Savor the Fall Season at Silver Lake Sand Dunes

As the vibrant greens of late summer transition into the vivid hues of fall, the Silver Lake region of Michigan unfolds its unique charm and beauty. The changing seasons offer an array of captivating activities, from refreshing water sports to tranquil nature exploration. Here’s a guide to soaking in the best of Silver Lake’s late summer and autumnal allure from August through October.

  1. Late Summer Water Fun: 

Silver Lake’s warm late summer invites you to immerse yourself in water-based adventures. Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard and gently glide across the sparkling lake waters, or opt for a thrilling jet ski ride. Silver Lake’s boating outfitters like Wave Club Water Sports Rentals can equip you with all you need for a memorable day out on the water. Learn more about all of the area’s Sports and Recreation offerings.

  1. Savor the Harvest:

As the Silver Lake area transitions from late summer to autumn, the vibrant agricultural landscape bursts into activity. Enjoy the wholesome experience of hand-picking peaches and apples at local orchards, find your perfect Halloween pumpkin at Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo, or indulge in a scenic hayride. Don’t miss out on the seasonal splendor at local farm markets like Woodland Farm Market and Bakery, Up North Farm Market, and Country Dairy, where fresh dairy products, and an array of other locally-sourced produce capture the essence of the harvest season. Embrace the farm-to-table spirit and savor the autumnal flavors Silver Lake has to offer.

  1. Trails for All Seasons:

The region’s numerous trails provide the perfect backdrop for late summer and fall excursions. Bike or hike the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park, where the changing leaves create a mesmerizing tapestry of color. For more trail options, check our blog post, Oceana County’s Outstanding Trails and Parks.

  1. Silver Lake Sand Dunes:

The fun at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes isn’t confined to summer! Until October 31st, you can enjoy an exciting off-road adventure on the dunes. Local companies such as Silverback OffRoad ORV Rental and SunBuggy Silver Lake ORV Rentals offer all the gear you need to satisfy your thirst for adventure amidst the autumn beauty.

  1. Autumn Color Tours:

One of the quintessential fall activities in Silver Lake is embarking on a color tour. As the leaves change, the area transforms into a vivid palette of red, orange, and yellow. Many local businesses offer color tours that guide you through the most stunning fall landscapes, providing fantastic photo opportunities and memories to last a lifetime.

  1. Seasonal Delights:

Silver Lake’s food and drink scene shines in late summer and fall. Enjoy the fresh catch of the day at a local seafood spot, or savor seasonal dishes at farm-to-table restaurants. Don’t miss the autumnal brews at local breweries like Big Hart Brewing Co., or visit Golden Township’s Fox Barn Market & Winery for some delightful local wines.

  1. Shop Local:

From late summer into the fall, Silver Lake and Hart’s local businesses offer unique finds. You’ll discover everything from handmade crafts to antiques, along with seasonal goodies like locally made jams, honeys, and pickles made from the bounty of the fall harvest.

Something For Everyone

Experiencing Silver Lake from the late summer into fall is a feast for the senses. Whether you are a thrill-seeker, a foodie, a nature lover, or a community-oriented visitor, there’s something for everyone. Pack your sunhat and your cozy sweater, and prepare to embrace the changing seasons in Silver Lake.

November offers horseback riding(bring your own horse)

December 15-March 15 Fat Tire Bikes allowed on the dunes

July in Full Swing: Celebrate with Silver Lake and Hart’s Local Events

Silver Lake Hart Events

As the summer heat peaks, the Silver Lake and Hart region in Michigan brims with a variety of lively local happenings.


July Is Off With A Bang

We kick off July with the Stony Lake Sparkler 5K Run, starting at 8:00am on July 2nd, at the Stony Lake Inn. This event is a celebration of fitness and community spirit, featuring awards, medals, and commemorative t-shirts. Don’t miss the post-race party, complete with delicious food and lively music.

The excitement continues July 2nd with the Hart Sparks Fireworks Celebration. The evening starts with local businesses hosting street-side stations selling popcorn, glow sticks, and more. The highlight of the night is the fireworks display that begins at 10:15 PM, filling the downtown Hart sky with a burst of colors.

Mark your calendar for July 3rd as Pentwater gears up to light up the night sky over Lake Michigan with its annual fireworks display. Shot off the Pentwater pier, these spectacular bursts of color can be enjoyed from various vantage points—Charles Mears State Park, the pier itself, or even from a boat on the lake. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs and beach blankets, gather your friends and family, and settle in for a fantastic show!

On July 4th, one of the most anticipated local events of the summer takes place, the Thunder over the Dunes. This fantastic firework display is set against the unique landscape of Silver Lake’s sand dunes. As the clock reaches 10:00 PM, the night sky bursts into an explosion of color, illuminating the sand below. Bring your family and friends and join us on July 4th for this annual celebration – an awe-inspiring sight that encapsulates the spirit of summer.


Fun on the Dunes

Later in July, we have two special events that truly capture the heart of the Silver Lake community. On July 14th and 15th, we hold the Heroes on the Dunes event, a day designed to honor and appreciate our injured soldiers and their families. Guests of honor will have the opportunity to experience the very best that Silver Lake has to offer, including thrilling dune rides and an exclusive “Heroes Dinner.” A parade down the Lake Michigan beach and fun activities for kids make it a day of appreciation and community spirit.

Alongside Heroes on the Dunes, we also host the Blessing of the Duners on July 15th. This annual event provides a moment of reflection and goodwill, held amidst the festivities in the Silver Lake State Park ORV area. The event is a beautiful tradition that adds a touch of gratitude and camaraderie to our summer celebrations, reminding us all of the wonderful community we share here at Silver Lake and Hart.


Shop Local, Support Artists

Throughout the summer, our communities offer an array of events that bring together locals and visitors alike.

Be sure to make room in your schedule for the Hart Makers Market, a vibrant gathering of local vendors showcasing their handmade goods. Taking place every Thursday evening from 6-9pm throughout the summer, this market is located in the heart of Downtown Hart. With a max of ten booths available each week, you’re guaranteed an intimate shopping experience that supports local small businesses. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to purchase unique, locally-crafted items while supporting the creative community in Hart. Also, don’t forget to visit one of the many Farm Markets in the area, many of which have weekly events!

For art and craft lovers, the annual Mears Arts and Crafts Fair, a beloved tradition celebrated on the third Saturday of July. This year, on July 15th, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, head down to Johnson Square in downtown Mears. Here, you can explore a myriad of arts and crafts, handcrafted with care by local artisans. Don’t miss out on this inspiring event that truly encapsulates the local creative spirit!


Live Music, Family Fun

And let’s not forget about our fantastic outdoor concerts held in Silver Lake and Hart.

Get ready to experience a melodic treat every Tuesday evening from July 11th to August 8th, 2023. The Silver Lake Community Concert Series at Golden Township Park, generously sponsored by Mac Wood’s Dune Rides, offers a splendid array of live music. From 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, sit back on your lawn chair and immerse yourself in diverse musical genres, all while enjoying the warm summer breeze.

But don’t stop there. Hart offers more live performances with the Hart Historic District Concert Series set in the charming historic district and Music On the Commons in downtown Hart. These events fill our summer evenings with melodic symphonies, making July and August the perfect time to soak up the local culture and revel in the tunes of the season.


Visit Silver Lake and Surrounding Areas

So, whether you’re a local or just visiting, make the most of this vibrant month in the Silver Lake and Hart area. From our Thunder over the Dunes Fireworks spectacle to the variety of community-led events throughout July, there’s something to inspire everyone. We hope to see you here, celebrating summer with us!

Let Us Entertain You!

Throughout the summer season the Silver Lake & Hart area invites you to gather and enjoy live entertainment featuring local talent from around our region. Whether you are sipping wine at Fox Barn or visiting the Hart Commons, you are never too far from a live music venue during the warm summer months. Be sure to plan your trip around some of these terrific music filled events.

Sunday Sing Series at Golden Sands

On Sunday nights, Golden Sands Golf & Bucket Bar welcomes you to sit back and relax or dance the night away to entertainers from near and far. This family friendly event is held on the outdoor patio and is free of charge. Learn More

Silver Lake Community Concert Series

This summer, Mac Wood’s Dune Rides is generously sponsoring a summer concert series to be held at Golden Township Park in Mears on Tuesday evenings 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  Bring your lawn chair and enjoy live music and the warm summer breeze! Learn More

Hart Commons at sunset

Music on the Commons

Thursdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, Downtown Hart features a variety of live outdoor music overlooking Hart Lake at the Hart Commons Park.  Enjoy yard games and a craft market within the social district where you can stroll with your drink until 11:00 pm.  Bring a lawn chair for seating during the free performances. Learn More

Night at the Lights

Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association invites you to the Night at the Lights free concert series with great music performed by local artists in the shadow of the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. They have a line-up of artists that will perform on Thursday evenings throughout the season. Learn More

Little Sable Lighthouse at sunset

Summer Concerts on Pentwater’s Village Green

Thursday nights at 8:00 pm from June 22 to August 31, Pentwater’s Village Green welcomes people of all ages to come enjoy the Pentwater Civic Band, which includes many members of the popular Scottville Clown band. Learn More

Silver Lake Chicken Shack

The Chicken Shake has an impressive live music line-up scheduled on weekends and holidays this summer. So come try the “Best Wings Ever” while you kick back and enjoy some terrific music. Learn More

Wine flight at Fox barn

Fridays at Fox’s

Fox Barn Winery in Mears has an excellent line up of musicians this summer for their Fridays at Fox’s live music series. Each Friday night between May 26 & September 1, gather from 7:00 -11:00 pm for only $5 for live entertainment while you sip your favorite wine. Learn More

Val Du Lakes Bar & Grill Karaoke & Live Music

On Friday nights duners gather at Val Du Lakes for Karaoke in Mears. Come share your own vocal stylings, or just enjoy those that have the courage to give it a try. This bar & grill also feature live music throughout the summer. Learn More

Hart Historic District Concert Series

Friday nights July 7 – August 4, Hart Historic District will present a series of outdoor concerts. Bring a chair or blanket and find your spot at the pavilion on the corner of Lincoln and Union Streets. All concerts begin at 7:00 pm, there is no admission, but donations are appreciated! Learn More

Just imagine yourself sitting outdoors in the warm summer sun, with a breeze off the lake and a drink in your hand, enjoying the local music stylings of some of the most talented musicians of our region. Sounds like the perfect way to end a summer day in Silver Lake. Plan your stay today!

Silver Lake Dune Season: Full-Speed Ahead for Summer Fun

Dune Season Has Officially Begun!

As the streets fill with people, local businesses reopen their doors, and the impressive Silver Lake Sand Dunes get ready for another thrilling season of dune riding. Simply put, it’s time for some fun in the sun in this beautiful lakeside town.

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes, with their rolling hills of sand, become a hub of excitement as the dune season starts. Whether it’s local restaurants serving delicious meals or unique shops selling all sorts of treasures, businesses are eager to welcome visitors.

For adrenaline junkies, the roar of engines fills the air as ORV rental businesses spring into action, offering everything from dune buggies to ATVs for an unforgettable dune adventure. Don’t worry if you’re a novice – Silver Lake’s dunes cater to everyone. With separate sections designated for different activities, everyone can enjoy the dunes in their own way. 

Learn more about getting Dune Ready before your visit.


2023 Area Attractions & Local Businesses

As we welcome the spring and summer seasons in Silver Lake, it’s the perfect time to immerse yourself in the wealth of key attractions and local businesses the area has to offer:


Excitement All Summer Long

From June 1st to September 15th, Silver Lake’s busy season is a time for celebration and community. A series of events fills the summer calendar, adding a festive flavor to your visit. events

With a host of exciting events and vibrant live music performances, there’s always something happening in Silver Lake.


Stay In Silver Lake

With so much to see and do, be sure to book local accommodations early, as spots fill up fast. The variety of accommodations, ranging from cozy inns to luxury resorts, ensures a comfortable stay for every traveler. Conveniently located near the heart of Silver Lake’s attractions, these establishments provide the perfect base for your summer adventure.

In Silver Lake, the dune season is a time of excitement, community, and adventure. With a variety of activities to enjoy, from the thrill of dune rides to the tranquility of lakeside picnics, and a summer-long schedule of events, there’s no better time to experience all that Silver Lake has to offer.

So don’t wait – book your stay today, and immerse yourself in the wonder and exhilaration of Silver Lake’s dune season!


Photo credit: Lindsay-De-Broka-FB

Itinerary Series: A Day In the Silver Lake & Hart Area (Spring Edition)

After the snow melts and flowers start to bloom, there’s no better time to shake off the winter blues and embark on a fun-filled day of adventure in the Silver Lake, Mears, and Hart areas. Located in Oceana County, these charming communities offer a variety of outdoor activities and unique local businesses to explore. Get ready to soak up the sun and create unforgettable memories with this springtime day trip itinerary.


Morning: A Scenic Hike and Delicious Breakfast

Kick off your day with a revitalizing hike, bike ride, or leisurely stroll along a part of the Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail State Park. This beautiful linear park stretches for 22 miles and offers a paved path perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling. Enjoy the picturesque scenery as nature comes to life after a long winter.

After your refreshing morning on the trail, treat yourself to a well-deserved breakfast at 1950’s style Pink Elephant Diner in Hart and a craft-brewed coffee at Stella’s Coffee House.  This cozy spot is a local favorite, offering mouthwatering pastries and freshly brewed coffee to fuel you for the day ahead.


Mid-Morning: Off-Roading Adventure on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Now that you’re energized, it’s time for some adrenaline-pumping fun on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Rent an off-road vehicle or side-by-side at a local rental shop like Silver Lake Buggy Rentals or Silverback Off Road ORV Rental, and set off on an exhilarating adventure across the dunes. Feel the excitement of conquering the sandy terrain, with the fresh spring air and vibrant blue sky above.


Lunchtime: Refuel with a Hearty Meal

After working up an appetite on the dunes, head over to Hart for a delicious lunch at Big Hart Brewery. This local gem offers a diverse menu of mouthwatering dishes, made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Pair your meal with one of their handcrafted beers, brewed on-site, for a true taste of Hart’s vibrant culinary scene.


Afternoon: Explore Local Shops and Attractions

Spend the afternoon strolling through the charming streets of Hart, discovering unique shops and attractions featuring five thrift shops downtown where you can sip on an adult beverage while your browse within Hart’s Social District. Don’t miss a visit to the Oceana County Historical & Genealogical Society or the Historic District’s Museum and Village where you can learn about the area’s rich history and heritage. Make sure to stop by the Lakeside Coffee/Smoothie/Bagel Bar for a refreshing coffee or smoothie as you continue your exploration.


Late Afternoon: Relax by the Water

As the day winds down, head back to Silver Lake for some relaxation by the water. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Wave Club Water Sport Boat Rentals and paddle around the lake, taking in the serene surroundings. Alternatively, find a peaceful spot along the shoreline and simply soak up the sun as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.


Visit the Silver Lake & Hart Area!

A springtime day in the Silver Lake, Mears, and Hart areas offers countless opportunities for adventure and enjoyment. From hiking and off-roading to exploring local businesses and attractions, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting region. Shake off those winter blues and embrace the beauty of spring in Oceana County!

Fat Biking on Silver Lake Sand Dunes

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are famous for their 450 acre ORV area where people bring their favorite off-road vehicle for a day on the dunes. When the season would change to winter, that same ORV waited until spring for everyone to return. That is until now! From December 15th through March 15th, the ORV is open to fat bikes. We geared up and made our way to the dunes for a new experience on the dunes.

This article first appeared on enjoymiplayground

First off, when you arrive at Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park, park at the pedestrian area of the dunes. A standard recreation passport is all you need to access the park and dunes. Once you park you will see signs right away on how to access the dunes on your fat bike. Like our typical outdoor adventures, we dressed for the weather. Being in the right gear in winter leads to the best experience. A tip from the start is to make sure to bring goggles, they are key!

The entrance for fat biking is actually the typical exit for ORV’s. Right before heading into the dunes you will see a map and additional information about the fat biking area. Depending on the amount of snow in the area, the entrance can have some snow to get through but don’t let make you think this will be what the dunes are like.

Once on the dunes, it is all about choosing your own adventure. For us, we decided to ride out towards Lake Michigan and then up the larger dunes to get views of the entire area and have fun riding down the dunes. We then made the decision that we wanted to get to the top of the iconic Test Hill. If you have ever been to Silver Lake Sand Dunes you probably know what Test Hill is. While ORV’s drive straight up the face of the dune, that would pretty much be impossible on a fat bike. “Pretty much” probably doesn’t need to be included here and we can just say that it would be impossible. Getting to the top is not impossible though. We found a path starting on the west side of test hill and make our way to the top from that side.

After reaching the top of Test Hill we took in the views before having what we believe is the most fun part. Riding down the dunes! Find a line and be ready for changing ground conditions with frozen sand, soft sand and snow. After conquering Test Hill we explored other parts of the fat biking area. This is quite a different experience than riding fat bikes on a groomed trail. There is a lot of opportunity for exploring and choosing your own adventure. It is challenging and fun at the same time.

One thing about the dunes are that they are ever changing because of wind and other weather conditions. This will lead to a new experience each time out. We recommend planning on spending at least a few hours out on the dunes. We packed waters, coffees and snacks to help us stay out for longer. Overall this is an amazing new way to be able to enjoy the Silver Lake Sand Dunes!

Check out this full video to learn more about riding the dunes!


Fall Fun in Silver Lake

Sunset of Silver Lake

It’s no secret the Silver Lake area is known for its splendid beauty and brilliant colors in the autumn months.

New for 2022! Silverback Offroad and Sunbuggy ORV Rentals will be open everyday until the ORV area closes October 31! Silver Lake ORV Rentals

With the dunes and lakeshore as a backdrop, the radiance of the trees always astounds. This year, we expect peak color to be mid October, and don’t forget the last day to enjoy riding the dunes is October 31st — so, plan your vacation accordingly!

Here are a few of our favorite fall festivals and activities you won’t want to miss while you’re here.

Silver Lake Area Fall Festivals

Steinfest Celebration at Golden Sands Golf Course & Bucket Bar

October 1st 4pm – 11pm

Commemorate the end of summer by attending the famed Steinfest at Golden Sands Golf Course & Bucket Bar. This favorite event, cherished by all golf and beer lovers, allows you to try your hand at keg rolling, keg tossing, an obstacle course, and of course — stein hoisting!

Shelby 2022 Harvest Festival – Farm To Table

October 1st, 2022  12pm-7pm

Put on by Shelby Township, The Village, The Chamber, and Schools of Shelby. The 2021 Harvest Festival is back. Saturday from 12pm to 7pm visit downtown Shelby (on Michigan Avenue) for a fresh farm to table meal, live music, antique car show, carnival games, and more. Pig roast serviced from 4pm-6pm.

Pentwater Area Fall Festivals

Head to nearby Pentwater to seek out even more autumn fun!

30th Annual Fall Fest Arts and Crafts Show

September 24th 10am – 5pm & September 25th 10am – 3pm

Stop by to do some shopping on the Village Green. Skilled crafters, artisans, and collectors will be selling their makes and wares all weekend — plus live music!

25th Annual Oktoberfest

October 9th 10 am

Join the long-standing tradition of Oktoberfest in downtown Pentwater. All-day activities include the famed Stout Stumble 5K, the Classic Car and Hot Rod Show, live music, great food, and much more!

More Family Activities and Sightseeing Near Silver Lake

Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo

Enjoy loads of family fun at Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo. Choose pumpkins in the Pumpkin Patch, find your way through the Corn Maze, pick your own apples, ride the BumpAlong Barrel Train, and much more! Fall activities and events run through October 31st.

Mac Wood’s Dune Rides

Take a 7-mile tour on a Mac Wood’s dune buggy and see the dunes like you never have before! Learn their history and how they were formed — plus what fulgurites and piping plovers are! Hurry to get your tickets now because Mac Wood’s will close for the season after October 2nd.

Craig’s Cruisers Family Fun Center

Spend the day go-karting, mini golfing, and bumper boating with the fam! Although hours are limited to just a few final Saturdays and Sundays (the season ends October 2nd), there’s still time to enjoy all that Craig’s Cruisers has to offer.

Getting a jumpstart on planning your autumn getaway?

Make sure the Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a part of your big adventure!

It all starts here. Check out our Lodging page to find the perfect place to stay. Our Food & Drink page features listings of popular area eateries, and you’ll find even more ideas for fall fun on our Things to Do page.

For additional information on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and how best to enjoy your vacation at the dunes, take a look at our Visitors Guide.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Reflections on a Great Season

Little Sable Lighthouse

Reflections on a Great 2021 Dune Season

GENERAL NEWS| January 2022

As start the new year, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on our past season at the dunes.

Although as a region and a nation we faced many of the same challenges as we faced in 2020 this year, we are immensely proud of the way our community came together with creativity and tenacity. In the end, it was a record-breaking season — with well-over one million visitors at the State Park alone.

As October 31st officially marks the final day of ORV access at the dunes, let’s take a look back at some of our most memorable moments of the season!


Huge Numbers of Visitors Mark Record-Breaking Season

The Silver Lake area welcomed an extraordinary number of visitors this year! We remained a favored destination for families and adventure-seekers from around the nation and the globe. We also shined as a tourism hotspot for Michiganders who wanted to stay closer to home over the summer holidays.


Popular Annual Events Draw Dune Lovers from Around the Nation

Three popular events made their marks on the calendar this year:

2021 Jeep Invasion

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes Jeep Invasion celebrated its 5th year in 2021. The fun-filled weekend featured thousands of Jeeps from all over the state and nation. Trail rides, an off-road course, raffles, live music, and great food were just a few of the perks of this year’s event — a great success for all vehicle owners, Jeep enthusiasts, and friends who participated! First weekend in June 2022.

Thunder Over the Dunes

After being cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Chamber of Commerce was thrilled to bring back Thunder Over the Dunes to commemorate Independence Day this July! Community members and visitors alike once again gathered to watch the brilliant display of fireworks over the dunes — undoubtedly a night to remember. July 4 2022

Apple BBQ Festival

2021 Apple & BBQ Festival returned after a one year pause in 2020. A record attendance of 15000+ people attended on Saturday to enjoy the largest craft fair ever, with 125 booths, 80+ registered cars in the Classic Car and ORV show, and lots of good food and music. The annual 5K race returned also this year along with the Kansas City BBQ Society BBQ cooking competition. September 9 & 10 2022

Be sure to check back for details on these events coming in 2022!


Mac Wood’s Dune Rides Celebrates Their 91st Year in Business

Since 1930, Mac Wood’s Dune Rides has been a mainstay business of the Silver Lake area. Originally started by Malcom “Mac” Wood on what was then just a small plot of hilly dunes, the business quickly grew into a booming operation.

This year, Mac Wood’s celebrated their 91st year in business. With each passing year, the establishment continues to introduce new families to the dunes and the beauty and adventure they have to offer.


Make a Winter Visit to Silver Lake

Although the dunes are closed to ORV access until April 1, 2022 there’s always more fun to be had in the winter — from hiking and biking to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing against the snow-white landscapes of winter.

Silver Lake State Park & the dunes are available for hiking

Be sure to check the websites of area hotelsshops, and restaurants before you book as some establishments have limited fall hours. You can also venture into nearby downtown Hart for everything you need.

Finally, no matter when you make your plans for a Silver Lake vacation, be sure to share your photos and videos with us! Use the hashtag #ThinkDunes when posting your memories, and we may feature you on one of our social media pages!

Thank you for another wonderful season at the dunes, and we hope to see you again soon in Silver Lake!

Silver Lake Sand Dunes Camping

While snow may be blanketing the Silver Lake Sand Dunes at the moment, summer will be here sooner than you think! Here in Silver Lake, many area campgrounds are already taking reservations, making now the perfect time to reserve your spot.


Why Choose Silver Lake as Your Summer Camping Destination?

Never camped at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes before? Here’s why seasonal visitors keep coming back every year.


The Dunes

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are one of the most unique landscapes in the entire Midwest. The area boasts more than 850,000 visitors annually! With acres upon acres of sand (over 2,900!) and four miles of freshwater shoreline, this natural landform is a literal playground for a range of fun outdoor activities. You can rent an ORV and drive the dunes, trek the sand on foot, or take a Mac Woods Dune Ride tour — just to name a few.


Lake Living

Around here, lake living is a way of life. Not only is Lake Michigan the backdrop to all we do in the Silver Lake Area, we also have many inland lakes to enjoy. No matter what your personal taste is, you’ll find something fun to do in or around the water. Boating, canoeing, fishing, and swimming are always on the agenda.

And if you’re not up for heading in the waves? Simply stake out your spot on the beach, lay back, and soak up the sun!


Shopping and Attractions

Even at the dunes, rainy days happen. And when they do, it’s always nice to have some indoor activities lined up as a backup plan. Luckily, in the Silver Lake Area, there’s as much to do inside as there is to do outside. For starters, there’s shopping for every interest — from clothing stores and gift shops, to general stores and antique shops.

And when you’re not in the mood for simply browsing, just head to our Things to Do page. There, you’ll find a long list of indoor activities to pique your interest: Arcades, historic sites, museums, art galleries, wineries, and more.


3 Steps to the Perfect Camping Trip

Ready to start making your summer camping trip a reality? Putting your vacation in motion takes just 3 simple steps:

 1. Choose your dates.

The best camping spots at the dunes go fast — especially as spring rolls around. So, it’s wise to schedule your trip [ ] as early as possible. This is especially true for popular dates such as opening day at the Silver Lake State Park, Memorial Day weekend, the 4th of July, and Labor Day.

2. Select your lodging.

How do you like to camp? Silver Lake Sand Dunes has it all. Choose from rustic cabins, tent camping sites, RV spots, and more. Camping not your thing? If that’s the case, not to worry. The Silver Lake Area boasts a range of lodging options and things to do for non-campers as well.

3. Start filling up your vacation days with fun activities in the Silver Lake Area!

At this point, all that remains of your plans is to fill up your schedule with fun things to do. Check out our Attractions and Places to Eat pages to start making your arrangements now.

A relaxing and memorable summer camping trip awaits at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes — Start planning today!

Silver Lake Summer Food Tour

No matter what your taste buds are after, Silver Lake offers a wide range of dining options to please every palate.

Choose from delicious local flavors, fresh-off-the-grill burgers and dogs, mouthwatering chicken wings and pizza, Mexican fare, and cold sweet treats for those late-night cravings — we’ve got everything!

Here’s a bit more about what to expect when dining in Silver Lake:

 A Wide Range of Choices

In the Silver Lake area, no two meals need be the same. Whether you’re traveling with the family, your sweetheart, or a group of friends, there’s something here for everyone.

Check out a smattering of vacationer favorites below:

Enjoying a day at the dunes on your ORV? Check out the Lighthouse Concessions Food Truck, which hangs out right at the state park or Duneland Diner, located within DuneLand Off-Road Center — the perfect place to grab a bite while picking up parts for your ATV.

  • Mexican Fare: Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine in downtown Hart! Folks come from miles around to enjoy tacos, enchiladas, flautas, tostadas, burritos, and much more at both La Fiesta and La Probadita.

Locally-Sourced Ingredients

In Silver Lake, we are uniquely situated in the middle of the “Michigan Fruit Belt,” known for growing some of the nation’s most-prized fruits and other produce. Here, local foods are always available — whether at farmers’ markets or side-of-the-road produce stands or in area restaurants.

Want to try a “taste of Silver Lake”? Check out these establishments:

  • Woodland Farm Market and Bakery: Award-winning, made-from-scratch pies and baked goods, jams and jellies, maple syrup, and much more.
  • Country Dairy Market & Cafe: Fully-functioning dairy farm that makes their own ice cream, milk, and cheese. Their cafe menu is full of delicious sandwiches, wraps, soups, and pizzas.
  • Pleasant Valley Farms & Vineyard: Family-owned winery, featuring an array of farm-made wines (imported ingredients are never used!).

Dinner With Entertainment

Perfect for couples looking for a night on the town, several local establishments feature live music, entertainment, karaoke, and dancing on select nights of the week. Check out their event schedules below:

Food the Kids Will Love

Traveling with little ones? Silver Lake has a wide variety of kid-friendly dining options! Here are a few we recommend:

Local Hideaways

Interested in the little hideaways locals love when they dine out? Check out these must-visit establishments:

  • For Breakfast: Head to downtown Hart for an old-fashioned diner breakfast at The Pink Elephant Diner.
  • For Lunch: Try a “flight of soup” (or a sandwich or wrap) at the Soup of the Day Cafe in Hart — a great place to go for vegan and vegetarian options as well!
  • For Dinner: Enjoy a delicious sit-down dinner with a cozy atmosphere at the Open Hearth Grille & Bar in Mears.

So, is your mouth watering yet? Explore our complete listing of dining options on our Food & Drink page, and start planning your trip to Silver Lake today!

ThinkDunes|August 22nd, 2019