Best Beaches in Petoskey, Harbor Springs and Boyne City

All over Northern Michigan are incredible beaches, and here are some of the ones we think you should check out. Whether it’s swimming in the Great Lakes, enjoying a walk amongst crisp warm sand, sitting back and enjoying sunny breezes or taking that evening stroll along the coast that you’ve been meaning to, these are some of the Best Beaches in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and Boyne City. Enjoy a day trip for some true Up North fun this summer but note, that some, not all, of these beaches charge admission fees.

Sunsets at Petoskey State Park are incredible.

– Petoskey Beaches –

Petoskey State Park

This expansive beach on Little Traverse Bay is a slice of heaven smack between Harbor Springs and Petoskey, making it ideal for a swim after shopping in town. Play a game of volleyball in the sand courts, or take a short hike along the park’s trail system for the incredible views atop Old Baldy, a stable dune just behind the beach. Along with enjoyable sands, Petoskey State Park Beach offers hiking trails and rentals on bikes, kayaks and paddle boards. There’s even a concession stand for a quick snack fill up. Whatever your speed, these waters are some of the best in the Petoskey area.

Thorne Swift Nature Preserve

This is more for the remote beach lovers, a secluded place to get away. Right on Lake Michigan, this secret beach is tucked away in a 30-acre preserve. Although it’s smaller, it packs a punch by means of quality over quantityif you’re out looking for an adventure. Make sure to check out its hiking trails and boardwalks through dunes and cedar swamps and there’s even an interpretive nature center kids will adore. 

Magnus City Park Beach

If you’re on the hunt for Petoskey stones, this is one of the best beaches to add to your travels. It’s also close to downtown for those who want to shop and beach in the same day. Expect the cool waters of Grand Traverse Bay and about a 1000 feet of shoreline to explore. There also happens to be full park wifi!

Young State Park Beach

For those that are looking for a beach that allows watercraft, Young State Park Beach has got you covered. Take your speedboat, pull a tube, or anchor your pontoon on these waters. Just on the eastern edge of Lake Charlevoix, Young State Park Beach offers water, hiking, and even a kids fishing pond nearby. 

Walloon Lake Beach

If you’re looking for some warmer waters, check out Walloon Lake. It’s not as massive as the bay or the Great Lakes, so it’s great for relaxing and enjoying summer heat. There’s even a basketball court, sand volleyball nets, and horseshoe for those who want to play. If you’re into history, this is a much see as the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, spent over 20 years at his families cottage tucked along this lakeshore! It certainly is one of the Best Beaches in Northern Michigan.

– Harbor Springs Beaches –

Zorn Park

This is a beach perfect for families with its seasonal lifeguards, swimming rafts, and sandy-bottom to swim over. These spring-fed waters are cool and refreshing for a day at the lake. The grassy knoll along the beach is perfect for rolling out a blanket and enjoying a take-out lunch from one of the eateries just a couple blocks away.

Zoll Street Beach

Also known as Zoll Dog Beach because of it’s one of the best pet-friendly beaches. This beach is great for picnic lunches while your out enjoying Northern Michigan. It has racks to lock up and store your kayak and up the street, there is even a public park with restrooms. Add this one to your pit-stop list of best beaches if you’re cruising around Little Traverse Bay.

Sturgeon Bay

This beach offers around 3 miles of sandy waterfront to explore. If you’re looking for an up-hill workout challenge, you can try trekking the sand dunes. After a good work out, the waters will be there to welcome you with their cool and refreshing waves.

Crooked Lake Beach

This quiet, meandering inland lake northeast of Petoskey is part of the famous Inland Waterway—an interconnected series of rivers and lakes stretching from Petoskey to Cheboygan. On the lake’s western edge is the community of Conway, where the Township Park has a bubbling artesian well and a picnic-perfect grassy park, making Crooked Lake Beach one of the best beaches for swimming and sunning.

– Boyne City Beaches –

Peninsula Beach

This is a beach that comes with a playground. It’s small and quaint, great for taking the family and hanging out for a few hours. It accommodates for wheel-chairs and has some great little picnic spots too. Whether you want to sit in the sand or play in the water, this best beach is great for enjoying the refreshing sun on a restful afternoon.

Tannery Beach

Looking for another spot to take your dog? This is a place it’ll love! Tannery Beach is said to even provide scoopers and doggy bags! Let your pooch (or cat, perhaps?) cool off in these cool waters of Lake Charlevoix. With beautiful Boyne Falls close by, this best beach is great for relaxing or just passing through on a quick exercise break.


More Awesome Northern Michigan Beaches


Click the cover to read the Traverse City Vacation Guide.