Welcome to Empire

Where the spirit of adventure meets the comfort of community living in Northern Michigan.
Empire is a community that perfectly blends the tranquility of a friendly neighborhood with the adventurous spirit of its natural surroundings. Known for its proximity to some of the most stunning natural landmarks in the area, including Sleeping Bear Dunes and North Bar Lake, Empire offers a variety of housing options that cater to different lifestyles and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a cozy weekend cottage or a permanent family home, Empire provides competitive pricing and a dynamic real estate market.
With its strong demand for homes and high property appreciation rates, Empire is not only a great place to live but also a smart investment. The community is vibrant and welcoming, offering easy access to local shopping and dining, as well as numerous outdoor recreational activities.

What to Love

  • Natural Beauty: Next door to iconic attractions like Sleeping Bear Dunes Overlook and Empire Beach.
  • Community Vibe: An inclusive and friendly atmosphere where community events bring everyone together.
  • Local Amenities: Convenient access to shopping, dining, and local necessities.

Local Lifestyle

Empire’s residents enjoy a lifestyle that many dream of—where days start with a hike through Chippewa Run Natural Area and end with a sunset view over Lake Michigan from Empire Beach. The community is active and engaged, with frequent local festivals, markets, and events that highlight the tight-knit nature of this small town. Outdoor activities are abundant, making Empire a haven for nature lovers, adventurers, and anyone who appreciates the outdoors. From kayaking and fishing in the summer to cross-country skiing in the winter, Empire offers year-round entertainment and recreation.

Dining and Shopping

Empire may be quaint, but it boasts a charming selection of local eateries and shops that reflect the community’s character and hospitality. Dining options range from casual lakeside grills to quaint cafes, where you can enjoy both the local fare and the scenic views.
Shopping in Empire includes boutique stores and local artisan shops where you can find everything from handmade crafts to outdoor gear tailored for the Empire lifestyle. The proximity to larger markets and specialty stores in neighboring towns ensures that residents have easy access to a broader range of shopping options.

Things to Do and Entertainment

Empire is famously home to some of the most beautiful natural attractions in Michigan. The Sleeping Bear Dunes Overlook provides breathtaking panoramic views of the dunes and lake, while the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive offers a spectacular route through the area’s diverse ecosystems. North Bar Lake is perfect for a family day out, offering swimming, picnicking, and relaxation in a stunning setting.
Empire Beach is another community centerpiece, popular for its sandy shores and clear waters, ideal for swimming and sunbathing during the warmer months. The Chippewa Run Natural Area offers trails and wildlife viewing opportunities for nature enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions about Empire Real Estate:

1. What is the current state of the Empire housing market?

Data suggests the Empire real estate market might be experiencing a period of steady growth. While inventory fluctuates depending on the season, overall demand remains high, particularly for properties with prime locations near the lake or within walking distance of the village center. Median sale prices have shown a consistent upward trend in recent years. The market remains competitive for desirable properties, especially those with waterfront access, updated features, or vacation rental potential.

2. What types of properties are available in Empire?

Empire offers a unique housing landscape that prioritizes a connection to nature. Cabins and cottages dominate the market, ranging from rustic retreats to charming, well-maintained properties. Lakefront estates and stunning vacation homes cater to those seeking a luxurious escape. Limited opportunities exist for year-round single-family homes, though some options might be found in nearby villages. The focus leans towards properties designed for relaxation and enjoying the natural surroundings.

3. What are the advantages of living in Empire?

Beyond the undeniable allure of a peaceful setting on the shores of Lake Michigan, with access to pristine beaches and breathtaking scenery, Empire offers a plethora of advantages. The vibrant art scene, unique shops, and acclaimed restaurants in the village center provide a touch of culture and convenience. Outdoor enthusiasts will find endless opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, and exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The strong sense of community fosters a welcoming environment.

4. What are some things to consider before buying in Empire?

While offering a slower pace of life, Empire's amenities and services are limited compared to urban areas. Planning and stocking up on groceries might be necessary, especially during the off-season. Public transportation options are scarce, and car ownership is essential for navigating the area and exploring nearby towns. Winter weather conditions can be harsh and require proper preparation.

5. Is Empire a good place to raise a family?

Empire offers a safe and secure environment with stunning natural beauty. However, the limited availability of year-round housing options, particularly single-family homes, and the distance to larger schools and extensive amenities might be a consideration for some families. The strong sense of community and abundant outdoor activities create a positive backdrop for raising children, but a car is essential for daily needs. Ultimately, the suitability depends on individual family needs and lifestyle preferences.


Overview for Empire, MI

362 people live in Empire, where the median age is 59.7 and the average individual income is $38,090. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

59.7 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Around Empire, MI

There's plenty to do around Empire, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Walking Score
Bike Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Shipwreck Cafe, Grocer's Daughter Chocolate, and Grocer's Daughter Chocolate Gelato & Sweets Shop.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining · $ 0.08 miles 152 reviews 4.8/5 stars
Dining · $$ 0.05 miles 67 reviews 4.6/5 stars
Dining 0.05 miles 2 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining · $ 0.21 miles 44 reviews 4.1/5 stars
Dining · $$ 0.08 miles 130 reviews 4.1/5 stars
Shopping 3.39 miles 3 reviews 5/5 stars

Demographics and Employment Data for Empire, MI

Empire has 169 households, with an average household size of 2.14. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Empire do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 362 people call Empire home. The population density is 351.96 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

48.34 / 51.66%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • High School Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes
Search Homes

Work With Us

With a deep understanding of the diverse needs of our clients, Blue Lakes Real Estate Group relentlessly pursue a single mission: to redefine the real estate experience by fostering a culture of collaboration, where transparent communication, customized solutions, and robust support guide every interaction.

Follow Us on Instagram