❤️ Get Access to the Best Places First

37+ Best Lake Michigan Beaches (For Families)

If you’re looking for the great summer getaways in Michigan, it will probably include visits to the best lake Michigan beaches known to man. Vacationing at the beach is a summer tradition for many, but choosing the right beach to visit can be hard. Do you want to be by the city with all of…

best lake michigan beaches

Researched and Written by:



Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

If you’re looking for the great summer getaways in Michigan, it will probably include visits to the best lake Michigan beaches known to man. Vacationing at the beach is a summer tradition for many, but choosing the right beach to visit can be hard.

Do you want to be by the city with all of the hustle and bustle? Or would you rather find a place to relax that’s more secluded? No matter what your preference, look no further than the Lake Michigan unsalted waters for summer family fun. The best Michigan vacations for families often include Lake Michigan.

With its miles of pristine shoreline, there’s a beach for everyone in this great Midwestern state. From the bustling city beaches of southwest Michigan to the remote stretches of sand in the Upper Peninsula, you’ll find everything you need for a perfect summer vacation. So, pack your sunscreen and beach towel and check out these best Lake Michigan beaches.

Best Lake Michigan Beaches for Families

best lake Michigan beaches for families

Grand Haven State Park

Grand Haven State Park is located on the western side of the state and is one of Michigan’s best-known and most popular parks. It offers something for everyone, with its award-winning beaches on Lake Michigan, miles of hiking trails, and a variety of campsites.

The park’s large, sandy beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The Grand Haven lighthouse is also a popular attraction and can be seen from the beach. This state park is one of the many that is open year-round and also a great place to visit at any time of the year.

Grand Haven State Park is one of the best Lake Michigan Beach towns because of so many family activities available.

Address: 1001 Harbor Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Website: Grand Haven State Park

Phone Number: 616-847-1309

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park is a favorite if you are looking for nature trails, playgrounds for the kids, and a beautiful beach on Lake Michigan. This state park is one of the largest in Michigan and has over five miles of shoreline to enjoy.

The park’s Big Sable Point Lighthouse is a popular attraction and is open for tours from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The Ludington State Park also offers a variety of campsites, so you can stay overnight or make it a weekend trip.

If the Lake Michigan water is too cold, inland beaches are located within Ludington State Park.
Hamlin Lake is a great option for warmer swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

Address: 8800 M-116, Ludington, MI 49431

Website: Ludington State Park

Phone Number: 231-843-2423

South Haven South Beach

South Haven South Beach is located in southwest Michigan and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. This beach is wide and sandy, with plenty of room for everyone. There are also a lot of Lake Michigan beach hotels available in South Haven.

The South Haven lighthouse is a popular attraction and can be seen from the beach. The beach also has picnic areas and playgrounds, making it perfect for families.

Address: 60 Water Street, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: South Haven South Beach

Phone Number: 269- 637-0737

Sterns Park Beach

Sterns Park is a splendid Lake Michigan beach located in central West Michigan. This Ludington city beach boasts beautiful white sand and a clean shoreline.

This beach is perfect for swimming, beach volleyball, walking, and picnicking. There are multiple picnic tables and grills available. There is also a fishing pier for outdoor anglers.

The park features playground areas, multiple volleyball courts, and concession stands for things such as ice cream. This makes it a great summer vacation spot for families.

Address: 420 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI 49431

Website: Sterns Park Beach

Phone Number: 231-845-6237

Packard Park & Beach

Packard Park & Beach is a South Haven city beach that is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. This beach is hidden away in a neighborhood setting and is a great place to enjoy some peace and quiet.
The beach has a playground area and multiple picnic tables. It’s also located near downtown South Haven, so you can easily walk to shops and restaurants.

Address: 231 North Shore Drive, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: Packard Park & Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-0772

Holland State Park

Holland State Park is beautiful and one of the most popular state parks in Michigan, and it’s not hard to see why. This park features two beautiful beaches on Lake Michigan and a campground and picnic area.
The park’s north beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The south beach offers stunning views of the sunset over Lake Michigan. Holland State Park is open all year round and is a great place to visit any time of the year.

Address: 2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424

Website: Holland State Park

Phone Number: 616-399-9390

Oval Beach

Oval Beach in Saugatuck is one of the best beaches on Lake Michigan. There are towering sand dunes, a long pier for fishing, and beautiful sunsets.

It’s advised to arrive early to get a parking spot, as this beach gets crowded during the summer months. Oval Beach is also a great place to go for a walk or run along the water.

Address: 698 Water Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Website: Oval Beach

Phone Number: 269-857-2603

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a popular Michigan beach vacation for those who love the outdoors. This beach is known for its off-road dune buggy rides and stunning sand dunes.

Silver Lake also offers swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and picnicking if you’re looking for a more relaxing trip. You can bike ride or walk along the many trails in the area.

There are plenty of hotels and resorts located near Silver Lake Sand Dunes if you’re looking to take a weekend trip.

Address: 9679 W. State Park Road, Mears, MI 49436

Website: Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Phone Number: 231-873-3083

Lake Harbor Park

Lake Harbor Park in Norton Shores is a Lake Michigan beach located next to the Mona Lake Channel. This is a great place to go for a swim, as there are over 4,000 feet of shoreline.

The park also has a playground, 18 picnic tables, and a picnic shelter for unpredictable Michigan weather.

Address: 4635 Lake Harbor Road, Norton Shores, MI 49441

Website: Lake Harbor Park

Phone Number: 231-799-6802

Oak Street Beach

Oak Street Beach in South Haven is a beautiful sandy beach on Lake Michigan. It’s smaller than some of the other beaches on this list, but it’s still a great place to relax and enjoy the views. There is also a boardwalk to the beach and a bike path nearby.

Address: 375 North Shore Drive, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: Oak Street Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-0772

Charles Mears State Park

Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater has a beautiful Lake Michigan beach access. There is also a campground there with 175 sites. The beach has a playground, as well as a concession area for food and drinks. A bit of history, the park was donated to the State of Michigan by an early lumbering family, “The Mears.”

Address: 400 W Lowell St, Pentwater, MI 49449

Website: Charles Mears State Park

Phone Number: 231-869-2051

Silver Beach County Park

If you’re looking for Lake Michigan beaches with all the amenities, Silver Beach County Park in St. Joseph should be at the top of your list. This park features a wide, sandy beach on Lake Michigan, a playground, an amphitheater, a nearby silver beach carousel, and a variety of restaurants.

The park also has beach wheelchairs, public access to the south pier, grills, and outdoor showers. The best time to visit Silver Beach County Park is during the summer when the weather is warm, and the beach is open for swimming.

Address: 101 Broad St, St Joseph, MI 49085

Website: Silver Beach County Park

Phone Number: 269-982-0533

warren dunes state park lake Michigan

Warren Dunes State Park

Warren Dunes State Park is a beautiful state park located on the shores of Lake Michigan. This park features three miles of sandy beach and hiking trails, a campground, and more.

The Lake Michigan shoreline beach at this park is handicap accessible and is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Warren Dunes State Park is another state park open all year round and is a great place to visit any time of the year.

Address: 12032 Red Arrow Highway, Sawyer, MI 49125

Website: Warren Dunes State Park

Phone Number: 269-426-4013

Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach

Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers hundreds of scenic acres for outdoor lovers to explore, including 2.5 miles along Lake Michigan’s sandy shores and coastal dune terrain that offers an impressive view from above as well.

There are also 13 miles worth of trails available in this natural area with great views throughout it all. Don’t forget about the 200-foot tall dunes to climb for a great view of the area from above.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park also offers lodging options. If you’re planning on spending the night or longer, there are also primitive campsites available within the state park.

Address: 6575 138th Avenue, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Website: Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-2788

North Beach Park

North Beach Park offers 745 feet of Lake Michigan’s shoreline to enjoy. The best part about this beach is it’s right in the heart of downtown South Haven making it easy to enjoy the many conveniences.
This city beach also offers a great alternative to the more crowded beaches such as Warren Dunes State Park.

There is also a reservable picnic shelter, a beach volleyball court, and dune stairs to an observation deck for amazing views.

Address: 18775 N Shore Dr, Ferrysburg, MI 49409

Website: North Beach Park

Phone Number: 616-738-4810

South Haven North Beach

If you are searching for sugar sand beaches, look no further than South Haven North Beach. This beach has been rated as one of the best beaches in Michigan for its cleanliness and sugar sand.

You can walk the Lake Michigan shore here for about half a mile which is perfect for an evening walk.

Don’t forget to check out Sherman’s Ice Cream shop while you’re in the area. North Beach Park features many things, including a dune deck which kids love.

Address: 45 Lakeshore Drive, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: South Haven North Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-0737

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

If looking for an expansive beach, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is the perfect place for you. This state park offers 3 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan as well as a wide variety of other activities.

The dune walkover at this park gives you breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding sand dunes. They have a beach house, a beach and swimming area, and a boardwalk. Let’s not forget about the 1,200 acres of old-growth forest and rolling hills to explore.

Address: 6585 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon, MI 49441

Website: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

Phone Number: 231-798-3711

Kirk Park Dog Beach

Kirk Park Dog Beach in West Olive, MI, is the perfect spot to bring your best friend for a day of fun in the sun. A lot of other Lake Michigan beaches won’t allow dogs, but that’s not the case here.

Kirk Park Dog Policy (Off-leash):

  • May 1 – September 30: Limited hours in effect. No dogs allowed on the beach from 10 am to 6 pm.
  • October 1 – April 30: Dogs are permitted off-leash on Kirk Park; they must remain leashed on trails.

Address: 9791 Lakeshore Drive, West Olive, MI 49460

Website: Kirk Park Dog Beach

Phone Number: 616-738-4810

Woodman Beach

There are many beach towns in Michigan. South Haven hosts a lot of popular Lake Michigan beaches, including Woodman beach. If you are looking for sand, sun, and water, this is your place.
This beach is located north of North Beach Park.

Address: 97 North Shore Drive, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: Woodman Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-0772

Norman F. Kruse Park Dog Beach

Not a lot of northern Michigan beaches allow dogs, but Norman F. Kruse Park Dog Beach in Muskegon is a great spot for your best friend. This beach is located on the south side of Muskegon Lake.

The northern part of this 1-mile stretch is reserved for dogs and their owners, who can enjoy an off-leash beach with sand dunes that are perfect for playing in. There’s also plenty to do here besides just taking advantage of the beautiful weather – nature trails await those looking forward to discovery while picnic areas provide shelter from sunbathing crowds on hot days.

Address: 3205 W. Sherman Boulevard, Muskegon, MI 49441

Website: Norman F. Kruse Park Dog Beach

Phone Number: 231-724-4100

Pere Marquette Beach

Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon is one of the most popular beaches in Michigan. This beach is known for kite boarders, which are a fun sight to see.

There’s also a handicapped walkway that leads down to the water, a grassy area for picnics, and a playground. This beach is also great for paddleboarders and kayakers.

Address: 3510 Channel Dr, Muskegon, MI 49441

Website: Pere Marquette Beach

Phone Number: 231-724-4100

Tiscornia Beach

Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph is not only close for Chicagoans, but it’s also a beautiful spot on Lake Michigan.

This beach has dunes that lead down to the water, and the north point lighthouse is perfect for fishing. If you need space, there is a pavilion for rent that has a capacity for up to 35 people.

Address: Tiscornia Park Rd St. Joseph, MI 49085

Website: Tiscornia Beach

Phone Number: 269-983-6341

Lake Michigan beach access

Grand Haven City Beach

Close to the Grand Haven pier, Grand Haven City Beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the stunning and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. This huge sandy beach is just south of Grand Haven State Park. Some of the best Lake Michigan beaches are located in the Grand Haven area.

There are beach houses and local cottages that you can rent for your stay. The best part is that the beach is just a few steps from downtown Grand Haven. So, you can travel back and forth at ease to get food or explore the shops.

Address: S. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Website: Grand Haven City Beach

Phone Number: 616-842-3210

Deerlick Creek Park

A dog-friendly beach, Deerlick Creek Park is a great place to take your furry friend for a swim. This beach is located in South Haven Township, on the eastern side of Lake Michigan.

There is a walking path that goes around the entire park, which is perfect for a morning jog or evening walk. The beach itself is quite small, but it’s clean and well-maintained.

Address: 76750 13th Ave, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: Deerlick Creek Park

Phone Number: 269-637-3305

Newcome Beach

Newcome beach is more of a primitive beach, which means there are no lifeguards on duty. It is important to take note of this if you are bringing small children who may not be strong swimmers.

The water can also be quite cold, even in the summer, so it’s best to come prepared with a wetsuit or other warm clothing. Despite these things, Newcome beach is a beautiful place to enjoy the nature that Lake Michigan has to offer.

Address: 725 North Shores Drive, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: Newcome Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-0772

Best Lake Michigan Beaches for Rocks

Point Betsie Lighthouse Beach

Point Betsie Lighthouse Beach is best known for the large rocks that surround it. These make for a great place to explore and collect but can also be dangerous if you are not careful.

The best way to enjoy this beach is to come at low tide so you can walk out on the rocks and see all the different creatures that live in them.

Address: 3701 Point Betsie Roadd, Frankfort, MI 49635

Website: Point Betsie Lighthouse Beach

Phone Number: 231-352-7644

Pier Cove Beach

Pier Cove Beach in Fennville is Michigan’s best-kept secret when it comes to collecting rocks at the beach. This is because the rocks here are some of the most unique and beautiful in the state.

Some of the unique rocks at Pier Cove Beach Include lightning stones, also known as septarian nodules.

These are formed when mudstone is struck by lightning and then cracks open. During the process of cracked mudstone healing itself, minerals fill in the cracks, which is what gives them their unique appearance.

These nodules are rare in Michigan because they are only found in a few places in the world, and most of those are in Africa.

Pier Cove Beach is also home to many agates, which are a type of quartz.

Address: 2290 Lakeshore Drive, Fennville, MI 49408

Website: Pier Cove Beach

Phone Number: 269-561-8331

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Beach

While Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore does have a perfectly wonderful sandy shoreline, there are also parts that contain rocks. The best place to find rocks is at the bottom of the dune climb.

At the bottom, there is a rock beach that extends out into Lake Michigan. This is a great place to explore and look for agates, fossils, and other interesting rocks. It makes for a great beach treasure hunt.

sleeping bear dunes lake Michigan

The Petoskey stone is the official state stone and is very abundant along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. However, according to Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 – 2 .1, they must remain in this federal park. It’s illegal for people to remove anything natural from the national park. This even includes flowers and rocks unless permission has been granted.

Address: 9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630

Website: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakesore Beach

Phone Number: 231-326-4700

Leelanau State Park

Leelanau State Park ranks high when it comes to Lake Michigan Beaches. This beach offers picnic tables, easy access to Lake Michigan, hiking trails, and it is also a rock collectors paradise.

You can also take detour for a quick side trip to the best old mission peninsula wineries if you want a break from beach life.

The best place to find rocks at Leelanau State Park is near the Leland River. Here you will find a variety of agates, Petoskey stones, and other interesting rocks.

Address: 15310 N Lighthouse Point Rd, Northport, MI 49670

Website: Leelanau State Park

Phone Number: 231-386-5422

Frankfort Public Beach

Frankfort Public Beach is a great place to vacation in northern Michigan in the summer. This beach has public restrooms and twin piers that make for a great place to fish or just take in the views of Lake Michigan.

If you are interested in rock collecting, there is an area near the lighthouse that is full of agates and other rocks. You can also find some nice fossils in this area if you look carefully.
These can be found all along the shoreline as well as in the sand near the water’s edge.

The best time to look for these is after a storm when the waves have brought them up from the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Address: Fr Marquette Circle, Frankfort, MI 49635

Website: Frankfort Public Beach

Phone Number: 231-352-7117

Empire Beach

Empire Beach is located close to downtown and is named one of the best beaches in the world by National Geographic.

This beach is covered in pebbles instead of sand, which makes it a great place to look for agates. You can also find many evident fossils in the rocks here if you look carefully.

Leashed dogs are allowed between Esch road to Lakeshore. There’s a vault toilet available as well.

There are igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks all along the shoreline of Empire Beach. Check out the live cam here.

Address: 10484 Niagara Street, Empire, MI 49630

Website: Empire Beach

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park is one of the best beaches in West Michigan for rock collectors. This is because there are three different types of rocks that can be found here: Petoskey stones, Charlevoix stones, and brain coral.
Petoskey stones are the official state stone and can only be found in a few places in the world. The best place to find them is along the shores of Lake Michigan in Petoskey State Park.

Charlevoix stone is a type of fossilized coral that can be found in the rocks along the shoreline.
Brain coral is another type of fossilized coral that can be found in the same area as the Charlevoix stone.
Petoskey State Park is also a great place to swim, camp, and hike.

Address: 2475 M-119, Petoskey, MI 49770

Website: Petoskey State Park

Phone Number: 231-347-2311

Orchard Beach State Park

Orchard Beach State Park is located just South of Frankfort Beach, off of M-22. This beach has a large parking lot, public restrooms, and a great place to find agates.

There is also a sheltered area along with picnic tables if you want to bring your lunch to the beach.
While inland lakes sometimes have agates, they are much more common along the Great Lakes. This is because the agates were brought here by glaciers during the ice age.

Address: 2064 North Lakeshore Road, Manistee, MI 49660

Website: Orchard Beach State Park

Phone Number: 231-723-7422

Fisherman’s Island State Park

Fisherman’s Island State Park has been ranked one of the state’s best beaches for its clear water, secluded location, and rocky shores.

The rocky shores are ideal for rare Michigan rocks such as Petoskey stones and Charlevoix stones. Many people go here for the abundance of rocks, but there are also beautiful beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.

This state park is located outside Charlevoix on the east side of Lake Michigan.

Address: Bells Bay Road, Charlevoix, MI 49720

Website: Fisherman’s Island State Park

Phone Number: 231-547-6641

Van Buren State Park Beach

Van Buren State Park Beach is considered one of the best beaches because it has a one-mile stretch of sand dunes that are perfect for walking, running, or just taking in the scenery.
The beach also has a playground, picnic area, and grills for visitors to use.

This state park is located in South Haven on the west side of Lake Michigan. You may find rocks on this beach as well, but they will be a different type than the ones at Fisherman’s Island State Park.

Address: 23960 Ruggles Road, South Haven, MI 49090

Website: Van Buren State Park Beach

Phone Number: 269-637-2788

St. James Township Public Beach

St. James Township Public Beach is located on Beaver Island, which is the largest island in Lake Michigan. It’s also one of the most remote spots in all of Michigan, making it a great place to get away from it all.
To get to Beaver Island, you’ll need to take a ferry from either Charlevoix or Mackinac Island. Once you’re on Beaver Island, you can rent a bike or golf cart to get around.

The St. James Township Public Beach is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. There’s also a playground nearby if you have kids in tow. There are stores on the island in case you forget a few beach supplies.

Rock hunters love this beach because of the Petoskey stones that can be found there.

Address: 37830 Lake Shore Road, Beaver Island, MI 49782

Website: St. James Township Public Beach

Phone Number: 231-448-2014

Donegal Bay Beach

Donegal Bay Beach is also located on Beaver Island, just a short walk from the St. James Township Public Beach. This beach is known for clear water and tranquil surroundings.
Some have said that the beaches of Beaver Island offer some of the clearest freshwater swimming in all of Michigan.

There are no lifeguards on duty at Donegal Bay Beach, so swim at your own risk.
Some rocks that you might find on the best beaches of Beaver Include emeralds, jasper, and agates. These rocks are not as common along the shores of inland beaches, making them so special to rock hunters.

Address: Allen’s Lakeview Road, Beaver Island, MI 49782

Website: Donegal Bay Beach

Is The Lake Michigan Shoreline Dangerous?

The lake Michigan shoreline is not dangerous if you take the proper precautions.

  • Make sure to always swim with a friend and never be alone.
  • Be aware of rip currents and always heed the warnings of the lifeguards on duty.
  • Do not drink alcohol while swimming or engaging in any other water activities.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Are Lake MI Beaches Open In The Winter?

Most of the best beaches around Lake Michigan are open all year round.

However, some of the state parks and beaches may close their swimming areas during the winter months due to icy conditions.

It’s always best practice to check with the specific beach or state park before you visit to see if they are open for swimming.

Are Lake Michigan Beaches Open To The Public?

Lake Michigan beaches are open to the public. Some of the best beaches are state, city, and county beaches. While most beaches do charge a fee for entry, many offer amenities such as volleyball courts, some have a beach house, picnic tables, and grills.

Which Lake Michigan Beach Is The Best For You?

The best beach for you depends on what you’re looking for in a beach vacation. These Lake Michigan beaches offer something for everyone.

If you want to find a secluded spot to relax, Fisherman’s Island State Park or Donegal Bay Beach might be the best choice.

If you’re looking for a kid-beach to take the kids to, Van Buren State Park Beach or St. James Township Public Beach would be great options.

And if you’re a rock hunter, any of the best beaches around Lake Michigan will have an abundance of rocks for you to explore.

Lake Michigan beaches are like none other in the Country. With so many beaches available, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next beach vacation.