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Exploring Muskegon Michgan 2023: Top Lake Michigan Beachtown

Muskegon lighthouse- best things to do in Muskegon MI

Things to Do in Musekgon MI

Looking for the best things to do in Muskegon MI or need a great trip idea?

We’ve got a guide to help you plan your trip to Muskegon, a top West Michigan beach town!

You’ll want to hurry: Muskegon is the new upcoming city located in West Michigan. Located right by the shores of Lake Michigan, the close beachside, parks, and trendy new restaurants are all becoming the West Michigan rave. Downtown Muskegon’s social district is the place to be, too, with fun eateries and more!

About Muskegon, MI

Only 20 minutes away from Grand Haven and 40 minutes away from Grand Rapids, this Michigan shoreline city is a gem to visit and is conveniently close, making an easy and fun getaway trip for those looking for something different in the Midwest. With so many great things to do in Muskegon County, it’s hard to narrow the choices to just one. Lucky for you, this visitor’s guide will help navigate your way throughout your Muskegon adventure and provides you with the top things to do to help curate the perfect day in Muskegon Michigan.

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Visit the Amazing Beaches and Parks in Muskegon

Continuing the day outside, Muskegon parks make a great afternoon picnic or walk for your perfect day out, and Muskegon has a wide variety of parks to choose from, ranging from woody shady trails to beaches and shorelines of Lake Michigan beaches.

Muskegon State Park
3560 Memorial Dr, North Muskegon, MI 49445

The Muskegon State Park is a classic when visiting Muskegon and has some great space for beach areas if looking for more of a beach trip. With several available parking areas, sandy dunes, a campsite, and a dock with a lighthouse to walk to at the end, Muskegon State Park is a go-to for a great Muskegon beach and park experience.

Kruse Park
3205 W Sherman Blvd, Muskegon, MI 49441

Kruse Park Lake Michigan Beach is another great park located in Muskegon, with scenic viewing points and pavilions. Bring your dogs out to the offered dog beach to have fun in the sun and water with your beloved furry companions. Offered picnic areas, playgrounds, and sandy shorelines keep the visitor’s coming throughout the year, making this a great option for a park to visit in Muskegon.

Pere Marquette Park
3510 Channel Dr, Muskegon, MI 49441

With sandy shorelines and great views, what’s not to love about this Muskegon-offered Park? Paved trails and a small, offered restaurant with a walk-up window make this park a popular hit, providing clean sands and plenty of space. Right next to the popular restaurant The Deck, this park makes a great convenient location to visit. Grab that sunblock and wear your suit to enjoy a day of fun in the sun on Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Park.

Duck Lake State Park
4733 N Scenic Dr, Whitehall, MI 49461

This Muskegon State Park holds a fun, large dune and has amazing beach paths. Great for all ages, the trails are well-maintained and the trees within the dunes hold scenic spots for setting up a hammock to relax in. Shaded picnic benches provide spaces to have a picnic and provide more of an isolated, quiet experience. Duck Lake State Park is a great park to visit for a fun day away from home.

Hoffmaster State Park
6585 Lake Harbor Rd, Norton Shores, MI 49441

Hoffmaster State Park is one of the top parks in Muskegon, located five miles away from Grand Haven while still being in the range of Muskegon County. Located next to the Michigan shoreline and highly reviewed as clean, family-friendly, and great access to the beach of Lake Michigan, this park is a safe bet for fun outdoor activities from walking, playing on the playground, enjoying a picnic, or stopping by the Michigan beach.

Visit the Monet Garden
Corner of Clay and Fifth Streets in Downtown Muskegon

This pocket garden in the Heritage area of downtown Muskegon replicates a portion of Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France complete with the iconic blue bridge and water lilies.

The kiddie pool at Michigan's adventure waterpark
Photo from Michigans Adventure

Discover Muskegon’s Amazing Amusement and Water Parks

Not only does Muskegon hold great traditional parks to visit the beaches and have some scenic outdoor trails, but also holds some fun amusement and water parks for a great memorable experience of rides and water-filled fun.

Michigan’s Adventure
750 Whitehall Rd, Muskegon, MI 49445

Michigan’s Adventure is a popular amusement park located in Muskegon County and is the largest amusement park in Michigan, offering a total of 52 different rides. Michigan’s Adventure also has a water park within the amusement park, making it a great two-in-one destination hit.

Try Shivering Timbers, the classic thriller ride of the summer, with steep wooden plunges that will get your adrenaline pumping to the max. Or, opt out for some still fun, yet more relaxed rides such as Logger’s Run and Mad Mouse. These rides are just a few compared to the very wide range in a variety of rides offered at Michigan’s Adventure, making a great trip for all ages.

Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits for the fun water park located within the park called Wildwater Adventure, and take a spin on the Funnel of Fear tube water ride. Visiting Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Center in Muskegon will be an eventful day of fun, laughs, and a great chance to make some great Muskegon memories.

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Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park
462 Scenic Drive
N. Muskegon, MI 49445

This Park isn’t technically an amusement or water park, but it’s filled with unique entertainment, making it stand out from all the other parks in Muskegon Michigan. Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park offers hiking, zipline, archery, one-of-a-kind luge track, trail quests, and more.

Check it out in the winter for skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating for winter-specific fun. This sports park is great to visit in the summer to have a memorable adventure, giving you a chance to expand the horizons of your experience and skill set. Try new things and connect over entertaining outdoor activities offered only through Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park.

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Things to Do in Muskegon, MI: Visit the Cool Museums

Is the weather not looking the best? Perhaps a rainy day ahead, or maybe craving the air conditioning and a break from the sun? Muskegon Museums are a great indoor option for a good time indoors and hold valuable items and historic pieces that are sure to be a sight to see.

Muskegon Museum of Art
296 W Webster Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

The Muskegon Museum of Art is a wonderful museum to visit to get a chance to appreciate and admire the amazing history and variety of artwork displayed within the museum. Holding different exhibits and events, the Muskegon Museum of Art is involved with the art community and takes responsibility and appreciation for supporting artists.

Currently, from June 23 to September 12, 2022, there is an exhibit going on called Dressing The Abbey that showcases the wardrobe and patterns of fashion through different periods from the show Downton Abbey. The museum is free to get into Thursdays (excluding special exhibitions) from 11 am to 8 pm, is closed Mondays, and requires admission throughout the rest of the week.

Fire Barn Museum
510 W Clay Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

The Fire Barn Museum is a dedicated memorial to the firefighters that have served in Muskegon County. This specialty museum takes you back in time to old living quarters on the upper level of the firehouse and gives out lots of information on how fires used to be fought back in the older periods. If you’re a firefighter fan and want to check out some cool, vintage firefighter equipment, this unique little museum is the one for you.

White River Light Station Museum
6199 Murray Rd, Whitehall, MI 49461

Built in 1975, this historic lighthouse is a public museum open for visiting and climbing its spiral staircase to view Lake Michigan as if you were its Light Housekeeper. With cool historic photographs and artifacts to browse within the museum, this stop makes for a Muskegon specialty edition of getting to learn more about Michigan history and the stories and legends that go on behind the lighthouses and waters of the Great Lakes.

Muskegon Heritage Museum
561 W Western Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

This unique Muskegon Museum specializes in showcasing Muskegon’s industries, businesses, and products that have been made in Muskegon. Their working bowling alley and Corliss valve steam engine draw guests in, and those interested in mechanics and all things manufacturing will find themselves busy in this specially made Muskegon Museum.

Hackley Hume Museum in Muskegon Mi
Photo of the Hackley Hume Historic Site courtesy of Hackley Hume Historic Site

Hackley and Hume Historic Site
484 W Webster Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

The Hackley and Hume Historic Site provides a unique structured house open to the public for admiration and observation of the lumber barons that were built in the 1800s and early 1900s. Take a tour and see how cool and unique the craftsmanship is in these types of homes, with amazing detail work in every corner and square inch of the two available houses for touring. This museum makes for a fun, special Muskegon offered experience you won’t forget.

USS Silversides Submarine Museum
1346 Bluff St, Muskegon, MI 49441

This two-story building takes you through time with their offered vessels that served through World War II, and the famous USS Silversides Submarine, a special experience to honor World War heroes and to look at history from a real-life perspective. Learn about military history and check out their offered exhibits to pick a day that sparks your war history interests.

Muskegon Lakeshore Museum
430 W Clay Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440

This family-friendly local history and science museum features hands-on exhibits and educational programs. Kids can explore animal food webs, participate in hands-on activities in the STEM Center, Science Center and Body Works, and discover artifacts, photographs, historic dioramas, and videos that share the history and unique stories of the Muskegon area.

mini golf in muskegon mi
Mini Golf in Muskegon MI

More Things to Do in Muskegon MI

No matter what age you are, mini golf is a great final activity to end the night. Play in the evening for a cooler, more comfortable temperature if playing during the warmer months.

Putter’s Creek
40 Whitehall Rd, North Muskegon, MI 49445

Putter’s Creek is open until 9 pm at night, giving space for more evening games if needed. This mini golf course is clean and fun to play, with unique and fun-designed targets to aim the ball into. This Muskegon mini golf course will have you laughing and enjoying the course with your friends and family as you mini-golf the night away.

Take in a Festival at Heritage Landing

Muskegon’s Heritage Landing is set on the shoreline of Muskegon Lake. Owned by Muskegon County Parks, you’ll find fishing opportunities, a play area, an entertainment stage and plenty of space for walking and cycling. It’s also home to many popular Michigan festivals including the Unity Christian Musical Festival, Michigan Irish Music Festival and Shoreline Jazz Fest.

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Shop the Muskegon Farmer’s Market

Feeling refreshed after your coffee? Inspired and ready to go? The Muskegon Farmer’s Market is a great pit stop in the morning time and is a lovely experience to add to your list of to-dos. There’s something grounding and peaceful about farmer’s markets, with the smell of fresh flowers and produce wafting in the air and people strolling by, enjoying the outdoor shopping.

The Muskegon Farmer’s Market provides just that and more with a great variety of vendors and available food trucks for your picking. Grab some fresh vegetables and fruit to add to the cooler for a later planned beach trip, or a great freshly baked snack for on the go as you continue your trip in Muskegon. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm, The Muskegon Farmer’s Market makes a great stop when you find yourself in the area.

Tour the SS. Milwaukee Clipper – Oldest Passenger Ship on the Great Lakes

You can tour on one of Michigan’s most historic ships, the SS Milwaukee. The oldest remaining passenger ship on the Great Lakes, this ship that predates the Titanic is now docked in downtown Muskegon and is open for tours. See the state rooms, movie theater, dance floor and ice cream parlor as the ship undergoes the restoration process.

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Best Things to Do in Muskegon MI: Where to Eat and Drink

After a day spent in the sun on the beach, hiking through some trails, in an amusement park, or indoors at the Muskegon Museums, a meal is needed to refuel and reminisce on the day’s activities. What better way to do that than to go out and dine while you’re still in the area? Below are a couple of Muskegon’s top-rated restaurants.

The Deck
1601 Beach St, Muskegon, MI 49441

Located closely to Pere Marquette Park, The Deck is a restaurant everyone in Muskegon needs to visit. This bar and grill restaurant lives up to its name, placed right by Lake Michigan with a large deck of a beachfront patio and live music. With a great menu, appetizing food, and great location and views, this upbeat atmosphere is welcoming, fun, and memorable. This restaurant is a must-do when in Muskegon, Michigan.

Dockers Restaurant
3505 Marina View Point, Muskegon, MI 49441

This Muskegon restaurant serves great seafood and a lively tiki bar with offered live music. With available outdoor seating to watch the boats coming into the docks, this will be a great entertaining dinner with great-tasting food. Overlooking Muskegon Lake, this restaurant is a great spot to get a meal at.

Hanks Tavern
2536 Henry St, Muskegon, MI 49441

With a great variety of drinks and a great atmosphere, Hanks Tavern in Muskegon, Michigan is another great stop to make for a place to eat. Serving a mix of American and Mexican food, the menu is flexible and caters to most tastebuds. Hanks Tavern is also a great sports bar for those looking to keep up with the game.

Aldea Coffee
794 Pine St, Muskegon, MI 49442

First things first: coffee. Personally, a perfect day trip doesn’t start right unless I visit a great local coffee shop. Aldea Coffee in Muskegon is sure to hit the spot, with a cute and cozy atmosphere and some quality tasting coffee. This coffee shop is a good spot to stop by after your drive to regroup and grab that quick extra pick me up as you get ready for the rest of your day spent in Muskegon. With lots of space for seating and the smell of brewing coffee, you’ll be ready to go in good spirits thanks to Aldea’s charm and promised relaxation.

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company
895 4th Street, Muskegon, MI 49440

Named for a once-towering Lake Michigan sand dune (Pigeon Hill) that stood 300-feet tall, this hip and happening West Michigan brewery is a must if you’re in the area. In addition to tasty Michigan-themed brews like “Beach, Please,” and the “Shifting Sands” IPA, you’ll also find a delicious menu at this taproom. The Porkarito tacos with a lime slaw will have you coming back for more.

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Things to Do in Muskegon MI: Best Ice Cream

A delicious ice cream treat is the end to a perfect day in Muskegon, Michigan. The cherry on top really is a nice cold treat.

Norm’s Ice Cream Shop North Muskegon
80 Whitehall Rd, North Muskegon, MI 49445

So many choices, you can’t go wrong. Norm’s Ice Cream Shop in North Muskegon is a favorite and never disappoints.

The Frosty Cove
2565 Lakeshore Dr, Muskegon, MI 49441

Frosty and tasty, the Frosty Cove has a great option, and gluten-free options are available.

Ruth Ann’s Ice Cream
605 N Scenic Dr, Muskegon, MI 49445

Unique and fun flavors, this is a hidden ice cream gem. Cute and colorful just like your ice cream has the option to be, Ruth Ann’s Ice Cream is a classic.

Ultimate Guide to Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Things to Do Near Muskegon MI

Visit Silver Lake State Park

Silver Lake State Park is home to one of the prettiest inland Michigan lakes, Silver Lake. The lake is surrounded by sand dunes that stretch all the way to the shores of Lake Michigan. You can take dune rides to explore this amazing and fun area. Check out Mac Woods Dune Rides and choose from a variety of ORVs and tours to explore the dunes.

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About the Author-

Ella Graber is a Content Writer for My Michigan Beach. She grew up in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan and is currently attending Grand Valley State University, majoring in writing. Creative writing has been an interest of Ella’s ever since middle school, and she continues to be inspired by reading and writing. She is excited to share her love of the great state of Michigan. Outside of writing, Ella can be found enjoying the outdoors on runs and walks, exploring new coffee shops, and visiting the beautiful Michigan beaches with friends.