Being a true Michigander, we find it no surprise when someone tells us that Northern Michigan has some of the best beaches in the U.S. – Rolling dunes that stretch for miles. Clear fresh water that can be eerie calm one day and full of breaking waves the next. It’s an appreciation that can only be understood through experience.
Fodor’s Travel recently voted Sleeping Bear Dunes as their #1 beach in the U.S. (not near the Ocean). While the Sleeping Bear Dunes are absolutely a sight to behold, I’d like to share some of Chippewa County’s top beaches.
- Whitefish Point, 11 miles north of Paradise, MI, and approximately 1.5 hours drive from the Mackinac Bridge. Home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Light Station it’s also known as Lake Superiors Shipwreck Coast. The Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve protects the shipwrecks in a portion of the bay for future generations of sports divers. The point is a popular location for rock collectors, bird watchers, and ship watchers. Warning, the water may be cold. Lake Superior rarely reaches temperatures above 60 degrees!
- Drummond Island – Fossil Ledges, located on the north shore of the Island. The “ledges” are made up of the fossilized remains of a saltwater coral bed and are a unique place formed by nature that not many people know about or get to visit. The journey there can be a bit tricky, so be prepared for a ferry crossing and some off-roading. However, it is worth your while if you have a vehicle with high clearance.
- Brimley State Park – Brimley, Michigan, located at the Southern end of Whitefish Bay. Canadian Hills are visible from the clean sandy beach on beautiful Lake Superior. One of the oldest state parks in the Upper Peninsula, Brimley features hunting, fishing, boating, camping, and hiking.
- Detour Beaches – Detour, Michigan, Home to many hot spots and some secret locations all along M-134. The most popular is likely The Dunes aka The Scenic, located 8 miles out of town. Others enjoy Albany Beach, the State Roadside Park, and the local favorite, the Hot Dog Stand – If a local asks if you’d like to go to the Hot Dog Stand, bring a towel and your swimsuit, not your appetite. This beach area is fondly remembered as the “Hot Dog Stand”, a business that provided food and refreshments to all the kids and families in town who gathered on the sandy shores of Lake Huron many a warm summer day. The actual Hot Dog Stand is long gone, but the memories remain vivid.
Now you can see why the Upper Peninsula is everyone’s dream vacation spot! Come and experience nature at is fullest and plan a trip to one of these beaches this summer.