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

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

Saugatuck/
Douglas

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

Holland

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.

A Fall Guide To Michigan Beachtowns

fall colors lake

Fall in West Michigan is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The West Michigan Lakeshore offers a wide range of fall activities, including extraordinary fall color tours through the natural landscape, apple picking, cider tours, hayrides and more. The robust red, orange, and yellow canopy over the fall trails and the historic West Michigan Pike makes this one of the best Michigan fall road trips. Start planning your trip at Michigan Beach Towns to find the best places to visit in Michigan in the fall.

solver lake sand dunes in the fall

Silver Lakes Sand Dunes / Hart

At the end of your Lake Michigan fall color tour, you’ll arrive in the Silver Lakes Sand Dune region, home to a number of charming towns, including Hart, Pentwater, Montague and Silver Lake. Eight beautiful beaches, including the expansive Silver Lake State Park, host some of Michigan’s most striking sand dunes. This area is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the crisp fall weather. You’ll find outdoor adventures here across the sand dunes, including tours and dune rides, as well one of Michigan’s best fall trails. Walk or bike any section of the 22 mile trail from Hart to Montague, or make the full trip, and you’ll be surrounded by Michigan’s autumnal beauty.

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Dunes / Hart ›

Holland in the fall

Holland

Named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns”, Holland showcases many of the best aspects of fall in West Michigan. Climb Mt. Pisgah, a towering dune overlooking Holland State Park, for a birds eye view of Lake Michigan and our “Big Red” Lighthouse. Visit our downtown Farmer’s Market (Wed & Sat) for the freshest seasonal produce or pedal your way across 150 miles of paved bike paths along city streets and scenic byways. And be sure to check out Windmill Island’s Harvest Fest, (October 5), and downtown Holland’s Fall Festival, (October 11 & 12), complete with professional pumpkin-carving and hayrides.

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South Haven in the fall

South Haven

As you head north, the next stop on your Michigan fall color tour is South Haven. The nearby Casco Township Nature Preserve offers spectacular fall color viewing, with trails and overlooks that lead you straight into the autumnal canopy. You’ll find a wealth of picturesque photo spots at any one of the ten nearby beaches, where you can capture Michigan fall colors against the backdrop of the great Lake Michigan. In October, take part in a special Cranberry Harvest Day hayride to explore one of the few cranberry bogs in Michigan. While you’re there, visit for the fun and festive Haven Harvest to enjoy local favorites and one-of-a-kind Michigan-made food, drinks, and crafts. Stop into any of the pick-your-own apple orchards, cider mills, craft breweries, tasting rooms or wineries to get a great sampling of West Michigan fall activities.

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Grand Haven in the fall

Grand Haven

As you head north on your Michigan fall color tour, you’ll come to the scenic town of Grand Haven. Famous for its beautiful sand dunes and, of course, idyllic beaches, Grand Haven is a great place to rest and unwind. Take a walk along one of the area’s seven beaches, or explore further inland to see colorful fall trails. Visit the shops in the charming downtown area, and bring home a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Enjoy one of the many wineries, microbreweries, bakeries and eateries all over town to get a taste of West Michigan.

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Muskegon in the fall

Muskegon

Muskegon’s sunny, summertime beachside scenes burst with color in the fall. Visitors from near and far make their fall getaways to Muskegon to see these exceptional views. Whether you’re planning your last camping trip of the year with your family, you want to escape to the lakeshore for a relaxing vacation, or you’re visiting for end-of-the-season sailing, Muskegon is vacation destination that is both exciting and relaxing.

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Saugatuck/Douglas in the fall

Saugatuck/
Douglas

With sailing, hiking, fishing, wine tours, apple orchards, sand dunes, award-winning restaurants, spectacular art galleries, and much more, there’s always new adventures to discover in Saugatuck/Douglas. Featured by Conde Nast Traveler, MTV, and National Geographic, this area is a must-see destination on your fall weekend getaway. With luxurious resorts, cozy BnBs, remote camping spots and exquisite nature trails, it’s one of the best places to visit in Michigan, no matter what type of experience you’re looking for.

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Douglas ›

St Joesph in the fall

St Joseph

St. Joseph, located in southwest Michigan near the start of the West Michigan Pike, is one of the most idyllic fall getaways in Michigan. Berrien County, which surrounds the area, was even named one of America’s top 10 Fall Color Destinations in America by USA Today. With seven beaches, over a dozen nearby parks and trails, and a wealth of farmer’s markets, orchards, wineries, art galleries, and more, St. Joseph offers something for everyone. Do some apple picking at a local orchard in the morning, take a stroll under the beautiful fall foliage in the afternoon, and wind down with hard cider, Oktoberfest beer, or red wine while you watch the sunset on the beach in the evening.

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Fall Color Tours on Lake Michigan

The historic West Michigan Pike connects Michigan Beachtowns to create an unforgettable fall color tour. Make the full journey heading north or south for an epic road trip along scenic Lake Michigan, or make a visit to any one of the towns for a picturesque and relaxing fall getaway. Nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, the Beachtowns boast natural resources and West Michigan fall activities that are perfect for a late-season vacation. While in the rich red, orange, and yellow shades of autumn, you and your family and friends can enjoy apples and cider, pumpkins, gourds, hayrides, award-winning restaurants, luxurious resorts, and quiet campgrounds. Whatever type of fall color tour you have in mind, you’ll find it along the West Michigan Pike.

west michigan pike in the fall

mom & daughter picking apples

Wine, Apples & Cider Tours

West Michigan has truly embraced its natural resources, and grown into a genuine winery, brewery, and cidery must-see. When it comes to Michigan wines, true sommeliers, new enthusiasts, and everyone in between comes to West Michigan wine country to try award-winning vintages. With over 43 beer, wine, and spirit-makers in Barrien County alone, you’ll be sure to discover a rich and flavorful beverage that will also remind you of a gorgeous Michigan fall. As you make your trip, sample crisp hard ciders, robust red wines, and warm, aromatic cocktails at some of Michigan’s oldest, most famous, and most beloved cideries, breweries, and wineries.