The Benzie region is overflowing with enough sand and water to fit everyone’s beach-day dreams. Read on to find where to spread your towel on gorgeous stretches of sandy shoreline. 

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Play in a Creek Mouth

Esch Road Beach, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Aka Otter Creek Beach)

This pretty stretch of shoreline is located near the mouth of Otter Creek, which gently empties into Lake Michigan. Wander upstream looking for wildflowers and crayfish or simply park the cooler and beach chairs and enjoy the Lake Michigan beachfront. From Empire, drive south on M-22 and turn right onto Esch Road. National Park passes required. (Image of beach above).

Hike and Explore

Ludington State Park

Rent a canoe or kayak from Dune Grass Concessions and explore the marked canoe pathway on Hamlin Lake. Keep your eyes open for waterfowl. Then head out on any of the eight marked hiking trails, stretching 21 miles, or stroll along the sandy lakeshore of Hamlin Lake. Head over to the Lake Michigan side of the state park to jump in the waves, and break for treats at the Lake Michigan Beach House. Bonus: End the day by scrambling up the sand dunes to watch the sunset.

ludington state park

Picnic with a Lake Michigan View

Magoon Creek Natural Area

Find a bounty of relatively quiet beaches, a short network of hiking and biking trails, picnic tables and covered pavilions at this 97-acre park on Lake Michigan. The picnic area is on a 150-foot bluff with spectacular views of the water.

Kick Back and Relax

Frankfort Public Beach

Watch the surfers who frequent the break here, stroll the pier to the lighthouse, spread your blanket, dash up into the adjacent downtown for provisions. Frankfort has “big, beautiful beach day” written all over it.

Sunset views overlooking Frankfort lighthouse

Photo by MyNorth Staff

Beach Hop in Onekama

Captain John Langland Park & Onekama Village Park

Can’t choose between big and little lake? In the tiny water-filled town of Onekama you can have both. At Captain John Langland Park on Lake Michigan, where Portage Lake enters the big lake, enjoy a large sandy beach, pier, gazebos and more. At Onekama Village Park on Portage Lake find a small beach, play area, picnic tables, restrooms and Papa J’s Ice Cream and Eatery right across the street!

Fun for the Whole Family

Kenwood Heritage Park

Fabulous family beach on the north end of Lake Cadillac with daytime lifeguards, picnic area, pavilions, playground, disc golf, boat launch, free parking and restrooms.

Kid-Friendly Beach Stop

Beulah Public Beach

Several hundred feet of sandy frontage await where Cold Creek spills into Crystal Lake near the sweet town of Beulah. Kids can splash in the creek and swim in a marked swimming area. Restrooms onsite and the shops and eateries of downtown Beulah are steps away.

Beulah Michigan beach on Crystal Lake

Photo(s) by Angela Brown