Nothing Says Michigan Summer Like a Trip to the Beach

Michigan’s state nickname is the “Great Lake State” and for good reason.

Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five great lakes. There are more than 11,000 inland lakes and you are never more than six miles from one of them! What more reason do you need to visit a beach this summer?

Slather on the sunscreen and prepare to get sand in your toes this summer.  We have the guide to the best beaches around Kalamazoo and those worth the drive.

Drop us a comment below – do you have a favorite beach not listed?

Beaches Near Kalamazoo

Ramona Park, Portage

A local favorite, Ramona Park is truly a family destination site. Ramona Park is located off Sprinkle Road with access to Long Lake. Ramona Park has a fully-staffed and lifeguarded beach, a concessions stand and is home to a creative, accessible playground with a colorful soft surface.

Ramona Park has picnic tables, BBQ grills, and they also rent out pavilions for large groups. You can also rent out a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For Portage residents, the city is waiving the beach admission fees for 2018!

Hours:  Daily 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

beach

 

Kalamazoo County Parks

Markin Glen County Park, Kalamazoo

Located just north of downtown Kalamazoo, Markin Glen has a small and beautiful sandy beach with a lot of shallow water, perfect for younger ones. From the top of one of the highest points in Kalamazoo, hikers can experience a scenic view of downtown. The park also offers fishing, a walking trail, playground area, picnic shelters and a campground site.

Prairie View County Park, Vicksburg

Located on the shores of Hogsett Lake, the park offers swimming in a quiet environment, as the park is usually not very crowded. The lake is at the bottom of a grassy hill, and shade is available. The beach sand is a bit rough, so kids may prefer water shoes. Small water toys are allowed.

The park doesn’t have a playground (only a slide). The restrooms are at the top of the hill from the lake and are easy to access. Pack a picnic lunch since there are no concessions. Prairie View has five picnic shelters and also a dog park.

Cold Brook County Park, Climax

Home to a championship 24-hole disc golf course, Cold Brook is a popular campground and beach. Cold Brook has 276 acres consisting primarily of water in the form of three lakes and unique wetlands.

Annual passes can be purchased at any of the parks with cash or check from the gatehouse and the passes can be used at all Kalamazoo County Parks locations.

Hours:  Daily 7:00 AM – Sunset

 

Ross Township Park, Hickory Corners

Park and small beach area located on east side of Gull Lake. No lifeguard on duty. Daily fee applies.

Fort Custer Recreation Area, Augusta

Located in Augusta between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, Fort Custer features Eagle Lake – a wonderful sandy beach for swimming. The lake offers canoe rentals, a concession stand and beach house with changing rooms. The area boasts many other activities – hiking and biking trails, fishing and an 18-hole disc golf course. There is a day-use admission charge.

Hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Gun Lake Park, Allegan County

Gun Lake County Park is a day use park located on the west shore of beautiful Gun Lake. This four-acre park has over 450 feet of beach, a playground, a basketball court, picnic tables, grills, a pavilion, and modern restroom facilities. There is a day-use admission charge.

Hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Willard Beach Park, Battle Creek

Willard Beach is located off of Capital Avenue SW, South of Columbia Avenue and offers a beautifully landscaped park on scenic Goguac Lake with a wide bathing beach and picnic grounds. The park boasts multiple picnic areas with pavilion cover, picnic tables, grills, and restrooms. Admission fee.

Hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Worth The Drive

Feeling a little adventurous? A bit more of a drive, but oh-so worth it!

Silver Beach, St. Joseph

Located at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, Silver Beach features a clean, wide beach on Lake Michigan and public access to the South Pier. It is a favorite destination for a variety of beach and riverfront activities, ranging from swimming and beach volleyball to sunset strolls. Lifeguards are on duty during main swimming hours. A daily entrance fee applies or an annual permit may be purchased.

In addition, Silver Beach offers three playground structures. Make sure and visit the Silver Beach carousel for a ride, and the splash pad nearby

Hours: Daily 5:00 AM to Dusk

Rocky Gap County Park

Overlooking Lake Michigan from a bluff in Benton Township, Rocky Gap County Park provides a wonderful place to enjoy the Lake Michigan shoreline. There’s a beach with 1,100 feet of lake frontage, an overlook platform, and spectacular views of the lake. Note: There are no lifeguards on duty at this park, and restrooms in the lower park are only open from May – September. 

Hours: Daily dawn to dusk

South Haven Beaches

South Haven attracts thousands of visitors each summer and with good reason. There is plenty of sparkling water and sandy beach to go around. Stay late and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan.

North and South Beach are the two most frequently visited beaches. Both have concessions, play equipment, restrooms, and parking areas. Parking via debit/credit card or a daily pass.  South Beach has the pier and the walk out to the lighthouse.

Deerlick Creek Beach (South Haven Township Park) beach offers free parking and is dog-friendly. They have a portable bathroom.

Hours: Daily sunrise to 10:00 PM

 

Hagar Township

Hagar Township is located in northern Berrien County along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Hagar Park Beach – Located on M63 in the Lake Michigan Beach area. This park offers paved parking, portable bathroom, wooden walkway and stairs to the beach, shaded picnic area with metal grills and playground equipment.

Roadside Park Beach – Located on Blue Star Highway just south of Van Buren County line. This beach park is a natural dune park that offers a roadside gravel parking lot and portable bathroom. Both park areas have free parking.

Hours: Daily sunrise to 11:00 PM

Van Buren State Beach & Dunes

The focal point of Van Buren State Park is its high dune formations and one mile of sandy beach. The beach area (daily use admission fee applies, or the state’s Recreation Passport), has picnic tables and grills, a picnic shelter and two modern restroom buildings.

Hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Grand Mere State Park, Stevensville

Located six miles southwest of St. Joseph, Grand Mere is Michigan’s largest state park on Lake Michigan.

Grand Mere has over one mile of coastline for sunbathing and swimming. One of the more secluded parks, Grand Mere has acres of wetlands, woods, sand dunes, and beach. The beach has very little in the way of amenities, so consider bathroom needs if you plan to bring the family. Dogs on a leash are allowed within the beach and swimming area. The Recreation Passport is required.

Hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Saugatuck Beaches

Oval Beach – Nestled among sand dunes and the winding Kalamazoo River is Oval Beach in Saugatuck. A daily vehicle entrance fee applies and credit card payments are accepted. Oval Beach offers concessions, modern bathroom facilities with showers, lifeguards, a swing set area and picnic tables. 

Pier Cove Beach – This little beach is FREE and has a shallow creek for wading and smooth stones for skipping, and is a perfect place for families to play. Amenities are limited (no restrooms) and parking is limited.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park – Park in the picnic area (daily use fee applies or a Recreation Passport) and make a ten-minute hike through wooded dunes to the beach. The 200-foot wooded dunes are an ideal spot to explore the dunes.

Hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM

 

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By |2018-07-16T12:48:29+00:00July 5th, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Parent resources, summer fun, Things to Do, Water Fun|2 Comments

About the Author:

Julie is stay-at-home mom who homeschools two beautiful rainbow girls, and a self-professed geek. She enjoys playing video and board games, writing, reading, tennis, traveling, and just about everything else. She never wants to stop learning and loves sharing what she's learned with KZOOkids readers.

2 Comments

  1. Angela Wells July 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

    South Haven no longer has coin-operated machines. You have to use a
    debit or credit card.

    • Robin
      Robin July 14, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Thank you for the updated information, we have noted the change in the article.

Comments are closed.