Best Family Beaches in Michigan: Top Picks for a Fun-Filled Vacation
Michigan is a state that is well-known for its stunning beaches. With plenty of options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which beach to visit, especially when traveling with family. Fortunately, Michigan has some of the best family-friendly beaches in the country, offering a wide range of activities and amenities that cater to both adults and children.
From Grand Haven State Park Beach to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan has no shortage of beautiful beaches that are perfect for families. Whether you’re looking to swim, fish, or simply relax on the sand, there is a beach in Michigan that will suit your needs. Many of these beaches also offer picnic areas, playgrounds, and other amenities that make them ideal for families with young children.
In this article, we will explore the 11 best family beaches in Michigan for 2023. We will provide a brief overview of each beach, including its location, amenities, and activities. Whether you’re a Michigan native or a visitor to the state, this guide will help you plan the perfect beach vacation with your family.
Why Michigan for Family Beach Vacation
Michigan is a beautiful state with miles of shoreline along the Great Lakes, providing some of the best beaches in the country. The state is known for its crystal-clear water, sandy beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, making it the perfect destination for a family beach vacation.
Michigan beaches are ideal for families because they offer a wide range of activities for all ages. From swimming and sunbathing to kayaking and fishing, there is something for everyone. The beaches are also well-maintained and clean, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for families.
Another reason why Michigan is a great destination for a family beach vacation is the state’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty. Michigan’s beaches are part of the state’s Pure Michigan campaign, which promotes the state’s natural resources and encourages visitors to enjoy them responsibly.
Michigan is also home to some of the best beaches in the country, including Warren Dunes, Silver Beach, and Grand Haven City Beach. These beaches offer stunning views, soft sand, and clear water, making them perfect for a family getaway.
Finally, Michigan is an affordable destination for families. The state offers a variety of accommodations, from hotels to vacation rentals, at reasonable prices. Families can also save money by packing their own food and drinks for the beach.
In conclusion, Michigan is the perfect destination for a family beach vacation. With its beautiful beaches, wide range of activities, commitment to preserving natural resources, and affordability, Michigan has everything a family needs for a fun and memorable vacation.
Top Rated Family Beaches in Michigan
Michigan is home to some of the best family-friendly beaches in the United States. From the stunning views of Lake Michigan to the serene beaches of Lake Superior, there are plenty of options for families to enjoy. Here are some of the top-rated family beaches in Michigan:
Grand Haven State Park Beach
Situated along the Grand River and Lake Michigan, the expansive 48-acre Grand Haven State Park Beach provides stunning vistas of the Grand Haven Pier and the iconic lighthouse. Renowned for swimming, fishing, and volleyball, it stands as Michigan’s premier state park destination. Additionally, the beach is well-equipped with amenities such as playgrounds, picnic spots, and a concession stand.
Silver Beach County Park
Silver Beach County Park is located in St. Joseph and offers a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. The beach is perfect for families with young children, as it has a playground, a splash pad, and a carousel. The park also has picnic areas, a concession stand, and a beach house.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the most popular destinations in Michigan. The park offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and has miles of sandy beaches. The park is also home to the Dune Climb, which is a popular activity for families. The park has picnic areas, restrooms, and a visitor center.
Holland State Park
Holland State Park is located in Holland and offers two beaches on Lake Michigan. The park is equipped with picnic areas, playgrounds, and a concession stand. The park is also home to the Big Red Lighthouse, which is a popular attraction for families.
South Haven Beach
South Haven Beach is located in southwest Michigan and is one of the best sandy beaches perfect for a picnic. This beach offers stunning views of Lake Michigan, a lighthouse, and a beautiful walkway. The beach provides visitors with picnic tables, grills, and picnic shelters, making it easy to have lunch.
Mackinac Island Beach
Mackinac Island Beach is located on the famous Mackinac Island and is a popular destination for families. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The island is also home to many other attractions, including the Mackinac Island State Park and Fort Mackinac.
Michigan has many other family-friendly beaches, including Grand Haven City Beach, Ludington State Park, Oscoda Beach Park, and more. With so many options, families are sure to find the perfect beach to enjoy their vacation.
Activities at Michigan Beaches
Michigan beaches offer a range of activities that cater to different interests and age groups. Whether you prefer swimming, sunbathing, hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, or beach volleyball, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the activities that visitors can enjoy at Michigan beaches:
- Swimming: Michigan beaches offer clean and clear waters that are ideal for swimming. Visitors can swim in Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and other smaller lakes and ponds. Some beaches have designated swimming areas with lifeguards on duty.
- Playground: Some Michigan beaches have playgrounds that are perfect for families with young children. These playgrounds offer a range of equipment that is suitable for different age groups, including swings, slides, climbing structures, and more.
- Hiking: Michigan beaches are surrounded by natural beauty, and visitors can explore the nearby hiking trails. These trails offer scenic views of the lake, dunes, forests, and wildlife. Visitors can choose from easy, moderate, and difficult trails that cater to different fitness levels.
- Fishing: Michigan beaches offer excellent fishing opportunities for anglers of all levels. Visitors can fish for trout, salmon, bass, and other species in the lakes and rivers. Some beaches have fishing piers, while others allow fishing from the shoreline.
- Biking: Michigan beaches have biking trails that offer scenic views of the lake and surrounding areas. Visitors can rent bikes or bring their own and explore the trails at their own pace.
- Kayak: Michigan beaches offer calm waters that are perfect for kayaking. Visitors can rent kayaks or bring their own and explore the shoreline and nearby islands.
- Volleyball: Michigan beaches have designated volleyball courts that are perfect for a friendly game with friends and family. Visitors can bring their own equipment or rent from nearby vendors.
- Camping: Some Michigan beaches offer camping facilities that allow visitors to stay close to the beach. These campsites offer amenities such as showers, restrooms, and picnic areas.
- Sunbathing: Michigan beaches offer plenty of space for visitors to relax and soak up the sun. Visitors can bring their own beach chairs and umbrellas or rent from nearby vendors.
- Golf: Some Michigan beaches are located near golf courses that offer scenic views and challenging courses. Visitors can enjoy a round of golf and then head to the beach for some relaxation.
- Dune Climb: Michigan beaches are famous for their sand dunes, and visitors can climb them for a unique experience. Some beaches have designated dune climb areas that are suitable for different fitness levels.
In summary, Michigan beaches offer a range of activities that cater to different interests and age groups. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, volleyball, camping, golf, and dune climbing, among other activities.
Amenities and Facilities
Michigan’s family beaches offer a wide range of amenities and facilities to make your beach trip enjoyable and comfortable. From restrooms and picnic areas to lighthouses and restaurants, you can find everything you need at these beaches.
Most of the beaches have restrooms and changing rooms that are well-maintained and clean. Some beaches also have shower facilities to rinse off the sand and saltwater after a swim. Picnic areas are available at many of the beaches, so you can bring your own food and enjoy a family picnic while taking in the beautiful views.
Many of the beaches charge a fee for parking, but the fee is usually reasonable. Some beaches have free parking available, but it can be limited during peak season. It is always a good idea to arrive early to secure a parking spot.
If you are looking for beach towns with more amenities, Grand Haven and Mackinac Island are popular choices. Grand Haven has a musical fountain, a pool, and a range of restaurants and hotels. Mackinac Island has a range of hotels, restaurants, and museums, as well as a lighthouse that you can visit.
Concessions are available at some of the beaches, offering snacks, drinks, and ice cream. Some beaches also have campgrounds or campsites nearby, making it easy to extend your beach vacation into a camping trip.
Overall, Michigan’s family beaches offer a variety of facilities and amenities to make your beach trip comfortable and enjoyable.
Natural Beauty and Landscapes
Michigan is blessed with a diverse range of natural landscapes, from towering sand dunes and pristine lakes to dense forests and rocky bluffs. Visitors to Michigan’s family beaches can enjoy all of these natural wonders while soaking up the sun and playing in the waves.
One of Michigan’s most iconic natural features is the sand dunes that line the shores of Lake Michigan. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is home to some of the most impressive dunes in the state, with towering hills of soft sand that offer stunning views of the lake. Visitors can climb to the top of the dunes for a panoramic vista of the coastline.
Michigan’s lakes are another major draw for families looking for a relaxing beach vacation. The clear, cool waters of Lake Michigan are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Many of Michigan’s family beaches offer easy access to the lake, with soft sand beaches and calm, shallow waters that are ideal for young children.
In addition to the lakes, Michigan is also home to a number of beautiful islands that offer a unique beach experience. Mackinac Island, located in Lake Huron, is a popular destination for families looking to explore the island’s historic sites and natural beauty. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and spend the day hiking, biking, or lounging on the white sand beaches.
Michigan’s natural landscapes are also home to a variety of wildlife, including the elusive Petoskey stone. These distinctive rocks, which are found along the shores of Lake Michigan, are prized by beachcombers for their unique patterns and colors.
Overall, Michigan’s family beaches offer a stunning array of natural beauty and landscapes that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking for pristine white sand beaches or rugged shoreline bluffs, Michigan has something for everyone.
Exploring Nearby Attractions
Michigan is a great destination for families looking for a beach vacation. However, there’s more to Michigan than just its beautiful beaches. Visitors can explore a variety of nearby attractions that cater to all interests. Here are some of the top attractions to explore while visiting Michigan’s best family beaches.
Stay in Historic Detroit
Detroit is a city rich in history and culture, and it’s just a short drive from many of Michigan’s best family beaches. Visitors can explore the city’s many museums, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. They can also take a stroll through the historic Eastern Market or catch a game at Comerica Park.
Visit Wineries in West Michigan
West Michigan is home to a variety of wineries that offer tastings and tours. Visitors can explore the beautiful vineyards and sample some of the region’s best wines. Some of the top wineries in West Michigan include Fenn Valley Vineyards, Lemon Creek Winery, and Round Barn Winery.
Explore the South Pier in Grand Haven
Grand Haven is home to one of Michigan’s most iconic landmarks: the South Pier. Visitors can take a stroll along the pier and enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Grand Haven lighthouse. They can also watch boats coming in and out of the harbor or try their luck at fishing.
Discover Silver Lake State Park
Silver Lake State Park is a must-visit destination for families looking for outdoor adventure. The park offers a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, swimming, and dune buggy rides. Visitors can also explore the park’s beautiful sand dunes and enjoy stunning views of Lake Michigan.
Explore the Lower Peninsula
Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is home to a variety of charming towns and cities, each with its own unique attractions. Visitors can explore the historic town of Holland, known for its Dutch heritage and beautiful tulip festival. They can also visit the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, home to a variety of museums, restaurants, and breweries.
Take a National Geographic Tour
National Geographic offers a variety of tours that explore Michigan’s natural beauty. Visitors can take a kayak tour of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore or explore the wilderness of Isle Royale National Park. These tours offer a unique opportunity to experience Michigan’s natural beauty up close and personal.
Overall, Michigan offers a variety of nearby attractions that cater to all interests. Whether visitors want to explore the state’s rich history, sample its delicious wines, or enjoy outdoor adventure, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.