Michigan is a state that is known for its natural beauty.
In the summer, the northern and western part of the state is often flooded with travelers seeking to experience the National Shoreline, beautiful beaches, and the state’s famous dunes. Here are the best places to check out these awesome sandy locations.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: Empire
Nearly a 35 mile stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore. The creation myth of these dunes is deeply rooted in Native American Folklore. There are several versions of the legend of the Sleeping Bear Dunes but the general story refers to a mother bear and her two cubs attempting to navigate the waters of Lake Michigan in order to get to the side of the lake where food was plentiful. A mere 12 miles from the land, the first cub drown. The mother attempted to save the second but lost him too, just short of the shoreline. When she reached the beach alone, she fell into a resting spot and gazed out at the waters that took her cubs. As she did, two islands slowly rose to mark the watery graves of her children. The Great Spirit Manitou created the North and South Island to mark the spot where they perished and the lonely dune to mark the spot where the mother mourned their loss.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park: Saugatuck
This beautiful State Park on the western shore of Michigan offers 2.5 miles of secluded shoreline. The dunes are over 200 feet tall. One of the biggest draws of the park is the long, sandy beaches and a 300-acre nature area that is home three endangered plant species, several types of birds and is the perfect spot for hiking.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes: Hart, Mears, and Pentwater
These massive dunes can be found nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan and Silver Lake and are the only dunes in Michigan where visitors can drive your own ORV. The dunes are surrounded by miles of pristine shoreline and beaches that are just waiting to be explored by you and your family. The dunes are part of the towns of Hart, Mears, and Pentwater where you can visit historic lighthouses, shop in charming, historic towns, and enjoy miles of bike and hiking trails.