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Old 06-17-2009, 04:06 PM
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 34,145,269 times
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Originally Posted by summer22 View Post
I've only been as far north as Muskegon.

Is it more laid-back and fun up north?

Between Chicago and up through the SW Michigan coast the only word I can describe it with is "restrictive." Private property/ no trespassing signs everywhere... limited parking... not much socializing encouraged. I don't really know what the history of it is or why it turned out that way... my only guess is that when they built up this area they wanted to keep the prices high for "private lakefront property." Just a guess.
Anywhere in Michigan up to the normal high water mark is open to ALL public foot traffic. You can stroll the beach all the way from the Indiana/Michigan border to the Wis/Michigan border around Lake Michigan and the same for all Great Lakes. Now that being said, you do not have the right to a bonfire or laying out on the beach in front of private property, just passage when walking along the beach.

The signs in most areas that I know of personally were put up to keep the masses of people from coming up from Chicago and doing just that. I know some who own land in that area and that is why their signs went up WAY back when. Not too keep their property prices high, but to keep some semblance of actual ownership of the land they were paying for and paying taxes on. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry wanted to make it their own private beach instead of driving to a public beach.

Yes it is a bit more laid-back the further North you go. You should have gone just a few miles further to Silver Lake dunes. North of Ludington is a huge section of State and federal land (Ludington State Park and Nordhouse Dunes) that is public. You can camp in Nordhouse dunes anyplace you want as there is no established campsites, but you do have to have the right permit to do so.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:54 PM
Location: Albany (school) NYC (home)
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I always imagined bonfires on beaches as a california thing. Everytime I tell my friends we should have a bonfire on the beach they always make a remark about how were not in the OC. lol
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:25 AM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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In Seattle, on Alki Beach and on the Golden Gardens beaches there are hangouts on the beach, and across the street / further down the street there are bars (no clubs, but all bars from Irish to biker to fancy wine and everything in between kinda bars), restaurants, a cool beachhouse that hippies sometimes make cool art in, etc. Sometimes though the crowd at those places is pretty young (like high schoolers) but other times there''s cool people who are at least old enough to drink hanging out.

Having grown up in Chicago, I have to agree the beaches are not the most open areas. The whole beach closing at 9 thing is also a drag - the city is missing out on a HUGE potential revenue stream of partygoers who want to be near the water at night too. I could totally see Navy Pier housing a club or something (I know there's this one touristy jazz place that only plays well known Chicago Blues songs ... but that's far from what the potential is).
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