I am ranking my top five beaches in a different format this year vs what I have done in previous years. I wasn’t able to share many beach ratings this year, so if I did the typical annual ratings, they wouldn’t be much different from last year, with many ties for the top five spots.
The two new beaches I reviewed this year, Holland State Park and Pere Marquette Park, would make the top five based on their scores.
If you have been following along with my blog the past few years, or have experienced Michigan’s beaches firsthand, you know that Michigan has countless amazing beaches. There are a few duds, but most are spectacular, and I find it hard to differentiate among beaches and which are the best in the state. As my list grows, I believe it will become harder to pick the top five beaches in Michigan.
Currently, my list of beaches reviewed contains twenty beaches and I have some notes for more beaches to review and publish. For traditional top five lists, see top five beaches of; 2021, 2020 and 2019.
This year, I decided to list my top five secluded beaches of Michigan. What these beaches have in common is that they are off the beaten path, and there is little to no development surrounding them. These beaches are natural beauties that likely appear as they did, even before people arrived in Michigan. Another important element to be considered a secluded beach is that it isn’t overwhelmed with droves of people. Many of the well-known popular state parks are very crowded throughout the summer. Often these popular beaches are worth fighting the crowds for. But for times when you just want peace and quiet at a beach, head to these secluded beaches. Now, as a follower of this blog, you are receiving privileged information, so don’t share these beaches with everyone. Share William Sterling State Park with your annoying neighbor instead (one of my lowest rated beaches).
Kicking off the list at number five is Haserot Beach, located 20 miles north of Traverse City on the old Mission Peninsula. Traverse City can get very busy during the summer, so beat the crowds, drive north past the vineyards, and arrive at this quiet cove on the eastern arm of the Grand Traverse Bay. Haserot Beach is very small, so hopefully no one else has the same idea. You came this far up the Old Mission Peninsula, go another mile and check out the Mission Point Lighthouse. One disclaimer for this beach. I visited Haserot Beach on a weekday with overcast weather. I am not sure how busy it will be on a sunny Saturday in July. For more, follow the link
Number four, Christmas Cove Beach, Santa’s summertime beach retreat (however, I can’t confirm or deny Santa’s vacation plans), located on the Leelanau Peninsula, north of the major tourist attractions, of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Fishtown (Leland). This beach is easy to miss driving through farmland. The driveway to the parking lot is a steep one through the woods. The foot paths to the beach from the parking lot aren’t obvious either, for making your way through the woods down to the beach. Look in either direction up and down the shore and it is heavily wooded, no houses in sight. Look out to the west and marvel at the infinite power and majesty of Lake Michigan. Being a very secluded beach, Christmas Cove Beach has a water line that is very rocky, so bring your lake shoes. I have a disclaimer for this beach as well. The day I went was an overcast weekday, so I am not sure how crowded it gets on a nice weather weekend. It actually rained while I had been at the beach for half an hour. In some of the pictures, you can see the rain starting to come down over Lake Michigan and coming onto the shore. This was the same day I visited Haserot Beach. The two beaches are relatively close as the crow flies, but because both are on peninsulas, so it is about an hour drive between them. For more, follow the link .
Number three on the list is located at the tip of Michigan’s thumb on Lake Huron, Port Crescent State Park. To get to the beach, you must hike the trails through the wind-swept sand dunes. Once there, you will discover this small cove on Lake Huron. The actual beach is very narrow, but very long. Go out in the water and it is a very gradual descent. Combine this with the cove, and it makes for very calm waters. I went on a warm weekend day with no issues of crowds or space on the beach. A perfect place to relax, hakuna matata. Follow the link for more.
Another spectacular beach is Oval Beach, coming in at number two on the list. Oval Beach has been ranked number one and two in the previous year’s rankings for a reason. It is located on Michigan’s west coast among the sand dunes. The beach, the surrounding forest and Kalamazoo River create a large nature preserve in the area. Oval Beach is a decently well-known beach vs. the next beach on the list, while still being secluded. To reach Oval Beach, you take neighborhood roads through the woods. The undisturbed beach stretches for nearly a mile to the north, to the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. Oval Beach can easily be mistaken for an Atlantic beach. Don’t let the secret out on Oval Beach.
The number one secluded beach on the list might come as a surprise because of where it is located. The winner is Life Saving Station Beach within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sleeping Bear Dunes is a well-known tourist destination, the dunes are the main draw for tourists. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has 35 miles of shoreline with beaches. The water at Life Saving Station Beach is Caribbean clear with beautiful views in all directions. The beach offers lovely white sand and calm waters. It is even a beautiful site to see in the winter. I noticed most people who come to Life Saving Station Beach just happen to find the beach after checking out the lifesaving station museum, -most are in street clothes. Very few people come to this beach with the intention to hang out at the beach all day, most find it by accident.
Now you are in on the secret. Don’t ruin a good thing. There are more secluded beaches throughout Michigan, I just haven’t gotten to them all yet. I will upload them to the site as I find them and go along. Enjoy your Michigan Explorer travels, my friends.
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