The eastern shore of Lake Michigan, which stretches from Wisconsin to northern Illinois, contains some of the most beautiful and serene beaches you’ll find in the entire Upper Peninsula, and with this detailed travel guide from Travel + Leisure, you’ll be sure to enjoy miles of uninterrupted white sand beaches to your heart’s content.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, Michigan
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore consists of miles of sandy beaches, lush forests, crystal clear inland lakes, unique flora, unforgettable fauna, and mesmerizing bluffs that tower some 450 feet about Lake Michigan itself. This is truly a place that needs to be seen to be believed. There are more than 60 miles of hiking trails within the park, including several that provide access to some of the most beautiful sights in all of Michigan.
Located on the northeastern shore of Lake Michigan, this National Lakeshore encompasses a total of 71,187 acres of a diverse array of landscapes, including both the North and South Manitou Islands. Both islands, which are accessible by ferry, feature otherworldly sand dune formations, 10 miles of pebble beaches, and a beautiful grove of old-growth white cedars that date as far back as over 500 years ago.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore became the 50th National Park area with a designated Wilderness area in 2014 on the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The wilderness area of this National Lakeshore encompasses 32,557 acres that are both open for recreation, but it is also protected forever. The most famous feature of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is undoubtedly its namesake sand dunes, which are among the tallest on Earth. These dunes were formed over thousands of years as the wind blew sand up against the North Country Trail, and they make for an unforgettable sight on your next vacation.
Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan
Located only 20 miles away from the Indiana border and acting as one of the most picturesque and peaceful gateways to Southwest Michigan, Warren Dunes State Park is a breathtakingly beautiful state park that offers an abundance of activities for people of all ages, as this State Park has everything from popular hiking trails to relaxing swimming areas.
The massive dunes that are found at this State Park are one of its most engaging attractions, as visitors of the park are often seen climbing up the dunes and sand boarding down their slopes. Outside of the towering sand dunes, the beach at Warren Dunes State Park is one of the other more popular attractions at this park. Additionally, if you love hiking or biking, then you will definitely enjoy exploring some of the hiking trails available, or you can pursue theseveral picnic areas throughout the park where you can sit down with friends and family while enjoying a meal together. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life then Warren Dunes State Park is definitely worth checking out!
Holland State Park in Holland, Michigan
Simply stated, Holland State Park is the perfect place to spend a day in Michigan this summer, as it’s less than an hour from Ann Arbor, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids, making it an excellent spot for at least a Michigan day trip. The park has so many different activities that it can keep you busy all day long; for instance, you can swim at the beach or rent a canoe or kayak to paddle around the lake. There are also bike trails throughout the park that wind through the woods and along the lakeshore.
One of the greatest attractions at Holland State Park is Tunnel Park, which is a concrete tunnel that literally cuts through a sand dune and provides easy access to Lake Michigan for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking activities.
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