Sitting on the beach with your toes in the sand. It’s an iconic image of summer – and frankly, no summer feels complete without at least one beach day (at least to me). If you’re looking to spend a day at the beach in Southwest Michigan, consider these tips while planning your trip.
Choose your beach carefully.
Beaches and parks pepper the coastline throughout Southwest Michigan, and each has its own personality and fits different beachgoers. Here are a few different options to choose from:
- Silver Beach County Park: Silver Beach is the busiest of beaches and for good reason. With more than 20 beach volleyball courts, playground equipment and lifeguards on duty during the summer, it suits those who are most interested in being active on their beach day. If you choose Silver Beach, be sure to plan a walk to the pier for a little relaxation mid-day (it offers a great view of the North Pier Lighthouses). Silver Beach is located within walking distance of many of St. Joseph’s greatest attractions. Take the kids to the Whirlpool Compass Fountain to frolic in the water jets, for a ride on the Silver Beach Carousel and a trip through the Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone. Silver Beach can easily fill a full day of fun for even the most finicky of beachgoers.
- Warren Dunes State Park: For the nature loving beachgoer, Warren Dunes provides a beautiful beach filled with unmatched beauty. Plan some time to hike the trails throughout the park – they run anywhere from .2 miles to 6.0 miles and offer views from all levels of the dunes and beach. Give yourself plenty of time to explore. Hike the large sand dune and look out over the coastline to get a view you’ve never seen before. Walk along the stream and find the clay pit. If you’re an adventurer, try skim boarding along the stream. Or take a ride down the blow-up water slide in the parking lot – the breeze is refreshing! Warren Dunes is a more natural environment than many beaches and as such has many species to keep your eyes out for. Here are some tips provided by the State of Michigan.
- Jean Klock Park: Jean Klock Park is a jewel located in the city of Benton Harbor. With parking so close to the shoreline, it’s a great spot to go if you only have a short period of time to enjoy the beach (or a full day, too!). To get to the beach, you’ll walk through a trail of dune grass that is sure to give you that feeling of awe and wonder that any beach trip should. Crafters will love Jean Klock Park as it’s a local favorite for finding crinoids and beach glass. Amateur photographers will love it too with a gorgeous view of the North Pier Lighthouses (framed by beautiful dunegrass).
Plan for a full day.
Any amount of time at the beach is refreshing, but a full day can leave you feeling revitalized and ready to take on the world. From the peaceful sound of seagulls in the morning to the spectacular sunsets at night, few things can calm the soul like a beach day. Take in as much as you possibly can for full benefits.
Don’t forget the food.
Prepare yourself for a long day of sun. Whether you pack a cooler full of snacks and sandwiches or plan to buy some food throughout the day, don’t let the day pass without filling your belly. Fresh Michigan fruit from one of our local farms makes for a great beach snack (refreshing and keeps the blood sugar up!). And if you don’t feel like making yourself a bagged lunch or you just plain forgot, Jimmy John’s delivers to Silver Beach. Just call in your order and meet the delivery person at the flag poles.
Guest Blogger: Katie White is a lifelong resident of Southwest Michigan and professionally encourages visitors to spend time in the region every chance she gets.