Manistee County, state designated "Community of Economic Excellence," is located on Lake Michigan, a part of northwestern Michigan. Historic Manistee, the Victorian port city, is the county seat, with the downtown on the state and national Historic registers, and a riverwalk running through downtown to Lake Michigan. Coastline villages include Onekama, Arcadia, Bear Lake, Copemish, Kaleva, Brethren, and Wellston. The county is a paradise for water and sports enthusiasts and is known as the "Fishing Capitol of the Midwest." Lakes within the county include Portage, Bear Lake, and Manistee Lake.
There are also many rivers and streams. The diverse economy includes Morton Salt "When it rains, it pours" Co., a large paper products co., and many smaller industries. Manistee County has a vast natural beauty and a "hometown" feeling, and cultural arts include the historic Ramsdell Theatre, Manistee Symphony Orchestra, Manistee Art Institute, three dance studios, and three art galleries.