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10 BEST Family Beaches in Michigan

10 best family beaches in michigan

Check Out These 10 Top Family Beaches in Michigan

Looking for the best family beaches in Michigan? You’re in the right place.

Visitors new to the Great Lakes State are always amazed at the gorgeous landscape that has made it a perfect vacation destination for visitors around the world.

Surrounded by the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Huron, Michigan’s lower peninsula is also known as the Michigan Mitten and offer endless miles of freshwater shoreline.

With miles of soft, sugar-sand beaches that meet clear, blue water, it is a perfect spot for family beach vacations.

An added bonus? These clear, blue lakes are both shark free and salt-free…so start making plans for your family beach getaway now!

Best Michigan Family beaches

Family-Friendly Michigan Beaches

Michigan beaches along both Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan are both pristine and beautiful.

Michigan’s beaches can also be very different – you can read more about that here – but they are almost all family-friendly, and they all offer clean sand and clear Great Lakes water.

From towering sand dunes and wide spacious sugar-sand beaches to quiet, secluded swaths of beach and hidden coves perfect for a day spend exploring, Michigan’s beaches are a perfect spot or families to bask in the sun and splash in the surf.

family on a beach in michigan

Best Kid-Friendly Beaches in Michigan

The stunning natural beauty of Michigan’s beaches offer something for kids of all ages.

From carousels on the beach and dune-buggy rides to splash pads and long piers extending into the water for walking and fishing, there is endless opportunity for fun.

Many Michigan beaches offer opportunities for fun for kids of all abilities, too.

Many beaches offer increased accessibility for users of wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Check out our page on ADA and Wheelchair-Accessible beaches for more information.

Best Michigan beach

Plan your Best Family Beach Vacation in Michigan

Start planning your best family beach vacation in Michigan by determining which type of beach best suits your needs.

Are you looking for a busy beach with an active Michigan beach town offering a variety of activities like shopping and dining?

Or a quiet beach and slow-paced Michigan beach town?

With more than 3,000 miles of coastline, you can find exactly what you need for your family beach vacation in Michigan.

In addition to the Michigan beaches listed here, you can also use the Michigan Beach Map to discover more fabulous Michigan beaches and beach towns to visit.

The Best Michigan Beaches for Families

Here are 10 TOP spots for a perfect family beach vacation in Michigan on both Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The 10 TOP spots are:

  1. Warren Dunes
  2. Silver Beach
  3. Grand Haven City Beach
  4. Stearns Park Beach
  5. Esch Road Beach in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  6. Port Crescent State Park
  7. Oscoda Beach Park
  8. Starlite Beach
  9. P.H. Hoeft State Park
  10. American Legion Memorial Park
new buffalo beaches

Best Lake Michigan Beaches for Families

Warren Dunes

Located between New Buffalo and St. Joseph, MI in southwest Michigan, Warren Dunes State Park has almost 2,000 acres set along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

This pet-friendly beach has more than 3 miles of shoreline and sand dunes rising 260 feet – making it a perfect spot to take in the spectacular Lake Michigan vistas, do some hang-gliding and just simply just relax with your toes in the sand.

With a wide beach for swimming and sun-bathing, nearby concessions and restrooms, hiking and biking trails, picnic shelters, camping and more,

Warren Dunes is a perfect spot for a Michigan Beach vacation.

silver beach

Silver Beach in St. Joseph

Named a top 10 family beach by Parents magazine, Silver Beach in St. Joseph is the perfect destination for families seeking a busy beach vacation spot.

The famed “Silver Beach Carousel” is just yards from the beach and has been a family favorite of beach goers for more than 100 years.

This clean, wide Lake Michigan beach offer public access to the South Pier and iconic structure extending into Lake Michigan perfect for walking and fishing.

With 1,600 feet of Lake Michigan beach frontage for swimming and sunbathing, Silver Beach also features a splash pad, beach volleyball, concession stand and more.

It’s also located just across the river from another great family-friendly beach in St. Joseph, Tiscornia Beach.

Best Michigan beach in Grand haven Mi

Grand Haven City Beach

Nested into the dramatic shoreline of Lake Michigan with towering dunes and wide, sandy beaches, Grand Haven City Beach is the perfect spot for a family beach vacation.

With amenities such as concessions, paddle board rental, restrooms, picnic facilities, a playground and more, the attractions appeal to a wide variety of ages.

This beach also offers access to the Grand Haven Pier and the picturesque Grand Haven South Pierhead Inner Light.

Grand Haven City Beach is also within easy walking distance to downtown Grand Haven, one of Michigan’s best beach towns.

Visit the shops along the boardwalk, grab a famous Grand Haven “Pronto Pup” and stay through the evening in order to view the magical lights of the Grand Haven Musical Water Fountain, which puts on a spirited light display every evening in the summer months.

You can explore more Grand Haven beaches in our Ultimate Guide to Grand Haven.

nordhouse dunes in ludington mi

Stearns Park Beach

Lovely Ludington, MI is home to the singing sands – an allusion to the squeaky sound the sugar soft sand makes as you walk through it in bare feet.

Ludington is also home to more than 28 miles of Lake Michigan beach, and Stearns Park in one of the best beaches in the area, especially for families.

Located just blocks from downtown Ludington – one of Michigan’s best beach towns – Stearns Park Beach is a great spot for swimming, sunbathing and more.

With a 1/2 mile stretch of free, public beach, the park has a playground, picnic area, concession stands, mini-golf, shuffleboard, volleyball courts and a giant skate park, families with children of all ages are sure to find something fun.

The beach also offers access to the North Breakwater Light, a much-photographed lighthouse along the coast.

Discover more great Lake Michigan beaches to visit in the Ludington area in the Vacation Guide to Ludington.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore and Esch Road Beach

The jewel in the crown of Michigan beaches, the magnificent landscape of the Sleeping Bear Dunes is breath-takingly beautiful.

This 35-mile stretch of Lake Michigan coastline features many public beaches – some within easy reach and others that require long but rewarding hikes over sand dunes.

Esch Road Beach is one of the loveliest beaches in Sleeping Bear Dunes, and what is lacks in terms of modern amenities it more than makes up for in natural beauty.

Although it’s a 300- foot walk down a sandy slope, the beach is located where Otter Creek opens into Lake Michigan.

The shallow, warm, creek provides hours of entertainment for kids of all ages as they splash and play. Much cooler Lake Michigan, with its azure-colored water, contrasts beautifully with the bright sand dunes and is wonderfully relaxing.

It’s simply sand, water and vault toilets, and it’s totally worth the journey.

port crescent is one of the best michigan family beaches

Best Lake Huron Beaches for Families

Port Crescent State Park

Port Crescent State Park is ideally located between two of Michigan’s best beach towns: the buzzing resort town of Caseville and its bucolic neighbor, Port Austin.

Located at the tip of Michigan’s “Thumb” (remember the Michigan Mitten?), Port Crescent State Park has three miles of shoreline along Lake Hurons Saginaw Bay.

The shallow, sandy waters of Saginaw Bay warm quickly under the sun’s hot rays and make for perfect swimming and sunbathing.

The full-service state park offers wide sandy beaches with a boardwalk.

Be sure and take time to explore both the towns of Caseville and Port Austin if you’re in the area.

beach day in oscoda mi

Oscoda Beach Park

This beautiful beach on Lake Huron, located in the heart of downtown Oscoda, MI, will delight children of all ages with its many amenities.

With a wide, sugar sand beach and gorgeous Lake Huron as a backdrop, the splash pad, children’s playground, skate park and picnic facilities add to the allure of this naturally beautiful area.

Just a block away from the downtown area – with its ice cream shops, cafes and more – Oscoda Beach Park is a lovely spot to enjoy everything the Lake Huron shoreline has to offer.

Additionally, the wide boardwalk along the beach and wide, paved pier offers excellent accessibility to the water for users of wheelchairs and other accessibility devices.

The Oscoda area is home to many beautiful Lake Huron beaches.

Splash Park at Mich-E-Kw-Wis Beachfront Park in Alpena
Splash Park at Mich-E-Kw-Wis Beachfront Park in Alpena

Starlite Beach Alpena

With three children’s play structures, a splash pad, volleyball court and picnic facilities, Alpena’s Starlite Beach has everything needed for a fun family beach day.

Although rising water levels along Michigan’s Great Lakes have gobbled up some of the area’s wide beaches, there is still enough sandy shoreline along the Alpena for beach fun.

The shallow waters of Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay are perfect for swimming and splashing along the shoreline and warm quickly in the sun.

Starlite Beach is close to restaurants and ice cream shops, too, making it easy to grab a bite if you’ve forgone the picnic basket.

Discover more beautiful Alpena beaches.

secret must see beaches
27 Best Michigan Beaches

P.H. Hoeft State Park

This historic park- one of the first Michigan’s State Park’s system – is ideally located along a sandy stretch of Lake Huron Beach and features some of Lake Huron’s only sand dunes.

The crystal-clear Lake Huron water is perfect for swimming and splashing, and the soft sand is a great place to stretch out on a beach towel and relax.

There’s a children’s playground, hiking and biking trails; a short trek across the dunes brings you to beautiful Lake Huron.

The beach and dune areas are a great place to hunt for fossils and Petoskey Stones, pieces of fossilized coral that are Michigan’s state rock.

Best Upper Peninsula Beaches for Kids

American Legion Memorial Park

This little park, just over the mighty Mackinac Bridge in St. Ignace, is such a comfortable spot to relax, play in the sand and take in beautiful views of Lake Huron and the bridge.

You’ll find a pavilion with picnic tables, grills and a playground, as well as clean restrooms. The pretty beach is perfect for kids to splash and play while you take in the scenic views.

BONUS BEACH: McCarty’s Cove in Marquette

McCarty’s Cove is easily the most popular beach in Marquette, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll find lots to do here and this comfortable and scenic park, including picnic tables, restrooms, volleyball nets and more. There’s rock formations close the Lake Superior shore that you can wade out to, too. You’ll want to bring a camera, because its incredibly picturesque.

The best part? During the warm summer months, there’s a lifeguard on site!

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