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Best Beach town in MI?

Minneapolis...
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23 posts
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Best Beach town in MI?

It will be my first time in MI - spending 2 days for work in Mt. Pleasant, then have another 2 days to go preferably within 3 hours, to another touristy/vacation place...Ludington? Mackinaw? Somewhere else? We like outdoor activities/hiking/canoeing/fishing and of course good dining. Just the husband and I, not too interested in historic ships/museums etc. We like to drink a beer, shop a boardwalk, see some natural beauty etc. Any advice would be appreciated!

Michigan
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1. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

Pentwater is probably something that you would be interested in. From there a short drive to always touristy Silver Lake.

Edited: 15 July 2011, 18:34
Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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2. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

you driving, or flying in somewhere? dunno much about the lake huron side, so i can only give you advice for lake michigan..... looking at the map, mt pleasant is right in the middle of the state.... it puts you pretty much equidistant from ludington and grand haven. and, if you're driving from MNPL, i would suggest taking the carferry across to michigan... it adds cost, but it's a nice little adventure in its own right (plus you avoid all the traffic around chicago/indiana, not to mention it's probably cheaper than staying the nite on mackinac island)...

http://www.ssbadger.com/home.aspx

judging from your post, i would say ludington is the better choice, even if you fly in somewhere..... you have a coupla really nice st parks nearby (ludington and silver lake), you can paddle the nearby pere marquette river (check into canoe rentals), you can bike ride the hart-whithall bike path, and the beaches in the entire area are pretty great... silver lake dunes provide some pretty awesome hiking....

www.beachtowns.org

grand haven is great too (excellent beach, with lodging near the beach, and some bike paths), but i think for what you're looking for, ludington is better, IMO....

Indianapolis
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3. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

I haven't spent much time in Grand Haven, but I visit Ludington quite often, and love it. We drive up from Indiana, passing through Grand Haven on the way. The traffic in Holland and Grand Haven is often annoying. For some reason, there is no convenient bypass to these two towns, and you have to drive right through them with all of the regular city traffic. You would miss all of this traffic if you drove from Mt. Pleasant to Ludington, which doesn't have traffic problems.

Ludington is a pretty little town, that doesn't get as many crowds as a lot of other beach towns. I don't know why. The beaches are absolutely beautiful, and the state park has hiking trails, kayak and canoe rentals, and a lovely lighthouse.

Wherever you go in MI, I hope you enjoy your trip.

Grand Haven...
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for Grand Haven, Michigan
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4. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

Oooo, my feelings are hurt :-) A 2-hour drive from Mt. Pleasant (CMU is my Alma mater, BTW), Grand Haven has a huge, beautiful beach, one of the most popular in the state. We have a boardwalk that follows the Grand River from downtown to the lighthouse at the end of the pier. Along the way you can stop for a drink or two on a deck or have a meal with drinks and watch the activity on the boardwalk, the boats coming and going, and the sunset over the dunes. There are many open air options for dining and drinks all around town. Our county parks system rivals any I've seen. My favorite is Rosy Mound natural area, with a great hike over the dunes to a big, rather secluded beach bring enough water to drink). We have over 100 miles of bike paths in the county. Yes we have traffic, but it's not New York. It shouldn't be a determining factor when visiting the area. Check out some of my previous posts for lots of info. I promise you'd love the town.

North Muskegon...
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5. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

Most West Michigan towns have a nice beach.

A lot will depend on when you are coming and what is going on in the respective cities.

Also, big town, little town?

Busy town, quaint town? : )

Grand Haven...
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for Grand Haven, Michigan
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6. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

BTW, if you're going to be in MI the first week of August stay away from Grand Haven. It's our annual Coast Guard festival and the crowds are huge. Unless, of course, you enjoy waiting in line for everything and heavy traffic.

Ludington, Michigan
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7. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

Ludington would be right up your alley. They just opened a new bar also called the Mitten and it only serves Michigan beers and wines . . . . it is a great new addition to our town. If you like hole in the wall food spots. Head to the Grand . . .you may think what have I got myself into but it is the best food. Also Sportsmans is always a must.

Caro, Michigan
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8. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

I actually say Traverse or something in the Leelanau. That said, if all you want to do is sit on the beach, play in the water, go PutPut Golfing, get ice cream, etc.... your quinsential small beach town week... why go West. You can just as quickly reach the East Shore... someplace in Tawas, Oscoda or Caseville would be closer to Mt. Pleasant for you and provide for a beautiful, quiet time. Just a thought...

Manistique, Michigan
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for Manistique, Curtis
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9. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

I got an e-mail about this yesterday.

Dr. Beach America's Foremost Beach Expert picked the Top 5 Great Great Lake Beaches.

The number 1 pick is Sleeping Bear Dunes.

The number 3 pick is Sand Point Beach, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Michigan.

The article is here -

http://drbeach.org/Detailed%20List_GL.htm

Ann Arbor, MI
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for Michigan, Ann Arbor
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10. Re: Best Beach town in MI?

topfan--you need to roll the musical fountain into your description of Grand Haven. We saw it for the first time the other night and it is just so cool. I felt like I was watching something alive as the lights/water created a real choreography with the music. It is really unique, easily assessible, and free. What more could we tourist types ask for?