We are so excited to share so many beautiful areas with you to be able and camp right off of the Third Coast!
For those of you who don’t know, the Third Coast is the Great Lakes region. And, is just a short drive from Chicago. While Lake Michigan beach camping would seem like a dream, here are quite a few tricks to being able to do this and we want to help you out! Lake Michigan Campgrounds To Explore, First of all, you are going to need to plan your road trip itinerary ahead. Even though there are over 3,288 miles of shoreline in Michigan you’ll only find a few campgrounds available to camp along the water. We will list our favorites and why below!
Holland State Park – Holland, MI There are two parts to this campground. The first look is not on the water and you will have to bike/hike about a mile down to get to the beach. It is a nice area of a campground with hookups and a bathroom. The other area of the campground is right on the beach but the large beach dunes cover the view of the water. You are about a .10 walk to the beach water though with the beautiful lighthouse and beach park. Both areas are close to ice cream shops and a few different fun hikes. The kids will love this area!
Grand Haven State Park – Grand Haven, MI This is a unique beach campground as you are right in town but also right on the beach! There are many available campsites along the channel and a lot on the beach. If you are lucky enough to snag one you will be able to walk right outside your campervan, right onto the beach! There are also other campsites in this campground which are still within walking distance to the beach as well. This entire campground is close to the beautiful downtown Grand Haven which offers any local restaurant right on the beach.
Muskegon State Park – Muskegon, MI This location is truly a secret gem you’ll find. A bit out of town but you’ll find the 2 loops of the campground to have beautiful places right by the water spots. You can also take a bike ride down to 2 different gorgeous beaches and huge dunes to climb! The campgrounds are rustic but have very nice bathrooms, campfire pits, and electric hookups.
Ludington State Park – Ludington, MI This location isn’t right on the beach while you are camping but is a very short walk away. The water is the bluest you’ve seen and you are a short drive from town. Make sure and check out the famous “House of Flavors“ Ice cream shop! The beaches have a couple of fun parks for kids and many areas to launch a paddleboard or kayak. Campgrounds have nice fire pits, bathrooms, and electric hookups.
Fishermans Island – Charlevoix, MI This location has mostly “walk-in” campsites where you are right on the water. But if you are in an Escape Campervan you can still stay here and have a short walk to your personal beachfront. Very rustic sites with porta-potties and no hookups.
D.H. Day Campground - Sleeping Bear Dunes, MI (This is not right on the lake but close to it. It's also not just a day campground like is in the name :)) This campground has no hookups. There are outhouses and fire pits per site. Such beautiful spots for the rustic camper!
Mackinaw Creek Campground – Mackinaw City, MI This is such a beautiful campground with many beach access spots. Be sure and book a day to visit Mackinaw Island! Some sites have hookups and there are bathrooms.
Straights Campground – St. Ignas, MI This location is absolutely stunning. You can find about 10 sites right on the beach with a beautiful view of Mackinaw Bridge. You can also find about 10 more sights with beach access. If you score any campsites in the campground you still have your own beach access as well. Very clean bathrooms with shower houses. Some sites have hookups while others don’t.
Wilderness State Park - Mackinaw City, MI This location has sites for every type of camper! Hook-ups, rustic walk-in tents, and more. There are nice restrooms and some sites have a beautiful view of the Lake and Mackinaw Bridge. There are also a few rustic cabins if you are lucky enough to snag one.
Newberry Campground - Newberry, MI (not on the lake) This place has it all, hookups, cabins you can rent/etc. If you need a place to swim and enjoy the camping vibes book here! KOA Campground - Munising, MI This campground has it all but gets booked up quickly. Between yurts, cabins and tent sites you will find something for every type of camper. They also have packages to go kayaking and other activities mixed with your stay.
Union Bay Campground - Porcupine State Park, MI If you are lucky enough to snag one of these campsites considers yourself blessed! These sites sit close to the lake and have beautiful views. No hook-ups but restrooms available. Right in Porcupine State Park so close to hiking trails and adventures!