Let’s explore 7 of my favorite Lake Michigan beach towns and unique things to do in each city…
Summer in Michigan is the perfect time to take a road trip. Michigan has a lot to offer, but the beach towns and cities with cute downtown areas near Lake Michigan are the perfect idea for a weekend or weekday trip with friends or family throughout the summer.
With so many cute towns close to each other, many cities can be done in a multi-city trip. It is the perfect way to get out in the sun and explore somewhere new in Michigan this summer.
From Saint Joseph to Holland to Traverse City to Petoskey and everything in between, there are a lot of wonderful beach towns to explore all along the coast near Lake Michigan that all have their own unique things to offer.
All of these locations would be perfect for a day trip, a weekend trip, or even a week-long trip to drive along the coast and visit each location. Each town has something unique to do and is worth visiting.
Here is the list of my favorite towns near Lake Michigan and my favorite things to do in each individual city:
The Inn at Harbor Shores has a lot to offer in Saint Joseph. The coffee shop located inside this hotel called Rise and Vine has wonderful coffee flights that allow you to try a variety of flavors.
This hotel has a great pool and the rooms come equipped with luxurious robes that give you the perfect opportunity to sit back and relax. The Inn at Harbor Shores also has the option for wonderful waterfront dining at Planks Tavern.
Downtown Saint Joseph is the perfect place to walk around for that small-town and beach town vibe. I recommend taking the time to explore all the gift shops and soak in all this town has to offer for the summer. There are a few ice cream places that offer delicious options as well.
South Haven is most known for their blueberry-themed store which I highly recommend visiting called The Blueberry Store. Anything you can think of, they have it but with blueberries in their store. South Haven also has their annual blueberry festival in August which makes for a unique summer trip.
This beach town is full of shops and beaches, and you can see plenty of boats coming in and out when you walk along the water. It makes for a great day trip with plenty of wonderful food options as well.
Holland is known for the heated sidewalks they have in the winter to melt all the snow off, but there are plenty of fun things to do in the summer as well. This includes visiting the Big Red lighthouse on the water, shopping at Glik’s, visiting a Cherry Republic store, and walking around the downtown area.
Seventy-Six is a great restaurant to stop at for some food as well as drinks. (And is one of My 5 Favorite Michigan Restaurants You Need To Try ASAP!) For breakfast, the Windmill Restaurant is a great spot that always gets very busy so get there as early as possible! Holland is equipped with many coffee shops to choose from as well.
This charming town is about 25 minutes from Holland which makes it the perfect spot to visit on a multi-city trip if you are in Holland. Saugatuck is lined with yachts along the water which is cool to check out. They have their own theater which has shows pretty often.
Uncommon Coffee Roasters is a true hidden gem in Saugatuck and has the best hot chocolate ever. The Butler is a wonderful place to dine at which sits right on Kalamazoo Lake so it makes for the perfect waterfront views as well.
Oval Beach is a great spot to check out, especially during sunset when the crowds have cleared out. The water is so blue, especially in the summer, and the beach has some of the softest sand you can find in the state of Michigan.
Glen Arbor is home to the original Cherry Republic store which is worth a visit in itself. It also has a restaurant with plenty of food options as well as many different cherry options to enjoy. Another Glen Arbor treasure is the cute and lively Homestead Resort.
This is the spot to be in the summer and is a small, yet, charming little town filled with quite a few things to do. With this city being right on Lake Michigan and near Glen Lake, there are plenty of water activities that will fill your summer.
This is Michigan’s own little wine country. With many different Traverse City wineries to choose from, there is something that everyone will like. Some wineries have a swing like Bonobo Winery, some have a beautiful view from above like Mari Vineyards and many of them allow tours to take a bus so you can winery hop and get a taste of them all.
Aside from the wine, Traverse City makes for beautiful sunsets, and really great food. There are plenty of spots to hang out by the water, as well as plenty of stores to shop downtown. Traverse City is even a great location for some summer stargazing as well.
Petoskey is truly one of Michigan’s hidden gems with a very cute downtown area and the most beautiful water you have ever seen. This is the place to go rock hunting and look for Petoskey stones. This is one of the most unique activities you can do in Michigan and a must for those that live here.
It is worth the journey up north for the cute shops, amazing restaurants, and gorgeous waterfront views.
Plan Your Next Escape to a Charming Lake Michigan Beach Town
Whether you are looking to journey to one of these towns this summer, or multiple at a time, or maybe even a few this summer, there is a wide variety of things to do and a lot of things to check out to make this summer in Michigan the best one yet. There is plenty to do with friends, family, and even your significant other all throughout Michigan.