Norton Shores, Michigan is located just south of Muskegon and is about a 40-minute drive away to Grand Rapids, which has a bustling economy and extensive, diverse shopping and dining options. However, the same can't exactly be said for Norton Shores. If you must, you can consider it a suburb of Muskegon. The one good thing Norton Shores has going for it is that it has a mall (The Lakes Mall) and is on Lake Michigan, so going to the beach in the summer is easy to do if that's your thing.
The housing market in Norton Shores leaves something to be desired. While it's definitely much safer and just as affordable, it is close to Muskegon which is still "getting started" according to the city's marketing campaign. Muskegon was once a bustling economy as well until factories started being outsourced. Now the city is in sharp decline and crime is rampant throughout. Norton Shores, while safer than Muskegon, doesn't have much going on. It is alright for raising a family and the public schools are decent, but other than the mall they have and being close to the beach, there's virtually nothing to do.