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Top 5 Best Camping Spots on Lake Michigan, 2021 Guide

Lake Michigan is famous for its gorgeous beach towns, towering lighthouses, exquisite surfing spots, and for being listed among the largest lakes across the globe. There are numerous camping spots for casual tourists and experienced campers alike, and today we’ll talk about some of the ones that you should add to your bucket list, so let’s begin from the top:

1. Sandy Shores

Camping Near Lake Michigan

Sandy Shores Campground is located in the eastern part of Lake Michigan. The place was named after its clean sandy beaches that encompass the entire coastal region of this side of Michigan. There are numerous grassy sites, as well as well-maintained and paved roads, secured entrances, and a variety of grocery stores nearby.

Aside from public beaches, there are also several private beaches that offer various commodities and luxury services; people who want to avoid crowded beaches during pandemic times are recommended to invest a few dollars and go to private beaches instead.

Although Lake Michigan is right around the corner, Sandy Shores Campgrounds is located beside its much smaller counterpart – Silver Lake. The Silver Lake Campground is neighboring the Sandy Shores campground, so you’ll be able to add some variety to your camping experience.

2. Weko Beach

Lake Michigan Camping
Lake Michigan Camping by Brahmsee from Pixabay

Weko Beach Campground is at the southeast side of Lake Michigan, right beside the Red Arrow Highway and North of the famous Warren Dunes State Park. This campground is fairly isolated, given that most stores and hotels are at least an hour’s drive away.

Weko Beach is the part of Bridgman, where you will be able to stock up on supplies and visit some of the local attractions, such as the Transient Artisan Ales and The Haymarket breweries, as well as Himalaya Textiles specialty gift shop.

Camping families with children can visit Captain Mike’s Fun Park center, as it offers numerous entertainment facilities and engaging activities for youngsters and adults alike.

One of the most popular activities campers partake in while camping at Weko Beach is paddleboarding, right next to surfing. Waikiki Jacks is the closest shop where you can cheaply rent surfing and kayaking gear.

The campgrounds are right beside Tanner Town Park, which you should visit if you want a more traditional wood camping experience.

3. St. Ignace Campgrounds

Straits of Mackinac
Straits of Mackinac by T Gill from Pixabay

St. Ignace Campgrounds sits at the Straits of Mackinac, the crossroads between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It’s a lively place populated by roughly 2,500 locals, and it’s famous for its exceptional lodging options, such as the Voyager Inn, Aurora Borealis Motel, Quality Inn Lakefront, although the Bavarian Haus Lakefront Inn offers the best view.

There are numerous campgrounds surrounding St. Ignace, including the Straits State Park, the Tiki RV Park, and Lakeshore RV Park Campground. RV camping on Lake Michigan is a favorate way to enjoy the Great Lakes. If you don’t mind driving a bit further down the road, Castle Rock Lakefront camp is definitely worth a visit. The famous Mackinac Trail is a hiker’s favorite, mainly due to the beautiful vegetation and plenty of shade.

Most areas west of the Chain Lake are almost completely covered by trees and grassland, so more traditional campers may also want to visit the Just Show Up Campground off the US Route 2 Highway. 

Tourists and campers who want a bit more privacy and seclusion can take the Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry to Mackinac Island (it’s also accessible via plane). The Mackinac Island State Park is a massive campground in itself, and you’ll be able to visit quite a few historical landmarks, such as the Skull Cave burial site, the Dwightwood Spring, Arch Rock, and more.

4. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Trap Hills Porcupine Mountains
Trap Hills Porcupine Mountains David Sieberg from Pixabay

Unlike most Lake Michigan camping spots, the ones surrounding the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula are not for the faint of heart. Extreme camping enthusiasts can endeavor to brave the infamous Summit Peak, which offers a gorgeous view of the countryside and an isolated fortress of branches and leaves.

Although these mountains are closer to Lake Superior to Lake Michigan, the actual Porcupine Campgrounds are fairly close to both. The Porcupine Campgrounds feature multiple camping locations, including the Langford Lake campground, Pomeroy Lake campground, as well as numerous smaller campgrounds, such as Balsam, Maple, Perch, Pine, Beaver, Mink, Bear, Wolf, Racoon, and Bobcat campgrounds.

The landscape of the Porcupine Mountains foothills is riddled with numerous lakes of varying sizes, and a very diverse topographical picture.

It’s almost certain that you’ll need an all-weather off-road vehicle to traverse the harsh terrain of the Porcupine Campgrounds, and it would be wise to stock up on supplies beforehand, as the only place where you may be able to get some is the Sylvania Wilderness Cabins, which isn’t exactly that close to the campgrounds.

5. Captain John Langland Park

Manistee North Pier
Manistee North Pier Head by Richard Wildhirt from Pixabay

Captain John Langland’s Park is in Onekama, located beneath Pierport and Bear Lake and surrounded by the Portage Lake and Lake Michigan. Although Onekama is a well-organized village, it can be pretty difficult to get from one point to another as the two lakes have created mini coasts along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Casual campers should stick with the Onekama Village Park; it’s a cozy place surrounded by various fast-food restaurants, grills, cafes, and hotels, and it would be easier than ever to resupply should you have forgotten something.

Captain John Langland Park is at the foot of the North Point Park, practically at the furthest point in Onekama. It’s unique in the sense that it offers a beautiful view of both Lake Michigan and Portage Lake, and it is able to cater to the needs of hard-core and beginner campers alike, given that there are a few stores and resorts in its vicinity.

Some of the reasons why you may want to camp at Captain John Langland’s Park include its astonishingly beautiful beaches, low traffic due to its secluded location, and fairly approachable prices in terms of facilities.

One of the biggest challenges non-American campers have to face is getting to Onekama, as the nearest airports are in Manistee (Blacker Airport), and the Horaks Airport near Kaleva. Be it as it may, it’s still one of the most gorgeous camping locations around Lake Michigan.

We hope that this rundown was useful to you and that you’ve learned something new today on the amazing camping spots to be found in and around Lake Michigan. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!

Driving Along Lake Michigan Shoreline

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1 thought on “Top 5 Best Camping Spots on Lake Michigan, 2021 Guide”

  1. The sound of the wind and waves on the video made me feel like I was there. I’m always looking for new things to see in Michigan and a few of those I haven’t been to yet. Thanks for the info!

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