July is just around the corner and this has me thinking about all of the beach days in our future. So many great beaches to choose from! Whether you’re heading to Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Alanson, or Boyne City, you will have quite the list of beaches calling your name… but which ones are a must-visit? I would love to help you narrow down your search by giving you some highlights of my personal favorites.
Petoskey State Park – Petoskey
Although not very hidden – the Petoskey State Park is indeed a gem to locals and visitors alike. This beach is located on Little Traverse Bay and has about 1 mile of sandy beach along Lake Michigan. This stop off of the Little Traverse Wheelway is also home to campground areas and hiking trails such as The Old Baldy Trail and The Portage Trail. Surrounded by dunes, a playground on-site, beach volleyball courts, and a beach house (with restrooms, concessions, and summer fun rentals) this state park is sure to be fun for the whole family and a great adventure for the day! But remember there is a Michigan State Park Admission fee applied for those arriving by car.
Local tip: Stop by Toski Sands Market just across the highway first to grab lunch or a snack for the beach from their deli! They have a pre-made selection of sandwiches, salads and so much more.
Sturgeon Bay Beach – Cross Village
This public beach is located at the southwest end of Wilderness State Park, about 5 miles north of Cross Village (home to the Historic Landmark dining destination Legs Inn). With 750 acres of sand dunes and 4,100 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, this beach/dune area is absolutely beautiful! With roadside parking, it gives you quick access to many dune trails that lead to the beach. The only real inconvenience here is no public restrooms (seasonal port-o-johns) or concessions so your stay may not be as long.
Middle Village Park Beach – Good Hart
A stop off of your Tunnel of Trees scenic drive is the Middle Village Park Beach in the old Native American Village of Good Hart, Michigan. Stop by the Good Hart General Store for a souvenir or a quick lunch on the road. This park is just behind St. Ignatius Mission Church (built in 1833). There is parking on Lamkin road and a beautiful viewing platform before descending the wooden stairway to the beach access. Restroom facilities are available.
Young State Park – Boyne City
Just outside of Boyne City, Young State Park is located on the eastern shore of Lake Charlevoix. The entire park spans 563 acres with many amenities – one of which includes a public beach! Other great things to note are the Park Store where you could grab an ice cream and a playground for the kids! Although, as with any State Park in Michigan, there is a Michigan State Park admission fee charged.
Local tip: Try Lake Street Market in Boyne City as a quick beach lunch! (Sandwiches, salads, pizza, deli salads) Call in a to-go order or order online.
Camp Petosega Beach – Alanson
This county-run park is located on the inland, Pickerel Lake in Alanson, Michigan. Pickerel Lake is a part of the Inland Waterway! By car, it is only about 10 minutes if you are coming from Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge in Alanson. This beach has modern restrooms, playgrounds, and a beach volleyball court. This little campground and beach area is complete with trails throughout the property giving you the opportunity to venture around – great for kids to get a glimpse into Berry Creek to see fish and maybe even a crayfish if you’re lucky.
Looking for Dog-Friendly Beaches in the Petoskey Area? Try one of these:
Zoll Street Beach – Harbor Springs
Glenwood Beach – Boyne City
Sturgeon Bay Beach – Cross Village (Dogs must be kept on a leash as this is a protected area for certain wildlife.)
Whether you’re looking for a beach to relax or one to take the whole family to – there is something for everyone. One thing is clear, nothing beats looking out over the freshwater of the Great Lake State of Michigan with your toes in the sand.
About the author
Ellen Auten is a native to the area and loves to promote the next fun thing to do in the Petoskey Area – but also loves giving out local favorites and learning opportunities for all. She hopes to help in your planning process for your next trip to the Petoskey Area of Northern Lower Michigan.