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With more than 3,000 miles of freshwater coastline, it’s no surprise that Michigan has some ROCK-ing beaches! You voted for the Top 7 beaches in each region. Here are your winners.

Searching for more gorgeous beaches? Visit our Northern Michigan Beaches page to start planning your trip today.

A record-breaking 16,000 people voted in MyNorth’s 2021 Red Hot Best Awards, recognizing winners from across seven regions and 46 different categories in Northern Michigan. The categories include everything from healthcare and frontline workers to takeout and hiking trails. This is how we celebrate Northern Michigan!

Searching for the full winner’s list? Here are the Red Hot Best Winners 2021: The Best of Northern Michigan.

Above the Bridge

British Landing, Mackinac Island

Garnering its name from the British troops that landed on its shore in the War of 1812, Mackinac’s British Landing is the perfect beach for history buffs. Equipped with its own historic cannon, the rocky beach gives those who stop by via bike or carriage a dynamic view of the sparkling blue waters of Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge, standing tall in the distance. 

View the full list of Above the Bridge Red Hot Best winners to find the best outdoor eating spots, beaches and much more.

Benzie & Leelanau 

Frankfort Public Beach & Playground, Frankfort

Loved by locals and longtime-visitors alike, Frankfort’s Public beach checks all the boxes for seasoned beach-goers. Grab a tube and make a dash into the refreshing waters of Lake Michigan or stick your toes in the warm sand and stay for awhile. You can even take a stroll down the 500-foot-long pier towards Breakwater Lighthouse and gaze at the miles of majestic dunes that line Michigan’s coast. Restrooms are available. 

View the full list of Benzie and Leelanau Red Hot Best winners to find the best breweries, events and more.

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Cadillac, Manistee & Ludington 

Tie: Ludington State Park Beach, Ludington & Stearns Park, Ludington

Sandwiched between 7 miles of stunning Lake Michigan coastline and the 5,000-acre Hamlin Lake, Ludington State Park Beach has beaches on beaches! Fish, paddle, tube, or relax on whatever shore you choose, or give hiking a go and explore some of the park’s 21 miles of marked trails. Restrooms, picnic areas, a playground, and concessions are available. 

Dip your toes into the cool waters of Lake Michigan while walking the wide, ½ mile shoreline of Stearns Park – Ludington’s largest beach! Located just minutes from the downtown and lodging areas in Ludington, Stearns Park is a beautiful place for the whole family to spend the day. The beach features handicap accessible paths, public restrooms, a shaded picnic area with picnic tables and grilles, concessions , volleyball courts, and even a skate park.

View the full list of Cadillac, Manistee & Ludington Red Hot Best winners.

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Ludington State Park’s beach 

Charlevoix & the Chain of Lakes 

Michigan Beach Park, Charlevoix

Hunt for Petoskey stones on Michigan Beach’s sparkling shoreline and even stay for a beautiful sunset. Perfect for a day full of sunbathing, surfing, or swimming, Lake Michigan’s bright blue waters set the backdrop for long beach days in the sun on Michigan Beach. Equipped with a volleyball net, public restrooms, walking trails, a pavilion, and concessions. 

View the full list of Charlevoix & Chain of Lakes region Red Hot Best winners.

Kalkaska Gaylord and Grayling 

Otsego Lake State Park, Gaylord

In the recreation capital of Northern Michigan, it would only make sense for Otsego Lake State Park to be home to 62 acres of lakeside recreation space. Enjoy some relaxation time on the white sandy beach, fish off of the pier, or settle in with your family in the heavily shaded picnic area with picnic tables and grills. For those seeking some water fun, kayak, paddle board, and canoe rentals are available. Don’t forget to pop into the seasonal park store to grab some ice cream after a long day in the sun! Restrooms are available.

Petoskey, Harbor Springs & The Straits

Sturgeon Bay Beach, Carp Lake

This beloved local beach with over 3 miles of Lake Michigan frontage is a quiet spot perfect  for a quick swim in crystal clear waters or a romantic picnic. Hike and explore the protected sand dunes that are home to several endangered species of bird & plants, but be sure to respect the area!  Leave with nothing but some sand in your shoes and a smile on your face. Seasonal portable restrooms may be available. 

Looking for the best beaches, breweries and more? View the full list of Petoskey, Harbor Springs and The Straits Red Hot Best winners.

Traverse City 

Mission Point Park, Old Mission Peninsula

Wade into shallow waters at the tip of Michigan’s famous Old Mission Peninsula at Mission Point Park. This wide stretch of beach is equipped with a picnic area and is home both to the Mission Point Lighthouse, open seasonally, and the reconstructed Hessler log house. Explore this beautiful area on its nearly 10 miles of scenic hiking trails and enjoy what Michigan’s natural landscape has to offer! Restrooms are available. 

Searching for more of Traverse City’s top beaches, breweries and more? View the full Traverse City Red Hot Best winners list.

Mission Point Lighthouse Park. Photo by Dave Weidner.

Photo(s) by Taylor Brown