As a beach enthusiast, I love visiting the best beaches in the US, and I couldn’t wait to explore the stunning beaches of Traverse City, Michigan. Known for its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views, this charming city offers a variety of coastal gems that cater to all types of beach lovers. Join me on this delightful journey as we uncover the top beaches in Traverse City.
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7 Best Beaches in Traverse City
Clinch Park Beach
Our beach adventure begins at Clinch Park Beach, a true gem in the heart of Traverse City. This sandy oasis offers a perfect blend of relaxation and fun-filled activities. The beach stretches along the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, providing a stunning backdrop for sunbathing and swimming.
As I set foot on the soft, golden sand, I can’t help but admire the panoramic views of the azure waters. The gentle waves beckon me for a refreshing swim, and with the Blue Flag certification ensuring water quality and safety, I dive in confidently.
Clinch Park Beach offers kayak and paddleboard rentals for those seeking excitement, allowing you to explore the bay and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Families will appreciate the playground and picnic areas, making it an ideal spot for a beachside family gathering.
A short drive to the west brings me to Empire Beach, a coastal gem within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This beach offers a unique experience, with towering dunes providing a dramatic backdrop to the cerulean waters of Lake Michigan.
I take the opportunity to climb the dunes, and although it requires some effort, the panoramic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes are well worth it. Feeling adventurous, I decided to try sandboarding down the dunes, adding a touch of excitement to my beach day.
Empire Beach is also a popular spot for beachcombing, and I can’t resist collecting a few unique seashells and stones as souvenirs of my visit. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Empire Beach has it all.
West End Beach
Heading to the western outskirts of Traverse City, I find West End Beach, a local favorite known for its family-friendly atmosphere and ample amenities. The sandy shoreline and shallow waters make it an ideal spot for young children to splash and play safely.
I join in a game of beach volleyball with some friendly locals, and the laughter and camaraderie create a sense of community that’s genuinely heartwarming. The beach park also offers grilling and picnic areas, perfect for a beachside barbecue with loved ones.
As the sun sets, I find a comfortable spot to unwind and enjoy the mesmerizing colors reflecting off the water. Moments like these make West End Beach a cherished destination for locals and visitors alike.
Old Mission Peninsula
My beach exploration would only be complete with a visit to the Old Mission Peninsula, where I discover a collection of serene and unspoiled beaches. These secluded spots are perfect for those seeking solitude and connecting with nature.
Bowers Harbor Beach, Haserot Beach, and Bryant Park Beach are hidden gems waiting to be explored. Each beach offers unique charm, from rocky shores to sandy coves, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
As I soak in the tranquil ambiance and take in the natural beauty around me, I feel grateful for the opportunity to experience these pristine beaches.
Bryant Park Beach
A short drive from downtown Traverse City, I find myself at another one of the best beaches in Traverse City, the Bryant Park Beach, a hidden gem tucked away along West Grand Traverse Bay. This serene beach offers a more secluded atmosphere for those seeking tranquility and relaxation.
The sandy shoreline is a haven for beachgoers, and I stroll along the water’s edge, feeling the cool breeze on my face. The calm waters make it an excellent spot for swimming, and I enjoy the feeling of weightlessness as I float in the bay.
Bryant Park Beach is also known for its vibrant sunsets, and as evening approaches, I find a comfortable spot to witness the sky ablaze with hues of orange and pink. It’s a magical moment that amazes me with nature’s beauty.
North Bar Lake
For a unique beach experience, head to North Bar Lake, situated within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. A sandbar separates this freshwater lake from Lake Michigan, creating a serene and calm environment for beachgoers.
The sandy beach is an excellent spot for families, as kids can safely play in the shallow waters, and parents can relax on the soft sand. The sandbar also forms a natural lagoon, perfect for little ones to splash and play without the strong waves of Lake Michigan.
A short hike through the dunes is required to reach North Bar Lake, adding a touch of adventure to your beach day. The effort is well worth it, as the picturesque setting and tranquil surroundings make for a memorable experience.
Suttons Bay Beach
Last but not least, Suttons Bay adds to the list of the best beaches in Traverse City. It offers a delightful mix of sandy shoreline and quaint small-town charm. Situated on the eastern side of the Leelanau Peninsula, this beach provides picturesque views of Suttons Bay.
The beach is an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing, and the calm waters make it ideal for families with young children. After a day at the beach, explore the charming town of Suttons Bay, filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and delicious dining options.
With its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, Suttons Bay Beach is an excellent addition to the best beaches in Traverse City, offering a perfect blend of outdoor recreation and small-town exploration.
Final Thoughts: A Beach Lover’s Paradise in Traverse City
Traverse City’s beaches left me in awe of their beauty and diversity. From the bustling shores of Clinch Park Beach to the tranquil coves of Bryant Park and the serene beauty of Old Mission Peninsula, each beach etched a special memory in my heart.
This beach lover’s paradise offers something for everyone: relaxation under the sun, thrilling water sports, or peaceful moments by the water’s edge. The range of activities, from kayaking to beach volleyball, impressed me, ensuring every visitor can create cherished memories of their own.
So, if you’re ready to embark on your beach adventure, pack your beach gear and head to Traverse City—a coastal paradise where sun, sand, and smiles await. Whether you’re a local seeking a weekend getaway or a traveler from afar, the best beaches in Traverse City will welcome you with open arms, promising unforgettable experiences that will keep drawing you back for more.
As the saying goes, “Life’s a beach,” and it couldn’t be more accurate in Traverse City. The best beaches in Traverse City have stolen my heart, and they’ll undoubtedly steal yours too.