The beautiful state of Michigan has much to offer visitors. It’s surrounded by four of the five great lakes, so you know there will be plenty of beaches in Michigan to keep you and your family entertained all summer.
In both the lower peninsula and upper peninsula you can find soaring sand dunes, charming lighthouses, and beautiful blue water to enjoy. Let’s dig into our favorite Michigan beaches.
When is the Best Time to Visit These Michigan Beaches?
You can visit the beaches in Michigan at any time of the year, but it’s a well known Michigan fact that the most ideal time is in the summer. Between the months of June to September the weather in Michigan is absolutely perfect and is when you should consider traveling to the best beaches in Michigan. You can expect many sunny days and temperatures to float between 70-80°F.
To enjoy the beaches without crowds aim to plan your beach vacation between Monday and Thursday, and try to avoid public holidays.
The Best Beaches in Michigan
1. Torch Lake Beach
Torch Lake is said to be one of the state’s most beautiful natural wonders. It’s also famous for having the clearest and bluest water, so pack your beach essentials and plan an outing here!
As Michigan’s second-largest inland lake, several places are great for swimming and sunbathing, including the little beach at the Torch Lake Township Bill Good Day Park. Fishing and kayaking are also popular activities on the lake.
- Location: Near Traverse City in Antrim County, Michigan (GPS)
- Tip: There are many little villages around Torch Lake where you’ll find a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions.
2. Sand Point Beach
If soft, white sand is what you’re looking for in a beach, Sand Point Beach is the perfect place to anchor your beach towel or chair for the day. The crystal clear water makes it a popular place for swimming and the best part is you don’t get those winds that Lake Superior is known for because the beach is sheltered behind Grand Island.
As you sunbathe or swim, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Munising Bay and East Channel Lighthouse. It’s for all these reasons that Sand Point Beach was named one of the top five summer beaches in the country!
- Location: At the end of Sand Road along Pictured Rocks National Shoreline. (GPS)
- Tip: Stick around until dusk and enjoy one of the beautiful sunsets the area is known for.
3. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the most romantic places to visit in Michigan. It’s known for its beautiful blue waters, but it’s also known for its soft golden sand. There are over 60 miles of shoreline in this park and some of the incredible dunes are as high as 450 feet!
The swimming is great and the views of the coastline and Manitou Island just add to the experience. The forest lining the shore is home to various plants and wildlife.
- Location: Near Empire along Lake Michigan. The beach can be accessed from various locations including Platte River Point, Tiesma Road, Esch Road, and Peterson Road. (GPS)
- Tip: The lighthouse is a great place to check out and you’ll find some nature trails nearby.
4. Manistique Beach
One of the best beaches along Lake Michigan is Manistique Beach. This large, sandy stretch of shoreline is perfect for swimming or just relaxing in the sand while you enjoy the lovely views of the harbour and Manistique Lighthouse. The water conditions are usually calm so it’s safe for all ages.
- Location: A short drive from downtown Manistique in the Upper Peninsula. (GPS)
- Tip: There are many gift shops and restaurants around the area and you can also take a tour of Seul Choix Lighthouse.
5. Orchard Beach State Park
Situated on a cliff looking out over Lake Michigan, Orchard Beach State Park is easily accessed via a staircase that leads to the beach.
This is a great place to spend the day participating in a range of outdoor activities including swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and fishing. There are also two piers nearby and washrooms, campsites, and picnic facilities are on site.
- Location: On Lakeshore Road, Manistee. (GPS)
- Tip: A popular thing for visitors to do in nearby Manistee is to take a ride on the trolley.
6. Cheboygan State Park Beach
Cheboygan State Park Beach is one of the best beaches in Michigan for families with young children. That’s because the water is shallow and clear so kids can frolic in the water without much worry.
This beach has plenty of space for running, playing, and making sandcastles. The park has plenty of amenities including picnic tables and a playground and all this can be enjoyed with the views of two pretty lighthouses in the background.
- Location: On Beach Road in Cheboygan on the shores of Lake Huron in eastern Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: Do some hiking on the scenic nature trails that are situated around the park.
7. Oscoda Beach
Oscoda Beach is a beautiful sandy beach with plenty of space to set up your beach chairs and sun shelters. The swimming is great here but there are many other things to do in this lovely park.
The boardwalk is a nice place to take a walk to the pier where you can enjoy the views or do some fishing. A splash pad, playground, basketball court, picnic area, and a bathhouse are also on site and the park is wheelchair accessible.
- Location: On the shores of Lake Huron on River Road near downtown Oscoda. (GPS)
- Tip: There’s a bandshell in this park where concerts are often held during the summer months. Make sure to check the schedule so you can plan your beach outing around one of these lively events.
8. Silver Lake Sand Dunes
For some people, going to the beach is a social outing. For others, it’s an escape to get away from everyone. If you’re seeking seclusion, Silver Lake Sand Dunes is the best place to enjoy a day by the water without the crowds.
There’s a catch though; this hidden gem can only be accessed with a 45-minute walk or with an ATV that can be rented nearby. The beach is wide and sandy with many acres of giant dunes.
- Location: On North Comfort Drive in Hart between the towns of Muskegon and Ludington on Lake Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: Make your outing a full outdoor adventure by doing some fishing, kayaking, or hiking.
9. Mackinaw City Beach
What more could you ask for in a beach with stunning scenery, warm water and lots of space to enjoy swimming, beachcombing and sunbathing. Mackinaw City Beach has all this set to gently rolling waves and towering dunes.
- Location: On Lake Huron near Mackinaw City in northern Michigan.
- Tip: Make it a full day and enjoy the waterfront restaurants, boutique shops, and historical sites that are nearby.
10. South Beach
South Beach is a popular choice for beachgoers looking for sand, clear waters, and family-friendly amenities. This highly accessible beach has a playground, restrooms, picnic tables, and a splash pad. Kayaks and paddleboards are also available to rent. It’s worth it to stay until the evening and experience a lovely sunset.
- Location: On Lake Michigan on Water Street in South Haven. (GPS)
- Tip: There’s a fee to park at this beach, but you can stay for as long as you want and enjoy the other attractions that are nearby including South Haven eateries, shops, a lighthouse that’s open to the public and a beautiful pier.
11. Lakeside Beach
Lakeside Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Michigan that’s known for its beautiful sand and easy access to family-friendly amenities. Restrooms, picnic facilities, a playground, splash pad, and volleyball and basketball courts are just some of the amenities available.
The water is so warm and clear that you can swim for hours. But when you get tired of the water, take a walk around town and find a nice waterfront eatery to grab a bite to eat.
- Location: On Lake Huron in Rogers City in eastern Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: A concession stand selling delicious ice cream treats is on site and there’s no better way to end a beautiful summer than with a cool treat and a walk in the sand as you watch the sun go down.
12. Tawas Point State Park Beach
Its nickname is the Cape Cod of the Midwest due to its beautiful stretch of sand with clear, blue waters. Tawas Beach is easily one of the best places to go in Michigan. The designated beach area gets crowded on hot summer days, but don’t worry because it’s big enough for everyone!
The ideal beach conditions and shallow water with safety buoys in place to mark the safest area to swim makes it great for kids. There’s a lighthouse nearby that you can check out and if you wish to stay overnight, there are campsites too.
- Location: On Tawas Beach Road on Lake Huron in East Tawas.
- Tip: The area around the beach is a bird watcher’s paradise so get out your binoculars and watch out for 300 different species of migrating birds.
13. Caseville Beach
Caseville Beach is a laid-back Michigan beach with plenty of space to find an ideal spot to set up your beach gear for the day. This sandy retreat is great for families as the water is calm and shallow and therefore safe for children. A play area and campground are on site and sometimes concerts are held in the adjacent park.
- Location: On Lake Huron in the town of Caseville in eastern Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: Take a walk along the beach to the pier where you can watch people fishing.
14. Grand Haven City Beach
Grand Haven City Beach is a popular and easily-accessible stretch of swimmable beach known for its scenery and abundance of things to do including swimming in the warm, clear waters. Heading here is the best thing to do in Grand Haven.
This beach is super family-friendly too, which includes dogs so your furry friend can join in on the fun as well! There are restrooms available and many services and attractions are within walking distance including the Grand Haven Pier, restaurants, and shops.
- Location: On Lake Michigan near the town of Grand Rapids in western Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: Kiteboarding and surfing are popular activities at this beach and rental facilities and lessons are available nearby.
15. Hoffmaster State Park Beach
Hoffmaster State Park has everything, including a spectacular wide beach with three miles of sandy coastline, huge dunes, and clear, blue water. Did I mention the views are fantastic and the area is known for being one of the best places around for bird watching?
Some of the amenities you’ll find on site include restrooms, campsites, picnic facilities, and a volleyball court. You’ll also enjoy many miles of hiking trails.
- Location: On Lake Michigan on Lake Harbour Road in Northern Shores. (GPS)
- Tip: Be sure to visit the Gillette Nature Center and learn more about the wildlife and plants in the park.
16. Warren Dunes Beach
Situated in one of Michigan’s most visited state parks, Warren Dunes State Park, Warren Dunes Beach is one of the best places to swim in the state and it’s also one of the most scenic.
Incredible views, rolling dunes and sparkling blue waters are the top draws to this sandy stretch. It’s also wheelchair accessible and dog-friendly. The surrounding park area has campsites and cabin rentals so you can extend your visit into the next day.
- Location: On Lake Michigan near the towns of St. Joseph and New Buffalo in southwest Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: Climb to the top of Tower Hill, which is the tallest dune on the beach, and slide to the bottom. You’ll get some exercise and have fun at the same time!
17. Port Crescent State Park
Port Crescent State Park is home to three miles of beautiful, sandy shoreline with some of the only dunes that can be found along Lake Huron. It makes a great day trip from the city of Saginaw.
The shallow waters are safe for swimming so the whole family can enjoy a dip in the clear waters. A wheelchair-accessible wooden boardwalk is available to assist those with mobility issues access the beach area and a campground is on site.
- Location: On Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron close to the towns of Caseville and Port Austin. (GPS)
- Tip: The Park is also home to a dark sky preserve so you can turn an afternoon beach day into an evening of stargazing on the beach.
18. Hunter’s Point Beach
Hunter’s Point Beach is a popular swimming beach with beautiful views located in a public park. There are 5,000 feet of shoreline so plenty of room to set up and spend the day. The park is home to some nice walking trails where you can escape in nature and observe the many species of birds that are often spotted in the area.
- Location: On the shores of Lake Superior in Copper Harbour. (GPS)
- Tip: The lighthouse across the street from the park is where you can register to take a kayak tour on the lake.
19. Tiscornia Beach
Tiscornia Beach is a great family-friendly sandy beach with a pier, lighthouse, and picnic facilities. This beach is part of a bigger shoreline area that is locally known as the Riviera of the Midwest and the clear waters and lovely scenery certainly helped it get its nickname! The beach is also wheelchair accessible.
- Location: On the shores of Lake Michigan in the town of Ridgeway in southwest Michigan. (GPS)
- Tip: Cast a line in search of the big one or watch the sunset from the North Pier Lighthouse.
20. Empire Beach
You may not find much seclusion at Empire Beach, but you’ll find one of the best beaches in Michigan and enough space to at least find a spot on the warm sand far enough away from the crowds. The beach is great for kids and dogs are welcome too. It’s also easily accessible from a nearby parking area.
- Location: On Lake Michigan near downtown Empire. (GPS)
- Tip: A play area with climbing structures is nearby for when the kids finally get sick of the water and still have some energy to burn.
Best Beaches in Michigan Map
Where at the Best Beach Towns in Michigan?
Michigan is full of awesome beach towns, but here are a few of my absolute favorite beach towns in Michigan.
Grand Haven: Home of the annual Coast Guard Festival, which is a fun time for all in the summer!
South Haven: South Haven is commonly referred to as ‘the Catskills of the Midwest’ for its abundance of natural wonders
Frankfort: This cute little town is in Benzie County and is situated right along Lake Michigan.
Leland: Leland is a teenie village in Leelanau Country and is a great place for a day trip for a weekend trip in Michigan for couples in the north!
Best Beach Resorts in Michigan
Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection near Petoskey is our personal favorite beach resort in Michigan to stay when we visit! We highly recommend booking a vacation away there!
READ MORE MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this guide on the best beaches in Michigan. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around the state.
- Things to do in Grand Haven
- Things to do in Traverse City
- Things to do in Saugatuck
- Things to do in Petoskey
- Things to do in Mackinac
- Things to do in Ludington
- Things to do in Holland
- Things to do in Saginaw
- 20 Best Beaches in Michigan to Visit This Summer
- 20 Beautiful Lakes in Michigan (That Aren’t the Great Lakes)
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