Locals Only: 10 Out of The Way Northern Michigan Beaches

August 4, 2015

Now that it’s August here in Northern Michigan, it has finally warmed up and we have been enjoying our summer to the max. Today is a down day as it’s pouring some much needed rain here in Petoskey but it’s nice just to chill out and relax. I took the morning to compile a list of ten ‘local’s only’ beaches here in Northern Michigan. There were so many that I’m only going to list ten of them but if you have a beach that you love and it’s not listed, please feel free to add it in the comment section below.

Northern Michigan Beaches Travel Summer Beach Day

#1. Magnus Park – located at the very end of West Lake Street below McClaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey. Bring water shoes as this beach is very rocky. Walk out into the water on huge Lake Michigan Stones and swim out even further to check out the drop-off. Bring a mask and snorkel. This beach is a refreshing change from your typical sandy beach. Look for Petoskey Stones and hike along the shore of Little Traverse Bay. Magnus Park also has campsites available.

#2. Jones Landing: Location – End of Gruler Rd off U.S. 31 a few miles south of Petoskey. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner and enjoy Walloon Lake from Jone’s covered pavilion. The kids can play in the sand and swim while you relax and enjoy the day.

#3. Camp Petosega: Location – 11000 Camp Petosega Rd, Alanson. This 300 acre park on the east end of Pickeral Lake offers campsites as well as a popular beach and playground for locals. Bring a book, some beach chairs and spend the day or weekend relaxing.

#4. Silver Lake: Location – 2 miles West of Wolverine this beach offers 74.5 acres of natural lake area. Perfect for swimming and getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday.

#5. Sturgeon Bay: Location – 3 miles north of Cross Village off M-119 and Lake Shore Drive. This locals only beach is gorgeous, quiet and serene. The water is crystal clear and shallow enough that the kids can wade out a ways. Bring sand toys, a cooler with beverages and snacks and make a day of it.

#6. Little Traverse Bay Beach: Location – Located behind D&W Fresh Market and Giant Plaza on the north side of Petoskey. This locals only beach is dog friendly and backs up to Petoskey State Park. Park directly behind Giant Plaza and walk east on the bike path and then down the trail to the beach area.

#7. Michigan Beach in Charlevoix: Location – 95 E. Grant Street  in Charlevoix Michigan. Amenities include: white sandy beach, playground, pavilion, concession stand, bathrooms and lifeguards. Visitors can also fish off the pier of they wish.

#8. Nelson Beach: Location – Adjacent to Young State Park off Nelson Rd in Boyne City. This beach on Walloon Lake is a nice change of pace if you want a more secluded swimming area.

#9. First Beach: Location – A few miles outside of Mackinaw City off Wilderness Park Drive and near the Headland’s International Dark Sky Park. This beach is popular for locals as well as summer visitors. I used to swim here when I was home from college and working in Mackinaw City.

#10. Fisherman’s Island State Park: Location – Bells Bay Road in Charlevoix. Many locals love this beach and say it’s worth the drive to get there. The beach is dog friendly (from what I have heard) and offers 6 miles of natural Lake Michigan Shoreline. Want to stay over night? The park also offers 80 rustic campsites.

Looking for some other activities to round out your summer? Check out Colleen’s 16 Things To Do in Michigan This Summer and our Northern Michigan Summer Bucket List post.

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