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Lake Magazine
     May 19, 2017      #13-138 LK1

Lake Michigan Beach Towns

Ciudades Playa en Lago Michigan

Michigan Beachtowns along the west Michigan Lakeshore, offer a relaxing, carefree getaway with miles of sandy Lake Michigan beaches, exciting attractions, fun events and fantastic sunsets. Experience our "singing sands", a unique phenomenon only to the Lake Michigan beaches.


City Beach

Just a short walk from downtown, New Buffalo's City Beach is a very nice swimming beach on Lake Michigan. It's a great spot to splash in the water, play beach volleyball, catch some rays, and watch the sunset. Lifeguards are on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Colored flags are used to indicate lake conditions. 

The park's swings and playground equipment are favorites for younger visitors. The stairs and elevated boardwalk system at the back of the park provide unique views of the harbor and beach, and you can walk back to the beach using one of several sand hiking paths that connect to the boardwalk. 

A concession stand at the beach sells hot dogs, ice cream, beverages and snacks. Restrooms are located at the sides of the concession stand. 

Parking at the beach costs a fee, and it's more expensive Friday through Monday than it is the rest of the week. New Buffalo city and township residents can buy parking lot season passes at a reduced rate; others are not eligible to buy season passes. For the current parking fees, visit the City Beach web page.

New Buffalo Parks

Oselka Park is a large recreation area between Clay Street and Indiana Street. The park has several ball diamonds for baseball and softball. A small playground is located on the northwest corner of the park, and there is a picnic area and restrooms located near the center of the park. New Buffalo's high school football field is located on the north side of East Clay Street at the park. Parking is available in the lots along Indiana Street and Bronson Street. 

On the south side of Clay Street, a skate park and tennis courts are available. The skate park has a few ramps of different sizes, and rules for the skate park are posted near the entrance. Parking is available on near the tennis courts and the skate park.

Lions Pavilion Park is across the street from City Beach. The park has a large picnic pavilion that is used for gatherings. Several picnic tables are available to relax, eat lunch, and watch the boats using the Galien River. There is also green space to play frisbee.

Sari Asher Memorial Park is a play space for furry friends. The dog park has lots of room for dogs to run, with a few shade trees nearby. A limited number of chairs are available for dog owners to use while their dogs play. A small parking lot is located near the park entrance. 

Turtle Pond Nature Preserve is an undeveloped space on Washington Street that has shade trees, wild flowers, and low-lying plants. A nature trail can be accessed from the parking area. You may want to use insect spray if you venture into the woods at the park during the summer since you can encounter mosquitos.


Silver Beach

Located off Exit 27 of I-94 below the bluff in downtown St. Joseph. It has a 600-space parking lot off Broad Street, men's and women's bathhouses, park office and visitors' center, pavilion, south pier, bike racks, playground equipment, volleyball nets and a 1,600-foot beach for swimmers (lifeguard on duty during the summer). Parking fee.

Grand Mere State Park

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Adjacent to Lincoln Township Park, this 371-acre nature area is a favorite spot for "birders." As part of the 1,000-acre Grand Mere State Park, Grand Mere Nature Area offers a variety of settings for studying the outdoors, including sand dunes, beach woods, an old lake bed, a hemlock swamp and cranberry bog. Visitors will enjoy hiking or cross-country skiing the trails and observing a variety of native birds and mammals throughout the seasons. Directions: I-94 exit 22, west on Grand Mere Rd, then south 7/10 mile on Thorton Dr. Follow signs.

Jean Klock Park

Lake Michigan swimming, paved parking, boardwalk, volleyball courts, observation tower, pavilion, bathhouse, concession area, playground and picnic shelter. Directions: From St Joseph, take M-63 north approx 1 mile. Turn left, follow Klock Rd .2 miles. Turn right, follow Jean Drive .2 miles to park entrance.

Lions Park

Located off Exit 27 of I-94 below the bluff in downtown St. Joseph, south on Lions Park Drive. Sheltered pavilions, parking and sidewalks. (No lifeguard on duty). Playground, picnic areas, restrooms and a superb view of St. Joseph's piers and lighthouse.

Rocky Gap Park

Swimming, picnicking and scenic view, three acres along 1100 feet of shoreline. No restrooms or lifeguard on duty. Directions: From St Joseph, take M-63 north approx 2 miles. Turn left, follow Rock Gap Rd to Park .5 miles.

Warren Dunes State Park

A summertime favorite, Warren Dunes State Park offers 1,507 acres of dunes and lakefront camping. Open year-round, the park offers camping and hunting in the Fall, cross-country skiing in the Winter, and picnicking, sailboarding, swimming, hiking, and hang-gliding in the Summer. 197 campsites with electricity, hot and cold running water, showers, bathrooms and fire circles make the park ideal for family camping. Children will enjoy the variety of playground equipment and the organizational youth area for 150 people. Directions: I-94 Exit 16, three miles southeast of Bridgman on Red Arrow Hwy.

Weko Beach

Weko Beach features a modern beach house with concessions stand, camping, changing areas, restrooms, a cold outdoor shower, a boat launch directly into Lake Michigan and volleyball nets. There is also a beautiful boardwalk, two dune overlooks and the playing of 'Taps' at dusk on summer evenings. Leashed pets allowed only in campground. We take reservations on cabins only, entrance fee required. Directions: Located off Exit 16 of I-94, then north on Red Arrow Highway and west on Lake Street in Bridgman.


South Beach

Exit 20, turn west off of exit ramp onto Phoenix Road. After the 4th stoplight Phoenix becomes Water Street. Water Street turns into the parking lot for the South Beach. Beach is ADA accessible, has grills, picnic area, play equipment, restrooms, and our big, red lighthouse. $7 per trip parking fee (credit card or cash).

North Beach

Exit 22, turn west off of exit ramp onto North Shore Drive. Cross Blue Star Highway and follow around curve. Turn right onto Avery Street (there's a sign showing you where to turn for North Beach). Beach is ADA accessible, has a concession stand, picnic area, play equipment, restrooms, and beach volleyball courts. $7 per trip parking fee (credit card or cash).

Newcome Beach

Exit 22, turn west off of exit ramp onto North Shore Drive. Cross Blue Star Highway and follow around curve. Located on the right side of the street. Street parking only.

Oak Street Beach

Exit 22, turn west off of exit ramp onto North Shore Drive. Cross Blue Star Highway and follow around curve. Located two blocks from Newcome Beach, on the right. Parking lot is for those with a beach sticker parking pass only.

Packard Park and Beach

Exit 22, turn west off of exit ramp onto North Shore Drive. Cross Blue Star Highway and follow around curve. Located 6 blocks on right. Park has grills, picnic tables, deck overlooking Lake Michigan, and a large shaded grassy area. $7 per trip parking fee (credit card or cash).

Deerlick Creek Beach

Exit 20, turn west off of exit ramp onto Phoenix Road. At the first light, turn south onto Blue Star Highway. Continue to 76th Street. Turn west onto 76th Street and go to 13th Avenue. 13th Avenue curves onto Roper and then back to 13th again. Follow it a short distance to the end and you will be in the beach access parking lot. Free parking. Portable toilets and dog friendly.

Dyckman Beach

Exit 22, turn west off of exit ramp onto North Shore Drive. Cross Blue Star Highway. and follow around curve. Located to the right of the only Stop sign on North Shore Drive. $7 per trip parking fee (credit card or cash).

Woodman Beach

Exit 22, turn west off of exit ramp onto North Shore Drive. Cross Blue Star Highway and follow around curve. Located on Woodman Street, south of Dyckman Beach. $7 per trip parking fee (cash only).


Oval Beach

Oval Beach has earned an international reputation! It has been ranked one of the top 25 beaches in the world by Conde' Nast Traveler, one of the top two fresh water beaches in the USA by National Geographic Traveler magazine and one of the top five beaches in the USA by MTV. More recently the Chicago Tribune rated it #1 among the Midwest's top five beaches and also ranked it the best beach on Lake Michigan. The Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area, which borders Oval Beach, was recently nominated in a search for the 8th Wonder of the World following designation as one of the eleven most endangered eco systems in the world by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Guided hiking tours are available in season. Amenities include a concession stand, restrooms, showers, playground, picnic tables, grills and three large parking areas. There is a fee of $6 per car during the peak season. Bicycles enter free. | Perryman St & Oval Beach Drive, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Douglas Beach

Douglas Beach is a serene lakeshore neighborhood beach located in Douglas, Michigan. Due to its more private setting in a residential area, there are very limited parking spaces available. At street level there is a restroom and changing facility plus picnic tables and grills. The beach is accessed by a descending stairway. Local residents and visitors gather on this pristine beach to enjoy it's peaceful setting. | Lakeshore Drive, Douglas, MI 49406

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Hiking trails and Cross country ski trails abound at this state park which has more than two miles of Lake Michigan frontage. The shoreline is flanked by some 200 foot tall dunes and 1000 acres of hiking terrain. Be prepared for a 10 minute walk on a sandy trail to get to a lovely secluded natural beach. A parking fee may apply, free with Michigan State Park pass. | 6575 138th Avenue (64th & 138th) Saugatuck, MI 49453

Pier Cove Beach

This interesting beach is crisscrossed with water trenches from rivulets of water descending into Lake Michigan from a stream that flows into the lake.... perfect for small children who love to wade in shallow water. Pier Cove originally got its name because of multiple piers that extended out into Lake Michigan to accommodate ships. The beach is known for its unusual smooth stones and beach glass. There is steep stairway access to a small sandy beach and picnic area. At street level there are very few parking spots available. | 70th Avenue, Ganges Township, MI

Laketown Beach

This peaceful serene beach is located in Laketown Township several miles north of Saugatuck on Lake Michigan. A steep dune stairway provides access to this beautiful Lake Michigan beach....be aware that there are approximately 350 steps to ascend and descend. Parking is limited. This is predominantly a private beach for Laketown Township residents. | 6710 142nd Avenue - Laketown Township


Holland State Park

One of Michigan's most-visited State Parks, this expansive beach offers great views of Holland's famous "Big Red" lighthouse. With two campgrounds, grills, a playground, concession stand and store, you can spend a day or a week! Kayak and canoe rentals are located onsite; plus you can fish off the pier. Parking charge; wi-fi available.

Tunnel Park

Take the concrete tunnel through a sand dune to get to this family-friendly beach! There's a playground for the kids, sand volleyball courts, picnic shelters, and a dune climb. Spend the day swimming; stay for the sunset! Parking charge.

Kirk Park

If hiking along the shore is your thing, head 15 minutes north of Holland to Kirk Park, where you will be greeted by wooded dunes and high bluffs, plus a beautiful beach for swimming. Parking charge. Off-leash dog beach accessible year-round using south beach stairs.

Laketown Beach

The climb up the long wooden staircase to access one of Holland's most beautiful beaches is well worth the effort! Parking is limited to marked spaces only.

Olive Shores Park

Just north of Holland, this 20-acre park includes boardwalks and stairs traversing a wooded dune, providing access to an expansive Lake Michigan beach. There's a picnic area, modern restrooms, and a marker highlighting the site featured in the film Road to Perdition.


Grand Haven State Park

Michigan's #1 State Park and AAA's preferred beach for Michigan. A popular destination for camping, fishing, sunbathing, volleyball and swimming. This 48-acre park is located on the beautiful sandy shore of Lake Michigan. The park consists entirely of beach sand and provides scenic views of Lake Michigan and the Grand Haven pier and lighthouse.

North Beach

This popular 7 acre park offers swimming and sunbathing along 745 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. During the summer, a barrier free beach walkway is available. Visitors can also climb the wooden stairway to the top of a dune for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan. Located 2 miles north of Grand Haven.

Grand Haven City Beach

Sandy swimming beach located on Lake Michigan. The city beach is nestled between The Bil-Mar, a beachfront restaurant, and Grand Haven State Park beach on Harbor Drive. Limited free parking is available. No fees or passes required. Leashed dogs are allowed on the VERY South end of the City Beach - South of The Bil-Mar - look for signs.

Rosy Mound Natural Area

A classic Great Lakes dune system including high wooded dunes, foredunes, beach and a dune blowout. A 0.7 mile (one way) hiking trail from the parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes and scenic views of woods, the dune blowout and Lake Michigan. A unique shade canopy and dune boardwalk trail.

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

Features over three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and beaches, 297 site modern campground, towering sand dunes, and the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center. Miles of hiking and skiing trails offers stunning views Lake Michigan and subtle beauty at every turn. Located five miles north of Grand Haven.


Stearns Park Beach

At the end of Ludington Avenue is Stearns Park Beach with 2,500 feet of sandy shoreline. Here you can enjoy a large, grassy area with abundant picnic tables and grills...and parking is always free. Stearns Park Beach also features the North Breakwater Lighthouse, miniature golf course, shuffleboard, playground and skate park. Concessions and restrooms are open daily in the summer.

Ludington State Park

Explore the sugar sand shoreline at the Ludington State Park Beach just north of town. Nearly seven miles long, a portion of this beach is outside the gate, so a State Park permit is not needed. Within the park are the warm, shallow waters of Hamlin Lake Beach. For your convenience, playgrounds, concession stands and restroom facilities are available at the Hamlin Lake Beach as well as at the beach along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Buttersville & Summit Park Beaches

Located high on a bluff between Lake Michigan and Pere Marquette Lake, Buttersville Park has perhaps the greatest view of all the parks. Located off South Lakeshore Drive, you'll find a picnic area with grills, playground, restrooms, and a pavilion. Steps lead down to the expansive Lake Michigan beach, with a view of the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse in the distance. If you're looking for another great view, visit Summit Park on South Lakeshore Drive, past the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant. This park has picnic tables that overlook Lake Michigan, grills, and beach access.

Oceana County Beaches

All along the lakeshore, you'll find safe public beaches including the Charles Mears Beach in Pentwater. The north and south Pierhead Lights are inside the park as well as 175 paved campsite lots. Visit the Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears for wild adventures on the dunes and fun in the water.

Ludington Parks

Named after a longtime city commissioner, Copeyon Park is located on south Washington Avenue, just past the bridge. Situated on the east shore of Pere Marquette Lake, Copeyon Park offers picnic tables (including an area with windscreens facing the lake), grills, playground, and a launching site. This is a nice park for viewing the Port of Ludington, and a good spot for fishing. Right on Ludington Avenue between Lewis and Gaylord Streets is Rotary Park, (formerly known as City Park). Within this shady, grassy area are benches, picnic tables, the Rotary Band Shell and restrooms. In the summertime, art fairs and Movies in the Park are held here.Waterfront Park, between the two downtown marinas, boasts paved walkways, pristine landscaping, a great playground--plus tables and benches throughout. An amphitheater provides a nice place for summer concerts, with restrooms in the back. At the corner of North Washington and Sherman within Ludington's city limits, you'll find the very pretty Memorial Tree Park, featuring benches that overlook Lincoln Lake. Nestled among the trees, you can enjoy a meal or snack at one of the picnic tables and kids can play on the swings. Just off Old US-31, Sutton's Landing is a charming park along the Pere Marquette River. A unique feature of this park is the handicapped accessible riverwalk, with a wooden ramp that leads down to the river, perfect for fishing or launching a canoe.

Hamlin Lake Parks

South Bayou Park is close to many resorts, and has picnic tables, swings, and a boat launch. Head to South Bayou Park with a cup of coffee and watch the gorgeous sunrise over Hamlin Lake.

 Long Skinny Park is just that...a long, skinny park that runs along S. Lakeshore Drive. You can park here and fish, plus there's a picnic table where you can enjoy lunch or dinner right by the water's edge. There are two parks on Upper Hamlin Lake. Victory Township Park features picnic tables, grills, and a pavilion. A nice feature of this park is the fact it is right on the water, so you can sit by the lake's edge and soak in the beautiful scenery. Wilson Hill Park on Barnhart Road is quite the popular place. You can enjoy a picnic at one of the tables under a covered pavilion, grills are available for use, plus there's a playground and boat launch.

Scottville Riverside Park

Scottville Riverside Park is unique for its location--30 acres along the Pere Marquette River. In addition to camping, this park offers picnic tables, grills, a shelter with stone fireplace, and a playground. This beautiful park is the venue for many summer activities, such as the West Michigan Old Engine Club Tractor Pull and the annual Rubber Duck Race.

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anonymous on Gary Moore: Are you… @ 09/17/2020
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anonymous on Manteno native\'s… @ 09/17/2020
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anonymous on Region\'s… @ 09/09/2020
Excellent article
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anonymous on Bradley Elementary… @ 09/03/2020
Post your comments for the world to see!
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anonymous on BOYS GOLF: Watseka… @ 09/03/2020
Thanks for all the great content!
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