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When you think of a beach vacation, you might start by looking at various beaches in Florida. But, you just might want to consider Michigan beaches for your next spot for fun in the sun. The Lake Michigan shoreline along western Michigan is often called the third coast. Consider that Michigan has more freshwater shoreline than any other state and you begin to understand why it is a good place to go for your next beach vacation. Numerous beach towns line the coast in Michigan, and their quality is found both in the scenery and bevy of attractions offered in an around them. Along the entire western coast of lower Michigan, you'll find a number of hot spots for getting away from it all, and it is here that you'll arguably find the best Michigan beaches. However, in a state almost surrounded entirely by water, who's to say where the best beaches lay?
In the Upper Peninsula you'll find Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with its own beaches, however Lake Superior is the coldest of the Great Lakes, so the beaches found here probably don't offer the best swimming possibilities. But throw on a wetsuit and you can enjoy kayaking, and the relative seclusion of the area makes it a welcome place to relax.
Among the most noted best Michigan beaches is Oval Beach in Saugatuck. Oval Beach was rated by Conde Nast as one of the top 25 beaches in the world, and National Geographic Traveler went on to name it one of the top two in the nation. That in and of itself should pique your interest in Lake Michigan beaches. Michigan Governor Granholm named Saugatuck among the 19 "coolest cities" in the state, and no doubt the city earns this distinction. In the area, there are top Michigan golf courses, its art community is renowned, and vacation rentals here vary from hotels and motels, to charming bed and breakfasts and vacation home rentals that will ensure your satisfaction. Its simply the perfect place for your next corporate event, family vacation, or romantic getaway.
Up the coast, the quality of Lake Michigan beaches continues. The naturally forming sand dunes have a lot to do with this. Sand dunes line most of the coast and form as the sweeping winds from the west move inland over the lake. They are stunning, and provide a picturesque backdrop to the beaches that has to be seen to be appreciated. Climbing them is a favorite activity for kids and adults the same, and the views are a reward for the work. At seaside retreats like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Silver Lake, you'll find camping and hiking to rival your best expectations. These parks are rich in scenery and you'll want to check out Silver Lake Sand Dunes for the chance to take your 4x4 or dirt bike dune-riding, which is an experience you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. If you don't have a 4x4 or dirt bike, you can take an organized dune-riding tour, an experience you won't soon forget.
Towns like Muskegon, South Haven and Holland not only offer some of the best Michigan beaches, but also so much more. Summer festivals seem to always be going on and cultural attractions include historical sites and tours, great shopping and dining, kayak and jet-ski rentals, amusement parks and charming tours at some of the top Michigan wineries.
Michigan beaches are steadily getting the respect they deserve. A popular PBS series called Great Lakes Ports of Call is highlighting towns along the western coast of lower Michigan. These towns gain distinction in the "Michigan Beactowns" label and they are New Buffalo, St. Joseph, South Haven, Saugatuck-Douglas, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Silver Lake Sand Dunes, and Ludington. Lake Michigan beaches offer you and your family the next great spot for your summer vacation.
Although not as popular for its beaches, the Lake Huron shoreline of Michigan offers some nice retreats as well. Instead of the sunsets on the western side of the state, here you'll be treated to some beautiful sunrises. Camping and kayaking along the Lake Huron shore is a great way to spend time away from the cares of the world. You also might be lucky enough to catch some Northern Lights depending on where you are.
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