Find your Northern Michigan beach bliss at one of these Benzie and Manistee beaches. Taking that gravel road to a quiet stretch of beach. A lazy day lying in the sand. Diving into the white caps. Long walks. Playing a game of beach volleyball. The sun setting over Lake Michigan. Come on, this is what you wait all year for.
First Street Beach, Manistee
Rarely crowded, this expansive sandy beach offers amenities like grills, playground and concession stand, volleyball and tennis courts and a fenced-in dog park where the family pet can frolic freely. From here, stroll Manistee’s Riverwalk, a boardwalk that stretches along the Manistee River through downtown. Shop and dine, but be sure to get back to the beach in time for sunset. Located at the west end of First Street, on Lake Michigan. VISITMANISTEECOUNTY.COM.
Crystal Lake Beach, Beulah
This public beach is one of the best in-town beaches you’ll find anywhere. A perfect swimming lake, Crystal Lake offers a clear sand bottom, and the beach has a clearly marked swimming area. The beach is just a block from downtown Beulah, and family-friendly Beulah Park’s pavilion, picnic tables, grills, tennis courts and a beach house—all in the shade of majestic maple, oak and birch trees. Carve out your spot early for the annual July 4th fireworks. On Lake Street north of Commercial Ave., VISITBENZIE.COM.
Benzie’s Shoreline at Sleeping Bear
Stunning beaches can be found at intermittent road-ends along the 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Try two local favorites, where Platte River and Otter Creek meet Lake Michigan, popular for their warm shallows. 231.882.4451, NPS.GOV/SLBE.