The Michigan shoreline is unlike anything in this world. Miles and miles of sandy beaches and freshwater. If you’re traveling north to take advantage of these beaches, you may need some help picking out the perfect one. The Michigan shoreline is unlike anything in this world. Miles and miles of sandy beaches and freshwater. If you’re traveling north to take advantage of these beaches, you may need some help picking out the perfect one. The way I see it, each beach has a personality. There is an atmosphere, population, and activities at and around the area. Some Northern Michigan beaches are secluded and may require a little walk while others are right in town, walking distances from shops and restaurants.
Bear Lake Bed and Breakfast is located right in the middle of many beaches. During your stay, make sure to venture out and visit at least one of the beaches listed below. Not only will you spend the day swimming, eating picnics and long walks but they are great places for watching sunset or rises. Make sure to ask Cindi or Greg for any packages that you can purchase to accommodate your beach visit.
Here is a review of our five favorite beaches within 30 mins from the bed and breakfast:
Caption Johns Langland Park – Onekama, MI
Distance: 20 min drive
Atmosphere: This beach located on Portage Point is the northern part of the channel to Portage Lake. The beach includes a changing room, pit toilets (though kept very clean), a lighthouse and a handicap accessible walkway. The drive to the beach is very scenic and located around 15 mins outside of Onekama.
Popularity: The beach can be a little populated during the summer months as the guest from Portage Point Inn and local cottages visit there. Most visitors are families on vacations or local families coming out for a beautiful day in the sun. Overall, you will get a nice spot to relax and stretch out.
Activities: Fire on the beach and lighthouse, and a restaurant/bar at Portage Point Inn.
Arcadia Sunset Station – Arcadia, MI
Distance: 18 min drive
Atmosphere: This beach is set up for a fun day at the beach with a small playground, toilets and big sandy beach. Personally, my favorite part of this beach is how far it extends past the groomed sandy area. On either side of the beach, it narrows and continues down the shore. You can venture down and have a secluded private space or take a nice walk along the water.
Popularity: Sunset Station is the main beach for the small town of Arcadia. Just west of Bear Lake, the beach doesn’t attract too many visitors other than the town’s population or campers at the campground.
Activities: There is a small playground and a large beach area. The town of Arcadia is only a few blocks away which includes an ice cream shop, a few stores, a restaurant and a bar. This beach is also a great location if you have a watercraft. The harbor is located right on the beach for you to drop your boat/watercraft off and zoom across Arcadia Lake, through the channel to the beach.
Elberta Beach – Elberta, MI
Distance: 30 min drive
Atmosphere: Tucked away in a dune, Elberta Beach is a quiet location that best sums up the beauty of Michigan’s shoreline. To reach the water, you will have to take a short walk down a sandy path. The beach is on the south side of the channel to Bestie Lake and just west of the town Elberta.
Popularity: This beach is the most secluded on the list. Very little people visit this beach and it is the perfect location for a quiet, low key day/night at the beach.
Activities: Elberta Beach offers only a beach. Just the sand, the water, and the trees.
Frankfort Public Beach and Playground – Frankfort, MI
Distance: 30 min drive
Atmosphere: The beach includes a large playground and restroom with changing areas. It is located a few blocks from downtown Frankfort and walking distance from restaurants, a brewery, shops and picnic spots. I would recommend this beach if you are looking for a fun place from morning to night. Sometimes sports shops have demonstrations of paddle boards and other fun actives for free at the beach!
Popularity: Frankfort Public Beach can be pretty populated, though not crowded, this is the largest beach in mid-northern Michigan. This would be the perfect beach for fun family day.
Activities: The beach includes a playground and picnic spots and within walking distance from the lively downtown of Frankfort. Make sure to stop at Stormcloud Brewing Company for a quick refreshment and pizza. Check out the city’s website to see what events are happening when you visit. You may be able to check out the famous arts and craft fair! Lastly, before you leave, you must try Port City Smokehouse for their smoked fish.
Beulah Public Beach – Beulah, MI
Atmosphere: Beulah Public Beach is located right downtown and extends the length of the town. This is the perfect beach to set-up shop all day. Time your visit correctly, and you can watch the Fourth of July fireworks! I discovered this beach as a child with my family. We stopped for a deli sandwich in Beulah and ended up spending all day on the beach and exploring the shops.
Popularity: This beach is slightly more populated than the others. You’ll get a spot, but you won’t be alone. Since this is town’s public beach, you will have a lot of families joining. Now if you are used to beaches in Holland Michigan or ocean beaches, this would be considered empty.
Activities: Along with enjoying the warm, unsalted waters of Crystal Lake, you can also walk around the town and find the perfect restaurant. If you are interested in kayaking (ask Cindi and Greg to rent some), this would be the ideal place! The lake offers crystal clear, waveless waters. The beach has a small playground, and you may get lucky and have some local musicians playing fun, summer music. After spending all day soaking up the sun and enjoying the water, make sure to stop and grab a bite at one of the local restaurants.