The dawn of summer brings many people out to beaches all over Michigan and along the Great Lakes. Today, guest blogger Aaron Cruz from The Awesome Mitten shares some of the best beaches on the west side of the state along Lake Michigan.
Tisconia Park Beach in St. Joseph is a hidden gem. Less crowded then nearby Silver Beach, Tisconia’s shallow water right along the shoreline is perfect for children. You will find picnic shelters but no concession stands on this city beach. Great views can be had walking down the North Pier towards the lighthouse along the south end of Tisconia Park. You will pass by many fishermen at this popular fishing spot. Many boaters will dock in the water just past the swimming areas just adding to the atmosphere of the season. The parking fee is nominal.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach: As you emerge out of the forest in this state park between Holland and Saugatuck, you will realize the ¾ walk down a sandy path was more than worth it. Two-and-a-half miles of secluded, undeveloped beach and shoreline is backed by tall coastal dunes and rolling hills. There are no amenities other than some outhouses, so it is just you and nature. After some swimming in Lake Michigan and relaxing on the beach, hop on a trail which will lead you back at this day use park. We recommend doing some research or grabbing a map as some trails are longer than others.
Grand Haven State Park Beach: A quick walk from downtown Grand Haven, this entire state park is a sandy beach. There will be crowds in the summer, but you will also have the adjoining boardwalk and pier along the Grand River and the historic Grand Haven lighthouses at your disposal. Plan ahead, bring the kids and set up a camper on one of the 100+ paved campsites alongside. Climb the dunes at the end of the beach for some panoramic views. You will find picnic tables, bathroom facilities, concessions and more at this popular summer destination.
Hoffmaster State Park Beach. If you are around Grand Haven and are looking for a quieter scene, head just ten miles north to the Muskegon area and this state park. Upon making the short stair climb to the top of the forest covered dunes from the main parking area, your feet will be the sand. Vast beach, Lake Michigan, dunes and panoramic views will be front and center at Hoffmaster State Park. Hang out on a park bench at the top to soak it all in, then head down to the three miles of relatively undisturbed shoreline. After spending some time in the water and on the spacious clean sand, take a hike on the miles of trails in the area and you will find numerous other spots to take in the lake and beach. This is a pet friendly beach and park, as dogs are allowed.
What other Michigan beaches would you recommend along Lake Michigan?
Aaron Cruz is a lover and long time resident of The Mitten. When he is not out on the open road, he’s probably drinking coffee in a random indie coffee shop. He loves taking photos and road trips, along with checking out skylines, the seasons, shorelines and hanging around water which makes Michigan the perfect place to live. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram and on his personal travel blog.