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A Sample Of Michigan’s Top 50 Great Lakes Beaches

Great Lakes Beaches to Explore This Summer

We have collected ratings and descriptions of the top 50 beaches in Michigan where you can stick your toes in four of the five Great Lakes along the Michigan shoreline. These are the top-rated state, county, and local beaches noted for their beauty, cleanliness, and handicap accessibility. 

This is not the complete list. Please check out Michigan’s Top 50 Beaches on the Great Lakes.

42. McLain State Park Beach

McLain State Park is situated in the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior, midway between Calumet and Hancock. The park features two kilometers of sandy beach on Lake Superior. Visitors may also go fishing, windsurfing, picking berries, beachcombing, and sightseeing. McLain State Park’s sunsets are stunning.

Because of its location between Calumet and Hancock, the park is an excellent starting place for travelers looking to explore abandoned shaft houses, tram cars, slag heaps, and ghost towns. In addition, visitors can explore the newly constructed Keweenaw National Historical Park, preserving conserved relics from the copper mining days.

41. Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park Beach

Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park is a popular urban park on the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay, approximately two miles from downtown Traverse City. The 75-acre park has a modern campground, a fully equipped lodge, modest cottages, and a day-use area. The day-use site is directly across US Highway 31 and has a quarter-mile of sandy beach, a little beach house, and a picnic area.

40. Bay City State Park

The Tobico Marsh, one of the Great Lakes’ most significant surviving freshwater coastal wetlands, is located in Bay City State Park on the shores of Saginaw Bay. The park’s almost 2,000 acres of wetland woods, wet meadows, cattail marshlands, and oak savannah plains make it an excellent staging area for migrating birds. The park has long been known for its rich bird population and a haven for wetland species and plants.

39. Petoskey State Park Beach

Petoskey State Park features a mile of the beautiful Lake Michigan beachfront on Little Traverse Bay, two contemporary campsites, and hiking paths. The park is only three miles northeast of Petoskey and six miles south of Harbor Springs and is a popular destination for people hunting for Petoskey stones.

The Old Baldy Trail is a half-mile circuit that goes to the top of the Old Baldy Dune, famous for its breathtaking views. The Portage Trail is a much longer journey.

35. Ludington State Park Beach – Ludington

Accessibility Ludington State Park Beach – There is an accessible walkway down to the waterfront in the Lake Michigan day-use area. Beach wheelchairs are also available to borrow in Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake day-use zones.

30. Carl D. Bradley – Lakeview Memorial Park – Manistique

It’s on US Highway 2 in Manistique, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In July 2014, the park was renamed after the legendary Carl D. Bradley ship catastrophe. It is a wild and rustic beach on Lake Michigan, with alternating sandy and rocky coastal parts. The park is an excellent location for viewing the sunset and photographing the Manistique East Breakwater Lighthouse.

25. Hoffmaster State Park Beach

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon is set on three miles of Lake Michigan beachfront and contains a modern campsite, towering dunes, ten miles of picturesque trails, and the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center.

One of the park’s principal attractions is the dune climb along the Dune Overlook Trail, a half-mile roundtrip climb with roughly 220 stairs and benches. Then, take the 2-mile-long (roundtrip) Homestead Trail for a reasonably challenging climb, including a halt at Lake Michigan.

20. Sleeper State Park Beach – Caseville

Sleeper State Park has 723 acres of woods, marshes, wooded dunes, and a half-mile stretch of sandy shoreline on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Visitors may watch sunrises and sunsets, hike through the woods, relax on the beach, and rest in the shade of the modern campground.

The day-use location is direct across M-25/Port Austin Road and features a half-mile sandy beach, a beach house, bathrooms, and a picnic area. A pedestrian overpass bridge that spans M-25 provides safe access from the campsites.

The park was named for Albert E. Sleeper, the governor of Michigan from 1917 to 1920 and a Huron County resident who signed legislation creating the state park system.

17. Silver Beach County Park  – St. Joseph

Silver Beach County Park is located near the mouth of the St. Joseph River in St. Joseph, Michigan. Silver Beach County Park on Lake Michigan has a clean, spacious beach with public access to the South Pier. About 1,600 feet of the Park’s 2,450 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline are dedicated to a public swimming area in the summer.
Silver Beach was designated as a Berrien County Park in the early 1990s, and numerous improvements have been undertaken to make it a prominent tourist attraction in Southwest Michigan.

16. Caseville County Park Beach

Some people refer to Caseville County Park as the northern equivalent of Daytona Beach. You may drive right up to the beach’s edge and park. The park beachfront has a large sandy area with plenty of space for sandcastles, touch football, kayaks, and swimming. Many people visit it because of its proximity to the campground and short commute to town. It’s widely recognized as the most fantastic swimming spot in Caseville.

15. Saugatuck Dunes State Park — Holland

The Saugatuck Dunes State Park is considered one of the best beaches on Lake Michigan. 2.5 miles of sandy beach, dunes, woodland areas, 13 miles of footpaths, and the 300-acre Patty Birkholz Natural Area. Four routes take visitors to Lake Michigan across mountainous terrain and sandy paths. The Beach Trail is the shortest at.75 miles round trip.

The park’s 300-acre Patty Birkholz Natural Area has a coastal dune system, and three endangered plant species serve as environmental and coastal dune restoration monuments. In addition, the Felt Estate and Shore Acres Township Park are next to the park and offer a 2-mile mountain biking trail, a disc golf course, and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

13. Warren Dunes State Park Beach

Warren Dunes State Park Beach Accessibility – There are three accessible paths between the day-use sidewalk and the water. In addition, two beach/aqua wheelchairs are available for loan at the ranger station. This beach is only hours away from Chicago, making it a popular summer destination in the city. 

10. Silver Lake State Park Beach and Sand Dunes – Hart

Silver Lake State Park offers three miles of Lake Michigan beaches. The park offers modern camping, over 2,000 acres of dunes, and an inland day-use area on Silver Lake.

One of the park’s unique characteristics is the 500-acre Silver Lake State Park ORV Area, the only dune riding option in the eastern United States. The area is pretty crowded, especially on weekends. Therefore, you should learn about admission, the voucher system, and the region’s peculiar regulations and limits ahead of arrival. Surprisingly, drag racing is now permissible on the dunes.

Mac Wood’s Dune Rides provides a 40-minute informative, one-of-a-kind dune tour in a designated park area that is not accessible by other vehicles. The trips, which run from mid-May through October, need reservations.

5. Black Rocks – Presque Isle Park – Marquette

Presque Isle Park, Marquette’s recreational crown jewel, is given special attention. The park is a 323-acre forested oval-shaped peninsula on the City’s northern tip that juts into Lake Superior. Presque Isle is well-known for its natural beauty throughout the United States.

The Black Rocks are a historic rock formation that lies 20-30 feet above Lake Superior and is one of Marquette’s “things to do.” Aside from their height, the cliffs’ dark color adds a distinct atmosphere to the shoreline. At Black Rocks in Presque Isle Park, cliff jumping into Lake Superior is excellent.

Picnic tables and cooking facilities abound in the two large picnic areas. The larger two, on the park’s southeast side, contain a playground with a merry-go-round, swings, slides, and climbing equipment. There are also several park benches in the park.

Final Thoughts on Michigan’s Top 50 Rated Beaches

This partial list should whet your appetite to learn more about traveling the Great Lakes region. Starting this year many Michigan State Parks have EV charging stations for your hybrid. There is plenty to see and do in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, which also share the Great Lakes. 

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