet and gift shop.

It’s the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat on your way to the beautiful Good Hart beaches.

It’s also the place to find custom Good Hart apparel to commemorate your trip. They support Michigan creators, and you’ll be sure to find gifts and other Michigan-made products during your visit. While you’re there, make sure to say hi to Maggie, their “New hound in town.”

Horton Bay General Store
5115 Boyne City Rd, Boyne City, MI 49712

This general store has really embraced what it means to serve the community. They work with local farmers and small batch creators to fill their shelves with unique and honest products. The people make all the difference. Stop in to chat, and you’ll leave with stories and warm feelings.

That’s what a young Ernest Hemingway did back in the Winter of 1919. He frequented the store during his time living in Northern Michigan, and was married to Hadley Richardson in the church next door. To this day, you’ll find photos and memorabilia of the late author in the store.

petoskey michigan

Grandpa Shorter’s – Petoskey
301 E Lake St, Petoskey, MI 49770

Grandpa Shorter’s was the first souvenir store in Petoskey, opening its doors back in 1946. Located in the heart of downtown Petoskey, Grandpa Shorter’s is a family-owned and operated business. In 1992, they renovated the building based on photographs of the original store.

Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful Petoskey stones Michigan has to offer. They have polished natural stones that carry an incredible luster. Additionally, they have a wide variety of Petoskey-themed crafts. From stone-laden wine openers to Petoskey stone clocks and Christmas ornaments, there is something for everyone at Grandpa Shorter’s.

Ebel’s General Store
420 E Prosper Rd, Falmouth, MI 49632

Located just outside the Houghton Lake / Roscommon State Forest area is an understated general store known as Ebel’s. They function as a general grocer and meat market, but this store has so much more. Take one trip and you’ll be dazzled by their beautiful greenhouse and boutique clothing and gift department. They proudly carry Michigan-made products.

Their success as a distributor of high-quality meats began way back in 1920, when Chris Ebels delivered grocery products by horse-drawn wagon. Facing competition from several national retailers, they shifted their business to specialize in meat processing services. Visit their store on your next trip North!

Douds market in Mackinac island
Photo from Doud’s Market

Doud’s Market & Doud’s Deli
 7200 Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

No trip to Mackinac Island is complete without a stop at Doud’s Market. Family owned since 1884, they are the oldest grocer in America. The original building is steeped in history. The fourth-generation owners also just opened Doud’s Market and Deli right next to Shepler’s Dock.

Doud’s Deli is the perfect place to find supplies for a fine picnic lunch. As for the original Doud’s Market, you’ll find toiletries, apparel, glassware, local wines and spirits. This should be a first stop to set yourself up for a great time on Mackinac Island.

lexington general store
Lexington General Store

Top General Stores in Michigan’s Thumb Area

Lexington General Store
7272 Huron Ave #8324, Lexington, MI 48450

Located right on main street in downtown Lexington, this general store is a must visit for the holidays! Kids love picking their favorite candies one at a time, and their collection of holiday gifts makes it easy to find something for all the special people in your life.

The building was constructed way back in the 1850s, originally serving the community as a boot store. The owners have maintained the original antique decor, with beautiful woodwork and an old-fashioned charm. Just 90 minutes from Detroit, this general store is a must-visit destination!

Grindstone General Store
3206 Copeland Rd, Port Austin, MI 48467

Located at the tip of the thumb, Port Austin is a popular day trip destination. There you’ll find the Grindstone General store, where their friendly staff serve up massive ice cream scoops. They also carry made-in-Michigan wooden crafts and gifts.

This is a perfect place to take the whole family during your travels around the Lake Huron shores. Stop in after soaking up the sun to try one of their seasonal flavored ice creams, shakes, and baked goods. You’re sure to leave with a smile.

woman at a candy counter in a michigan general store

Fun General Stores in West Michigan

Fortino’s General Store
114 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417

As you walk the streets of Grand Haven, you’ll smell the familiar aroma of roasted peanuts and chocolate. That smell comes from Fortino’s General Store, where they have been hand-roasting nuts and dipping chocolates for over a hundred years.

As a true staple of the community, no trip to Grand Haven is complete without a stop at Fortino’s. Beyond their wide variety of chocolates and roasted nuts, they sell gift baskets complete with all kinds of Michigan specialities. Make sure to stop by and say hi on your next visit to Grand Haven!

Ada Village General Store
7430 River St SE, Ada, MI 49301

This cheery general store just north of Grand Rapids is a wonderful place to grab a hand-dipped cone. Located in the heart of the historic Ada Village, this store is just minutes from the scenic Thornapple River. They’re a proud purveyor of Madcap coffee. Beyond that, they feature local gifts and other Michigan-made items.

Their “Little Red Schoolhouse” was built way back in 1859, and it was an operational school for over a hundred years. Ironically, it was painted white during those years. When Ada Village school changed locations, the Little Red Schoolhouse became a department store known as Thornapple Village. Finally, it was relocated to its current location and painted red in 1972. Be sure to make the stop if you’re looking for a sweet afternoon treat!

rows of candy at a michigan general store

Top General Stores in Southeast Michigan

Dixboro General Store
5206 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

A bustling and quaint store located just outside of Ann Arbor. They’re set in a historic building and supply a variety of unique furniture and home decor. DIxboro has been in business since 1991, serving the greater Ann Arbor area with their beautiful furnishings and homemade jams.

For the green thumb in your life, they have a beautiful garden area. Here you can find mature ornamental plants and seedlings alike. They also carry outdoor decor – birdbaths, planters, and garden accessories are on full display throughout the summer. If you’re looking for an inspired piece indoors or out, the Dixboro General Store is the place to be.

candy jars at a michigan general store

Copper World
101 5th St, Calumet, MI 49913

If you’re planning a trip to the Keweenaw, you probably know about their rich history of copper mining. Calumet is one of the oldest copper towns in the Keweenaw. Copper World is housed in the oldest wood-frame building in downtown Calumet, built way back in 1869.

Inside you will find everything from small copper souvenirs to home decor, UP clothing (Stormy Kromers, anyone?), Sayklly’s Chocolates, and so much more. They dedicate a section of the store to Upper Michigan authors and historians. This is a great place to find an interesting read that is sure to enrich your time in the Keweenaw.

After you’ve found some nuggets in the store, there are plenty of coffee shops and historic restaurants nearby, which makes this a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon.

Mohawk Superette
158 Stanton Ave, Mohawk, MI 49950

If you’re taking a trip to Copper Harbor, you’ll want to stop at the Mohawk Superette on your way. Walking into this place is like taking a step back in time. Besides stocking everything you might need, their Finnish charm is hard to find anywhere else. This one is off the beaten path. But if you want to start understanding the UP culture, there’s nowhere else to go.

Superette is French for convenience store, but this store is so much more than convenient. They carry camping, cooking, cleaning, apparel, and other essential supplies.

But what you really need to experience is the food. They serve a different hot dish every day. They also sell their homemade sandwiches and spreads. But the award-winning pasty is their real crown jewel. They only serve them hot on Tuesdays and Fridays, but you can buy them half-baked and frozen. As a Yooper myself, I can attest that this is the best pasty in Michigan.

best things to do in marquette

Cram’s General Store
Co Rd 550, Marquette, MI 49855

Not far from Marquette is Big Bay, the epitome of a small UP village. Here you’ll find towering trees and craggy cliffs, with views as far as the eye can see. Hikers and sightseers alike flock to the village during its summer months. Nestled amongst the trees is Cram’s General Store.

The general store was opened by Hiram and Pauline Cram in the mid 1900s. While raising their nine children, Pauline opened her restaurant next to the general store. Two of their nine children, Joe and Cathy, purchased the store and restaurant in 1992. They have been serving the community with the help of their three children ever since. They’ve added a laundromat and a driving range to the store, making this a great place to spend an afternoon.

Old Town General Store
408 E César E. Chávez Ave, Lansing, MI 48906

In the heart of Lansing’s Old Town district, you’ll find a general store and grocer run by Maria Van Atta. She grew up in the area and, after moving away for many years, has returned to her home. Her attention to detail quickly made the Old Town General Store a local favorite.

As you walk in, you’ll see that she’s focused on sustainable products from Michigan creators. Local produce is always in abundance during the summer months. Maria’s goal is to provide quality food to the Old Town community. Stop by for gifts, oddities, and some of the best food the city has to offer.

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About the Author –
My name is Robert Trudeau, and I’m a web content writer soon to be graduating with a B.S. in Writing with a minor in Digital Studies. Hailing in from the Upper Peninsula, I’m no stranger to the expansive beauty of Michigan. In this role, I’m excited to share my knowledge of Michigan while working within the web content development process. In the future I hope to work as a web developer and backend content strategist, helping clients build powerful websites with research-driven content and brand-specific strategies to support continued success.