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View Poll Results: Which state's beaches do you prefer?
Michigan 26 47.27%
Massachusetts 29 52.73%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-30-2017, 05:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Question: do people swim in the Great Lakes, or is it too cold and/or polluted to swim?
Yes you can swim in them. Really it depends on the summer. Lake Superior is pretty much freezing cold year round. Average summers lake temps get into the 70's for the other lakes which is swimmable but brisk. Warmer summers the temps on Lake MI beaches will get into the low 80's which is a bit more comfortable.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Swimming is great on Lake Michigan. Lake Superior can be cold, but it is spectacularly beautiful up there, plus you can jump off a cliff into the lake (be certain you know where to get back out and can easily get to it). Late June, July, August and sometimes into September are warm enough for swimming. Watch for rip currents and make certain you understand how to get out of one.

The water is crystal clear, clean even drinkable (but not recommended) in most places. Lake Erie gets some pollution issues, but mostly well outside of Michigan. There are hundreds of inland lakes too, some are huge and beautiful blue and turquoise.

The beaches have some neat features. Some are giant sand dunes you can slide down into the water. Some have lighthouses or quaint little towns, some have "singing sand" slide your feet in the sand as you walk and it "sings"

With the great lakes, do not think "lake" like you can see across it. It takes 4 hours to cross lake Michigan on the ferry. The waves can be simlar to Atlantic ocean waves at times. In the summer, it is mostly small waves.

I think I will vote for Michigan, primarily because of the great variety (there are beaches on four great lakes), and the ability to go where there are no or few people, or a crowded beach if that is your preference.

However it is a difficult comparison to make, because it is not an apple to apples comparison. It is like asking what is better, Pizza or Buicks?



Massachusetts waterfront also has nice variety and beauty. My favorite are to stone/pebble beaches. They make the best sound ever.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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^Sounds nice! Yes, as I said, I live near the Jersey shore, so I know about rip currents. Thought they were solely an ocean thing. Learned something new.

Lol, I am aware that you can't see across the Great Lakes. And as a disaster junkie, I know about the Edmund Fitzgerald and how bad the Lakes can get in a storm!
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:01 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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The southern reaches of Lake Michigan get water temperatures into the 70s and sometimes higher in mid and late summer. Lake St. Clair and the western reaches of Lake Erie get into the 80s in mid and late summer. So those are probably warm enough for a lot of people.

I think Saginaw Bay (the space between the thumb and the rest of the mitten of Michigan's lower peninsula--the thenar space of Michigan basically) also gets fairly warm water temperatures around that time.

Here's a random water temperature chart from a late July on the Great Lakes by NOAA:


Overall, I'd pick Michigan. The beaches are numerous and greatly varied and there's a lot more beach in general. The sunsets over the water are also great.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 05-30-2017 at 08:17 AM..
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:21 AM
 
11,171 posts, read 22,363,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Question: do people swim in the Great Lakes, or is it too cold and/or polluted to swim?
Millions of people swim in the great lakes, they're for the most part extremely clean. As they're split between Canada and the US, there are very strict pollution rules in place.

The lakes have 10,000 square miles of shoreline, 35,000 islands, and supply drinking water to around 40,000,000 people. They're larger than the combined square mileage of 10 states and if the lakes were dumped on the USA they would cover the entire lower 48 states to a depth of around 10 feet (obviously given topological differences take that for what it's worth).

Water temps around Chicago's 29 city beaches get to above 70 degrees in the summer, and feel great to swim in, clear waters, rolling waves, a nice breeze.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnerbro View Post
I think the beaches might be what saves Michigan as a state. Particularly the ones on Lake Michigan.

Edit: Well that Ann Arbor and the UP........
The northern two thirds of Michigan is very nice, very clean and very safe. I assume the negative things you think of when it comes to Michigan have to do with some of its troubled cities like Detroit or flint. If it were not for those two places and all thier bad behavior and bad press Michigan would be a popular state like its neighbor Minnesota. If your going to visit Michigan don't even bother to stop until you are north of Flint. If you do that you will see the scenic and nice parts of the state, not rust belt stereotypes.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
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I would think the difference might be whether you like salt water ocean beaches or freshwater beaches like the Great Lakes.
Both have their charms.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:56 AM
 
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I'll go for Massachusetts here, but there's no doubt that Michigan beaches are very highly underrated. As someone who grew up in New York, the first time I went up north in Michigan, I was amazed that people in the Northeast just don't know about that region. Nobody considers it for a summer getaway, but they should.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
Yes you can swim in them. Really it depends on the summer. Lake Superior is pretty much freezing cold year round. Average summers lake temps get into the 70's for the other lakes which is swimmable but brisk. Warmer summers the temps on Lake MI beaches will get into the low 80's which is a bit more comfortable.
And least Ontario seems to have advisories more often than the aOcean beaches, but particularly superior an Huron probably don't have as many issues because they don't really have large cities on their shores.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:04 PM
 
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The Atlantic up there is freezing cold all summer and there are sharks there. The lower Great Lakes are warmer by early - mid July, and there are no dangerous critters in the water. IMO the finest beaches in the Great Lakes are at Big Bear Dunes in Leelanau County (beautiful dunes, very clean clear water) and Ipperwash Beach, about 45 miles NE of Sarnia, Ontario. The latter is real neat because the water is shallow far out, which means it's kiddy-friendly, and it gets nice and warm earlier in the summer; there are huge rollers there on days when winds are NW or N - bring your raft. Both beaches have nice sand. The Great Lakes have cleaned up nicely once they curtailed dumping pollutants into them 50 years ago. Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan have never been polluted. As others have noted, except for a few groaty cities you'd ordinarily avoid, most of Michigan is quite nice, crime free, and the people are about as down to earth friendly as you could ever get.


Coastal Massachusetts is very scenic of course, but I wouldn't go there for the beaches (except maybe P'town, but if you're straight you might find that place offensive).

Last edited by TwinbrookNine; 05-30-2017 at 12:13 PM..
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