9 Little-Known Lake Michigan Beaches Where Crowds Are Few and Far Between

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Nothing screams summer quite like a day at the beach. If you live in an inland state that doesn’t mean sun, sand and aquatic activities are out of reach... Take Lake Michigan for example. Spanning the entire west coast of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, it boasts more than 1,600 miles of shoreline. That means plenty of magnificent waterfront real estate is up for grabs. As the temperature rises, hordes of travelers from the middle of the country flock to America’s cleverly named “Third Coast,” which makes finding a secluded spot a bit trickier—though far from impossible. Ahead, nine little-known Lake Michigan beaches where you can avoid the crowds this summer.


lake michigan beaches north bar lake

1. North Bar Lake, Mi

Anyone at all familiar with popular Michigan travel destinations has undoubtedly heard of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. But far less are familiar with North Bar Lake. This under-the-radar beach is cleverly concealed. To get there, just follow the trail for 800 feet until you see golden sand and clear, shallow water.

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lake michigan beaches tiscornia park

2. Tiscornia Park, Mi

Looking for somewhere quiet to chill that’s not far from all the family-friendly fun in St. Joseph? We’d highly recommend Tiscornia Park. This chill lakeshore locale has a sandy beach, plus a lighthouse and a picnic area. Basically, it’s the perfect place to relax with friends, relatives or solo (just send the kiddos off to the carousel).

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lake michigan beaches oval beach

3. Oval Beach, Mi

Can it be about both the journey and the destination? Yes, if you’re talking about Oval Beach. Take the ferry across the river from downtown Saugatuck and walk along Perryman Street. In about a half-mile, you’ll arrive at a wide-open stretch of lake frontage that’s prime for swimming and sunbathing.

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4. Pierport Beach, Mi

It’s all very hush hush at Pierport Beach in Manistee County—and residents would prefer that the word doesn’t get out anytime soon. Tucked away at the end of 13 Mile Road, this isolated stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline wows with its serene atmosphere, turquoise waters, verdant trees and gorgeous sunset vistas. You might even peep some birds soaring through the skies.

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5. Douglas Beach Park, Mi

Soft sand, clear water, clean restrooms, picnic tables and grills are the main draws of Douglas Beach Park. But what separates it from so many summer hotspots is the added bonus of fewer crowds and space for activities. In other words, you won’t have to worry about hitting fellow sun-worshipers during a game of paddle ball.

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lake michigan beaches laketown beach
Rachel Kramer/Flickr

6. Laketown Beach, Mi

Another hidden gem in Holland, Laketown Beach is utterly idyllic and totally secluded. To that end, you’re unlikely to see more than a handful of other beachgoers. This makes it particularly beloved by couples seeking romance. Fitness buffs also love this isolated slice of paradise since the stairs double as a scenic spot to squeeze in some cardio.

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lake michigan beaches silver lake sand dunes
©Jamie A. MacDonald/Getty Images

7. Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Mi

Rolling dunes, turquoise blue tides of Lake Michigan and a lack of crowds set the stage for an awesome day. All that’s left to do is slather on SPF and soak in the serenity. For a dose of outdoor adventure, explore the forested hiking trails or coordinate an ATV tour.

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8. Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, Mi

With any luck, you won’t see another living soul (just some majestic birds) while exploring Thorne Swift Nature Preserve. Our favorite feature of this 30-acre wildlife sanctuary—well, besides the abundance of plant and animal life—is the discrete little beach with golden sand and pleasant breezes. Don’t skip the surrounding trails leading through wind-swept dunes, hardwood forests and wetlands.

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lake michigan beaches haserot beach

9. Haserot Beach, Mi

Haserot Beach isn’t a household name outside of Michigan. The blessing of anonymity? Far fewer out-of-town tourists and day-trippers. If peace, quiet and well-maintained shoreline sound pretty great, head to this slightly out-of-the-way Old Mission Peninsula jewel.

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Lindsay Cohn

Freelance PureWow Editor

Lindsay Cohn is a travel writer and serial trip planner who has visited 46 countries across six continents (and counting). When not globetrotting, she’s most likely either doing...
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