*This article has been updated for 2017.
by Jill P
Sand, sun, and tons of summer fun make the Silver Lake area a perfect destination for your next Michigan Road Trip. We are lucky enough to have a family cottage in the area, so we have a lot of great memories of this great Michigan vacation destination!
Silver Lake is about 2 and 1/4 hours from Kalamazoo (between Muskegon and Ludington). The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are situated right in between Lake Michigan and Silver Lake. Your family will love the Silver Lake Sand Dunes which is the biggest attraction in the area with over 2,000 acres of sand dunes.
Not too far from the dunes you will find Little Sable Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse opened to the public back in 2006 and now allows you to climb to the top. Standing at 115 feet up, the views are quite spectacular! This is a fun things for the older kids, but can be tricky for the littler kids since it’s quite a walk up and down the spiral staircase. After taking the tour of the lighthouse, there is a great beach area where the kids can play and swim.
Country Dairy not only offers a fun place to get ice cream or even lunch, but also has a fun dairy farm tour. You’ll feel like an expert after this tour and have fun learning at the “Moo School”.
Take a hike up the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Park in the pedestrian area and walk up the dunes. Kids loving running up and down the hills. If you’re adventuresome, you can hike to Silver Lake or even Lake Michigan (a super long hike) from the pedestrian part of the dunes. Bring water and a snack!
Mac Wood’s Dune Rides is a great way for your family to discover the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. This 40 minute dune ride takes you through the dunes and gives you a good view of the vast dune area. There’s a chance to get off the dune ride and see Lake Michigan. No visit to Silver Lake is complete without a ride on the MacWood Dune Rides! Reader tip: get there early in the day or during the week when it’s less busy.
Craig’s Cruisers in Silver Lakes offers plenty of opportunity for family fun. You’ll find an arcade, go-cart rides, bumper boat rides, a zipline, a miniature golf course, and more!
Lewis Farm Market & Petting Zoo in New Era is one of our “go-to” stops each summer. Your kids will LOVE the number of fun things that they can do there. They have everything from pedal carts, bounce pillows, a petting zoo with tons of animals to feed, a kiddie wagon ride, a great farm stand market, and more family fun that your whole family will enjoy. Daily activity passes are just $7 per person in the summer.
Double JJ Waterpark is a perfect rainy day option. You can purchase day passes for $25 per person and utilize the waterpark and the activities taking place at the resort that day. Some of the additional daily actiivities include: crafts, face painting, archery, and more. Activities vary by the day, so you’ll want to check out their daily calendar.
Country Dairy is a fun place to stop by for lunch or order pizza. You’ll find a good selection of meals for families, plus each meal includes their “bottom-less” cup of chocolate milk. Kids meals include a kiddie ice cream cone. Plus, while you’re there check out the Moo-School and tour the dairy. Learn how Country Dairy’s milk, cheese, and ice cream is made. Yum!
Big Hart Brewery is located in Hart. We love that they have patio dining and a good kids menu.
Dan Morat’s Corner Bakery in Hart is just the place to get your favorite sweet treat. Donuts, cookies, and other bakery items are made daily from this family bakery. You’ll want to pick up a loaf of their famous English Muffin Bread while your there.
Visit Whippy Dip in Silver Lake, the home of the famous Turtle Sundae, for sweet treats for the family. Plus, they offer some decent pizzas and subs if you’re looking for more than just sweet treats.
RELATED: Michigan Road Trips – Ludington
Silver Lake Resort and Campground employs a “hotel approach” to camping. The front desk staff provide concierge services and can help you plan all or part of your trip while at Silver Lake. You’ll love the friendly staff, super clean bathrooms, onsite heated swimming pool, playground, picnic area, volleyball and a small pond for fishing. See our full write-up here.
Another option for staying in the area is at the Silver Lake Jelly Stone. You’ll find many planned activities at the campground.
Hope you enjoy your time in and around Silver Lake!