FIND YOUR PERFECT BEACH ALONG SIXTEEN MILES OF LAKESHORE

Among the many reasons people choose to visit our south Michigan shore communities, there’s one that’s universally shared – the majestic, awe-inspiring beaches. Long ago dubbed ‘The Gateway to Michigan,’ New Buffalo marks the start of a nearly 16-mile stretch of continuously accessible Lake Michigan shoreline, offering ten public beaches within a 15-minute drive. As you explore, keep a few things in mind:

Beaches are miraculously spacious and peaceful throughout the year, with the exception of July and August. If sharing space isn’t your thing but you crave the summer experience, September and October are fantastic options.

The beach is a dynamic manifestation of the forces of nature. Meaning, it’s always changing! Year-to-year, and truly even day-to-day, we’re presented with a new landscape. Sometimes wide, sometimes narrow. Sometimes singing sands, sometimes rocky shore. Mother Nature keeps it fresh, so the love affair never grows old.

Enforcement of rules prohibiting fires, pets, and alcohol is most likely during peak summer months. Beach people are the best – we trust you to respect the lakeshore.

A little girl standing on an expansive Lake Michigan beach in New Buffalo, Michigan.

New Buffalo Beach

  • 800 feet of shoreline with adjoining harbor
  • Backdrop: grassy dune elevation with paths, walkway, and lookout points
  • Playground and picnic tables
  • Seasonal concession
  • Seasonal kayak and SUP rentals
  • Bathrooms
  • Walkable to downtown
  • Parking: $5/3 hours or $12/day | 8am–8pm | Memorial Day–Labor Day | Otherwise, parking is free.
  • ADA-approved walkway
  • Beach wheelchair available through the City of New Buffalo

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Road-End Beaches

These smaller public beaches are nestled among private associations backed by grassy dunes and forest, and an occasional lakefront home. Primarily hike- or bike-to, with limited roadside parking, road-end beaches are accessible via sandy paths or wood stairs. Find them west to the lake on the roads they’re named after.

A young woman reading on Cherry Beach in Harbert, Michigan.

Cherry Beach

  • 253 feet of shoreline
  • Backdrop: undeveloped grassy dunes and forest
  • Parking: free (although, occasionally limited to residents/renters with association passes on weekends Memorial Day-Labor Day)
  • Wood stairs

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A view toward Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes State Park.

Warren Dunes State Park – Main Beach

  • 3 miles of shoreline
  • Backdrop: boardwalk, parking lot, and towering 260 foot dunes
  • Seasonal concessions
  • Seasonal kayak and SUP rentals
  • Bathrooms
  • Campground
  • Parking: $9/day | $16 for annual Michigan Recreation Pass

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Towering sand dunes and bowls over Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes State Park.

Warren Dunes State Park – Mt. Randall Loop

  • 3 miles of shoreline
  • Backdrop: undeveloped grassy dunes, bowls, and forest
  • Hike-in only: 1.5 miles direct to beach, 4 mile scenic loop
  • Never crowded
  • Pets allowed
  • Parking: $9/day | $16 for annual Michigan Recreation Pass – or – find an additional trailhead just north of the park entrance on Floral Lane to skip the fees

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Two young children running toward Lake Michigan with a surfboard at Weko Beach.

Weko Beach

  • 960 feet of shoreline
  • Backdrop: boardwalk, parking lot, grassy dunes and forest
  • Playground and picnic tables
  • Seasonal concession
  • Seasonal kayak and SUP rentals
  • Campground
  • Bathrooms
  • Parking: $10/day | 8am-8pm | Memorial Day-Labor Day | Otherwise, parking is free.

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For so many, there’s no denying the allure of the Lake Michigan shore. No matter where you come from, when our feet are in the sand, we’re all local.

 

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