The Best Michigan Beaches for Families

Make Your Perfect Michigan Family Vacation

Nothing is more kid-friendly than a Michigan summer. The Michigan coast’s freshwater beaches are perfect for family vacations that will last a lifetime.

There are so many great things to do in Michigan, such as indoor waterparks, lazy rivers and sand dunes, and miles and miles of trails and parks for every outdoor activity. Who needs summer camps?

Generations upon generations of people flock to the beaches at the shores Lake Michigan and Lake Huron every summer. They love bringing their OWN children along to play in the soft sand.

Michigan’s most beautiful vacation spots are found in both the Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.

Michigan offers more than 3,000 miles worth of shoreline, making it easy for families to plan perfect vacations.

You’re planning a Michigan summer vacation, family trip, or want to find vacation ideas for your children? Then read on!

Explore Michigan’s Beaches

We have some great places to take your family on vacation in Michigan.

These beaches offer all the amenities you need to spend a day on the beach with your loved ones. Some of them also have additional features.

Everyone knows that happy children are key to a great family vacation. Crystal Mountain, a popular Michigan vacation spot for families, is located just a few miles from Lake Michigan.

Michigan Getaways

It’s easy to visit Michigan with children. All you have to do is add water and sand. It’s easy to find a place to entertain the entire family: there are many family-friendly towns that you can explore, miles of hiking trails that allow you to enjoy the beautiful Michigan landscape, and resorts for families offering endless fun activities.

Five of our top Michigan family vacation spots are shared here. But don’t forget to visit our website for more ideas.

Silver Beach County Park, St. Joseph, Michigan

Silver Beach County Park in St. Joseph was created for families.

Silver Beach County Park’s beautiful beach is a huge playground, but there are plenty of other attractions to entertain you in the county.

The giant splashpad – which is a true giant – the large playground structures, beach volleyball courts, and barrier-free walkways are all there to make your day perfect.

A hands-on museum for children is located just steps from the beach. The Discovery Zone and Curious Kids Museum are interactive museums for children ages 1-10. They have a variety of entertainments that will keep them entertained. You can also enjoy indoor play during rainy days.

Silver Beach has Life Guards and a Flag System that warns of unsafe swimming conditions. This is a family-friendly feature.

These heroes save lives and keep beach-goers safe at Lake Michigan. The lake is beautiful but can be unpredictable.

Silver Beach also offers concessions, playgrounds, and water sports rentals like kayaks or paddle boards. Silver Beach is known for its wide sandy beach and long pier that juts out into Lake Michigan, which is a popular spot for beach-weddings.

The world-famous Silver Beach Carousel & Amusement Park Museum is also a must-see for all beach-goers.

St. Joseph is a charming little Michigan beach town that sits on Lake Michigan. It has been a popular destination for both beach-goers as well as fun-seekers. St. Joseph is known as the “Riviera” of the Midwest. Its shopping district features everything you need, from gourmet food to ice cream and fudge shops.

St. Joseph Accommodations

Visitors to St. Joseph have a variety of lodging options, including a variety of rates. There are many options for lodging in the St. Joseph area, including chain hotels, independent motels and Bed and Breakfasts, as well as private cottage rentals.

Grand Haven City Beach, Grand Haven State Park

Sandy beaches – check.
Check for clean restrooms
Check out this wide, sandy beach.

Grand Haven, Michigan is now a great place for families to enjoy a vacation. It’s simple. There are wide stretches of soft sand beaches that gently slope into the sparkling blue Lake Michigan.

This is a bustling beach town that is alive all year. This west Michigan town, located not far from Grand Rapids (MI), is a popular summer destination for visitors from all over the country. Here are some of our favorite Grand Haven spots:

Grand Haven Boardwalk
Grand Haven’s boardwalk, which is family-friendly, is a must for any beach. While enjoying the fresh lake breezes, you can stroll along the water with your children and stop for hot dogs, ice cream and beach trinkets.

Grand Haven Pier and Lighthouse
Grand Haven City Beach, and Grand Haven State Park are located side-by-side on a large stretch of Lake Michigan beach in Grand Haven near the Grand Haven boardwalk. Many Grand Haven residents enjoy walking along the length of this pier. It can be quite busy in summer as people take in the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.

Downtown Grand Haven
Grand Haven’s layout is very nice. It’s only a short walk to the beach and the busy downtown. There are many fun restaurants and cute shops that cater to families. There are ice cream and fudge shops as well as casual cafes and more expensive offerings along the streets. These are mixed with boutiques that sell everything from toys to gourmet kitchenware and beach Tees.

Musical Fountain
Grand Haven’s evening is full of fun and entertainment. Visitors can stay until 10 p.m. to see the Grand Haven Musical Fountain, a 25-minute synchronized light and water show that takes place on the city’s waterfront.

Grand Haven ADA Accessibility
Grand Haven City Beach is also known for its wide, paved paths that provide excellent access to Lake Michigan’s shoreline for people with disabilities.

Grand Haven Lodging

Grand Haven accommodations are similar to St. Joseph and include chains hotels, motels and Inns, as well as bed and breakfasts. Private rentals are another option – there are both smaller cottages and larger homes on the lake.

Oscoda Beach Park

Enjoy Lake Huron at its best: This sugar-sand beach in Downtown Oscoda is family-friendly and offers a charming downtown area for exploration.

This park features a splash pad, large waterfront skating park, basketball court, and large play structure. The large sugar-sand beach gently slopes to clean, freshwater and makes it perfect for swimming.

This beach is also home to modern restrooms and an accessible boardwalk.

This fun beach spot offers sand volleyball courts and a children’s play area. It is also close to Oscoda.

If you need refreshment, there are small shops and cafes along the beachfront.

Oscoda Area Hotels

Oscoda has a lot to offer for tourists, with affordable accommodation near and on the beach.

Many cottages and cabins are available to rent along M-23, which runs along Lake Huron’s shoreline.

These cottages and cabins are mostly owned and operated by individuals. Management takes great pride in cleanliness and making sure that everyone has a pleasant stay. You will find toys for children of all ages, such as beach toys, umbrellas, and playgrounds.

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain resort is a family favorite at any time of year.

This family-owned resort offers everything you need for a relaxing family vacation. It is located a half hour outside of Traverse city and within easy driving distance to the world-famous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

This is one of Michigan’s best family resorts. You will find a wide range of accommodation options, a children camp, restaurants, and a grocery store all conveniently located on a resort campus that is easily accessible from your home at the foothills of Crystal Mountain.

A large outdoor pool, playground, and an Alpine slide down the side are just a few of the many family-friendly activities. There are also off-campus excursions such as river tubing through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. All of these are led by Crystal Mountain staff.

You can also bike and hike on the trails. There is even a helmet rental and bike rental available. The Michigan Legacy Art Park is located on Crystal Mountain and features the work local artists. It’s a peaceful and beautiful hiking spot.

It is also convenient to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which is just minutes away.

Crystal Mountain Lodging

Crystal Mountain’s best feature is its wide range of lodging options for families, at all price points. Crystal Mountain has something for everyone, from hotel rooms and suites to condos and cottages to luxury residences.

The swings and volleyball courts will be a hit with your children, as well as the comfy benches on this sandy beach. Take in the beautiful views, including the twin piers that reach into Lake Michigan.

Enjoy the Crystal Mountain and the nearby Frankfort in MI

St. Ignace

You’ll arrive in St. Ignace after a five-mile drive over the Mackinac Bridge.

St. Ignace’s southern counterpart, Mackinaw City on Mackinac Bridge is a little bigger but St. Ignace still has its charms.

You’ll find tourist attractions and the necessary fudge shops, which are fun for kids to explore. There are also well-maintained waterfront parks that have sandy beaches with swimming areas as well as boardwalks.

The Deer Ranch is a great place for kids to see white-tailed deer up close. Garlyn Zoo is a wildlife zoo in the Upper Peninsula, just a short drive west.

You can also take a ferry from St. Ignace to the stunning Mackinac Island and arrive on the island in minutes.

You can explore more places on your Michigan family vacation

  • Zehnder’s Splash Village at Frankenmuth
  • Avalanche Bay and other Indoor Water Park
  • Silver Lake Sand Dunes Near Ludington, MI
  • Belle Isle State Park, Nature Center in Downtown Detroit
  • Ann Arbor, University of Michigan’s Beautiful Campus
  • Gull Lake in the Battle Creek
  • Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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