Here’s how to access that sparkling water and those sugar sand beaches in the Frankfort, Michigan, area:
Elberta Beach, Lake Michigan
There’s just something wilder about the waves on this stretch of beach cut off from Frankfort by Betsie Lake and a gigantic ridge, making it a favored destination for body surfers and wave jumpers. The shelter of the towering bluffs lends a sense of privacy, save for the occasional hang-glider soaring above.
Frankfort Lake Michigan Beach
This beach-going favorite features a view of majestic coastal dunes to the north and a long pier perfect for a romantic stroll toward the Breakwater Lighthouse. Or just sit in one of the beach chair swings and watch the kiteboarders who come to catch the breeze. Walk to the cute downtown.
Point Betsie Beach
The iconic and much-photographed Betsie Lighthouse graces this sanctuary, located 4 miles north of Frankfort. Pointe Betsie forms the southern entry point of the Manitou Passage, the legendary shipping channel between the Manitou Islands and the mainland. Enjoy beach picnics, sunsets and searching for Petoskey Stones at this beautiful stretch of Lake Michigan sand.
Point Betsie Lighthouse
The Point Betsie lighthouse guided many a nautical vessel safely through the rough waters of the Manitou Passage, but now it just sits pretty and poses. Open for weekend tours, the Betsie has been painted in its original color scheme, not seen since the 1940s. The light house’s classic form and graceful dune setting have led so many people to photograph it that it’s said to be one of America’s most photographed lighthouses. The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse are meticulously restoring the icon. Live at the light: The assistant keeper’s quarters are rented by the week, offering the chance to sleep (up to six) under the shine of a light 52 feet above the lake, $2,000/week, pointbetsie.org.
The North Breakwater lighthouse stands sentry at the edge of the nearly 500-foot-long pier at Frankfort Beach. The current light was situated at the harbor’s entrance in 1932, and the original lighthouse given a new two-story addition. Fisherman often cast their lines off the sides of this pier, as strollers walk by asking, “Catch anything?”
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
The southern tier (from Empire to Frankfort) of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is rife with picture perfect Lake Michigan beaches. For maps and directions go to nps.gov/slbe.
Tiny Bubbles Charters
David and Robert Rommell, the captains of this third generation, family-friendly charter biz take the responsibility for creating an unforgettable fishing experience seriously. You’ll catch salmon, trout and walleye on beautiful Lake Michigan, and if you don’t, they refund your money. 324 Lake Street, Frankfort, 231.383.1500, traversebass.com.
Pier Pressure Charters & Guide Service
You’ll find the World’s Longest Brown Trout mounted on the wall in this resort at Bear Lake. Let Captain Mark Chmura show you how it’s done on a maximum-comfort custom jet boat with navigational and anchoring systems that keep you right on top of those fish. 14051 Lakeside Ave., Bear Lake, 231.864.4051, pierpressurecharters.com.
Snow Sports Near Frankfort, Michigan
Whether you’re an avid skier, seasoned snowboarder, or simply a snow enthusiast, Crystal Mountain has plenty of pristine terrain on which to offer an unforgettable Michigan winter experience. Ski and ride our 48 downhill slopes. Gracefully glide across 40-plus kilometers of groomed cross-country trails. Snowshoe over 80 acres of wooded valleys while capturing breathtaking overlooks around every bend. crystalmountain.com
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
The southern tier of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, from Empire to Frankfort, is filled with fabulous country ski trails. For maps and directions: nps.gov/slbe