Plan your trip along the
West Michigan Pike

There are no wrong answers when it comes to planning your Lake Michigan trip. There are all kinds of beautiful features and fun-filled attractions along the West Michigan Pike byway to help you complete trips of all types. For some, the best vacation spots on Lake Michigan are places to reconnect with nature, escape from busy everyday stresses, and enjoy the natural beauty of The Great Lakes State. For others, the best places to visit along Lake Michigan are those with the most beautiful beaches. Some families and friends find themselves torn between the two! But that’s okay—you can plan your trip along Lake Michigan to include nature, beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, exciting activities and much more.

Best Places to Vacation on
Lake Michigan

Whether you have a week, a weekend or the whole summer, there’s an endless number of attractions and vacation destinations to thrill your family and friends along Lake Michigan. If you’re planning a longer trip, explore multiple locations along the West Michigan Pike, including sugar sand beaches, iconic lighthouses, towering sand dunes, luxurious spa hotels, rustic campgrounds and much more. You can plan your trip to include many of the best places to vacation on Lake Michigan. Head south and visit Saugatuck and Holland to start out your trip with gorgeous beaches, beautiful flowers, rich history and beautiful scenery. Head north along the West Michigan Pike towards Grand Haven and Muskegon next. Take a picture with the iconic Grand Haven lighthouse and pier in the background, take a trolley tour through the city, take a charter fishing trip to truly experience Lake Michigan, and visit Michigan’s Adventure for thrills and excitement. Your Lake Michigan trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Silver Lake Sand Dunes, so head up to Silver Lake and Hart Michigan to see these beautiful natural landscapes. If you’re starting from the south, make the full circuit from St. Joseph up to Silver Lake/Hart to stop in all of the best places to vacation on Lake Michigan. If the timing is right, plan your trip to coincide with famous festivals, like the Holland Tulip Time Festival, the Kite Festival in Grand Haven, and dozens of others throughout the year.

Best Places to Visit Along
Lake Michigan

If you’re wondering about the best places to visit along Lake Michigan for a weekend or even just an afternoon, there are many directions to plan your trip. The West Michigan lakeshore is full of fascinating historic locations, picturesque beaches and lighthouses, towering sand dunes, acres of natural landscapes, hiking and biking trails, one-of-a-kind festivals, and exciting outdoor activities. How you want to plan your trip all depends on what you love to do!

a walk on the beach

A Day At The Beach

Visit any location along the Lake Michigan shoreline and you’ll find beautiful beaches perfect for a relaxing day in the sun. Though all West Michigan beaches have their own charms and appeals, Oval Beach in Saugatuck is particularly beautiful. Muskegon hosts perhaps the widest variety of beaches, with a dozen diverse locations for swimming, boating, dune-climbing, camping, hiking, fishing and, of course, sunbathing. 

A Weekend Camping Trip

When the weather is just right, the sun is out and the woods are alive in the summertime, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy Pure Michigan. It’s easy to plan your trip along the West Michigan Pike to get the most out of the natural landscape. Near Muskegon you’ll find a wealth of beautiful camping spots across Meinert County Park, Muskegon State Park, PJ Hoffmaster State Park, and Pioneer County Park. Near Grand Haven visit Grand Haven State Park, Holland, visit Holland State Park, or Van Buren State Park near South Haven. Further south around St. Joseph, visit Silver Beach or Warren Dunes State Park.

West Michigan Specials & Deals

Weekend Getaway

If you’re craving a weekend of adventure, you’re planning a special event, or you just have to get out of the house, there are many places to visit along Lake Michigan for a well-planned or impromptu getaway. To head out with friends for a night on the town, visit any of the 16 breweries, wineries and distilleries in Holland. For a quieter evening or afternoon, visit a tasting room, wine bar, or take a vineyard tour in South Haven. If you’re seeking adventure with friends, take a charter fishing trip in Grand Haven, hike, bike or ride across the 34-mile Kal-Haven trail in South Haven, or visit Michigan’s Adventure roller coaster and water park in Muskegon.

View Attractions along the West Michigan Pike

Muskegon Heritage Museum

Muskegon

Muskegon hosts a dozen scenic beaches with rolling dunes and nearby woodlands, as well as an active and lively downtown area, and a nearby thrill park. This makes it easy to plan your Lake Michigan trip with plenty of outdoor adventures, relaxing beach afternoons, and exciting day trips.
Oval Beach

Saugatuck / Douglas

Perhaps the most beautiful place to visit along Lake Michigan belongs to Saugatuck/Douglas. Beautiful Oval Beach has been recognized as one of the best beaches in the country and even one of the best beaches in the world. The five other beaches nearby, as well as numerous lakeside restaurants and cafes make it easy to enjoy the view.
Grand Haven Trolly

Grand Haven

Grand Haven is one of the most idyllic locations for a beach getaway. The 2.5 mile boardwalk, historic Grand Haven Lighthouse and pier, miles of sandy beaches and galleries full of nautical-inspired artwork all combine to create a beach getaway so picturesque it rivals a paradise oceanscape.
Silver Lake State Park

Silver Lakes Sand Dunes / Hart

For friends and family craving adventure and an exciting new landscape, Silver Lake Sand Dunes / Hart is the go-to location. Camp at the expansive Silver Lake Sand Dunes park and hike across the dunes to reach the edge of Lake Michigan. Rent an off-road Jeep, dirt bike or dune buggy or bring your own to race up and down the towering dunes. For those seeking adventure as well as a remote escape, this is the best place to visit along Lake Michigan.
North Pier Lighthouse

St. Joseph

The southernmost city on the West Michigan pike is home to seven sunny beaches, a thriving arts community, and a complete craft beverage tour. St. Joseph is one of the best vacation spots on Lake Michigan to see many of The Great Lakes State’s charms in one place. You can climb sand dunes, get a picture on the Silver Beach pier, go camping, sailboarding, and swimming, and enjoy a wide variety of delicious food and drinks.
South Haven Kal Haven Trail Biking Map

South Haven

With a dozen beautiful beaches and acres of state parkland nearby, South Haven is a great destination for those seeking a rustic escape. With brewpubs, wineries, tasting rooms, luxurious spa resorts and quaint lakeside B&Bs, it’s also the perfect place for an elegant evening out or romantic getaway.
Windmill Island Gardens Map

Holland

Discover Holland’s beautiful beaches, vibrant downtown, craft breweries, and family attractions. Visit in the spring for the annual Tulip Time Festival, enjoy summer produce at the expansive open-air farmer’s market, discover the fall foliage while hiking through the dunes, and enjoy shopping the downtown boutiques with snow free sidewalks. No matter the season, Holland fits perfectly into any Lake Michigan trip.
Michigan Beachtowns Brochure

Start Planning Your Lake Michigan Beach Vacation

Our guide to Michigan Beachtowns makes it easy to plan your trip and find exactly what you’re looking for along the West Michigan shoreline.

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