Discover the Amazing Silver Lake Sand Dunes
There’s no doubt about it: Silver Lake Sand Dunes are one place you must experience for yourself.
Whether you’ve already been there, have heard of it, or have no idea where it is, one thing is certain: You need to make your way to this west Michigan wonder, and soon.
One of the top family fun vacation spots in Michigan, this fun area in Oceana County offers a Michigan beach adventure like no other in the state. Sure, there are other beautiful sand dunes in Michigan, but here, you can ride the dunes and enjoy some of the prettiest shoreline Michigan.
An off-roaders paradise with endless miles of rolling sand dunes, amazing views of Lake Michigan and the gorgeous dune beach near Little Sable Point Lighthouse make for memorable outdoor adventures.
Read on for everything you need to know about Silver Lake Sand Dunes and start planning your trip now.
About Silver Lake Michigan
Located on the west side of the state in Mears, MI, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes are nestled between two beautiful lakes: Silver Lake and Lake Michigan.
A constantly changing environment consisting of nearly 2,000 acres of rolling sand dunes, they are one of Michigan’s largest living sand dune deposits along the shores of Lake Michigan. Formed more than a million years ago, the sand dunes are about 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long.
These dunes are a very special place, unlike any other travel destination in Michigan. Not a single person goes to the dunes and doesn’t have a good time, whether it’s riding across the dunes in a dune buggy or ORV (off road vehicle), or enjoying the sandy beaches of the surrounding lakes.
Don’t have your own ORV? No problem: vehicle rentals are plentiful in the area near Silver Lake Michigan, so can ride those dunes all day long!
Use the Silver Lake and Dunes Map
Fnding your way around Silver Lake Sand Dunes can be confusing at first. Use our interactive map that connect to Google maps to help plan your visit and locate all of teh special places that we’ve share with you.
How to Get to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Take US-31 and exit at Hart, Michigan. Head west toward Silver Lake Dunes State Park, at 8969 W Fox Rd, Mears, MI, 49436. Once inside Silver Lake State Park, you’ll have two entrances for the dunes from the parking lot.
There is one for pedestrians hiking/walking the dunes and another entry for those with off-road vehicles, the ORV area. No matter the entrance you go through, you will first see giant dunes and a breathtaking lake view.
When to Visit Silver Lake Sand Dunes
The area the dunes cover is mostly Silver Lake State Park and is open to the public from April until October making the dunes a great summer and fall destination.
One of the best things about going to the dunes is that the fun doesn’t stop after a day of riding. There are several restaurants and activities to take part in throughout the surrounding towns!
ORVS at Silver Lake Sand Dunes
For those using off-road vehicles, there is a large dune you must attempt to climb before exploring the rest of the dunes. This dune is referred to as “Test Hill” by locals and those who go to the dunes yearly. Before bringing your off-road vehicles to the dunes, you must have the proper permits and flags.
PLEASE NOTE: All motorized vehicles entering the area must have a Recreation Passport, Michigan ORV license and trail permit and parking lot vouchers (Required on summer weekends and holidays). You can find more information about the requirements here.
The Lakes At Silver Lake Sand Dunes
One of the best things about the Silver Lake Sand Dunes is that you have access to two lakes: Lake Michigan and Silver Lake. Public boat launches are located close by that allow entry to the lakes, so feel free to bring your boat along!
If you don’t own a boat or want to take a break from riding, there are sandy beaches to lay out and enjoy. The water is nice and refreshing on a hot day and allows family members who don’t want to ride.
Best Things to Do at Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Outside the dunes and lakes, there are many other activities to do with your friends and family for when you need something to do after riding or just want a break to try something new. All of these favorite ativities, as well as places to eat and drink, can be found on our interactive map to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.
8343 W Hazel Rd, Mears, MI 49436
Craig’s Cruisers is a breeding ground for fun for all ages. You can spend the day or just a few hours without running out of things to do! There are go-karts, swan boats, bumper boats, fair rides, mini-golf, an arcade, and even a zipline! Several restaurants surround the grounds, and they also have concessions for when lunch or dinner time rolls around.
Mac Wood’s Dune Rides
629 N 18th Ave, Mears, MI, 49436
Are you not feeling like riding or renting your own off-road vehicle? Well, that’s ok. Mac Wood’s Dune Rides provides visitors of Silver Lake Sand Dunes the opportunity to have fun, be on the safer side, and even learn something while exploring the dunes.
Mac Wood’s is more of a tour-style ride rather than a joy ride which goes seven miles ride that lasts 40 minutes. While on the ride, you will be escorted by a knowledgeable driver who will tell you about the history of the dunes and the constantly changing sandy environment.
If you are looking for a real thrill, try Intrepid Helicopters. Intrepid offers helicopter tours over the dunes and along the coast of Lake Michigan. While on the tour, you will be able to view shipwrecks, lighthouses, and of course, breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime views.
Colonial Golf Course
2763 N. 72nd Ave, Hart, MI, 49420
One of the top golf courses in West Michigan, this 27-hole, 72-par public golf course is set on almost seven acres of scenic land in Hart, MI. The stately and unique clubhouse is home to the bar and restaurant and offers some spectacular sunsets from the patio. There’s a nice, roomy driving range here, too, if you just want to practice your shot.
Fox Barn Winery
500 S. 18TH Ave, Shelby
Set inside a restored, antique red barn, this unique west Michigan winery started in 2008. A relative newcomer to the Michigan wine scene, they are already producing some delicious reds, whites and a really tasty sparkling peach wine.
Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo
4180 W. M20, New Era, MI 49446
This 700-acre farm and petting zoo is a one of the top kid-friendly destinations in west Michigan. In addition to viewing and petting some truly unique animals like sloths, lemurs, tortoises and kanagaroos, you can get even more up-close and personal. The “Zookeeper Experience” allows you 50 minutes of feeding and petting kangaroos, capybaras, lemurs, and more!
Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery
401 E. Fruitvale Rd, Montague, MI 49437
Located in nearby Montague, the Happy Mohawk offers canoe, kayak, tube and raft rentals on the White River.
Where to Stay at Silver Lake Sand Dunes
No vacation is complete without the perfect place to stay. Here are our top campgrounds, cabins, and hotels to stay in during your visit to the dunes.
Silver Lake Resort & Campground
1786 N 34th Ave, Mears, MI, 49436
Silver Lake Resort & Campground is a perfect place to stay to experience the outdoors while having some luxury. They have full hook-up sites for RVs, tent sites, rustic cabins, and pristine bath buildings.
This campground also has several fun outdoor activities and events to enjoy after a long day of riding. Silver Lake Resort and Campground has a heated swimming pool, playgrounds, picnic areas, a hammock area, basketball court, gaga ball pit, beach volleyball court, cornhole, and a camp store to buy snacks and other goods.
Dunes Waterfront Resort
1200 N. Shore Rd, Mears, MI 40436
Dunes Waterfront Resort is a classic lakefront hotel with room for the whole family. This hotel offers you amenities such as a pool, hot tub, beautiful waterfront, beach access, sundeck, arcade, and many rooms have balconies that are perfect for watching the sun rise and set.
The Dune Waterfront Resort also has phone numbers and addresses of all the attractions, rentals, restaurants, and wineries within the area.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park
8239 W. Hazel Rd, Silver Lake, MI 49436
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is another favorite among yearly Silver Lake visitors. This campground has over 200 campsites with full RV hookups, duplexes, cabins, and tent sites for you to choose from.
Like Silver Lake Resort and Campground, Jellystone has several activities for families and guests to enjoy. There is a swimming pool, playground, recreation room, basketball, and shuffleboard. They offer movie nights, hayrides, arts & crafts, and organized board games/ activities.
Where to Eat Near Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Open Hearth Grille & Bar
2430 N. 56TH Ave, Mears, MI 49436
Open Hearth has notable American classics and tasty cocktails. Their desserts are to die for, and their fantastic service is just one of the reasons Open Hearth is a local favorite. Any resort, hotel, or campground you stay at during your time at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes will recommend Open Hearth.
Silver Lake Whippy Dip
591 N. 18th Ave, Mears, MI 49436
Whippy Dippy is a Silver Lake must for sweet treats. There is no way a trip to the dunes is complete with a scoop from Whippy Dippy. Their ice cream is some of the best in the state and is served uniquely: on a frisbee!
Whippy Dippy’s has an array of options to choose from. They have hard serve, soft serve, sundaes, floats, flurries, slushies, coffee, and more. The tops seem unlimited, and you get a souvenir frisbee if you order the Test Hill, named after one of the dunes. This place is also more than an ice cream shop. They also sell sandwiches, fries, chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, cheese curds, and walking tacos.
Country Dairy Farm Store
3724 S 80th Ave, New Era, MI 49446
Country Dairys farm-fresh ice cream and cheeses make this spot in New Era, near Silver Lake, is always a favorite stop on the dune tour. This market and cafe has a full menu featuring some of the best sandwich wraps I’ve tried. You can dine in or call ahead for take out.
The Brown Bear
278 S. Hancock St, Pentwater, MI
The Brown Bear is notorious for how big their burgers are. The “Bear Burger” is the most famous and popular item on the menu and is the size of a human head! This restaurant has the classic interior of a local bar and the great company of one as well with amazing spirits and live music. Along with Whippy Dippy, it’s not a Silver Lake Sand Dunes trip without stopping at The Brown Bear.
ORV and Boat Rentals Near Silver Lake
Silver Lake Sand Dunes is a great vacation spot, but having some toys to play with can be essential. Here is a list of the best places to rent off-road vehicles, boats, and even kayaks.
Wave Club Water Sports
1220 N. Shore Dr, Mears, MI 49436
Wave Club has all the sports rentals you need. You can rent sandboards, paddle boards, sailboats, jet skis, pontoons, and speed boats.
SunBuggy Silver Lake
1931 N. 24th Ave, Mears, MI 49436
Offers ATV, side-by-side, or dune buggy rentals. SunBuggy also does jeep tours of the dunes.
Silver Lake Buggy Rentals
8288 W Hazel Rd, Mears, MI 49436
Offers ATV, side-by-side, or dune buggy rentals.
More Places to Explore Near Silver Lake Sand Dunes
- Little Sable Point State Park
- Ludington State Park
- Stony Lake
- Benona Township Park
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About The Author ~
Emily Lance is a Content Creator for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the small town of Dexter, Michigan, just outside Ann Arbor, and is currently attending Michigan State University. She majors in Journalism with a focus in Sports Journalism and Media Relations and a minor in Media Photography. Emily loves writing and taking photographs/videos of her surroundings and travels. Emily likes to explore new places, kayak, ski, and go boating in her free time.