As someone who grew up around the cornfields of Illinois, I often remember traveling up north to Michigan to climb the Warren Dunes during the summer. It wasn’t until I moved to Southwest Michigan a few years later that I discovered one of my favorite beaches — Weko Beach.
Michigan was an easy escape and the ambiance of Lake Michigan was a welcome substitute for the ocean as a child. After a challenging hike up the Warren Dunes, I would cool off in the lake. Some of my best childhood memories are kayaking, building sandcastles, and playing with clay in the creeks near the dunes.
A Well-Known Beach for Visitors of All Ages
Weko Beach isn’t some well-kept secret kept by the locals, but its name seems to be shadowed by the popularity of Warren Dunes State Park. The Warren Dunes are epic – but if you have time for two beaches in one trip, add Weko to your list.
Both beaches are located in Bridgman Michigan and are only a couple of miles apart. Weko Beach is significantly smaller than its neighboring beach, but it offers a completely different experience.
The road to Weko is lined with scenic walking paths, and it’s especially beautiful in the autumn months. Here’s a list of what to expect on your trip to Weko Beach!
The Wooden Steps at Weko Beach
The dunes are covered in wooden steps. They make the dunes much easier to climb, opposed to huffing and puffing uphill with your feet in the sand.
The steps not only take you up into the dunes but also provide a safe passageway down to creeks and cabins. I find traveling up and down these steps very peaceful. They make the experience magical and guide the unfamiliar traveler on a scenic path.
Not only do the steps guide the unfamiliar traveler, but they’re a lot easier to manage than hiking directly up a massive dune. You won’t be questioning how in shape you are with the easy steps and well-spaced benches.
Additionally, the steps make Weko the perfect place to visit any time of year. The beach isn’t for summer alone. The steps make a great way to enjoy the red and gold hues of autumn! The exercise you get from marching up and down easily takes the place of “stair-stepping” at the gym.
Wandering through the dunes on these steps has always been a surreal experience for me. Watching a sunset, climbing the steps to see the autumn leaves, or just enjoying the elevated views of Lake Michigan is a must!
Benches & Messages From Other Visitors
Weko has benches spread out as the steps increase, so if you need to catch your breath, you can take a quick seat and drink in the views!
As you climb the steps, you’ll notice that many visitors have left messages on the railings. From initials to song lyrics, you’re bound to find something interesting.
Various Lake Michigan Views
You have the opportunity to see the lake and scenery from different vantage points. The higher you go, you get a more picturesque view of the lake and the surrounding nature. The lower you go, the more you feel like you’re an explorer in a forest with quaint log cabins and rippling creeks.
Free Little Library Anyone?
This beach has a Little Free Library! The library is a small box placed in a public area where travelers or members of the community can leave books and take them. It’s a constantly changing book adventure!
The Free Little Library is the perfect addition for avid readers. It’s a unique experience for the young and old., while providing a way to recycle books.
Many of us let our books collect dust after we read them, but when you plan on visiting Weko, you can bring a few books of your own and take one when you leave. How often do you visit the beach and leave with a book?
The Campground & Sunset Room
Weko Beach doubles as a campground and is perfect for a weekend getaway. Rent a cabin, some kayaks, paddleboards, or even launch your boat with a $30 boat ramp pass!
Amid all the sand and steps, Weko also has a “Sunset Room.” It has large windows and a balcony overlooking Lake Michigan. If you’re an avid sunset chaser, you can watch the colors paint across the sky from the balcony! It’s also available to rent for weddings and special events.
When it comes to the campground and Sunset Room, you’re destined to have an epic family vacation or dream wedding location. Although I’ve lived in Southwest Michigan for a few years now, I just recently learned about the ability to rent the Sunset Room for weddings. I would love to attend one of those!
The balcony off the Sunset Room offers a great spot for family photos or even a surprise engagement. It also provides relaxing scenery to meet up for a coffee date. Whatever you’re hoping to do on a quick trip, you’ll find many options.
Weko Beach | A Day Trip for Every Season
I’ve enjoyed the sandy beaches, winding steps, tree canopies, and epic sunsets at Weko Beach in every season. I’ve splintered my feet running around in the summer (no joke, keep your shoes on when walking the boardwalk). I’ve wrapped myself in layers to hike and photograph in the fall and winter.
Whether you’re a short drive from Weko or a long trek, it’s a getaway where you can disconnect from work and connect with the things you love. It’s the perfect destination for the traveler or wanderer.
Pets are prohibited on the beach, but there’s a specific pet boardwalk if you want to take your pet for a quick visit.
Day Passes & Free Visits
The views and fresh air are unbeatable. The good news is that visiting the beach only costs $10 for a day pass during the summer. During the cold months, though, there’s no charge!
Each experience is unique and an adventure. I would encourage any traveler or Michigan lover to add Weko Beach to their travel list. It’s a trip you won’t quickly forget!
More Southwest Michigan Destinations for a Getaway
Weko Beach is only one fantastic spot to spend a spring, summer, or fall day in Southwest Michigan. In fact, there are a handful of summer things to do in Southwest Michigan.