If you’ve ever taken a look at a map of Michigan, you may have noticed the 3,200 miles of shoreline and 11,000 inland lakes that dominate the state. Dubbed The Great Lakes State, Michigan has some of the best beaches in the country and our five favorite Michigan beach towns are perfect for an end-of-summer weekend getaway.
Located on the east coast of Lake Michigan, the town of Grand Haven is a relaxing family beach getaway with so much to do. Scale the towering dunes to discover a sunbathing haven with freshwater swimming and fishing. Grab a bite on the 80-seat deck at Snug Harbor restaurant and be sure to take a sunset stroll down the pier where you’ll find the perfect summer photo op with the Grand Haven lighthouses as your backdrop. It’s no surprise that Grand Haven was named 2012 Travel + Leisure magazine’s “Best Secret Beaches on Earth.”
Crystal clear waters and sugar sand beaches make Oscoda a can’t-miss beach town destination. Located along Michigan’s Sunrise Coast, Oscoda visitors can jump aboard a charter boat for a day of salmon fishing or spend the day at nationally ranked golf courses. The activities don’t end there though, as Oscada is also the place for horseback riding kayaking, hiking and biking. After a busy day, wind down with a delicious meal at Taits Bill of Fare where the ribs are a local favorite!
Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Beach is one of only three nationally certified “clean beaches” on the Great Lakes and the city is also home to the county’s only dog beach at Kruse Park. Your dogs can run, swim and play off the leash while you enjoy the sun and sights of an amazing stretch of beach.
Traverse City was named one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Summer Trips for 2012 for many reasons – including its beautiful beaches. Nestled at the head of crystal-clear Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is known for its 180 miles of sugar-sand Lake Michigan shoreline and a ton of inland lakes, beaches, bays and dunes. If golfing is more your style, Traverse City is also home to award winning golf courses like those at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.
Surrounded by four bodies of water, the beaches, boating and scenery of Charlevoix are unmatched. Recently, Lake Charlevoix – Michigan’s third largest lake – was nominated by USA Today as one of America’s best lakes. Soak in the beauty and charm of this vacation community by checking out the outdoor summer concerts, art fairs and shops, or by hunting for Petoskey stones. Or just relax the day away with a picnic on sandy Michigan Beach.