Michigan has beautiful beaches… dare I say, the best freshwater beaches in the world. Before moving to Michigan I thought only people living on the coasts went to the beach. You know those well known popular beaches you see on TV: Venice Beach, Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Myrtle Beach. Don’t trust what you see on TV. People go to the beach… in Michigan! Believe it!
Michigan is bi-peninsular. The lower peninsula of Michigan is shaped like a left-handed oven mitt, palm down. The upper peninsula is shaped like an ice pick, that jets out from the top of Wisconsin. On the oven mitt Detroit is located below the webbing of the thumb. Lansing, the state capital, is located in the middle lower half, just over the middle finger knuckle. The entire state, besides the Ohio and Wisconsin borders, is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, thus creating the longest freshwater shoreline in the world. Michigan also has more lighthouses than any other state in order keep an eye on the many beautiful beaches.
The western side of the state, bordering Lake Michigan, is one long sandy beach. Unlike Chicago’s man-made beaches, Michigan’s sandy beaches from Sleepy Bear Dunes to St. Joseph are natural. From May to October these beaches are thriving with locals from Detroit, Chicago, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Canada, and any where near by. The water is clear and fresh, calmer than the ocean, yet bigger and bolder than the small ponds of other states. The waves during the summer are mostly too small for surfing, but every other conceivable activity you’d enjoy at the ocean can be done here. And the beauty of it all… it’s not the ocean. You won’t gag and spit after diving in from all the salt. You won’t see oil rigs out at sea or Carnival cruise lines ruining the view. There are no sharks, man o’ wars, or nipping crabs to worry about. The breeze is warm and inviting; It doesn’t pickup your umbrella and throw it 50 ft towards playing children. And Lake Michigan beaches are as cheap as the coastal beaches – they’re free!
I was born minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, grew up two hours from the Pacific Ocean, bathed ignorantly in the Gulf of Mexico, and have skied on many lakes. Nothing is like the Great Lakes. Michigan has beautiful beaches, and that is why people go to the beach… in Michigan!
Recommended Michigan beaches: every one.
Photo by kevindooley.