Located on Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey is home to several beautiful beaches with crystal clear water and sandy shores. Find a remote spot in Petoskey State Park, or spend the day grilling and building sandcastles with your family at Jones Landing and Magnus Park. These beaches aren’t just summer destinations, though. Each season offers something special whether it’s a refreshing dip in the lake on a hot day or a hike through a snow-strewn landscape. Take a day and explore these Petoskey beaches.

Petoskey State Park

2475 M-119, Petoskey, 231.347.2311

A visit to Petoskey State Park— 303 acres of wildly beautiful dunes, thick forests and crystalline bay water—is a must for beach and nature lovers. Although just minutes from downtown Petoskey and Harbor Springs, the park’s dune-backed beaches on Little Traverse Bay feel miles from anywhere. Pick your own quiet spot in the sun or stroll the shoreline on a photo-safari search for Michigan’s protected Pitcher’s thistle plant, which grows only on Great Lakes coasts. Take an easy stroll on the forest hiking trails—Old Baldy is .5 miles and Portage Trail is 2.50 miles— or make s’mores around a fire while camping at Tannery Creek or Dunes campgrounds.

Jones Landing Township Park

1193 W. Gruler Road, (south of Petoskey)

Set upon the cerulean blue waters of Walloon Lake, Jones Landing Township Park is a family favorite. Boasting a covered pavilion, grills and restrooms, the 3.3-acre park is a perfect spot to spread out your red and white checkered blanket for an afternoon picnic. Afterward, make sandcastles on the large sandy beach or take your boat out onto the lake.

Magnus City Park Beach

901 W. Lake St., Summer: 231.347.1027, Winter: 231.347.2500

Take a dip in Lake Michigan and then hunt for Petoskey stones on 1,000 feet of sandy shoreline in Magnus Park. Located along Little Traverse Bay, the 21-acre park is within walking distance of downtown Petoskey’s boutiques and eateries. Stop by for a day trip, or stay a while at the park’s campground, which has 76-sites for tents, towable recreational vehicles and motor homes.

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Contributors: Carly Simpson

Photo(s) by David Weidner