On this snowy Veteran’s Day, I think it is safe to say that the beach season is over in Michigan. That being said let’s take a look back at the Michigan beaches I have visited so far and rank my favorites. I’ll do this count down every year and update my ranking as I find more gems. Use your imagination and join me on a trip to my five favorite Michigan beaches. Here we go.
#5 Sleeper State Park, Caseville, MI:
3.5/ 5 Lake Huron.
Sleeper State Park is located at the top of Michigan’s Thumb, about two and half hours from the Detroit area. Come for the refreshing Lake Huron waters and check out the sand dunes. After getting a delicious Cheeseburger in Caseville, during the annual Cheeseburgers in Paradise festival (usually the 2nd weekend in August), relax and swim at the park. Sleeper State Park is a great day or weekend beach trip. Sleeper is also home to the cleanest and nicest bathrooms I have ever seen at a State Park.
#4 Lakeport State Park, Lakeport, MI:
4/5 Lake Huron.
This is my favorite day-trip beach in Michigan, located a little over an hour from metro Detroit. It’s an excellent place to relax and take in the endless horizon of Lake Huron with a great swimming beach, calms waters and beautiful white sand. Enjoy the Bluewater area, look at that water and bask in the sunshine.
#3 Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin, MI:
4/5 Lake Huron.
Port Crescent State Park is another top of the Thumb beach located in Port Austin about two and a half hours from metro Detroit. This beach has a hidden feel to it as you can’t see the beach from the parking lot or road. Take a short walk through the sand dunes to a natural beach, far from houses and other buildings. Port Crescent’s beach is in a sheltered cove, keeping it warmer and calmer. Escape your stress at Port Crescent.
#2 Oval Beach, Saugatuck, MI:
If you look at the total scores and statistics, Oval Beach has the highest score of any beach I have ranked so far. I have my reasons for putting another beach ahead of it for non-rating related factors, nothing against Oval Beach, just going on feelings. For both #1 and #2 ranked beaches, I had a hard time finding something to mark them down for, both are amazing. This beautiful natural beach reminds me so much of the Atlantic Ocean. Drive through a neighborhood then you will arrive at this hidden gem. Enjoy a walk along Lake Michigan as the waves crash on the shore. If you close your eyes, you can see yourself at the Atlantic. But why would you do that when you can take in the beauty that is staring you in the face. As many Great Lakes shirts have said, “No Sharks, no salt, no problems.” Located three hours from Detroit and two and half hours from Chicago, Oval Beach makes a perfect weekend beach getaway candidate. Make your plans for summer 2020.
#1 North Beach, South Haven, MI:
4.5/5 Lake Michigan
One of my favorite beaches anywhere is North Beach. This beach is huge and reminds me of Atlantic Ocean beaches I have visited (Ocean City, MD; Myrtle Beach, SC; and Bethany Beach, DE). North Beach is a large municipal beach with something for everyone. I have many treasured memories of this beach on Labor Days while I was in college and ultimately, I proposed to my wife here. I also have a lot of fantastic pictures of this beach. North Beach is the perfect place to see beautiful sunsets from the west-facing beach. This is another beach located close enough to Detroit and Chicago for a great weekend getaway.
Overall Beach standings 2019:
___ Beach _________ Total score _________ Star Rating __________ Lake
- Oval Beach ______ 18.5 __________ 4.5/5 ____________Michigan
- North Beach______18 ___________4.5/5 ____________ Michigan
- Port Crescent ____16.5 ___________4/5 _____________Huron
- Lakeport _________16.5 __________ 4/5_____________ Huron
- Sleeper___________16 ____________4/5______________ Huron
- Fort Gratiot ______16_____________ 4/5_____________ Huron
- Lighthouse Park _14.5 ____________3.5/5___________ Huron
- Van Buren St. ____14 ______________ 3/5 ____________Michigan
- Metro Beach ____ 13 ______________ 3/5 ____________ St. Clair
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