Now that summer has found its way to Michigan — finally — it’s time to hit the beach. And there are no better beaches to head for than those in the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan. Whether you prefer the sandy beaches along Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay (be sure to be on the lookout for souvenir Petoskey stones), or the serenity of one of our many inland lakes, the water fun brings one smile after another.

What’s really cool is that the fun doesn’t end when the beach towel is put away. The lakeside communities that make up the Petoskey Area are chock full of things to see and do that are the perfect way to cap off the day.

But beaches are what’s in the headline here. So grab your water wings, slather yourself with sunscreen, don your favorite shades, check out the list below and enjoy the beaches that make our area a Michigan treasure.
Camp Petosega
11000 Camp Petosega Road, Petoskey
A bath house and beach are both located at this county run park located on Pickerel Lake. There’s also a pavilion that may be rented for things like family reunions and birthday parties.
Jones Landing Township Park
On Walloon Lake, Petoskey
There’s a nice, small beach here with wheelchair accessibility. Also a covered pavilion, restrooms and boat launch.
Magnus City Park Beach
901 West Lake Street, Petoskey
Located on Little Traverse Bay, Magnus Park City Beach offers 1,000 feet of shoreline and is within walking distance of downtown.  It’s a great place to hunt for Petoskey Stones.
Peninsula Beach
Near Harborage Marina, Boyne City
Peninsula Beach is located on the south side of Boyne City on Front Street. This small public beach is just a short walk from downtown. Amenities include restrooms, playground and picnic area.
Petoskey State Park
2475 M-119, Petoskey
In addition to a wonderful sandy beach, the Petoskey State Park offers hiking trails, restrooms, biking on interior roads, picnic facilities, sand volleyball courts and a small playground. A concession stand is open (limited hours) during the summer. 2.75 miles hiking trails. Located between Petoskey and Harbor Springs. Admission is charged. 
Sturgeon Bay Beach
On Lake Michigan, Cross Village
Three miles of sandy beach and gorgeous views. Sand dunes for exploring. Port-o-johns, but no restrooms. Approximately four miles to Legs Inn restaurant.  
Tannery Beach
On Lake Charlevoix, Boyne City
You’re welcome to bring your favorite pooch to this beach on Lake Charlevoix.
Thorne Swift Nature Preserve
Lower Shore Drive, Harbor Springs
The beach is small, but pristine and quiet. Three easy hiking trails meander through 30 acres of wetlands and uplands to a pond and to the beach. Interpretive facilities are open seasonally. There is a $5.00 parking fee per vehicle. 
Walloon Lake Beach
Off M-75 near Walloon Lake Village
A plus here is that the water in Walloon Lake is generally warmer than that of the bigger lakes. This area features not only a small beach, but a picnic area, volleyball, playground, portable restroom facilities, horseshoes and basketball.
West Park Beach
Bay Harbor
You’ll want beach shoes here. The shoreline is all rock and is accessible by a walking trail. Great views and peaceful. Restrooms are located at the beginning of the trail.
Young State Park
02280 Boyne City Road, Boyne City
Located at the east end of Lake Charlevoix, Young State Park offers not only a lovely beach, but also hiking trails, a picnic area, boat launch, beach house and playground. Admission is charged.
Zoll Street Beach
On Little Traverse Bay, Harbor Springs
This beach is dog friendly and close to town. This is also a great spot to launch kayaks and watch the boats.
Zorn Park
151 West Bay Street, Harbor Springs
Artesian springs makes this one of the colder spots in the area to swim, but it’s so much fun! Swimming rafts, picnic tables, seasonal lifeguard and restroom availability make it a family favorite. 

Even after one of our Million Dollar Sunsets has pretty much ended beach time, there are days when you still may not want to leave. But since overnighting on our beaches (though it could be delightful) is not allowed, be sure to book a reservation in one of our hotels, inns, condos or resorts. To get the scoop on lodging and all the other things there are to do here, get a FREE Petoskey Area Vacation Guide.


About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all of the communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has “been there – seen that” when it comes to virtually every area attraction. She strives to create informative content that gives potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.