16 Swoon-Worthy Campgrounds on Lake Michigan

Where is Lake Michigan?

There are various campgrounds on Lake Michigan where you can enjoy your summer. Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake fully within the United States, out of the five Great Lakes of North America. Michigan borders the lake’s eastern and northern coasts. The southernmost point of Lake Michigan is Indiana, while the westernmost points are Illinois and Wisconsin.

16 Campgrounds on Lake Michigan to Visit

Lake Michigan State Parks

Camping at nearby state parks is one of the best ways to appreciate Lake Michigan’s natural splendor. Because there are so many campgrounds on Lake Michigan to select from, below is a highlight of some of our favorites.

Grand Haven State Park 

Location: Grand Haven, Michigan.

Address: 1001 Harbor Avenue, Grand Haven, Michigan 49417.

Grand Haven State Park is in Grand Haven, Michigan, which is a popular vacation destination. It’s right on the water in West Michigan and is only a five-minute drive from local stores and restaurants.

If you prefer sandy beaches, you’ll enjoy camping here. The entire 48-acre ( 19.42-hectare) park is on the beach. You’ll be a few meters away from the water and views of Grand Haven’s iconic red lighthouse, no matter which of the 174 campsites you choose.

Grand Haven State Park has campsites for affordable rates per night if you prefer tent camping on Lake Michigan. There are also water hookups and a trash station at the park.

Grand Haven, Michigan

Petoskey State Park

Location: Petoskey, Michigan.

Address: 2475 M-119 Highway, Petoskey, MI 49770

Ensure you get a chance to take home a famous Petoskey stone from Petoskey State Park. You’ll find one mile (1.60 kilometers) of Lake Michigan shoreline at Petoskey State Park and plenty of opportunities to find your unique piece of a coral fossil.

There are two campgrounds in this state park, both having dump stations. The Petoskey-Dunes campground is ideal for tent campers and RVs with little space. This park has 80 tiny campsites with 20 and 30 amp service. A short route will take you to the beach; however, it is not right on the water.

Petoskey-Tannery Creek is also one of Lake Michigan campgrounds. On Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, there are 100 big camping sites. The sites all have 20 and 30 amp service and can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet (15.24 meters) in length. There are also a few 50 amp spots available.

Petoskey State Park charges for their 20 and 30 amp services for camping. You’ll also need a Michigan Recreation Passport to visit Grand Haven or Petoskey state parks.

Are you only staying for a few days? A non-resident day pass is a cost-effective option. For longer vacations, you’ll want to invest a good amount of money in an annual non-resident permit. Residents of Michigan can renew their state park permits each year when they renew their license plates.

Harrington Beach State Park 

Location: Coast of North Carolina (Wisconsin)

Address: Belgium, WI 53004 531 Co Rd D.

When you think of states with wetlands, you generally think of Louisiana or Florida — not Wisconsin. This park not only shares a mile (1.60 kilometers) of Lake Michigan’s shoreline but also contains a spectacular white cedar swamp. 

Of course, if you’re camping near a swamp, you’ll need to bring insect repellent. However, don’t allow a few marsh bugs to keep you from having fun at your lovely family camping.

There are 69 campsites available, so you’ll have many options for parking your RV. Most sites have 30 amp electric hookups, with the remainder being non-electric. Each unit also includes a picnic table and a fire ring.

A dump station, fresh water fill-up station, and laundry facilities are all available at the family campground. The cost of the camp varies.

Kohler Andrae State Park 

Location: Kohler, Wisconsin 

Address: WI 53081, 1020 Beach Park Ln.

Kohler-Andrae State Park is in the state of Wisconsin. The numerous dunes that border Lake Michigan’s beaches are one of its most distinctive features. You can see some of these dunes directly at Kohler-Andrae. The exhibits at the Sanderling Nature Center, near the park’s north end, will also appeal to nature lovers.

There are 137 campsites in this state park, 52 of which include 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups. Although the campsites do not have sewage or water hookups, RVers will appreciate the park’s dump station and fresh water fill-up station. This campsite is open throughout the year and has spots for winter camping.

Campers can utilize the campsite amenities, including showers, flush toilets, and laundry facilities, while the weather is warm. 

You’ll need a state park vehicle entrance sticker if you’re camping on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan. Residents pay for an annual sticker or a daily sticker if they live in the state. Visitors from out of state pay for a yearly sticker or for a daily sticker too.

Kohler-Andrae State Park

Hoffmaster State Park 

Location: Texas.

Three miles along Lake Michigan’s shoreline and a huge wooded campground provide plenty of shade at Hoffmaster State Park.

The Dune Climb Stairway is one of the park’s best walks. It follows 193 steps up a big dune for sweeping views across the lake. 

The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center, which displays the history of the surrounding dunes, is also worth visiting.

Orchard Beach State Park 

Orchard Beach State Park is a peaceful bluff-top park with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. There are 166 campsites at the campground, two shower rooms, and a wooden stairway leading down to the shore.

A two-mile loop around the park is also available for hiking. It will provide you with stunning views of the lake and spring wildflowers.

Muskegon State Park 

Muskegon State Park covers two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and a mile of Muskegon Lake shoreline.

There are two campgrounds and approximately twelve miles (19.31 kilometers) of trails in the park, which spans over 1,000 acres (404.68 hectares). During the day, you may trek among the dunes, and at night, you can watch a spectacular sunset over the lake.

Ludington State Park 

On Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, Ludington State Park includes miles of shoreline. The Big Sable Point Lighthouse, open every day from May to November, is a major attraction. The lighthouse at Big Sable Point is a must-see for everyone visiting the area. 

A gift shop and a video room are also open to the public. There are about 300 campsites in the park and hiking and bike paths.

State Parks of Illinois Beach 

Illinois Beach State Park 

Address: Lake Front Dr, Zion, Illinois 60099

Illinois Beach State Park (also known as Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park) is a state park whose location is approximately an hour north of Chicago. While a trip to Chicago may be appealing, you won’t want to leave once you park your RV at this beautiful state park.

Illinois Beach has almost six miles of hiking paths and a designated bike trail if you enjoy hiking and riding. There are also 241 campsites with electric hookups at the campground. The cost of a night’s stay varies.

The campground has three sectors, which you should note. The campsites on the 100 block are the furthest away from Lake Michigan, yet they are first-come, first-served. The reservable spots are closer to the water, at the 200 and 300 blocks.

Indiana Dunes State Park 

Location: Indiana 

Address: 1600 North 25th Street, IN 46304

This state park is a must-see for nature lovers. It has 1,500 acres (607.02 hectares) of natural preserve space and 16 miles (25.75 kilometers) of hiking trails and is an official station on the Indiana Birding Trail.

There are 140 sites with asphalt pads and 50 amp hookups in Indiana Dunes State Park’s campground. In the summer, several places have shades, ensuring optimal comfort. While the campsites are not immediately on the shore, campers can access Lake Michigan via a short hike.

Indiana Dunes State Park 

This park is ideal for RVing families because it has restrooms, showers, a playground, and a dump station. 

On Lake Michigan, there are several private campgrounds.

There are different places to camp in Michigan. You can also stay at private campgrounds if you don’t want to stay at a state park. If you prefer more comforts and family-friendly activities, the following campgrounds are ideal:

Dune Lake Campground 

Location: Shores of Dune Lake

Address: 80855 County Road 376, Coloma, MI 49038

Dune Lake Campground is a truly family-friendly campground. At one of their onsite courts, adults and children can enjoy a friendly game of volleyball, badminton, horseshoes, or basketball. A mini-golf course is also available at the campground for the game.

You’ll be around five minutes from Lake Michigan if you camp here. On Dune Lake, the campground offers its swimming beach, where younger children can enjoy a safe swim in the shallows.

Half of the 80 campsites have 30 amp electric and water hookups and a dump station for RVers. The cost of a primitive site is lower per night than a modern RV site. 

Stony Haven Cabins and Campground

Location:8079 W Stony Lake Rd.

Address: New Era, MI 49446 is

Among the campgrounds on Lake Michigan with cabins, this 8-acre (3.23 hectares) wooded campground offers lots of shade so that you can take advantage of its amenities all summer. 

For your entertainment, Stony Haven has a playground, convenience store, fishing pond, river tube rentals, and more. Plus, you’ll be only 2 miles (3.21 kilometers) from the enjoyment of Lake Michigan.

There are 48 RV spaces with full and partial hookups where you can park your rig. There are 20, 30, and 50-amp sites, as well as a bathroom and dump station for taking care of personal business. There are also 16 rustic tent spots and several tiny cabins in Stony Haven.

Rustic sites and RV sites have costs per night, depending on the number of hookups. All reservations require a two-night minimum stay.

Camp and Retreat on Lake Michigan

Location: Pentwater, 

Address: Michigan 49449, 5807 Ridge Rd

Lake Michigan Camp & Retreat is “One of God’s wonderful locations, with cool green trees, soft dunes, and a gorgeous shoreline,” according to the campground’s website. What more could you want from a Lake Michigan camping trip?

You’ll have half a mile (0.80 kilometers) of Lake Michigan shoreline to explore at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat. If shopping and dining are your delights, you’ll be a short drive from Pentwater’s charming hamlet.

Tent campers and RVers can choose among 100 available sites. Water and 30 amp electric service are available at the RV sites; however, there are no sewer hookups. The campground does, however, have a new and better dump station. RVs below 35 feet (10.66 meters) are welcome at a friendly nightly cost.

Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat also rent platform tents if you’re seeking a different camping experience. For your convenience, each tent rental includes four sleeping cots with mattresses. 

Harvest Hosts 

Harvest Hosts is a membership program for RVers interested in camping at wineries, breweries, and farms. Because these aren’t official campgrounds, you must be completely self-contained and ready to live off the grid. You shouldn’t miss a couple of Lake Michigan Harvest Hosts camping chances.

Fenn Valley Vineyards 

Location: Fenn Valley, California.

Address: Fennville, 6130 122nd Avenue.

Fenn Valley Vineyards is a world-class winery producing world-class wines since 1973. It is one of the best RV campgrounds on Lake Michigan. Their grapes are from vineyards within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the shores of Lake Michigan. This carefully chosen location maintains ideal temperatures for properly matured grapes.

Favorites like their traditional chardonnay and special fruit wines like their blueberry wine are among the wines available. They also provide a selection of hard cider cans.

Harvest Hosts members get access to only two RV spots. You’ll need to reserve in advance if you want to park your RV among the vines.

Traverse City, Michigan’s Brengman Brothers Winery

Location: 9720 South Center Highway

Address: Traverse City, MI 49684

Brengman Brothers Winery is in Leelanau Peninsula, about north of Traverse City, on the Leelanau Peninsula. The winery is roughly a mile (1.60 kilometers) inland, making it a great camping area with Lake Michigan access.

The Brengman family is passionate about wine and also about providing excellent service. As a result, you can expect a comfortable stay at the winery.

You’ll want to buy a bottle of wine or several from their impressive collection while you’re there. Whether you’re a purist who prefers a conventional red or wines with a sparkling personality, Brengman Brothers have a vintage that you’ll enjoy.

Friske Orchards and Farm Market

Location: Michigan

Address: 10743 US Highway 31, Ellsworth, MI 49729

Friske Orchards and Farm Market is a great destination to get refreshments for your road trip. It’s also a fantastic location for camping near Lake Michigan. It’s merely a two-mile (3.21 kilometer) drive to Grand Traverse Bay.

You may stock up on Michigan cherries, apples, maple syrup, honey, locally roasted coffee, and more throughout your visit. A cafe is also available in the farm market, where you can grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the beach.

Friske organizes family-oriented festivals throughout the year, so check their events schedule before booking your stay.

Some of the best and most exciting lake camping opportunities in the country are available on Lake Michigan. You won’t be short of first-rate options whether you want to see this natural beauty from a state park or the luxury of a private campground or host. 

The Difference Between State and Private Campgrounds

When looking for a campsite, you’ll come across terms like campgrounds, state parks, national parks, public, and private. When you’re just starting, it can all appear the same. After all, isn’t camping just camping?

What you want to get out of camping largely determines what you choose. Perhaps you want to get away for a few days to relax and unwind, or maybe you want to spend a week with your family doing something exciting.

You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll be tent or RV camping. Whatever your preference, there is a campground that will meet your requirements. You need to know what to look for. 

Rv Parks Vs. Private Campgrounds National Parks Vs. State Parks

The most significant distinction between private campgrounds on Lake Michigan and state parks is that private campgrounds typically offer a greater range of amenities. Water parks, crazy golf, and other such activities are examples. Showers, toilets, and power are available on your site.

However, not all private campgrounds are equal. Some are set up in people’s backyards, attempting to cram as many people as possible to maximize earnings.

Others, on the other hand, have taken camping to a new level. Jellystone or KOA, for example, have campgrounds around the United States and provide much more than just camping. In a private campground, you can enjoy swimming pools, horseback riding, and archery, to name a few things.

On the other hand, smaller private campgrounds are also something to look out for. They occasionally provide unique activities in line with their surroundings and at a far lower cost than the giant campsites discussed previously.

Some private campgrounds are perfect for camping with a young family because of the variety of activities available.

Government-run parks are also known as state parks or national parks. There are some public campgrounds with amenities such as toilets and showers. Such campgrounds have a certain amount of housekeeping. Therefore, they are not free but far less expensive than private campgrounds.

There aren’t likely to be any organized activities, but something might be nearby. Public camping, however, is ideal for folks who want to go away and relax.

If you have kids with you, the camping places aren’t too close, so you’ll have more room to run about and play games. 

About Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is a freshwater lake with a length of 118 miles (189.9 kilometers) and a width of 307 miles (494.06 kilometers). The lake borders the four states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin due to its size. It looks like an ocean from its more than 1,600 miles (2574.95 kilometers) of coastline.

Chicago is an all-sports venue on the south end of the lake. As a result, visitors from all over the world flock to Lake Michigan. In fact, during the summer, you won’t have to go far to see people boating, swimming, paddling, kiting, and fishing. 

Among different fish species in the lake, Atlantic Salmon, Largemouth Bass, Trout, and Walleye are among the most popular. There are 102 lighthouses on Lake Michigan, which are on many people’s bucket lists.

The Best Time to Visit Lake Michigan

The greatest time to visit the Lake Michigan campgrounds is from the end of May until the beginning of October. Because the states surrounding the lake experience all four seasons, this is the perfect time to visit because the weather is ideal for enjoying the lake.

As a result, water temperatures are at their hottest from mid-July until the end of September. The open dates for campgrounds near Lake Michigan vary, but most are available from April through October.

Visit Lake Michigan in October, on the other hand, if you prefer a quiet stay with fewer people. You might even be able to get a beach to yourself. Furthermore, the leaves often change colors from late September to mid-October, making this a perfect time of year for a color tour around the lake.

The Word’s Out!

If you’ve never gone camping on Lake Michigan, you’ve been missing out on magnificent beaches that rival the majesty of the oceans, gorgeous dunes, and wonderful family fun. It’s never too late to go out and see for yourself.

We’re confident that you’ll be adding Michigan campgrounds on Lake Michigan to your summer camping plans after seeing the stunning locations in this article.

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