8 Beach Towns To Visit In Michigan

With summer just around the corner, now is the best time to pick the beach town of your dreams for your next vacation. When thinking of summer fun and beaches, Michigan may not be the first place that comes to mind. But the east side has some of the most stunning coasts in all of America. 

Home to plenty of beautiful, quaint, and sophisticated beach towns, Michigan has everything you need to have a memorable time this season. From South Haven to Holland, these beach towns offer plenty of water activities, an unforgettable shopping experience, unique attractions to explore, art and history, and of course, delicious food.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 8 Michigan beach towns, so you don’t miss out on the fun!

1. Traverse City

Located in northern Michigan, Traverse City is a small beach town sitting on Grand Traverse Bay. The city welcomed visitors looking for recreation and adventure during its early years. 

Fast-forward to today, and the place offers tons of fun activities besides just letting you soak in the sun at the beach. Try your hand at adventurous watersports by renting a jet ski or a kayak. Moreover, you can make your way to Clinch Park while visiting the numerous boutiques and shops along the way.

2. St. Ignace

St. Ignace is situated in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on the north shore of the Straits of Mackinac. It’s well known for its scenic Wawatam Lighthouse and its maritime history. However, with beautiful sandy beaches, St. Ignace is also a top destination for many people during the summer months, and even during the rest of the year.

As you drive across the beach town, you will come across many lakefront parks where you can stop and explore. Sand Dunes Beach is a good spot to enjoy the sun, sky, and crystal clear water. Paddle your paddleboard or canoe across Lake Michigan’s waters as you take in the picturesque views.

3. Holland

This famous beach town is home to some fascinating history, being one of the first settlements in all of Michigan. But apart from its rich heritage, Holland also offers many Dutch-themed amenities, shops, and much more! The beaches in Holland are some of the finest in the state. Located right on Lake Michigan, Holland State Park has many campgrounds and beach access points. 

The mild climate also makes it a wonderful place to visit all year round. During fall, you can take part in the Labor Day Boardwalk, which includes cruising around town on bicycles to appreciate the stunning beauty of Holland. In the spring, come attend the Tulip Time Festival, a tourist favorite to see tulips in bloom, and catch a glimpse of the DeZwaan Windmill in Windmill Island Gardens to delight your senses. 

4. Saugatuck

Looking for a beach with breath-taking views and a welcoming atmosphere? Saugatuck is the place for you! This beach town is a popular summer getaway for many Michiganders. There are ample opportunities to bike, kayak, enjoy the great outdoors, visit art galleries, shop, and dine at waterfront restaurants that showcase the best of Michigan’s culinary offerings.

And while you’re in town, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by the famous Oval Beach. Recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top freshwater beaches in the country, Oval Beach features a sand dune-backed beach, a picture-perfect shoreline, and family-friendly amenities for just $10 a day!

5. Oscoda

If there’s one place you can truly call a “beach town,” it’s Oscoda. Aside from some of the most charming lakefront parks Michigan has to offer, the region has no shortage of thrilling outdoor and water activities. You will also come across numerous little stores and ice cream stalls lining the streets outside Oscoda Beach Park along Lake Huron. So, you can lie in the sand to get a gorgeous tan while enjoying your ice cream, take a swim, or go kayaking in the pristine waters of the Au Sable River.

6. St. Joseph

Thanks to its family-friendly beach environment, St. Joseph is the go-to vacation point for many folks. Here you’ll find a variety of unique shops, elegant restaurants, and spectacular natural scenery. There are tons of attractions for children, such as The Silver Beach Carousel and Curious Kids Discovery Center, so your kids can enjoy the trip as much as you. 

After a day at the beach, head to Warren Dunes State Park with your kids for waterfront camping and witness the surrounding wildlife. But if you’re feeling hungry, make your way downtown, where you’ll find several great restaurants and eateries to satisfy your hunger.  

7. Petosky

Doesn’t matter if you visit Petoskey during the summers or winters, this beach town is an ideal vacation spot all throughout the year. Petoskey gives you the best of both worlds; you can enjoy warm sandy beaches in the summer or have an exhilarating skiing experience during the colder months.

The area has much more to offer than just beautiful beaches. With a great historical background, there are quite a few sites around the town that you can explore on a traditional trolley.  But if you love adventure, the town also has many fun outdoor activities such as ziplining, kayaking, rafting, biking, camping, etc. Looking for superb camping sites? Check these out!

No beach town would be complete without delicious food, and Petoskey is no exception. Here, you can find everything from American favorites to Greek and Mediterranean cuisine that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.

8. South Haven

South Haven has a perfect mix of natural beauty, culture, and family-friendly activities. It’s the ideal Michigan beach town that offers scenic beaches and warmer waters than most other places in the state. One look and you can tell that it’s a place worth visiting: long stretches of sand dunes, turquoise waters, white-topped waves breaking gently against the shoreline – it’s like something out of an island resort brochure!

Apart from going to the beach, there are plenty of things to do for fun in South Haven. Visit the Michigan Maritime Museum to experience sailing on an actual tall ship. You can also enjoy some of the town’s many eateries or take a lazy stroll around town and browse the shops. The beach town also has a great farmer’s market and the best blueberries you’ll find in the state; it’s the blueberry capital of Michigan for a reason.

Beach Towns To Visit In Michigan

Nothing compares to the feeling of sand between your toes, seagulls in the sky, and waves crashing on the shore. Add to that Michigan’s fun recreational parks, shops, cafes, and restaurants, and you get the best vacation you can ask for! Any of these destinations will make an amazing vacation for you and your loved ones….start planning today!