Sunshine, warm weather, and beautiful clear water are a recipe for beach activities, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has a lot of pristine beach! This is the place to sunbathe, make sand castles, play in the Lake Michigan waves, swim, or just walk the beach. Lake Michigan is beautiful, and on a hot day it's inviting you to take a swim, but you'll find it more refreshing than the inland lakes, so be prepared! The whole Lake Michigan lakeshore is open to swimming, but there are no lifeguards on duty, and be aware of possible rip currents.
Popular Lake Michigan Beaches
Platte River Point beach features the Platte River outlet where warmer water enters Lake Michigan and is a busy, busy place in the height of the summer season. Every day tubes, canoes, and kayacks make the trip down the shallow and rapidly flowing river before emptying out in to the vast lake. For those not interested in making the voyage, a walk along the river or sunbathing on the banks is the perfect way to enjoy the merging of these two waters.
Peterson Beach has a boardwalk crossing the low dunes from the parking lot to the beach. It’s a quiet stretch of sand with wide vistas of Empire Bluff to the north and Platte River Point to the south. Leashed pets are allowed to the left of the boardwalk when facing the water.
Beach fires are permitted only on the mainland beaches of Lake Michigan between the water's edge and the first dune. Please do not build fires on or near vegetation and remember to extinguish your fire with water and clean up all debris before leaving. Thank you for helping to keep the beach fire tradition alive and our beaches clean for everyone's enjoyment.
Glass containers are prohibited on all beaches in the park.
Last updated: July 2, 2019