If there’s one thing Michigan is known for, it’s an abundance of beautiful beachfront destinations. After all, they don’t call us the Great Lakes State for nothing – and we’re proud to be overflowing with some of the most charming waterfront locales imaginable. Or course, our natural beauty draws in crowds each summer, but there’s still plenty of time to visit these nine lovely spots before the heaviest tourist traffic arrives.
1. South Haven
Situated on the breathtaking shores of Lake Michigan, this small but mighty town has a little something for everyone. Take a dip in the cool waters before strolling through downtown South Haven, where you’ll find everything from gift shops to delectable eateries. You’ll even find multiple blueberry farms in the area where you can pick your own sweet fruit. What’s not to love?
This stunning small town bustles with activity throughout the summer months, and it’s easy to see why. With multiple beaches, including the unique Fisherman’s Island State Park, Charlevoix is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Walk along the pier or do a bit of shopping downtown - this is the perfect spot to explore before the intense summertime crowds make an appearance.
It doesn’t get much more charming than Frankfort. This Benzie County gem offers direct access to the waters of Lake Michigan, a breathtaking lighthouse, plenty of unique restaurants, a vintage movie theatre, and so much more. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, make the short drive to Beulah and pick up a pie or two at The Cherry Hut. Talk about a delicious adventure.
Manistee might not be the most popular of Michigan’s beach towns, but it still draws in quite a crowd at the height of the summer season. If you stop by before tourism numbers peak, you’ll enjoy the peaceful beauty of Orchard Beach State Park and the lovely atmosphere along the Manistee Riverwalk. Explore the town’s small but charming downtown area before calling it a day.
If you’re a fan of small towns, Caseville is the place for you. This lovely little locale in Michigan’s Thumb region is a hub for cottage-dwellers each summer, and you’ll fall in love with its charm as soon as you arrive. As if its proximity to Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay weren’t enough, Caseville also offers one of the most delightful coffee shops imaginable: Brew Moon. Be sure to stop by before the summertime crowds settle in.
Saugatuck truly offers something for everyone. From the stunning shores of Oval Beach to multiple art galleries and eateries galore, this West Michigan favorite is a constant source of delight for locals and visitors alike. If you visit in the height of summer, you’ll have to contend with scores of other tourists in this tiny town - so we recommend checking it out before the warm weather traffic picks up.
Ludington might just be Michigan’s most quintessential beach town, and you’ll fall in love as soon as you arrive. Whether you’re camping near the waterfront at Ludington State Park, exploring the area’s beautiful lighthouses, or checking out Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, you’ll have an absolute blast. There’s no better place to experience some of Michigan’s loveliest points of pride.
8. East Tawas
Catch a stunning sunrise from the shores of Lake Huron when you spend a weekend in East Tawas, which offers a welcomed escape from the realities of everyday life. If you’re not in the mood to mingle with countless other visitors, book a springtime room near Tawas Point State Park and enjoy a quick getaway before tourist season arrives in full swing.
As the entry point to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, it’s no surprise that Munising is a popular tourist destination. After all, this sweet little town gives way to one of the state’s most incredible natural wonders, whether you’re interested in hiking, boat tours, or simply driving along the coast. From waterfalls to beachfront rooms, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in Munising.
Did we leave your favorite Michigan beach town off our list? It would truly be impossible to list them all, so feel free to drop us a line with your suggestions in the comment section below!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.