15 Best Beaches In Michigan With Pristine Beauty And Bustling Activities

By Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar on Jan 14, 2020
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The state of Michigan will redefine your vacation with its plethora of pretty beaches dotting the lake shores. Explore the majestic dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or enjoy swimming when visiting Grand Haven, the choice is yours. If you find it confusing to decide which of these Michigan beaches should be on your bucket list, then here is the simple travel guide for you. Know all about some of the best beaches in Michigan and pick your destination!

1. Grand Haven City Beach - a place full of entertainment

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Grand Haven is the beach that deserves to be on the top of this list as it is one of the few places that have a plethora of activities and attractions to choose from.

A state park on the shores of Lake Michigan with 48 acres to offer, Grand Haven is considered among the best Michigan beaches. It has 150+ campsites along with swimming, fishing pier, play area, and picnic sites. A postcard-perfect boardwalk will take you to the iconic red lighthouse standing tall in the blue water.

When you are done with lazing around and catching a tan, you can head off to the many cafes and restaurants located a stone’s throw away from Grand Haven Beach.

2. Manistique Beach - loved by locals and travelers alike

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Visit the area where Manistique River meets Lake Michigan and you will find a lovely Manistique Beach, ready to welcome you with its natural harbor area.

The sandy beach here has transformed from a sleepy town area to a recreational destination for many. You can enjoy fishing and boating when visiting Manistique or go camping or hunting. If you are here during winters, then an opportunity to go snowmobiling shouldn’t be missed.

The surrounding area is dotted with historic sites and pretty trails, waiting for you to explore.

3. Belle Isle Beach - a little slice of beach-y escape

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Belle Isle is a tiny beach located on the huge island park of the same name that spans around a thousand acres.

Though small, this sandy beach is one of the most-visited places in Detroit. You can relax on the beach, enjoying the stunning view of Detroit’s skyline as the river water unfolds around you. Belle Isle has all the amenities to ensure a comfortable visit and that is why it has become one of the top beaches in Michigan.

All you have to do is pack a picnic basket and visit Belle Isle Beach to spend some quality time.

4. Orchard Beach State Park - a picturesque destination

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Orchard Beach State Park has everything a beach-goer would want for the perfect sun n’ sand vacation.

Covering more than 200 acres on the shores of Lake Michigan, this area is home to over 160 campsites. As it is located on a bluff, you will have to take a staircase to go to the beach without much hassle. This staircase is known for offering beautiful views of the water during sunset. So be it for the activities or views, Orchard Beach State Park is one of the top-rated Michigan beaches.

Plan your visit to Orchard Beach and enjoy swimming, fishing, picnicking and hiking to make the most of your time.

5. Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore - Beauty redefine

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When a beach of Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore offers you a 60-mile long shoreline, all you need is an entire day to laze around and catch some tan.

Soft golden sand accompanied by lush forests nearby has transformed this area into a place full of activities and entertainment. Climb the sand dunes, hike through the forest, go birdwatching, take a dip in the water or simply sit on the shore and soak in the relaxing vibes. It has something for every type of visitor.

Do include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in your itinerary and you will understand why it makes for one of the most beautiful beaches in Michigan.

6. Tiscornia Beach - to laze around all day

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Tiscornia Beach on Lake Michigan is loved by locals for combining stunning views, leisurely vibes, and water activities.

The water here is usually calm, creating ideal conditions for swimming enthusiasts. The North Pier is well-maintained, ensuring you can have a relaxing stroll. The picnic area is always bustling with visitors and amenities are easily available on Tiscornia Beach.

Keep in mind that animals are not allowed on the beach and you cannot carry alcohol while visiting Tiscornia Beach.

7. Warren Dunes State Park - a bit of adventure

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Warren Dunes State Park is a huge area spread over 1,900 acres that attracts more than a million visitors every year.

Large sand dunes, 6 miles of hiking trails, swimming area, picnicking shelters, play area, and camping sites make Warren Dunes State Park one of the most popular beaches in Michigan The sprawling beach makes sure that even though it is bustling with visitors, you will find a peaceful spot to spend some quality time.

Do not miss a chance to climb Tower Hill - one of the tallest dunes in the park - where you will be welcomed with stunning views of the lake.

8. Twelve Mile Beach - a gem hidden away from many

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Twelve Mile Beach on Lake Superior is one of the hidden gems and that is why it is the place to escape from all the touristy hustle and bustle.

Part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, this beach is one of the free beaches in Michigan. The water is clear and trees lining the shore offer enough shade to laze around all day long. If you are looking to spend a night, then the camping area near Twelve Mile Beach is perfect for you.

Do not miss a chance to visit this beautiful lesser-known site during your Michigan vacation.

9. Lakeside Beach Rogers City - for a hassle-free beach day

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Rogers City is blessed with a long shoreline that is dotted with some of the top beaches in Michigan.

Lakeside Park Beach is the one that tops the list of beaches in the city with its many facilities. You will find a large pavilion with a food stand here. Other amenities include picnic tables, volleyball courts, playgrounds, basketball courts, drinking fountains, and bathrooms. Do stop by the sailor’s memorial on the shore as well.

So, visit ‘Salmon Capital of Michigan’ and spend some time at the Lakeside Beach Park with your loved ones.

10.Hoffmaster State Park Beach - away from the hustle and bustle

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P.J.Hoffmaster State Park Beach is only 5 miles away from Grand Haven and yet is miles away from all the hustle and bustle Grand Haven witnesses.

Visiting the beach is a treat for leisure seekers and peace lovers. You can stop by Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center on the premises where a number of interesting exhibits are displayed. The park itself is more than a thousand-acre with 10 miles of hiking trails and 290+ campsites.

If you are visiting this Michigan Beach at Hoffmaster State Park in winters, then 5 miles of cross-country skiing trails will also be available.

11. Mackinaw City Beach Area - a trail dotted with beaches

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Mackinaw City is home to several beaches that are known for their convenient location and picturesque vistas.

Most of the beach parks in Mackinaw are located on the outer edge of the city and are connected by a historic pathway, making it easier to explore different beaches even if you do not have much free time on your hands. Alexander Henry Park is the most popular of all along with Wawatam Park, Conkling Heritage Park, and Maritime Park.

Lined with different waterfront hotels and cafes, strolling along the beach trail will give you a chance to taste local cuisine when in Mackinaw.

12. Copper Harbor - where history meets leisure

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Copper Harbor is a small Michigan town full of history, culture, and sandy retreats. Be it hiking or swimming, you will find everything here.

The town which was used by Pittsburgh and Boston Mining Company in the 18th century to transport copper and other mining goods has now been transformed into a beach-y recreational space. The natural beauty here is at its peak, offering many opportunities for photography-amateurs.

Spend a day on the shores of Lake Superior and enjoy the best of Copper Harbor beaches.

13.Manitou Islands - a peaceful retreat

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Even though North Manitou Island is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, it deserves a separate place on this list.

North and South Manitou Islands both have different things to offer. The South Island will give you a chance to stop by the visitors center, tour the museum, and climb to the top of the lighthouse. Whereas North Island is perfect for exploring the hiking trails to witness natural beauty.

With miles and miles to explore without any touristy crowds to disturb you, go to Manitou Islands to experience the best of Michigan beaches.

14. Tawas Point State Park - for beach-lovers and bird-watchers

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A shallow beach, calm water, sprawling campsites, and bird-watching areas make Tawas Point State Park an interesting place to visit.

Proud to be known as ‘Cape Cod of the Midwest’, this park will redefine natural beauty and will give you a chance to relax on the beach. You will also come across historic Tawas Point Light here. Keep in mind that the lighthouse is not open to the public throughout the year and can only be visited on some days.

15. Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach - lesser-known Michigan beach

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The beauty of Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach lies in its secluded location protected by some of the biggest sand dunes in the surrounding area.

For those who are interested in visiting lesser-known beaches in Michigan, Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach is the place to be! Even though there aren’t many amenities here, you can still enjoy boating on Lake Michigan, picnicking on the shore, and hiking through the winding trails.

Keep in mind that the Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach is open to the visitors only during the day.

A true treat for leisure-seekers, these beaches in Michigan are a must-visit. Tell us which ones have you visited and which ones you are planning to explore on your next vacation.

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