Whether for a day trip or an extended stay, there’s no better way to enjoy the Great Lakes than hitting the beach. The beaches of the Great Lakes are some of the best in North America, with white sands and clear blue waters. There are so many Michigan Beaches on Lake Michigan alone that you could never visit them all in one lifetime! Check out this list of 15 must-see beaches around Lake Huron and Lake Superior:
Sauble Beach Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
This is a long, wide sandy beach on the eastern shore of Lake Huron in Sauble Township, Bruce County, Ontario. The beach is located at the mouth of the Sauble River.
Sauble Beach was named after the Saugeen Ojibway First Nations people who lived in nearby communities, hunted, fished, and traded from this area for centuries before Europeans arrived in North America. In 1891 an inn was built there by Thomas Taylor, who had bought land near what became known as Taylor’s Bayou or “Taylor’s Point” (now called “The Point”). When tourists began coming to see Sauble Falls, they would stay at his inn or camp out there, too (and some still do today!). The popularity of this place has been increasing since then!
Crystal Beach Fort Erie, Ontario
Crystal Beach is a popular beach on the shore of Lake Erie in Fort Erie, Ontario.
It’s one of the main attractions in Fort Erie and is located on the south side of the mouth of the Niagara River. The beach is nice for swimming and sunbathing during the summer when it’s warm enough for people to enjoy themselves at this location.
Grand Haven State Park Grand Haven, Michigan
Located in Grand Haven, Michigan, Grand Haven State Park is one of the most popular state parks on the Great Lakes. It was founded in 1919 and is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The park features sandy beaches with swimming areas, including Peck Lake Beach (one of the most popular beach destinations), Pere Marquette Beach (which has a playground area), and East Beach. Picnic pavilions are available for rent at each location if you want to buy your own food or have your own picnic.
Pancake Bay Provincial Park Batchawana Bay, Algoma County Ontario
Pancake Bay Provincial Park is located on the shores of Lake Huron, just north of Wawa and south of Sault Ste. Marie. The park is known for its white sand beach, which you can access via a boardwalk. Some trails take you through wetlands filled with wildflowers in the summertime and make for some excellent canoeing in the spring and fall.
The star attraction at Pancake Bay Provincial Park is its bird observatory, which has been welcoming visitors since 1985. The observatory is home to over 80 species of birds from all over North America, including bald eagles, ospreys, bluebirds, and many more!
Sugar Beach, Toronto Ontario
Sugar Beach, Toronto, Ontario, is a popular beach in Toronto. The beach is located near the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard West and Parkside Drive, steps from the sandy shores and boardwalk along Lake Ontario’s waterfront.
Sugar Beach is open year-round, with facilities including picnic tables, benches, and an outdoor fireplace; one paid parking lot nearby (parking meters are also available); seasonal food vendors; two public washrooms as well as accessible facilities for those with disabilities; lifeguards on duty during summer months (June 1 to Labour Day).
Presque Isle State Park Lake Erie, Pennsylvania
Presque Isle is your place if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of big-city life. Located in Erie, Pennsylvania, this sandy peninsula is a popular summer resort and tourist destination with nearly 2 million visitors annually. The most giant freshwater sandbar in the world offers a serene beach atmosphere for swimming or just soaking up some sun on its white sand shores. In addition to being home to Presque Isle State Park (which includes an 18-hole golf course), this area also has two lighthouses: North Pierhead Light Station at North Pierhead Harbor, where Lake Erie meets Presque Isle Bay, and South Pierhead Lighthouse at Sunset Bay Beach where Lake Erie meets Lake Chautauqua County Park Reserve further south along Presque Isle Peninsula’s shoreline.
The park’s most unique feature is its drive-on beach which allows visitors not only to drive their vehicles across Presque Isle but also leave them parked overnight during July through Labor Day weekend if they pay an annual parking fee of $25 per vehicle plus $5 per night stay within walking distance from the designated parking areas at both ends of the peninsula near Lakeside Drive East & West (there will be signs). During other months when there aren’t so many cars around making noise while driving over soft sand dunes then, walkers can use footpaths instead!
Singing Iona Beach On The North Shore Of Lake Superior, Minnesota
Singing Iona Beach On The North Shore Of Lake Superior, Minnesota, is a popular destination for swimmers and sunbathers. It is situated on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. The beach is named after the nearby island of Iona. It’s named the singing beach, as the pebbles make a gentle sound when the waves hit.
The beach offers swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking facilities and a playground area with swings and slides for children. There are also changing rooms on site, as well as toilets that are accessible to people with disabilities
The North Avenue Beach Of Chicago On Lake Michigan
North Avenue Beach is a beach on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It’s the most popular beach in Chicago and one of the top spots to go for a swim or just to relax on the beach. North Avenue Beach is one of only five beaches located directly on Lake Michigan in Chicago. The other four are Hollywood, Montrose, Foster, and 31st Street Beaches. Most of these beaches are open daily from 6:00 am until 11:00 pm during summer months (May 1st through September 30th).
The North Avenue Beach was named after its location along North Avenue near downtown Chicago, Illinois. It has been operating since 1927 when Mayor William Hale Thompson formally dedicated it as an addition to Grant Park along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.” During the winter, ice on Lake Michigan can build up and be pushed in the city by wind.
Grand Bend & Ipperwash Beaches On Lake Huron, Ontario
Grand Bend is a beach town on the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. Are you warming up after a winter of ice fishing or camping at nearby Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park? Grand Bend has got you covered. With plenty of water-side activities to keep you occupied, including swimming and boating off the pier or boat rentals for those who want to explore further out on their own. It’s also one of the best places in North America to catch big waves from May through September—the perfect spot if you like surfing!
If surfing isn’t your thing, but you still want fresh air (and sand beneath your feet), check out Ipperwash Beach Park, located just east of Grand Bend! This large stretch of sand is perfect for families who want something more secluded from busy city life but still have access to amenities like washrooms and picnic tables that they can use during their visit.
Headlands Beach State Park On Lake Erie, Ohio
Headlands Beach State Park is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie and offers a beach with a boardwalk, picnic area and playground, campground, nature center, and boat launch.
Saugatuck Oval Beach On Lake Michigan
Saugatuck Oval Beach is located on the west side of the city of Saugatuck, Michigan. The beach is a popular summertime spot for families and tourists alike. As you can see from the picture below, it’s also quite beautiful!
The sand at Saugatuck Oval Beach is soft and smooth, making it perfect for sunbathing or building sandcastles with your children. Several volleyball nets are set up along the shoreline so you can challenge your friends to a game. If you get tired of playing sports on this beach, there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance to grab lunch or dinner before heading back home.”
North Beach At Racine, Wisconsin, On Lake Michigan
Among all the world’s beaches, North Beach in Racine, Wisconsin, is one of the most popular beaches on Lake Michigan. The North Beach Park encompasses over a mile of sandy shoreline with views of beautiful Lake Michigan.
It’s a great place to spend the day with family and friends, especially during summertime when you can enjoy water sports like swimming and boating.
There are also plenty of facilities for picnics and other outdoor activities, including volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, open play areas for children, walking paths along the lakefront trail (including an accessible nature trail), plus restrooms and showers.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore On Lake Michigan
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore located in Indiana, stretching along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. It’s the nation’s first national lakeshore, established in 1966 by Congress as “a unique system of dune habitats and wildlife communities, including pine forests and oak savannas.” In other words: it’s full of beautiful beaches on one of America’s great lakes!
Warren Dunes State Park On Lake Michigan
Warren Dunes State Park is a state park in Michigan, located in Berrien County along the shore of Lake Michigan. The park covers 1,821 acres (7.4 km2) and contains dunes and a beachfront.
The park is named after John W. Warren, an engineer who helped survey the lake at this location in 1832; he later became chief engineer for the United States Lake Survey program. The area was first designated as a state park in 1919 it was expanded by another 690 acres (270 ha) in 1926 when it was dedicated to the Trailside Museums system.
Port Cresent State Park On Saginaw Bay – Port Austin, Michigan
Located near the quaint beach town of Port Austin on Saginaw Bay in Saginaw County, Michigan, Port Crescent State Park offers a variety of amenities, including a marina and beach. The campground is open year-round, but the swimming area and other facilities are only open seasonally. In addition to its sandy beach, Port Crescent also has three great lakes beaches with bathhouses and restrooms.
Other nearby attractions include:
- Saginaw Valley Rail Trail – Ride your bike along this paved trail for 16 miles from Millington to Bay City. There are several access points along the way, so you can ride as long or as short as you want.
- Sailboat Cove – This harbor features beautiful views of Lake Huron and is home to sailboats and powerboats alike! Here you can learn how sailing works by taking lessons from certified instructors or just watch others work on their skills while enjoying some fresh water breezes!
So if you’re looking for a great place to spend your summer vacation, check out our list of the best beaches in the Great Lakes. When traveling with children, there is no better place to burn off energy than a beach. You can find them all across the region—from one end to the other!