Camping Sleeping Bear Camping Near Sleeping Bear Dunes | #MittenTrip
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Camping Near Sleeping Bear Dunes | #MittenTrip

Michigan is one of my favorite places to explore.  It’s got everything: big cities, big trees, great views, lake views and swimming in turquoise waters.  It’s easily become one of our go-to spots for weekend trips since it’s so close to Ohio.

We decided to take a camping trip to Michigan, but many of the camping sites through the national parks were already booked.  So I checked on Hipcamp and was so glad I did!  If you’ve never used Hipcamp, it’s awesome. 

We found this awesome place near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that ended up being a dream.

Camp Moonshadow

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This amazing campsite came with a full outdoor kitchen that included running water. The kitchen had a stove, a mini fridge, shelves for storing food, dishes, pots, pans, a coffee pot and a grill.  It really has everything you need, and everything you’d expect in a rental home (minus an oven).

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It also had hot showers available.  There was one indoor, and two outdoor.  We opted for the outdoor hot shower and it was so cool to shower among the trees.  It was probably one of the coolest showers I’ve ever used.

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There were only six campsites, which means its an intimate camping experience.  The sites are not too close together, but close enough that you can hear what’s going on next to you.

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The only thing I didn’t love were the Porto Johns.  I don’t like those anyways, but I definitely don’t like it when the campsites are full and so are the Porto Johns.  Stinky.

But, that was a small price to pay for everything else.  We were within 10 minutes of a beautiful beach and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Esch Road Beach

From the campsite, this was a 10-minute drive.  It was a little crowded in the area right from the parking lot.  However, if you keep walking down the beach, you’ll find some solace.   This is part of the National Park System, so you will need to bring your park pass or be willing to pay the fee.

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We ended up coming back here to watch the sunset, and they allow campfires on the beach!

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

There is so much to explore in this area, which made it hard to pick and choose. We opted for one hike, one beach, and a scenic driving loop of some of the park’s best overlooks.

Empire Bluff Trail

This was a short little hike.  It was a little steep in some places, but we saw people of all different abilities doing this; elderly people, children, and people with strollers.  So, you can do it!

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Bohemian Road Beach

This beach was so beautiful.  It was a little on the crowded side, but the waves were so loud that once you were in the water, it was relaxing.  The crystal sparkly water, the sun, and the cliff views were perfect.

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Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

This was an easy loop that enables you to see some of the beautiful overlooks.  They’re all numbered, which makes it easy to just pull off, hop out of the car and take a peek.  Here were two of our favorites:

Glen Lake Overlook
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Lake Michigan Overlook
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After spending two days in this beautiful area enjoying the views, beaches, and camping, we headed back to Ohio.  On the way, we stopped by one more beautiful overlook.

Arcadia Overlook

We had to carry our dog up the staircase because the stairs had too many holes for her small paws.  It was a nice little cardio pick-me-up after sitting in the car for a while.

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So that was our short, but sweet, trip to Michigan.  Have you ever been?  Check out some of my other posts on Michigan:

Travel guide: Central Michigan

Travel Guide: Ann Arbor

Camping: Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

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