Be here at sunset! Oceans of fresh water and a westerly view set the scene for picture-perfect sunsets in the Benzie, Manistee and Cadillac region. Here are five great front-row seats from Frankfort to Ludington.

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1. Stearns Park Beach

North Lakeshore Drive | Ludington

Within walking distance to downtown Ludington, this beach has it all: a big sandy beach and a pier to the Ludington Light. “If you time it right, you can watch the S.S. Badger go by as it heads out for its evening sail to Wisconsin (8:45 p.m. June 10 to Sept. 5),” says Kim Skeltis, a PR consultant for the town of Ludington.

2. The Frankfort Pier

End of Main Street | Frankfort

Hands down, this is the best place to catch a sunset. Have dinner on Main Street, then grab an ice cream cone and stroll to the beach where you can walk the pier, snap photos of the sun sinking behind the North Breakwater Lighthouse and end the evening with your toes in the sand.

Sunset views overlooking Frankfort lighthouse

Photo by MyNorth Staff

3. North Pier, Fifth Avenue Beach

West end of Fifth Avenue along North Lakeshore Drive | Manistee

Fifth Avenue beach has every amenity available, from buckets of sand to a bathhouse and concessions, so make a day of it. And be sure to walk the pier for a photo op of the sun dipping below the Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse.

4. Arcadia Overlook

M-22 | Arcadia

As if the 370-foot bluff that marks this scenic Lake Michigan overlook, also known as Inspiration Point, isn’t enough… Once you park, there are another 120 steps (80-foot vertical) up to a viewing platform that truly feels like you have reached heaven—especially at sunset.

Views from Arcadia Dunes

Photo by Mae Stier

5. Clam Lake Canal

2506 North Blvd. | Cadillac

Stroll the charming bridge over this canal (also known as the Cadillac Canal) at sunset and you might find yourself breaking into song—it looks that much like a movie set. The canal, a relic from the logging era, connects lakes Cadillac and Mitchell. Adjacent to Mitchell State Park and its campground and close to Kenwood Beach with its playground and picnic area, this canal sets the scene for an idyllic evening.

Photo(s) by Taylor Brown