Oval Beach

Saugatuck, MI 4.5 /5 Stars


            This is an amazing beach that I found by accident. My wife and I were on a road trip on Michigan’s west coast. We were in South Haven the day before and were looking for a new beach. We were blown away by this beach. This beach is very secluded. To reach it, you drive through a heavily wooded neighborhood then all of a sudden you arrive at the beach. Once you get there, you will find a beautiful natural beach with panoramic views. You can get the ocean experience here in Michigan. The day we went, especially felt like the ocean because there were three to five-foot waves and there is the lake keeps going beyond the horizon. After the fact, I found out that a number of travel magazines have rated Oval Beach as one of the best in the world. I would have to agree with those magazines.   


Southwest Michigan, Lake Michigan.

Distance from:

  • Chicago 140 miles (2 hours 22 minutes)
  • Detroit 193 miles (3 hours 2 minutes)
  • Kalamazoo 56 miles (1 hour 7 minutes)
  • Grand Rapids 43 miles (48 minutes)
  • South Bend 80 miles (1 hour 22 minutes)

Swimming Conditions:

            Not only Oval Beach have beautiful views, it is a great place to go swimming. During the middle of the summer the water temperature is very comfortable and refreshing. The day we went, the waves were just like an average day on the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast. We had three to five-foot waves at the time, which was great for body surfing. Swim at your own risk and ability because there are no lifeguards. Oval Beach has similar swimming conditions to the beaches in South Haven.  Oval Beach is a great place for, experienced swimmers, young families, and everyone in between to go swimming.

Sand and Land conditions:

            Oval Beach has beautiful white sand beaches. The main section of the beach to set up your beach blanket is about 30 yards from the parking lot to the water’s edge and is over 100 yards long. While the overall beach is longer than this, the rest of the beach gets much narrower from water’s edge to sand dunes. Both north and south of the main beach area has natural sand dunes. To the north, is the Saugatuck natural harbor area all the way to the Kalamazoo river break-waters. To the south, you will still find natural dunes, but you will also find it to be heavily wooded. Either way is a great place to go for a walk and take in nature’s beauty.  


            Take in the ocean like views and take in nature’s beauty with the undeveloped beaches and sand dunes. While I was there in the afternoon, I can imagine that this beach is a great place to see a sunset beach it faces west out over lake Michigan. The beach is open year-round, so I can also imagine it can be equally as beautiful in the winter. Come experience the ocean feel in Michigan without salt and sharks.


            There is a small shelter with bathrooms and food. I would say the bathroom is a step above a state park bathroom because it is a little bit bigger for changing clothes. That being said, it could be a little bit bigger and have more shower and foot washing stations.

Cost / Parking:

$10 per day or $50 for the season

            I believe it is a great value to spend the day at Oval Beach with family or friends. There is plenty of parking located at the beach’s edge and more parking adjacent to the shore.


Beach size: 5/5

Views: 5/5

Bathroom: 3.5 /5  

Swimming conditions: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5

An amazing natural beach on Lake Michigan. Glad I found it and I can’t wait to go back.  

Travel rating:

            Oval beach is a regional treasure! I see people spending a week’s vacation on Michigan’s west coast with Oval Beach being at the top of the list. If you find yourself in Michigan in the summer, make your way to Oval Beach.  

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