Founded in the 1830s, Fenton was named for William M. Fenton after he won the town in a high-stakes poker game. Mr. Fenton later became the lieutenant governor of Michigan, and the city of Fenton became one of southeastern Michigan’s most charming historical towns! A short drive from Michigan’s major cities like Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Flint, many people settle here for its family-friendly atmosphere and convenient location.
But history and charm aren’t the only things that make Fenton fun. There are plenty of other reasons that people settle here, too, from its outstanding schools to its surprisingly contemporary downtown. If you’re scouting the area, stay tuned, we’ll give you the 411 on what you should know before moving to Fenton, MI.
It’s Affordable, Especially When it Comes to Housing
Whether you’re looking for a single-family home, a cozy rental apartment, or a trendy downtown loft, you won’t have to worry about going broke in Fenton. The average rent in the city is $1,245, which is about $450 less than the national average. You also have plenty of options to choose from in terms of the different architectural styles. From Victorian-style oldies to modern apartments, there is a place for everyone to call home.
With housing taken care of, a lot of your budget is safe. Yet this is not the only advantage of living here. The overall cost of living is -0.7% lower than the national average. Groceries and transportation will cost you just about the same, but utilities might be a bit higher than the average. To figure out how much you would have to budget, you can chat with local residents and ask them about some rounded figures.
It Has a Friendly Climate for all Four Seasons
The weather in Fenton varies with the seasons. Summers are usually warm, but mild. Temperatures rarely reach 90 degrees, as the average summer day sees a high of around 75 degrees. Rainfall is pretty common, especially during spring, and the skies are usually partly cloudy, making summers especially enjoyable. For lovers of outdoor sports, it’s the perfect climate to really enjoy your activities.
Winters are mildly cold, with an average of around 40 degrees. Snowfall is expected during winters, as Fenton gets covered up with a blanket of snow, allowing citizens to take in the holiday spirit at its fullest!
It’s Pretty Outdoorsy
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Fenton has nine major parks with beautiful outdoor recreation options, whether you like hiking, fishing, boating, or just spending the day at the park. Silver Lake Park is a popular destination for families and boasts 300 feet of beachfront for volleyball, swimming, and sunbathing. If you time your trip just right, you can catch a performance by the Silver Lake Waterski Club!
Speaking of lakes, Fenton is surrounded by an abundance of bodies of water, around 58 lakes. For lovers of water sports, that means you have so many options to pick from when it comes to enjoying your free time in Fenton.
If you’re up for a journey into the wilderness right in the middle of the city, check out Dauner Martin Nature Preserve. With hundreds of acres of trails and footpaths, you can spend a peaceful day in the woods communing with the native flora and fauna.
It Has Plenty of Cultures
Besides the many outdoor opportunities, Fenton is also a city filled with history. Among the many historical buildings in Fenton, one houses the A.J. Phillips Fenton Museum, with exhibits displaying the city’s past. If you’d like to learn even more about the town’s history, take one of the fascinating tours the Fenton Historical Society offers as well.
The city of Fenton has plenty of things to do for lovers of art, music, theater, and culture, too! You can stroll through the outdoor sculpture gallery downtown, enjoy a concert from the Fenton Community Orchestra, or catch a show by the Fenton Village Players.
It Has Plenty of Dinner Date-Night Options, Too
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Whatever you’re in the mood for, there are fabulous places to drink and dine in downtown Fenton! The Laundry is upscale yet low-key and serves bistro-style Americana fare for brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert. You can opt for stylish Italian food paired with the perfect wine at Ciao, amazing tacos and tequila at Xolo, or authentic Korean BBQ at Goki Goki. Regardless of where you choose, you can count on these charming, locally-owned restaurants to show you a good time and impress your date, too.
It’s a Great Place to Be a Beer, Wine, or Soda Lover
There are plenty of places to indulge in a frosty brew or a relaxing glass of wine in Fenton, but imbibing is an event at the Fenton Winery & Brewery. The menu rotates, but the brewery offers a dozen or so locally crafted beers at any given time, and the winery offers 20 house wines plus seasonal and specialty wines to sip. If alcohol isn’t your thing, you can enjoy house-made sodas, too.
Settle in with artisanal pizzas, sandwiches, charcuterie, and snacks in the public taproom overlooking the brewery, or if the weather’s nice, park it in the outdoor beer garden with over an acre of space to eat, drink, lounge, and play yard games.
The Schools Here Are Top-Notch
From preschool to post-graduate, education is a huge priority in Fenton. Fenton’s public schools rank in the top 20% of all of Michigan’s 864 public school districts for math and reading proficiency, and they have a high school graduation rate of 89%. That’s 4% higher than the national average.
If you think about moving here with your children, they will have many options to choose from in terms of attending a local school. And if you’re planning long-term, college options around Fenton abound.
There are so many great public and private university options for the recently graduated. Fenton and its surrounding areas house 36 colleges, including Kettering University and the University of Michigan in Flint. For those graduates who don’t want to move too far from home, this wealth of options is definitely a big plus.
You Can Enjoy Public Transportation
Fenton offers its residents bus services at affordable rates ($1.75 for a one-way fare for the general public, with many bundles and discounts for various categories of citizens), functioning every day of the week. You can move around with the bus and not have to worry about traffic, routes, or parking!
There Are Plenty of Eclectic Shopping Options
There’s no shortage of great shopping locations in Fenton! Whether you’re looking for on-trend home decor, quirky clothes for kids, or designer duds, there are plenty of places to browse. You can shop for quaint antiques at Yesterday’s Treasures or go mainstream at Silver Pointe Shopping Center. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it at one of the many stores providing nationally- and locally-sourced goods.
More About Michigan and its Surroundings
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If this is your first time living in Michigan, here’s what you should know about the Great Lake State. Located in the Upper Midwest, Michigan is the 10th largest state by population. It has a rich history, and thanks to its location in the Great Lakes region, it has an amazing geography, allowing both residents and tourists to enjoy awe-inspiring vistas. It is home to many large companies, and the big cities of the state are friendly and welcoming as well.
Speaking of, the largest city in the state, Detroit, is just about a one-hour drive away. So, if you’re feeling nostalgic about big city life, you can always just hop on and drive to Detroit to enjoy some of its charms. Ann Arbor and Lansing are also within driving distance, being about one hour or less away. Or, if you are not interested in city life, you can visit one of the many natural recreation areas or state and county parks nearby. The villages and towns next to Fenton are also surrounded by such natural beauties, so you can plan a weekend trip to a quaint and charming location where you can reconnect with nature.
You’ll Fall in Love with Fenton
If you’re looking for a slower, more laid-back way of life with a flair for the finer things, Fenton is a great place to be! We hope this article has given you an idea of what living in Fenton could be about. If you’re still debating, come visit! Take advantage of remote working opportunities and get a short-term rental to try out what life in Fenton could be about!
In short, it does have a little bit of everything: nature, nightlife, culture, and family-friendly activities are everywhere. Around it you will find plenty of opportunities for a fun nature trip, or a cityscape filled with shopping, culture, and more. And when you do come to visit, don’t be surprised if you end up making a friend or three (or four); a lot of our city’s charm comes from the friendly people who call Fenton home. Welcome, and enjoy your stay!
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