7 Beautiful Beaches to Visit in Southwest Michigan This Summer

Does Michigan Have a Beach?

Nestled amongst the Great Lakes, Michigan has not just a beach but many beautiful beaches. We have curated a list of the best beaches to visit in Southwest Michigan this summer.

Southwest Michigan is well-known and beloved for many attributes: u-pick farms plum full of blueberries, apples, and peaches, great outdoor dining spots, award-winning vineyards and wineries, unique craft breweries, breathtaking and challenging golf courses, charming and artistic towns—AND especially, the beautiful beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Because it is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume, you’ll find abundant access to several quiet beaches in Southwest Michigan’s quaint lakeside towns—impressive piers, historic lighthouses, and lake cottages round out the picturesque scene. Located within 30-50 minutes of our Castle in the Country, here are the best beaches in Southwest Michigan this summer.


43 min away
Location: Perryman St. & Oval Beach Dr., Saugatuck, MI, 49453

Firstly, this award-winning and popular beach is a must-see. Renowned for its stunning shoreline and rolling dunes, Oval Beach has been awarded…

  • Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 25 Beaches in the World”
  • National Geographic Traveler’s “Top Freshwater Beaches in the USA”
  • MTV’s “Top 5 Beaches in the USA”

While you may not have privacy, the rewards are worth sharing. Need we say more?

Note: plenty of parking ($10/car), concessions and picnic area, public restrooms (9am-7pm daily), portable toilets (after 7pm), and no alcohol allowed.

rolling waves lapping the shore of the beach in saugatuck duen state park with driftwood on the sand and greenery on the dunes


40 min away
Location: 6575 138th Ave., Saugatuck Dunes, MI, 49453

Another one of the southern Lake Michigan beaches is the famous Saugatuck Dunes State Park. It boasts sandy beaches, coastal dunes, and a forest. Their hiking trails are a sure draw for nature lovers.

The beach says it all, with 2.5 miles of shoreline and incredible dunes, some over 200 feet tall. This summer, head to Saugatuck to swim, sunbathe, stroll, birdwatch, or picnic. You can picnic on the beach or one of the dunes under the shade of a tree.

Note: the beach is a two-thirds-mile hike from the picnic parking area.


37 min away
Location: 60 Water St., South Haven, MI 49090

South Beach Park is one of the best beaches in Michigan for swimming in the summertime. Located in charming South Haven, you’ll find great sand, stunning sunsets and access to the big, red, historic lighthouse. Treasure-seekers may also find some beach glass while strolling the shoreline.

Note: parking fee, concessions, souvenir shop, picnic area, and restrooms.

a vibrant orange-red sunset at south pier lighthouse in south haven michigan


36 min away
Location: 2152 Lakeshore Dr., Fennville, MI 49408

This 11-acre park offers 630 feet of sandy beach on Lake Michigan. View the majestic sunsets from the beach or the cozy gazebo (if a wedding isn’t happening). The park also has a lengthy stairway provides access to this beautiful beach. West Side County Park offers picnic tables, pavilions, and public restrooms.


36 min away
Location: 2290 Lakeshore Dr., Fennville, MI 49408

Pier Cove was once called “the busiest port between St. Joseph and Muskegon.” However, its fate was questioned after the loss of the lumber supply in the 1860s, the fire of 1871, and the sawmill’s relocation.

Much of the area was sold throughout the years; however, thanks to Ganges Township, a small strip was saved for use as a public beach. Visitors can access this small, secret beach year-round between 8am-10pm.  There are only ten parking spaces, but it’s worth a try, as the swimming and afternoon sun are great. One of the best parts is the view at sundown with stunning sunsets over Lake Michigan.

Another highlight of the beach is the number of lightning stones. These unique rocks, known as septarian nodules, are a geological curiosity. This beach is perfect for enjoying a good hunt or a stunning sunset.

Note: you’ll have to take a steep stairway down to the beach, so be prepared.

the shoreline south of holland michigan’s big red lighthouse on a sunny summer day


50 min away
Location: 2398 Ottawa Beach Rd., Holland, MI, 49424

Holland State Park is certainly one of Michigan’s most popular state parks thanks to its sugary sand beaches, magnificent sunsets, and iconic “Big Red” lighthouse. TripAdvisor named it as the #1 beach in Michigan (2024).

You’ll quickly find a spot on the expansive beach for sunbathing, reading under an umbrella, or just people-watching. Bring a camera for pictures of the lighthouse across the channel to the south.

Note: enjoy concessions, paddle rentals, and public restrooms with a changing area. Admission charged. 


51 min away
Location: 66 Lakeshore Dr., Holland, MI 49424

Tunnel Park is another fabulous beach find named for its unique tunnel through a dune. Offering 22 acres and an extensive beachfront, it’s ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

This unique park is open 7am-10pm from March to mid-October. Admission fees are charged Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Note: enjoy picnic areas and shelter, sand volleyball courts, modern restrooms, and seasonal concessions with vending machines. 

A Relaxing Stay on Your  Beach Getaway

Finally, after exploring the best beaches to visit in Southwest Michigan, enjoy the comfort and relaxation of a stay at Castle in the Country. Indulge in the luxury of our accommodations, awaken to a delicious, scratch-made breakfast, and enhance the romance with one of our carefully prepared enhancements and packages.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or serenity, your stay at Castle in the Country promises to be an unforgettable blend of beachside bliss and regal charm. Download our app, and ask our Innkeepers to narrow down the perfect choice for an ideal summer season!

Book your escape today, and let us elevate your Michigan beach experience to new heights of splendor and sophistication.


Updated May 2024

Photo credit:

  • © Wildnerdpix via
  • © Jack R Perry via
  • © Vito Palmisano vis