If you’re seeking for the best beaches in Traverse City, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will discuss beaches in Michigan that you should visit while in Traverse City. Beaches worth visiting, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know to make your visit worthwhile.
Traverse City is a vibrant, hip, and interesting city with beaches that are as diverse as the city itself. The best thing about Traverse City’s beaches is that they are all lake beaches. So no saltwater, sharks, or tides.
The sun, sand, and breeze are still present, but the water is fresh rather than salty. Traverse City has it everything, whether you’re searching for a tiny beach, a dog beach, a beach in the city, or a beach off the usual path.
Over 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, beautiful sand dunes, and over 100 lakes may be found in the Traverse City area. It doesn’t get much more diversified than this when it comes to beaches.
So, are you ready to see the Traverse City beaches I’ve selected for you?
Best Beaches In Traverse City
Table of Contents
• Clinch Park Beach
Clinch Park is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. On West Grand Traverse Bay, it is conveniently located near Font Street in downtown Traverse City. It’s located on Cass Street in the heart of West Grand Traverse Bay, just a short walk from most downtown attractions.
There are numerous reasons to visit this beach, and the facilities are outstanding! Clinch Park Beach is located near the Traverse City Marina and the former zoo. The beach itself has no parking; however, a pedestrian underpass along Cass Street will take you right to the beach.
The TART Trail will also be available to you. For joggers, walkers, in-line skaters, and bikers, this is a 10.5-mile paved path. Clinch Park Beach is the place to go if you want to stay in town, are short on time, and don’t want to travel far.
Watercraft rentals, such as kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes, are available nearby. Because it is the most popular beach, it can get quite crowded, especially during the summer.
Dogs are permitted on the beach if they are leashed. They are not, however, allowed in the approved swimming areas.
• Sunset Park Beach
The second beach on my list is Bryant Park Beach, which is west-facing and ideal for sunset viewing, and is only a short drive from downtown Traverse City.
With a mix of grass and sandy beach, this Traverse City beach is a great place to have a sunset picnic.
There are some shady spots under the towering pine trees if you need to get out of the sun. After you’ve had your swim, head across the street to Bardon’s Wonder Freeze for some ice cream.
Sunset Park Beach, a more urban lakefront, is a lovely area to read on the beach while watching bats from the neighbouring Duncan L Clinch Marina.
It’s in a fantastic position, just off Front Street and a block away from the Traverse Bay Cafe. If you prefer, you can park across the street from a McDonald’s.
• East Bay Park
East Bay Park is the beach for you if you’re seeking for one of Traverse City’s nicest beaches, located just 10 minutes from downtown and excellent for small children.
It’s a calm beach with plenty of sand, so it’s ideal for young families who want to spread out their beach blankets and relax for the day. Allow the kids to splash around in the shallower, calmer water.
On the west end of Grand Traverse Bay’s East Arm, you’ll find this peaceful beach. There are also restrooms, picnic tables, and a lifeguard on this beach. Located near the base of Old Mission Peninsula, on the south end of the east side. It’s a fantastic place to see sunsets because it faces east.
The water on this beach is relatively shallow. That, combined with the fact that it is usually less busy, makes it a good spot to bring little children. You may be here in a matter of minutes if you take a short drive from downtown.
• West End Beach
West End Beach is on Grandview Parkway, on the west end of the downtown Traverse City waterfront. West End Beach is one of the best beaches in Traverse City to see the dawn because it faces east.
There’s also a lovely mile-long stretch with boats anchored near to the beach. Summertime boat-to-shore socialising has never been easier.
This beach in Traverse City is located directly across the street from hotels and restaurants. If you need a break from the sun, it’s not a long walk.
West End Beach is a popular destination for visitors seeking a more tranquil beach experience than that offered by other downtown beaches. People come here for more peaceful mornings and to bring their tiny children.
West End Beach welcomes dogs (on a leash) and offers ample parking and public bathrooms.
In addition, because the beach is located just before the point where the shoreline curves northward up the Leelanau Peninsula, it faces east, making it an ideal location for watching the dawn.
• Volleyball Beach
Volleyball Beach is located just west of Clinch Park, divided by Duncan L Clinch Marina. It’s Traverse City’s newest beach, with amazing sand volleyball courts.
Volleyball Beach is a popular spot for leagues and tournaments, and it’s also close to downtown on the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. This is the beach to visit if you want to party like a Traverse City local.
This beach is more boisterous and has a stronger party feel. Volleyball Beach is one of the best beaches in Traverse City if you prefer volleyball or hanging out with a younger, louder crowd.
• Traverse City Open Space Park
There is a wonderful public green space between Clinch Park Marina and Volleyball Beach. Open Space Park features open space, picnic tables, a water bottle filling station, and a paved walking and bike trail with views of Grand Traverse Bay.
The Open Space Outdoor Cinema, which will hopefully reopen after the pandemic, will show outdoor films on a 65-foot screen near the water!
Events for the National Cherry Festival are currently set for July 2021, according to the festival’s calendar.
• Bayside Park
Bay Park is located across the street from East Bay Park, on the Grand Traverse Bay’s East Arm. The beach is modest, but there is plenty of parking, restrooms, a playground, and picnic tables. It faces west, providing you with yet another fantastic spot to watch the sunset.
• West Bay Beach Resort
West Bay Beach Resort is located just east of Clinch Park Beach. It’s a beach resort, after all!
Best Beaches Near Traverse City
• Twin Lakes Park
Because it is a more rough beach, Twin Lakes Park is on my list of greatest beaches in Traverse City. This modest community recreation facility, located on the west side, is solely known by the inhabitants.
This is the beach to visit if you want to get away from the throng and be surrounded by nature. There is a little swimming area, but it quickly fills up with water.
It is strongly advised that you keep inside the permitted swimming zones due to the depth of the water. There are also beautiful nature trails that wind their way around the lake, with plenty of private lakefront locations to rest.
At Twin Lakes Park, you can rent the pavilion and host a variety of activities. During the summer, there are a variety of weekly camps for children of different ages.
If you want to stay at this Traverse City beach for more than a day, you can reserve a cabin. It can sleep two individuals, making it suitable for single travellers or nature-loving couples.
• Power Island
In West Grand Traverse Bay, Power Island is a 202-acre island. Bassett Island, a little island to the north, is worth mentioning. Between 1917 and 1944, Henry Ford owned both of these islands.
Power Island should be at the top of your list of the greatest beaches in Traverse City if you enjoy boating. The beaches are remote and only accessible by boat because this is an island.
You can also kayak or paddleboard to the island if you have enough experience. The closest boat launch is 3.5 miles away on Old Mission Peninsula.
You have the option to tent if you want to remain for more than a day. On Power Island, there are ten rustic campsites.
Each campsite has a maximum capacity of 6 persons. Reservations must be made in advance. Each campground contains a picnic table, a campfire circle, and a grill.
Both check-in and check-out periods are at noon.
Power Island has a lot of natural spaces for visitors, with over 5-miles of hiking paths and over 3-miles of sandy beach beachfront.
• Esch Road Beach
The beach on Esch Road is located on the other side of the Leelanau Peninsula, near the mouth of Otter Creek, on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Walking along the creek is a pleasant stroll that allows you to see a variety of wildflowers.
It is also known as Otter Creek and Aral Beach, after the logging village that once stood on the same site. Because Esch Road Beach is a little more difficult to find and farther away from downtown, it may be a better beach to avoid larger crowds.
• Good Harbor Bay Beach
On the other side of the Leelanau Peninsula, Good Harbor Beach stretches along Good Harbor Bay. This long sandy beach offers spectacular views of the islands. You’ll also get to see spectacular sunsets over Pyramid Point and Whalebook Dune.
This beach also has a nearby stream where children can play. You can also take a walk through the woods along the stream.
The Good Harbor Bay Trail is also nearby. This is a lovely trail with a lovely picnic area with a few picnic tables.
A park pass is required to enter Good Harbor Bay Beach.
• Van’s Beach
Van’s Beach is located on the shoreline of the unincorporated community of Leland. Leland is located on the western edge of the Leelanau Peninsula. It’s a nice clean beach with plenty of rocks for rock hunting and plenty of parking.
It also has nice sand (dubbed “sugar sand” by the Leelanau Conservatory) and is a great place to watch sunsets. It will take approximately 40 minutes to drive from Traverse City to Van’s Beach.
• Suttons Bay Beach
Suttons Bay Beach is located on the Leelanau Peninsula’s West Arm Grand Traverse Bay side. This beach is about a 20-mile drive north on 22 from Traverse City.
It’s a clean beach with a small playground and picnic area that is rarely crowded. At Suttons Bay Beach, you can also rent kayaks and standup paddleboards.
While you’re there, check out Suttons Bay, a lovely, quaint bay village with plenty to eat, drink, and do. There are also numerous gift shops.
• Lake Leelanau
Lake Leelanau is another lake on the Leelanau Peninsula. It is a large lake made up of two smaller bodies of water known as North and South Lake Leelanau.
Lake Leelanau, Michigan is an unincorporated village located where the two bodies of water meet. There are several vineyards and a distillery in this village. It also has a number of lovely cottages and inns that offer lodging.
• Glen Lake
Glen Lake is located to the east of Sleeping Dunes. Swimming, fishing, and boating are all popular activities in the beautiful blue water. Glen Lake is regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the Great Lakes region.
The unincorporated hamlets and villages that lie on or near the lake’s shore add to the lake’s allure.
The area around this lake is ideal for long walks or trail running due to the nearby trails, roads, and elevation changes.
So this was our list of the best beaches in Traverse City that you can visit for your perfect beach day.