A Winter Guide To Michigan Beachtowns

Winter Lake Michigan

Plan your winter vacation in Western Michigan along Lake Michigan’s coast to enjoy beautiful scenery and exhilarating activities. Lake Michigan Beachtowns are full of wonder in winter. Marvel at natural ice sculptures as they form before your eyes along the shoreline, or cozy up inside a charming winery, restaurant, or boutique. Tour colorful Christmas lights displays at night, take part in special winter festivals, and enjoy a wide range of unique winter activities in West Michigan. Lake Michigan winters are truly extraordinary. Plan a winter vacation in Michigan along the coast and you’ll see a side of the Great Lakes like you’ve never seen before.

Muskegon Winter Luge


Muskegon is a Michigan winter sports enthusiast’s must-see destination. Muskegon is home to one of only four luge tracks that exist in the United States. This is also where five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist Mark Grimmette got his start. You’ll also find snowboarding history in Muskegon. Sherman Poppen, native of Muskegon, invented the Snurfer in 1965. This gave rise to what we now know as the snowboard. You’ll find dozens of fantastic winter sports opportunities throughout Muskegon, including Fat Tire biking, sledding, snowshoe trails and cross country skiing.

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St Joe Ice Sculptures

St Joseph

St. Joseph is a beautiful Beachtowns to visit during the holidays. From the first Friday of December through Valentine’s Day, visit Lake Bluff Park to see over 1 million lights illuminate the park. This is a spectacular holiday lights displays in Michigan and should not be missed. If you’ve gotten chilly during the winter festival or while viewing the Christmas light display, visit one of the many cozy wineries, breweries or distilleries for a hot toddy. In Berrien County alone, there are 44 independent establishments.

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Saugatuck Christmas Beverage


If you’re seeking a cozy and relaxing winter vacation in Michigan, Saugatuck/Douglas has everything you need. Warm up with a Michigan-made red wine or dark porter at one of the nearby area’s exceptional wineries, breweries, or cideries. At Virtue Cider in Fennville, you can even take a sleigh ride across the property. If you’re looking for gifts or a special keepsake, visit the many shops and galleries in the charming downtown area. Head out for an afternoon of sledding, tubing, skiing or snowshoeing at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Oval Beach Trails, or Schultz Park. Then wind down with a visit to the spa and and a cozy evening at your luxurious hotel, B and B, cabin or loft.

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Douglas ›

South Haven Winter Lighthouse

South Haven

Many people don’t know what happens to the Great Lakes in wintertime. You might be surprised to hear that winter brings ice balls to the Michigan Beachtown’s shoreline. This is a rare phenomenon that you might find along South Haven’s shores. When ice breaks off from a larger mass, the waves turn it into a perfect, polished sphere. This isn’t the only natural wonder you’ll find in South Haven. Try snow hiking to enjoy the crisp and quiet woods, or take part in cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails, even Fat Tire biking. Explore any length of the 34-mile Kal-Haven Trail State Park from South Haven to Kalamazoo on a snowmobile or Fat Tire bike.

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Grand Haven Fat Tire Bikes

Grand Haven

Grand Haven is a great destination for those who love exciting winter activities in Michigan. You’ll find fun and affordable downhill skiing and snowboarding hills at Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl. Nearby you can enjoy miles of snowshoe trails and some of the best cross-country skiing in Michigan at Pigeon Creek Park and Hemlock Crossing. Grand Haven’s winter festival is one of the most famous in the state, including a number of fun games, great photo opportunities, shops, food and drinks, and much more.

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Silver Lakes Sand Dunes / Hart Cross-Country Skiing

Silver Lakes Sand Dunes / Hart

The Silver Lakes Sand Dunes are famous as a summer vacation destination, but they are also beautiful in the winter. You can explore the Silver Lakes Sand Dunes in the winter while hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. When snow rolls across the sand dunes and you take in the glittering ice on Lake Michigan from the top of the dunes, you’ll see Lake Michigan in a whole new light. If you’re looking for beautiful scenery or adventure further inland, the 22-mile Hart-Montague Bike Trail is also open for snowmobiles and Fat Tire bikes in the winter.

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Dunes / Hart ›

Holland Windmill Snow


When snowflakes begin to fall, a lively new season of winter activities emerges in Holland. Visit during Dutch Winterfest (11/23 – 12/14), and stroll the open-air European Kerstmarkt for the perfect artisanal gift.  Walk the warmed cobblestone sidewalks of downtown to find one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, microbreweries, and eateries providing snow-free shopping. Snowshoe in the shadow of a windmill, fat-tire bike along the lakeshore, and hike, cross country ski, or sled down snow-covered hills.

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Outdoor Winter Activities in West Michigan

Michigan Beachtowns offer a wide range of fun outdoor winter activities in West Michigan that everyone can take part in. You may not even be aware of how many outdoor winter sports Michigan really has. When you visit Lake Michigan’s beautiful beaches and trails in winter, you’ll see them in a whole new light. Try snow hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing on quiet trails, or get your heart pumping with some snowmobiling, downhill skiing or snowboarding. You can even try lesser-known winter sports like fat tire biking and luge.

Hiking in Snow

Couple in Restaurant

Indoor Winter Activities in West Michigan

When temperatures drop, some days it feels great to stay warm and cozy indoors. West Michigan has many great spots to get a hot meal and a drink, take in history, arts and culture, or enjoy a day of relaxation and self-care. Enjoy a hot cider drink and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan at a lakefront brewery, or enjoy a top-notch meal after a fun-filled winter festival. Listen to carolers, take in a winter show, watch the downtown area light up with sparkling holiday lights and much more when you plan a winter vacation in Michigan along the lakeshore.