Looking for Midwestern sandy beaches

Feb 2nd, 2005, 04:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Looking for Midwestern sandy beaches

I am hoping to spend a long weekend (soon as the weather gets warmer) on a midwestern sandy beach- maybe Michigan, Indiana, Ohio- that has decent restaurants, a little shopping, and plenty of peace and quiet. It will be a get-away for my mother and myself, so we don't need nightlife, nor any kiddie stuff. Any advice out there? I had thought about Saugatuck, but heard it was too crowded and commercial (like the Wisconsin Dells). I would love some imput for new ideas.
Onni is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 05:03 PM
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How about Petoskey, Charlevoix, or Harbor Springs, MI, or Torch Lake, MI...all are beautiful areas...
mcmckissic is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:00 PM
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We've always liked Warren Dunes. It's a very nice park. And, while there are good restaurants and motels/hotels in the area, it's nothing like the Dells. And there's shopping in St. Joseph.
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:05 PM
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I recommend Lakeside Michigan. It's at the border of Michigan and Indiana right on Lake Michigan. There are numerous B&B's right along the lake and a couple of highly-rated restaurants. There's several small areas of shopping (may have to drive a little) as well as shopping in New Buffalo, about 10 miles away. Lakeside is an old community, many beautiful houses and quiet.
dklein2 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Another option is South Haven. The last time we were in the Warren Dunes area we decided to take a little drive. We wound up spending the afternoon at a very nice beach south of South Haven. We drove into town, had a nice meal and looked around the stores. Seems like it would be a nice place to spend a weekend. Things to do but not crazy.
CAPH52 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:26 AM
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Fodors is very frustrating today - not posting! I'll try this again..

I grew up 30 mins from Warren Dunes and highly reccomend it but you do need to travel via car between restaurants and the beach.

If you would like to go somewhere that you can just park the car and walk I highly recommend Grand Haven. It's one of my DH's new places to get away. I free-lance for a co. in MKE and travel back and forth via the new Ferry that is only 40mins from G. Haven so we have spent alot of time in G. Haven recently.

I highly recommend the Harbor House! It's a great B&B, larger rooms than most and centrally located to EVERYTHING ~ restaurants, the State Park, which is located on Lake Michigan, there is a great place to sit outside on the deck and have cocktails literally across the street, as well as a park that you can stroll along the water.

At night, there is a light show - a smaller, mid-west version of the Bellagio fountains - pretty cool.

Harbor House has great B'fasts and reasonable prices (it's not cheap, but you get what you pay for).

Here is the link to Harbor House - have fun!www.harborhousegh.com

cfntmpn is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:36 AM
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Great suggestions, and I have been to all.

I stayed at a tremendous little B&B called Pebble House near South Haven. Beach there was wonderful and very uncrowded. They had a delightful and private (no one was there at all- the night we enjoyed it)netted enclave with hammocks and comfy seats that is "out in the woods" as well. You could hear the birds, animals etc. and not be bit by mosquitos. All these suggestions are wonderful, and are not crowded. Warren Dunes or the dunes by Silver Lake (farther north) are do not misses- if you have never been or seen dunes.

The only place that is crowded and very touristy is Saugatuck. That is very much like Dells, as you say. It's not a bad town in any way, but just way too crowded for what is there.
JJ5 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:40 AM
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I suggest Michigan. Petosky, Charlevoix....

It is so beautiful ther. However, for it to get really warm, you need to wait till about July or August. the lake is warm then. I go up every year to Charlevoix in August because it is warmer.

If you want to stay in Charlevox, I recommend staying in town at the weathervane hotel. They have a neach and pool and are right in town. It is fun.

Also, you can look at rentals I recommend Northern Properties. you can at least get an idea of what you want. Or just look in the paper.
tinathetoad is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:48 AM
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I also agree with the Michigan suggestion. Check from the Petosky/Charlevoix area all the way down to New Buffalo/Lakeside. I love South Haven-IMO it's less hoity than the New Buffalo/Lakeside/Union Pier area, but I love those areas too. I'm not a fan of Saugatuck b/c it does get very crowded. I've only visited the Traverse City area once but liked it too. Check out michigan.org or swmichigan.org for some ideas.
swalter518 is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:53 AM
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I agree with swalter. I do not like sagautak. it is so crowded. To me there is nothing there. However, I am used to ging to the upper west region.

Traveerse City is alright, however, very crowded to me and not my thing. but I do know that a lot of people love it. I just avoid it. it is very popular, especially during the cherry festival in July.
tinathetoad is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:37 AM
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I like the Little Traverse Bay suggestions (Petoskey & Harbor Springs). Would also recomend Leland, Michigan and ad the local wineries to the mix.

Keith is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2005, 08:49 AM
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There are wineries all the way up and just a bit inland, as well. But I did want to add, and forgot, what another has posted.

Please be aware that Lake Michigan is cold and it stays cold because of its mass. Do not expect warm tropical water. Saying that, I do love the inland lakes for swimming much more- for that very reason, but they do not have great sandy beaches. And that B&B I mentioned in South Haven has individual cottages/guest houses that are exquisite- you do not have to stay in the main house. Warm water is relative, and I have been in August and when the temperature is 90 degrees plus, when the water is still "blue lip" water after full immersion for more than 15 minutes or so. I don't know where you are coming from, so I don't want you to be "shocked" at any large Midwestern lake.
JJ5 is offline  

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