North America is blessed with some incredible geography and natural landscapes. From the Grand Canyon to Denali, there's a long list of iconic landmarks to be found all over the continent, with the five Great Lakes of North America ranking among the most impressive. Of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is the only one to be situated entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the lakes in terms of volume and the third largest in terms of surface area, bordering the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Oval Beach

Oval Beach
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Ranked as one of the most popular beaches in all of North America and a definite must-visit location for anyone interested in checking out Lake Michigan, Oval Beach can be found in Saugatuck, MI. What makes Oval Beach so popular? Well, this Lake Michigan beach arguably offers the very best views of all. No matter which part of the beach you choose to visit, you'll be rewarded with sights and sounds that will blow you away, creating magical memories to last a lifetime. The waters here are very calm and welcoming and the sand is super soft. Some of the amenities you can find at this Lake Michigan beach include restrooms, concessions, picnic tables, BBQs, showers, and play areas. There's also a huge pier stretching out into the water offering special views of the nearby Kalamazoo River.

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2.Saugatuck Dunes State Park

Saugatuck Dunes State Park
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Located right by Oval Beach in the Michigan city of Saugatuck, the Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers another of Lake Michigan's very best beaches. As the name suggests, there are some really impressive sand dunes at this Lake Michigan beach. It can be a lot of fun for beachgoers to explore the dunes and enjoy some incredible views from the top, with some of the dunes reaching heights of 200 feet in total. There's also a nice picnic area for guests to enjoy, and the state park is filled with scenic hiking trails too. Another great thing about Saugatuck Dunes Start Park is that the beach runs for over two miles, so even on busy days, you can always find a nice private spot.

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3.Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area

Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area
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There are actually multiple beaches to be found in this extensive area, with some highlights being Cedar Point, Golden Township Park, and Little Sable Point Lighthouse Beach. Again, as the name suggests, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area is filled with some very impressive sand dunes to admire and explore. Off-road vehicle tours are especially popular around this area and there are actually some hidden little beach spots that can only really be accessed in ORVs. The beaches here border both Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, so you're getting twice as much water and fun in one great location, and there are hiking trails among the dunes as well.

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4.North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach
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One of Chicago's best spots, this Lake Michigan beach is perfect for residents or visitors to the Windy City. Open every day, North Avenue Beach offers incredible views of the Chicago skyline on one side and the bold blue waters of Lake Michigan on the other. The great thing about this Lake Michigan beach is that it benefits from all the local amenities and eateries of Chicago, with plenty of good bars and restaurants just short walks away. The beach is a popular spot for games and activities like volleyball and jet skiing, and it can be a super spot to simply walk along and admire the views. Bike rentals can be found nearby, as well as kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis, wakeboards, and more.

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5.South Beach Park

South Beach Park
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Located in South Haven, Michigan, South Beach Park is one of the most family-friendly locations around the Lake Michigan shoreline, with a lot of fun areas and activities for people of all ages to enjoy. There's a skate park for the teens and volleyball spots for all the family, as well as the local lighthouse which has been going since the late 19th century. Swimming at South Beach Park can be a lot of fun due to the calm, welcoming waters at this Lake Michigan beach, and the sand is soft and comfortable too, perfect for people who just want to lie back, relax, and let the day pass by.

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6.More Info

More Info
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The lake has a shore length of around 1,400 miles in total, with more than 200 additional miles of shore on Lake Michigan's various islands, and this means that there a lot of great beaches to be found all around the lake. Lake Michigan is a hugely popular touristic location, attracting millions of visitors from all around the world on an annual basis for many different activities, and one of the most popular things for tourists to do at Lake Michigan is simply find a nice sandy spot on one of the beaches and admire the inspiring views all around them.

Best Beaches at Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan has earned the nickname 'Third Coast' of the United States for its long coastline and multitude of beaches. Beautiful soft sands, immense dunes, stunning views, and all kinds of wildlife can be enjoyed on Lake Michigan beaches. Many of the softest, sandiest beaches around Lake Michigan are located on the southern and eastern shores, while the northern and western parts of Lake Michigan's shoreline are dominated by rocky areas. So if you want to visit a Lake Michigan beach, it makes sense to stay around the south and eastern parts of the lake. Here are some details on the top rated Lake Michigan beaches for you to enjoy.

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5 Best Lake Michigan Beaches

More Ideas: Lake Shore Resort in Fennville

Lake Shore Resort is a seasonal private beach resort situated on a shoreline bluff overlooking the waters of Lake Michigan. Set in an exclusive lakeshore residential area just a few miles away from the charming town of Saugatuck, Lake Shore Resort offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life from June through October.

The resort boasts comfortable accommodations in a serene lakeside setting with beautiful views, exceptional facilities and amenities, including a private beach, large heated swimming pool, a putting green, an array of outdoor activities, and gracious, welcoming hospitality and service. The resort’s location is perfect for walking, hiking or mountain biking the scenic trails around the shoreline of Lake Michigan, which boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the Great Lakes region.

Lake Shore Resort is conveniently located within close proximity to several restaurants and cafés and a live summer theater, as well as golf courses, tennis courts, and vendors for boat cruises, charter fishing, and dune rides. The nearby town of Saugatuck, also known as the “Art Coast of Michigan” and the surrounding area of Douglas also offers a wide variety of things to see and do from more than 35 art galleries and working studios to specialty shops, museums and more.

Lake Shore Resort offers comfortable accommodations in the form of 30 motel-style guest rooms with beautiful views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscapes. Guest rooms feature one king, one queen or two double beds with fresh linens, and private bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, towels and bath amenities. Rooms are equipped with modern amenities such as flat-screen televisions with cable channels, air-conditioning, refrigerators, and coffee makers with complimentary tea and coffee, and large windows boast breathtaking lake views.

Lake Shore Resort serves a delicious continental breakfast beneath the vine-covered pergola on the outdoor terrace every morning. Begin the day with freshly brewed coffee or tea, followed by fresh fruit, warm, baked goodies such as bagels, muffins, pastries, and bread, along with cold and hot cereals, breakfast parfaits, and fresh juice. In-room refrigerators also allow guests to make their own breakfast and enjoy it on their own balconies, and there is an extensive offering of dining options for lunch and dinner in the nearby town of Saugatuck and further afield in the Douglas area.

The resort offers exceptional facilities and amenities, including a private beach, large heated swimming pool, a putting green, and an array of outdoor activities, including walking, hiking or mountain biking the scenic trails around the shoreline of Lake Michigan, fishing, kayaking, swimming and boat cruising. The private beach and pool deck offer complimentary beach chaise chairs and umbrellas, kayaks can be rented for exploring the lake from the water, and there are sunset view fire pits for alfresco evenings under the stars.

Lake Shore Resort is conveniently located within close proximity to several restaurants and cafés and a live summer theater, as well as golf courses, tennis courts, and vendors for boat cruises, charter fishing, and dune rides.

The Lake Shore Resort is located in a secluded residential area on Lake Shore Drive, just outside the town of Saugatuck. Hailed as one of the country’s favorite art destinations and known as the “Art Coast of Michigan,” Saugatuck is nestled among the rolling sand dunes of Lake Michigan and is home to more than 35 galleries and working artist’s studios, as well as several restaurants and cafés and a live summer theater. Saugatuck also offers an array of recreational activities and outdoor adventures for the whole family to enjoy, from hiking, mountain biking and exploring the many trails in and around the shoreline of Lake Michigan, known for its scenic beauty and incredible landscapes, kayaking, boating, fishing charters and swimming. Slightly further afield in the Douglas area, visitors can also enjoy golf, tennis, and dune-riding.

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2885 Lakeshore Drive, Fennville, MI 49408, Phone: 269-857-7121

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More Ideas: The Inn at Bay Harbor

The Inn at Bay Harbor is a turn of the century style lakeside retreat located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Bay Harbor, Michigan. This stately hotel features the charm of days gone by from an era of vacationing by Lake Michigan but brings forth a modern day twist.

This luxurious retreat has everything that should be expected of a top rated hotel, including fine cuisine, comfortable and luxurious accommodations, golf course on-site and lake views. There are various types of accommodations available to suit guests’ needs from simple yet elegant guest suites to larger, separate cottages. Stunning sunset views over Little Traverse Bay will have guests coming back year after year, not to mention the top quality customer service one will experience from the moment of reservation.

Guests will have no trouble finding a room to accommodate their needs at The Inn at Bay Harbor. The rooms/suites are located within the main hotel building and come in several configurations.

The Guest Room is a standard hotel room with two queen size beds, a balcony and approximately 440 square feet of space. This is a great option for those traveling on a budget but still looking for top quality accommodations.

The Master Suite is larger, with 720 square feet and a separate bedroom with bathroom. The living room has additional sleeping which means this suite is large enough for up to four guests. Included with this suite is a fireplace and a kitchenette.

The Grand Suite is perfect for up to six guests. It offers a separate bedroom with sleeping accommodations for four more people in the living room. With this suite there are two bathrooms, a fireplace and a kitchenette as well.

The Quarry Suite will accommodate up to six guests as well but has a slightly different layout. There are two bedrooms plus additional sleeping space in the living room. Additionally, guests will enjoy the private covered patio and a hot tub. There are two bathrooms in the Quarry Suite as well.

The Specialty Suite is meant for up to four guests and offers 1200 square feet of space. There are two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms in this roomy suite. Guests will love the stunning views of Lake Michigan from this suite. Also with this suite comes a private covered porch, a fireplace, and a fully equipped and functional kitchen.

The Tower Suite has an unbelievable panoramic view of Little Traverse Bay. This incredible 2000 square foot suite will accommodate a group of eight guests with plenty of space to stretch out and relax. The parlour is the perfect place to sit and unwind in front of the fireplace, or enjoy your favorite T.V. show on the wall-mounted flat screen television.

This suite comes with a fully equipped kitchen and even laundry facilities. There are two bedrooms, three bathrooms and two private covered patios. In the master bedroom there is a second fireplace and a whirlpool tub in the master bath. The Tower Suite is truly a luxurious home away from home option.

The Penthouse Suite is the most luxurious, extravagant selection available with breathtaking views of Little Traverse Bay high up on the fifth floor of the Inn. This suite will accommodate up to 10 guests with its extremely roomy 3000 square feet of living space. This includes five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two private balconies which are covered so guests can enjoy even on rainy days, and a fireplace. The kitchen features deluxe appliances and is fully equipped to create tasty meals right in the comfort of the suite.

Adjacent to the Inn, guests can choose to stay in one of the Lakeside Cottages. These are connected by a brick path to the Inn and are set on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. These cottages features two bedrooms and are quaint, private and cozy. Guests will have use of all the Inn’s amenities including the pool, spa, and the cabana with bar.

The Cottages at Crooked Tree are another option for guests to choose for their stay. They are set atop a bluff which overlooks Lake Michigan and provides remarkable, unforgettable views of the water. These cottages feature four bedrooms and are great for families with their privacy and spaciousness. Guests staying in the cottages will have use of all the amenities available at the Inn.

With four different dining options available, guests will never go hungry at The Inn at Bay Harbor. Guests can start off their day with a hearty meal at Sagamore’s breakfast buffet. Buffet breakfast is served every day in Sagamore’s Dining room which boasts beautiful views out over Little Traverse Bay while guests enjoy their breakfast. If a buffet breakfast is not preferable, guests can order a la carte from Sagamore’s breakfast menu.

The Inn Café is the perfect place to find a snack or light meal. They serve up selections such as pastries, sandwiches and even ice cream. These can be order for take-out or dining in. The café is where guests will also find Starbucks coffee and espresso.

The Cabana Bar is located adjacent to Lake Michigan and serves up not only frosty cocktails, but also light lunches and snacks during the summer. Guests can enjoy their light meal poolside or in the shade of the Cabana seating. It is a laid back, casual experience reminiscent of a tropical resort.

Vintage Chop House | Wine Bar offers both lunch and dinner menus. This dining option combines the classic American steakhouse with an upscale atmosphere as well as a lounge area. This is great for adults looking to relax and unwind and enjoy a delicious meal. Their drink menu is extensive and offers something for every taste.

The favorite spot for adults to retreat and unwind is Vintage Chop House | Wine Bar. The vast selection of wines, beers and cocktails means that everyone in the group will find a drink they can enjoy. Signature drinks at Vintage include View of the Bay, with Hypnotiq, rum, pineapple juice and blue curacao or the Detroit Dirty Martini with Valentine Vodka, McClure’s Pickle Brine and a pickle slice.

There are many local wines to choose from as well as those from California and some imported from France or Italy. Beer and ale enthusiasts will enjoy the great selection of beers and lagers on the menu. Guests can sample local beers brewed right in Michigan and one of the many microbreweries or if not feeling adventurous, standard domestic and imported favorites are always available.

When guests wish to enjoy a cocktail in the sun or poolside, they should head to the Cabana Bar. This is set up outdoors, with views of Lake Michigan as well as being poolside. They craft frozen and slushy drinks which guests will enjoy in the warm summer air. If sitting in the sun is an issue, Cabana Bar has plenty of umbrella tables as well as a covered bar top with stools area.

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The Spa at The Inn at Bay Harbor will have guests feeling relaxed, revived and rejuvenated. This spa offers not only spa treatments but also salon hair and nail services. The spa treatments are for guests age 16 and up whereas the salon services are for all ages. When guests visit the spa, they will be transported to a tranquil place of calm and quiet to enjoy their chosen treatments. Cell phones are to be turned off and conversations kept at a low level. Guests can choose from a wide assortment of treatment options from many variations of massage therapy, facials, body wraps and treatments or packages which bundle different treatments together.

There are spa treatments especially for expecting mothers, as well as some geared specifically towards men. For guests getting married, customized bridal spa packages can be created. In the salon, guests can enjoy having a manicure, pedicure or even hair services. It is highly recommended that guests book a spa or salon appointment ahead of their arrival to ensure availability.


Golf enthusiasts will love their time at the Inn at Bay Harbor with being in close proximity to world class golf courses. Golfers can test their skills at one of several courses in the immediate area.

The Links course is set on the shores of Lake Michigan and offers miles of gorgeous water views. There are dunes and bluffs to challenge golfers along the way. This course is a par 72 and is one that golfers won’t soon forget with its majestic beauty.

The Preserves course is line with towering hardwood trees and is a haven for local wildlife. The green, lush grasses and wetlands set the backdrop well for an environmentally gorgeous course. Lake Michigan is close by, within earshot in fact, so golfers will enjoy the fresh sea air. This course is a par 71. Once golfers reach the final hole, they will be surprised by the view of the open shoreline.

The Quarry is known for its unique layout and being a challenge to golfers. It winds its way through an actual shale quarry and has many hazards to be aware of, including 40 foot gorges, ponds and even a waterfall. This course makes its way down to finish along the shores of Lake Michigan. It is a par 71 course.

For all golfers to enjoy, no matter which course they choose, is a complete service pro shop, a clubhouse offering snacks and light meals complete with outdoor seating, a practice course and even on-course beverage carts to keep golfers hydrated while they play. At select courses on Sundays guests can enjoy Family Fun Days.

Families will enjoy the many activities and amenities of the Inn at Bay Harbor. From building sandcastles on the beach to swimming in the heated outdoor pool or even combing the sands of the beach for Petoskey stones, a vacation at the Inn at Bay Harbor will be a memorable one for all.

Parents and children alike will love nearby Avalanche Bay, Michigan’s premier indoor waterpark. It has tubes and slides and tonnes of water fun. Visiting in the winter doesn’t mean kids will be short of activities to participate in either. Winter activities are available at either Boyne Highlands or Boyne Mountain for guests staying at the Inn at Bay Harbor. There is skiing, snowboarding and even dog sled rides which the kids will love.

For parents looking to take a break and perhaps have a romantic dinner for just the two of them, child care is available through the hotel concierge for an additional fee. Children will be comfortable in their own suite and well taken care of while Mom and Dad enjoy some alone time.

Wedding at the Inn at Bay Harbor are elegant, unforgettable affairs. The Marriott Certified Wedding Planners on staff at the Inn at Bay Harbor are a dedicated group who will work diligently to ensure each Bride and Groom experiences the day they have always dreamt of.

The many venue options available will suit any style of wedding or reception, whether an outdoor sunset ceremony on the beach, a nighttime soirée under the stars or an indoor affair with stunning views of Little Traverse Bay. Brides and Grooms will rest assured that every detail will be taken care of to have their day go off without a hitch. Couples are provided with a Preferred Vendors list if they wish, to find local, reliable wedding vendors.

The catering menu is one that couples will find very pleasing and will have their guests talking about the meal long after the big day. There are venues with seating for up to 200 guests.

Meetings and conferences are always welcome at the Inn at Bay Harbor. With rooms and suites to suit every budget, blocking off rooms for a meeting, conference, reunion or just a group gathering will be no problem. The meeting spaces available are top notch and come with all necessary amenities to have an event run smoothly.

The catering menu available provides many options for group meals and events to suit every budget and need. Along with larger banquet style spaces, there are more intimate, private boardrooms for smaller meetings or workshops or conferences. The top of the line audio and visual equipment will ensure presentations are put on seamlessly.

The Inn at Bay Harbor is very happy to offer guests an extensive concierge service, which begins long before guests arrive. Guests may contact the concierge well in advance to arrange dining reservations at the establishment of their choice, to book golf tee times, and to make other reservations or plans during their upcoming stay. The concierge is also an excellent resource for guests planning out an itinerary for their stay. Local favorite eateries, attractions, events and activities can be found by inquiring with one of the concierge staff.

There is a free shuttle service for guests to Petoskey Gas Light District as well as to Boyne Highlands to take part in any of the many activities.

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3600 Village Harbor Drive, Bay Harbor, Michigan 49770-8577, Phone: 855-688-7023

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