Lake Michigan and Lake Superior Both in Running to be Named Best Recreational Lake in the United States

Lake Michigan and Lake Superior Both in Running to be Named Best Recreational Lake in the United States


Lake Superior Beach at Au Train, Michigan


When it comes to choosing the best recreational lake in the United States, it should be little surprise that two of the lakes bordering the Great Lakes State are getting some attention in a national poll. USA Today and have released another Reader’s Choice poll that puts Michigan in the spotlight, as Lake Michigan and Lake Superior have been named among the 20 finalists in a voting contest that runs until July 20. At the time of this post, both Lake Michigan (3rd) and Lake Superior (12th) could use some help as they are up against the likes of Lake Tahoe (CA & NV), Lake Havasu (AZ), and Crater Lake (Oregon).

The other 15 finalists are: Big Bear Lake (CA), Caddo Lake (TX & LA), Flathead Lake (MT), Lady Bird Lake (TX), Lake Champlain (NY & VT), Lake Charles (LA), Lake Chelan (WA), Lake Coeur d’Alene (ID), Lake Cumberland (KY), Lake of the Ozarks (MO), Lake Placid (NY), Lake Powell (AZ & UT), Lake Winnebago (WI), Norris Lake (TN) and West Okoboji Lake (IA).

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Platte River and Lake Michigan Beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes


Lake Michigan Dunes Petoskey State Park

Lake Michigan Dunes and Beach at Petoskey State Park


Lake Michigan is known for its stunning beaches and dunes, and Michigan’s state parks on its coast are some of the most popular in the Midwest. Visitors flock to Warren Dunes, Grand Haven, Holland and Saugatuck Dunes State Parks each summer to enjoy recreation on Lake Michigan. Hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, biking and beach sports are among the top activities. The northeast portion of the lake features Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, once named the Most Beautiful Place in America by Good Morning America. Our list of 10 Must See Stops on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour included many of these fantastic beaches, and the My 5 Favorite Places in Michigan lists of author Loreen Nieuwenhuis and endurance swimmer Jim Dreyer also included several Lake Michigan and Lake Superior destinations.

Lake Michigan and Lake Superior

Miners Castle, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


Lake Superior’s waters tend to be a bit more chilly than Lake Michigan’s, but that doesn’t stop some visitors from swimming. We recently showcased a list of our favorite Lake Superior beaches, and we’ve profiled the amazing sights of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quite a few times. Fishing, kayaking and boating are popular pastimes on the world’s largest freshwater lake (by surface area), and scenic cliffs, waterfalls and dunes are top draws for shoreline hiking trails. Hiking trails through the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore make up more than 40 miles of the North Country Trail, a 4,600-mile trail that runs from New York west to North Dakota. Ginger Zee and Good Morning America recently did a live broadcast from Miners Castle at Pictured Rocks, drawing even more attention to some of the things Lake Superior has to offer.

Kayakin Michigan near Superior Falls

Kayakers on Lake Superior near Montreal River


Michigan has already gotten a lot of love from the 10best Reader’s Choice Awards this year, with Saugatuck winning Best Coastal Small Town, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park finishing second in Best State Park, Michigan International Speedway finishing 3rd in Best NASCAR Track, and Seney National Wildlife Refuge finishing 7th in Best National Wildlife Refuge. Cast your vote today at to help one (or two) of Michigan’s Great Lakes get added to that list!