Southwest Michigan Beach Guide
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?
Load up the beach toys, towels, snacks, sunscreen and head on out to the beach!
Beaches In Kalamazoo and Calhoun Counties
Ramona Park has something for everyone from the fisherman to the beach bum! Located off Sprinkle Road with access to Long Lake, Ramona Park is truly a family destination site. Ramona Park has a fully-staffed and lifeguarded beach and is home to a creative, accessible playground with a colorful soft surface. The beach is open Monday – Friday from noon to 7:00 pm and on the weekends and Holidays from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm. Visit the website for beach admission fees. Ramona Park also rents out Pavilion’s for large groups.
1. Markin Glen County Park, Kalamazoo
Located just north of downtown Kalamazoo, Markin Glen features unique and beautiful natural features. 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.
2. Prairie View County Park, Vicksburg
Located on the shores of Gourdneck and Hogsett Lakes the park offers a premier swimming beach and a pristine natural setting. Prairie View has five picnic shelters that are a perfect setting for any gathering. The beach offers row boat rentals as well as hiking trails nearby and picnic shelters.
3. 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.
The beach hours at Cold Brook, Prairie View and Markin Glen are 7:00 am – 8:30 pm seven days a week. Check the website for admission fees.
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. Park hours are Monday-Sunday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and there is a day-use admission charge.
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 is open daily from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm. Visit website for more information on entry fees.
Worth The Drive
Feeling a little adventurous? A bit more of a drive, but oh-so worth it!
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 river front activities, ranging from swimming and beach volleyball to sunset strolls. Weather permitting; lifeguards are on duty during the summer from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. In addition, Silver beach offers three playground structures. Make sure and visit the Silver beach carousel for a ride. Steps away from the carousel is Michigan’s tallest kaleidoscope and Curious Kids’ Museum, an entertaining place for toddlers to teens to explore water exhibits, a climbing wall and traveling exhibits.
South Haven attracts thousands of visitors each summer and with good reason. There is plenty of sparkling water and sandy beach to go around. North Beach located just north of the pier and running off Lakeshore Drive. It costs $5 per day to park during the summer, daily and weekly passes are available. North beach has concessions and volleyball courts.
South Beach is located across the river from North Beach on Monroe Drive. Check out Packard Park, located on North Shore Drive. It has a beach setting on one side and a park setting on the other, with a playground, picnic tables, and restrooms. South Haven has a “Beach Bus” – for 50 cents/passenger, riders can transit between South Beach, North Beach and Packard Park. The hourly run starts at South Beach at noon and the last trip from North Beach is at 5:30 pm. The bus will allow people to park at either beach, depending on where parking is available.
Located just off Interstate 94, 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. Also, getting to the beach from the parking lot requires a bit of travel through hills of sand. Grand Mere is one of a few state parks that are “dog friendly”.
Is your favorite beach not on our list? Let us know in the comment section below and we can add it to our Southwest Michigan Beach Guide. Thanks!