Contemporary urban development policies require a thorough understanding of local dynamics. It is crucial to comprehend the roles played by all actors and mechanisms involved in the process, including policy-making institutions, to ensure effective policy making. Understanding the concept of creative industries and cities is also necessary for contemporary urban development. Turkey needs a clear strategy for developing a creative economy on both the national and metropolitan levels. Progress has been limited so far, with no sign of significant improvement in the near future. Recent developments show that small cities have started to play a role in initiating the development of creative economies. Migration to small- and medium-sized cities changes human geography, and urban development policies are becoming more flexible to accommodate these conditions. This paper focuses on three small coastal cities with similar climatic, economic, and socio-cultural characteristics and agriculture and tourism-based economies in Turkey (Avyalik, Bodrum, and Urla) and evaluates the local dynamics to understand what fosters creativity-based development. These cities possess significant potential for the development of cultural industries; however, in addition to the lack of awareness, interestingly, their suitable environment does not have a direct impact on triggering this development.