Best Michigan Beach (2018)


With shoreline on four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan offers visitors hundreds of miles of family friendly freshwater beaches, perfect for summer vacation. From spectacular sunsets to the adventure-fueled sands of Sleeping Bear Dunes, there's a beach for every taste.

  • Pere Marquette Park

    Pere Marquette Park

    Popular among families, Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon features a powdery sand beach, as well as a playground, fishing pier and picnic area. It's one of only three nationally certified Clean Beaches on the Great Lakes.
    Photo courtesy of AP Photo/The Muskegon Chronicle, Ken Stevens

  • Grand Haven State Park

    Grand Haven State Park
    Grand Haven

    The 48-acre Grand Haven State Park is home to a beautiful sandy Lake Michigan beach on the west side of the park. Other amenities include a picnic area, boardwalk, playground equipment and 174 campsites. 
    Photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources

  • First Street Beach

    First Street Beach

    One of the largest beaches in Manistee County, First Street Beach has it all: a designated swimming area, walkable pier, fish cleaning station, playground, picnic area and dedicated dog beach.
    Photo courtesy of Dan Perry / Flickr

  • Oval Beach

    Oval Beach

    The main beach in Saugatuck, Oval Beach features a long sweep of shoreline backed by undulating sand dunes. Summertime amenities include a picnic area, concessions and convenient parking.
    Photo courtesy of Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • South Beach

    South Beach
    South Haven

    This ADA-accessible beach in South Haven has everything you'd need for a day of fun in the sun: grills, a picnic area, playground, restrooms and views of the red South Haven lighthouse.
    Photo courtesy of South Haven/Van Buren County

  • Stearns Park Beach

    Stearns Park Beach

    A popular family beach, Stearns Park Beach in 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.
    Photo courtesy of Josh Clark/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

  • Hunter's Point Park

    Hunter's Point Park
    Copper Harbor

    Jutting out into Lake Superior in Copper Harbor, Hunter's Point Park features a rather unique red sand beach. The surrounding 9.4-acre park is also excellent for hiking and biking in summer, skiing and snowshoeing in winter.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / SteveLagreca

  • Hoeft State Park

    Hoeft State Park
    Rogers City

    The heavily wooded, 300-acre Hoeft State Park near Rogers City includes an excellent beach on Lake Huron with its own lakefront picnic shelter, all within 100 yards of a modern campground.
    Photo courtesy of Ken Wyatt / Wikimedia Commons

  • PJ Hoffmaster State Park

    PJ Hoffmaster State Park

    PJ Hoffmaster State Park protects 3 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. When not swimming or sunning on the sand, visitors can climb a staircase to the top of a high dune for panoramic views of the dunes and lake.
    Photo courtesy of A Healthier Michigan / Flickr

  • Tawas Point State Park

    Tawas Point State Park
    East Tawas

    Tawas Point State Park occupies the end of a sand split on Tawas Bay. Known by some as the "Cape Cod of the Midwest," this beach destination boasts warm, shallow water for swimming and camping near the lakeshore.
    Photo courtesy of Chris Light / Wikimedia Commons


The top 10 winners in the category Best Michigan Beach are as follows:

  1. Pere Marquette Park - Muskegon
  2. Grand Haven State Park - Grand Haven
  3. First Street Beach - Manistee
  4. Oval Beach - Saugatuck
  5. South Beach - South Haven
  6. Stearns Park Beach - Ludington
  7. Hunter’s Point Park - Copper Harbor
  8. Hoeft State Park - Rogers City
  9. PJ Hoffmaster State Park - Muskegon
  10. Tawas Point State Park - East Tawas

10Best editors and local experts partnered with Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a. "Dr. Beach") to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Congratulations to these 10 winning beaches!

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