Northern Michigan is home to dozens of beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline and inland lakes. If you’re looking for a place to spend your summer days relaxing on the sand and playing in the water, there’s no better place. Here are five Northern Michigan beaches where you can soak up the sun and cool off in the water.
A soft sandy beach welcomes you at Petoskey State Park. There are plenty of amenities to keep you comfortable including restrooms, concessions, ice cream and a store. Other activities in the park include volleyball, hiking and biking. You might even find a few iconic Petoskey stones to take home as a souvenir. The park is located just outside the charming city of Petoskey where you’ll find unique shops and boutiques as well as local restaurants that offer many delicious dining options.
Michigan Beach Park
Michigan Beach Park is home to the famous Charlevoix lighthouse. It’s a great spot to snap a selfie. Of course there’s plenty of open sandy stretches to spread out your towel and sunbathe, too. You can also cool off with a swim in the clear waters of Lake Michigan. Downtown Charlevoix, where you can shop or grab a bite to eat, is walking distance from the beach.
Located on the Leelanau Peninsula north of Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses 35 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan. There are many beautiful beaches inside the park. Glen Haven Beach offers stunning views of the lake, the towering sand dunes and the Manitou Islands. It’s also where you’ll find the historic village of Glen Haven. It features the Old Cannery Boat Museum, blacksmith shop, as well as other historic buildings. It’s also just up the road from the dune climb. If you hike all the way to the top you’ll find yourself soaring 460 feet above Lake Michigan! It’s a long, strenuous climb, so plan accordingly.
This nature preserve is a protected dunes habitat that is home to the endangered Piping Plover bird. It’s a popular spot with a township park and the North Country Trail running through it. If you prefer a more natural looking, less developed beach, you’re sure to enjoy this one. Swim, climb the dunes, hunt for Petoskey stones and watch the sunset at this idyllic Northern Michigan beach. When you get hungry, head to nearby Cross Village and the renowned Legs Inn. The restaurant is known for its Polish food and eclectic decor.
Walloon Lake Beach
While the waters of Lake Michigan are refreshing, they can be on the cool side for some. If you’re looking for warmer water, you’ll find it at this inland lake beach. Walloon Lake Beach is small compared to the expansive sands along the Big Lake, but it’s still a great place to cool off. It’s also steeped in history. Walloon Lake and the surrounding area are where Ernest Hemingway spent his summers as a child and budding writer. You’ll also find a few shops and restaurants in the small community as well overnight accommodations.