No matter where you find yourself in Michigan, you’re never more than six miles away from a body of water. With borders on four of the Great Lakes – Lakes Superior, Michigan, Erie and Huron – beaches in Michigan are bountiful. Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the US, as well as over 60,000 inland lakes and waterbodies.
Michigan is made up of two peninsulas: the upper and the lower. Michigan’s upper peninsula is ruggedly beautiful, full of northern streams and lakes. The upper peninsula has short, warm summers and plenty of cool, clean, and clear sandy beaches. The lower, southern peninsula borders three of the Great Lakes. Visitors will experience longer, hot summers in its southern portion, and short, warm summers in the northern half.
On the Lake Michigan side, Sleeping Bear Dunes has continuously received praise as one of the most beautiful places in America. This National Park is home to beautiful beaches where you can swim, kayak or canoe in lakes or streams and witness and climb enormous 400-foot sand dunes. Ludington, Michigan is also a popular beach getaway with 28 miles of sandy beach to choose from.
On the Lake Huron side, recreational water sports are more popular than swimming. Sailing, boating, fishing and kayaking are all popular. The shores of Lake Huron have many parks and forested land, but since there are fewer people, this could be a great place for those looking for the road less traveled. Tawas Point State Park, for example, offers a long sand spit, where waters are shallow and great for swimming. Mackinac Island is also a popular destination, and though cool waters lap up against rocky shores, the crystal clear waters are worth the dip.
Even if you find yourself in Michigan’s largest city, Detroit, you are never too far from a beach.
© Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, 2011 - 2018