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The Beautiful Beaches of Northern Michigan

Summer’s not summer without a day at the beach and Northern Michigan offers some of the best beaches anywhere. Yes, the tropical climates offer some great beaches but here, well, our beaches rival the best. With so many great beaches in the northland, you don’t have to fight the crowds and the sun, sand, and surf are yours to enjoy. Pack a picnic lunch and the sun screen and head to the beach.

Here’s a sampling of some of Northern Michigan’s best beach spots:

Crooked Lake

On the shores of Crooked Lake in Conway is a spot favored by wind surfers. These shallow waters and sandy shores are great for families as well as serious wind aficionados.

Ferry Beach

Lake Charlevoix’s inviting waters lure swimmers into this great spot. Located within the city of Charlevoix, this is a great family spot and the place to be on windy days if you’re not a surf lover but the waters are calm. And the warm waters are great all season long.

Fisherman's Island State Park

Located just south of Charlevoix, Fisherman’s Island State Park has everything you could ask for in a beach. The views of the setting sun are million dollar moments.

Harbor Springs Zoll Street Beach

This tiny beach sandwiched between Wequetonsing and Walstrom’s marina is the area’s best kept secret. For a perfect summer swim, hit the water here and swim past the cottages of Wequetonsing. Many sailors and sail boarders love this beach. Dogs, too, as this is a dog friendly beach.

Harbor Springs City Beach & Park

Locally known as “the beach,” this spot really is a beach scene. If you want a social setting along with sun and fun, this is the place to be. Hang out on the sand, swim out to the rafts, and then walk a block to downtown Harbor Springs for an ice cream cone.

Michigan Avenue Beach

Few towns can boast such an incredible beach right within the city limits. Charlevoix can! This Lake Michigan beach has something for everyone including a view of the boats passing through the channel to Lake Charlevoix.

Middle Village Beach

Located down Lampkin Road from nearby Good Hart, this beach has great sand, sun, waves, and peacefulness. Watch the sailboats pass by on their way to Harbor Springs from the Mackinac Island races. On clear days, Beaver Island looks like it’s within stone tossing distance.

Petoskey State Park

One European family on their second visit to Northern Michigan spent a day at this beach and remarked, “Why didn’t we come here last year? It’s better than anything in Europe!” Miles of sand, Petoskey stones, great dunes, camping, picnicking, waves, and incredible sunsets await beach goers at Petoskey State Park.

Sturgeon Bay

Wow! That’s it in a nutshell for this special spot. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan between Cross Village and Mackinaw City, this beach has miles of sand and dunes and, on windy days, excellent waves for playing.

Young State Park

Just outside of Boyne City on Lake Charlevoix is a great inland lake beach. The shores of Lake Charlevoix are wonderful for swimming, sunning, and playing in the water.

Discover more around Northern Michigan!

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Activities & Attractions in Northern Michigan

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park is one of the premier destinations for campers and outdoor lovers and is tucked away between Petoskey and Harbor Springs.

M-119 Tunnel of Trees

Take a beautiful color tour as you travel under a tunnel of colorful trees along M-119 from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

mackinac island ferry

Northern Lake Michigan Ferries

When visiting Northern Michigan, be sure to ride one of the local Lake Michigan ferries. It’s an adventure that should be on every travelers’ Up North bucket list!

Searching for Petoskey Stones in Northern Michigan

Great Outdoors

Why do people enjoy being up north so much? Find out what makes being up north feel special with our list of Northern Michigan specialties.

Searching for Petoskey Stones in Northern Michigan

Pet Friendly Places Up North

Why do people enjoy being up north so much? Find out what makes being up north feel special with our list of Northern Michigan specialties.

Downtown Mackinac Island

Get off the ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace to Mackinac Island and the first thing you’ll see is the historic downtown area.

Beaver Island

Beaver Island Up North

Beaver Island is located 32 miles offshore of Charlevoix, Michigan and is the largest island in Lake Michigan.