Beach Ratings

Which beach is best? Every year I will be updating my top 5 Michigan beaches that I have been too (Check out 2019 and 2020’s lists). What makes one beach better than another? There are a number of factors that make for the perfect beach day. I broke it down into 4 rated categories; beach size, views, bathrooms, and swimming conditions. I also considered the sand, available parking and cost. Finally, at the end I make my recommendation if you should check out the beach based on how far away you are. But maybe the pictures will entice you to go anyway.

Oval Beach, Saugatuck. Lake Michigan

Beach size:

            Is the beach big enough for everyone? Can I set up a blanket and chairs? Is there enough water frontage to go for a walk? Summer 2019 saw record high water levels throughout the Great Lakes causing loss of beachfront throughout the region.

5 stars- Perfect size

4 stars- Great size

3 stars- Average size

2 stars- Below average size

1 star- where’s the beach?

North Beach, South Haven. Lake Michigan


            Most all beaches have amazing views by definition. But sometimes there are things that ruin the view. I consider the view out over the open water, the surroundings, and the sunset and sunrise views.

5 stars- Unforgettable

4 stars- Amazing

3 stars- Decent

2 stars- Below average (potentially industrial)

1 star – Ugly view (industrial and or polluted)

Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin. Lake Huron


            Everyone has got to go. I hold bathrooms very highly because I spend long hours, if not all day at the beach. I also find it important for changing out of my wet swim trunks and into dry clothes. Unfortunately, most State parks where we find most of these beaches, they have average bathrooms.

5 stars- High quality bathrooms

4 stars- Above average

3 stars- adequate facilities

2 stars- small and/or dirty

1 star- port-a-potty

0 stars- none or enter at your own risk

Sleeper State Park, Caseville. Lake Huron

Swimming conditions:

            Swimming is the main reason you want to go to the beach, right? There are a number of important factors that go into perfect swimming conditions, water temperature being one of them. I want refreshing water, not freezing icy cold water that forces me out. I also want clean and clear water to swim in. The Great Lakes at times can behave like the oceans, so currents, rip tides and waves are important to consider. Finally, I want nice sandy bottoms for my feet, not extremely rocky or full of seaweeds. There are a number of beaches I recommend wearing lake shoes because of rocks.

5 stars- Nirvana-inducing-refreshment

4 stars- Refreshing

3 stars- Average

2 stars- Difficult/ dirty swimming

1 stars- Close the beach/ Clean it up.

Lakeport State Park, Lakeport. Lake Huron

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