When you’re planning a day trip or vacation in Michigan, you might wonder which Great Lake has the best beaches. Honestly, each Great Lake that touches our state offers beautiful Michigan beaches and plenty of fun. On the Sunrise Side, though, Lake Huron stretches from Mackinac Bridge in the north to the opening of the St. Clair River in the south. The result is numerous beaches with soft sand and turquoise waters, but we can’t possibly list them all here. Instead, we’ve created a list of the best Lake Huron beaches worth visiting.
Best Northern Michigan Beaches on Lake Huron
Cheboygan State Park in Cheboygan
Just 3 miles east of Cheboygan is the entrance to Cheboygan State Park. On this Lake Huron beach, the clear, shallow water is ideal for kids to splash around and swim. Fishing is allowed on Elliot Creek and Duncan Bay, the latter of which has a carry-in boat launch, and the campground offers kayak rentals. Seven miles of well-marked trails are perfect for hiking and mountain biking and provide expansive views of the water, rare wildflowers, and wildlife.
Hoeft State Park in Rogers City
Although less frequented than some of the other beaches on our list, the 1-mile sandy beach at Hoeft State Park is great for sunbathing and swimming in shallow water. The rolling dunes and dense woods create a picturesque background for a lot of outdoor activities. For instance, there are 4.5 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails through mixed conifer and hardwood forest, across rolling hills, and along the shoreline. There’s even a 10-foot-wide paved trail that connects to the Huron Sunrise Trail, which extends to Rogers City. On top of that, two playgrounds, two horseshoe pits, and two volleyball pits are available in the park.
Lakeside Park in Rogers City
The most-used recreational facility in Rogers City, the 10-acre Lakeside Park has a charming beach on Lake Huron with soft sand, two playgrounds, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and places for fishing. There’s a food and ice cream stand in the large pavilion and picnic tables nearby. The bandshell frequently hosts concerts in the summer. The special feature, though, is the Sailors Memorial, which stands in memory of sailors who have tragically lost their lives.
Starlite Beach in Alpena
Situated on State Avenue in Alpena, Starlite Beach is a long sandy beach. Families with kids visit the public beach regularly and take advantage of the amenities that are close by. These include three large play structures, a picnic area, public restrooms, and a splash park, which was added in 2018.
Mich-E-Ke-Wis Park in Alpena
Even though Mich-E-Ke-Wis Park is just down the road from Starlite Beach, you get a completely different experience. That’s why it’s one of our favorite Lake Huron beaches. The sandy beach is popular for sunbathing and swimming, while the water is excellent for stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing. There are volleyball courts, ball fields, playground equipment, horseshoe pits, and a BMX bike park too.
Harrisville State Park in Harrisville
Established along the sandy shores of Lake Huron in 1921, Harrisville State Park is one of the oldest state parks in Michigan. A section of the soft sand is designated as a swim beach, and the campground also has water access. At the north end of the campground beach is a pet-friendly area. There’s a boat launch for canoes, kayaks, and SUPs; and bike rentals are available from May through September. In addition, the park has a 1-mile paved trail and a 2-mile trail through the cedar and pine trees.
Oscoda Beach Park in Oscoda
There’s much to love and do in downtown Oscoda, and the 9.6-acre Oscoda Beach Park is one of them. The Lake Huron waterfront stretches for more than 1,000 feet and includes a public beach, which is accessible via a beach walkway. Aside from sunbathing and splashing around, you can enjoy many activities at the park. Some of its amenities include a skate park, basketball court, splash pad, and children’s play structures. Additionally, the park has a boardwalk that leads to a paved pier.
Tawas Point State Park in East Tawas
Often called the Cape Cod of the Midwest, Tawas Point State Park is known for its sandy beach and outdoor activities. There’s a designated swim area of shallow water along 2 miles of sand and a separate campground beach. Although pets aren’t allowed on these beaches, there’s a dedicated section of shoreline for them. Several boat launches are available for paddlesports, fishing is permitted outside of the swimming areas, and the 183-acre park has 2 miles of trails for hiking. Representing a Victorian-era station, the nearby Tawas Point Lighthouse is open for tours between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Best Lake Huron Beaches in Southern Michigan
Bay City State Park in Bay City
With one of the biggest freshwater wetlands on the Great Lakes shoreline, Bay City State Park has everything that you could want from a sandy beach vacation destination. It’s situated on Saginaw Bay and has more than 1,000 feet of beach for swimming. Pier fishing is available all year, and ice fishing is permitted just off the shore during the winter. There are more than 7 miles of biking and hiking trails and an observation platform for panoramic views of the park and Lake Huron. The park has an amphitheater, playground, splash pad, picnic area, and visitor center as well.
Caseville County Park in Caseville
Covering 40 acres along Saginaw Bay, Caseville County Park is home to a Lake Huron beach that’s wonderful for swimming. In the heart of Caseville, the park offers boat launches and fishing at Caseville Pier. There’s a playscape for children and more than 200 seasonal campsites. Its proximity to the city gives you access to restaurants, shops, and events while allowing you to relax.
Albert E. Sleeper State Park in Caseville
Even though Albert E. Sleeper State Park only has a half mile of sandy beach, the soft sand makes a splendid place to swim, sunbathe, and watch the sunrise or sunset over Saginaw Bay. Boat rentals are available if you want to explore the water. Opened in 1925, the 723-acre park also has a forest, sand dunes, and wetlands. There are more than 4 miles of maintained mountain biking and hiking trails, and a playground is open for children.
Port Crescent State Park in Port Austin
At the tip of Michigan’s thumb, Port Crescent State Park offers sand dunes and 3 miles of sand. Away from city noise and lights, the park is a quiet getaway for couples and families. A boardwalk runs along the beach, giving you a scenic view of Saginaw Bay. The observation platform gives visitors an even better viewpoint. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, swimming, and bird watching are available activities. Plus, there’s a modern campground, playground, a pet-friendly section of shoreline, and 7 miles of hiking trails.
Patrick Tierney Park in Lexington
Right next to Lexington State Harbor, Patrick Tierney Park has a terrific public beach. Along with having one of the best Lake Huron beaches, the park has a walking pier and is popular in the summer for live concerts. Plenty of restaurants and shops are close by too.
Lakeport State Park in Lakeport
Separated into two sections by Lakeport, Lakeport State Park has a day-use area with a beach where you can swim, picnic, watch the birds, or just relax. Horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, picnic tables, and barbecue grills are available. In addition, there are 250 campsites across two campgrounds, and each unit has its own fire circle and picnic table. Both campgrounds have a playground with a variety of equipment and access to a store that sells groceries, camping accessories, clothing, and souvenirs.
Lakeside Park and Beach in Port Huron
Boasting more than 1,000 feet of sandy beach in Port Huron, Lakeside Park and Beach feature clean, clear water and soft sand. Locals and visitors alike enjoy many amenities at this Lake Huron beach park on the weekends. These include a splash pad, volleyball nets, and playground facilities. There are two pavilions, a concession stand, and several picnic tables and grills as well.
Lake Huron Facts to Know Before You Go
Let’s answer a few common questions that visitors ask about Lake Huron. The first two questions involve if you can swim in Lake Huron and if it’s clean to swim in. The short answer for both is “Yes.” However, it’s safest when you can still see your feet at knee-deep water level. If the bottom sediment is stirred up too much, the level of E. coli could be too high for swimming. It’s also important to be mindful of rip currents and rough surf on Lake Huron.
Another question that’s often asked is if Lake Huron is warm enough to swim in because of its northern location. In general, the shallow water reaches ideal swimming temperatures in July and August. Despite that, the temperature can be comfortable enough for swimming as soon as June and as late as early October. Additionally, rumors have caused concerns about if there are sharks in Lake Huron. Since the lake is an inland sea, it might look and feel like an ocean. Fortunately, sharks aren’t something that you have to worry about.
Explore More Great Lakes Beaches in Michigan
We’d like to hear about your favorite spot to sunbathe and swim in the Mitten. Share it with us in the comments below!