The Best Michigan Beach: Is Your Favorite Up For An Award?
Just in time for warmer temperatures, 10best.com is back with another Reader’s Choice Poll. Actually, there are six new polls, looking for the best beach in Massachusetts, Virginia, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, and of course our great state of Michigan (previous polls awarded winners in Hawaii, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, and more). Four Great Lakes border Michigan, giving us the longest freshwater coastline in the U.S. and the second longest coastline overall (trailing only Alaska). Now that the 20 Michigan finalists are in, we will take a look at each one and you can tell us if your favorite made the cut and if you agree with their choices. Lake Michigan was well represented here, with 16 of the 20 nominees. Lake Huron and Lake Superior have two nominees each. The contest runs through May 28th at noon and you can vote one time per day for the Best Michigan Beach, at https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-michigan-beach/.
A few of our favorite beaches that didn’t make the cut include Miners Beach (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore), Esch Beach (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore), Van Riper State Park (Michigamme), Petoskey State Park, Wilderness State Park (Lake Michigan), Rosy Mound Natural Area (Holland), Bete Grise Beach (Lake Superior), McCarty’s Cove (Marquette/Lake Superior) and Port Crescent State Park (Lake Huron).
First Street Beach, Manistee – swim, walk the pier, have a picnic, fish, walk the dog(s), or just lay in the sand and soak up the sun at this beach on Lake Michigan near the Manistee River.
Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven – a West Michigan favorite, this beach is usually very busy on any summer day when the weather cooperates. You can camp here in one of the more than 170 sites right next to the beach, and stroll the pier to see a historic lighthouse and catch great sunsets.
Hoeft State Park, Rogers City – this state park has a campground with more than 140 sites, four miles of hiking trails, a playground, and more – but the beach is the main draw. This is one of only two finalists located on the Lake Huron shoreline.
Hunter’s Point Park, Copper Harbor – featuring a red sand beach on Lake Superior, Hunter’s Point Park is a seldom-busy Copper Harbor gem that is also a prime spot for rock hounds. Several miles of trails wind through the park and provide scenic looks at the lake, the historic Copper Harbor Lighthouse, and stunning sunsets (maybe even Northern Lights if you’re lucky).
Lake Michigan Beach Park, Empire – this beach is great for swimming and it also boasts some great views of the nearby bluffs. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore covers much of the lakeshore to the north and south of Empire. The Robert H. Manning Memorial Light is located in the same parking lot.
Manistique Beach, Manistique – a boardwalk runs nearly the entire length of this Lake Michigan beach that stretches for two miles. Far less busy than its Lower Peninsula counterparts, it also provides views of the Manistique East Breakwater Light.
North Manitou Island, Empire – perhaps the most secluded beach on this list, North Manitou Island is a paradise for those looking to get away from busy-ness on the mainland. A ferry from Leland takes visitors to white sand beaches that are “perfect for both swimming and strolling” on this island with 20 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan.
Orchard Beach State Park, Manistee – a short, wooden stairway guides visitors from a campground on the bluff down to this beautiful beach on Lake Michigan.
Oval Beach, Saugatuck – this beautiful and clean beach on Lake Michigan also has sand dunes for exploring. It gets busy here in the summer, and for good reason.
Pere Marquette Park, Muskegon – one of only three nationally certified “Clean Beaches,” this Musekgon park stays busy all summer as visitors come to swim, soak up the sun, fish on the pier, visit the Muskegon South Pier Lighthouse, play volleyball, picnic, and more.
PJ Hoffmaster State Park, Muskegon – this amazing state park is located between Grand Haven and Muskegon and includes three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Even when it gets busy, there’s still room for everyone to spread out. Be sure to check out the hiking trails and dune overlook as well.
Sand Point Beach, Munising – located just outside the Munising city limits, this is one of Lake Superior’s top swimming beaches. The Sand Point Marsh Trail begins across the road, and Grand Island and the East Channel Lighthouse can be seen across the bay from here.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Saugatuck – it takes a bit of work to get to the beach at this state park (1/2 mile hike or more), but the seclusion and beauty make it worthwhile. Saugatuck Dunes State Park has 2.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and dunes that are up to 200 feet tall.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes Beach, Hart – this 2,000 acre park has so much shoreline on Lake Michigan that it’s easy to have a section of beach all to yourself. Take some time to explore the dunes, then watch visitors in the ORV area riding up and down the dunes.
Sleeping Bear Point, Glen Arbor – this beach in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features clear water and clean sand, as well as great views of the Manitou Islands. It can be reached after a short hike that begins near the Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum.
South Beach, South Haven – this beach sits next to the South Haven Lighthouse and is ADA accessible. A popular place for swimming, South Beach is also a great place for catching sunsets.
Stearns Park Beach, Ludington – this beach near downtown Ludington has “2,500 feet of sandy beach, as well as a playground, skatepark, grills and picnic tables, volleyball, shuffleboard and mini golf. The beach is a favorite for watching a Lake Michigan sunset.”
Tawas Point State Park, East Tawas – the beach here offers warm, shallow water on a stretch of Lake Huron shoreline that is sometimes called the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” Be sure to check out the Tawas Point Lighthouse here too, or consider staying in one of the park’s more than 200 campsites.
Tiscornia Park, St. Joseph – known for its excellent swimming, this beach on Lake Michigan also connects to the north pier. Walking to the lighthouse, fishing, and watching sunsets bring thousands here each summer.
Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer – this park has dunes, dunes, and more dunes (some reaching more than 250 feet tall), as well as plenty of beach. The swimming here on Lake Michigan is excellent, and there are miles of hiking trails to explore. Check out our Photo Gallery: Warren Dunes for more.
Well, now that you’ve seen 10best.com’s list of finalists, do you agree or disagree? Is your favorite on the list or was it ignored? Feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and let us know what Michigan beaches we need to check out this summer!