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Old 01-05-2019, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
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How would you rate the Lake Michigan public beaches/parks near GR? For those that have been to the Indiana Dunes and surrounding beaches, are there similar options near GR? Are they better, worse, the same?

https://www.holland.org/things-to-do/beaches
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:15 AM
 
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Near is relative, isn't it? There are 4 public beaches on Lake Michigan near me, but I wouldn't consider there to be any near Grand Rapids, but I've read people saying driving 4 hours to go to a beach is a thing. It blows my mind. Anyway, I guess Grand Haven city beach and state park might be considered "near" GR by some. I think there's Rosy Mound too. I don't go to any of those, as I prefer the less-crowded beaches near me (slightly north of Grand Haven). Lake Michigan has a pretty high water level now, too, which could effect how nice the beaches are to use lately. I've never been to Indiana Dunes, et al, so I'm not sure what you're using for comparison. Are you looking for relaxing natural place for beach walking, or a more social-type of hanging out on the beach?
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
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Near as in less than an hour drive, but preferably ~30 minutes or less. Looks like Grand Haven City beach is around 45 minutes. Interested in all kinds of beaches, depending on mood. Also, trails, etc. would be a nice bonus. Ultimately want to know if there are nice public beach options within an hour.

spotted this pic while searching Grand Haven City Beach. Wow!
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gr...!4d-86.2448028
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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Originally Posted by flamadiddle View Post
How would you rate the Lake Michigan public beaches/parks near GR? For those that have been to the Indiana Dunes and surrounding beaches, are there similar options near GR? Are they better, worse, the same?

https://www.holland.org/things-to-do/beaches
They are way better, mainly because you're away from that industrial/I-94/Hammond IN to Michigan City corridor.

Starting even with South Haven, the beaches are spectacular.



Then you have Oval Beach and Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Oval is our family's favorite in the area.



Holland State Park and Tunnel Park.



If you like a little more remote beach, Kirk Park is pretty nice in Port Sheldon Twp.

Grand Haven State Park is the Daytona Beach of Michigan. Walk the boardwalk from downtown GH to the state park beach and out to the lighthouse is a big pilgrimage.

Grand Haven is a USA Today 'Best Freshwater Beach' Nominee! - Grand Haven

Hoffmaster State Park and the dune climbs there are a little known secret and one of my favorites.
Then Pere Marquette in Muskegon is really nice and has a dog beach. Grand Haven used to not sure if they still do.

All of these are within 45 minutes of downtown Grand Rapids.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:52 AM
 
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Pere Marquette beach has won national awards, too. It's my favorite for driving to, and falling out of your car right onto the beach. There is Lake Harbor park between Hoffmaster and the available beaches near Pere Marquette, if you don't mind a little hike to the beach from your car. Muskegon State Park is a little farther to drive to, but may still be < an hour from GR. I think you take a left when you get to Lake Michigan in order to get to the campground, and right if you just want to go to the beach or go hiking in the dunes/check out the blockhouse. That's where I'd go beaching if I really wanted to avoid people and go exploring (but I haven't for years--ha!) I think there's also a little public beach on Lake Michigan in Spring Lake (north of the channel), but that would be a complete pain to get to.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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Originally Posted by michigan lizard View Post
Pere Marquette beach has won national awards, too. It's my favorite for driving to, and falling out of your car right onto the beach. There is Lake Harbor park between Hoffmaster and the available beaches near Pere Marquette, if you don't mind a little hike to the beach from your car. Muskegon State Park is a little farther to drive to, but may still be < an hour from GR. I think you take a left when you get to Lake Michigan in order to get to the campground, and right if you just want to go to the beach or go hiking in the dunes/check out the blockhouse. That's where I'd go beaching if I really wanted to avoid people and go exploring (but I haven't for years--ha!) I think there's also a little public beach on Lake Michigan in Spring Lake (north of the channel), but that would be a complete pain to get to.
It's actually in Ferrsyburg, and it's pretty nice and quiet. North Beach Park and it's not that hard to get to. They have a really nice new bike trail that runs along the feeder road to get there, which I've ridden before. You can also hike North Ottawa Dunes right there.

It's incredible the amount of dune hikes we have in the area. Rosy Mounds Natural Area in Grand Haven is also a great one but it's more of a "hike to the beach" and not a "let's go lay out at the beach" kind of park.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magellan View Post
It's actually in Ferrsyburg, and it's pretty nice and quiet. North Beach Park and it's not that hard to get to. They have a really nice new bike trail that runs along the feeder road to get there, which I've ridden before. You can also hike North Ottawa Dunes right there.

It's incredible the amount of dune hikes we have in the area. Rosy Mounds Natural Area in Grand Haven is also a great one but it's more of a "hike to the beach" and not a "let's go lay out at the beach" kind of park.
Is it? I never know where the limits are between the 2. All I know is that my MIL used to live right around there, it was a complete PITA to get to her place, and her address was Spring Lake. Do people from Grand Rapids tend to drive through Spring Lake to get to Grand Haven? I guess I assumed they took alternate routes.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Louisville
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Originally Posted by michigan lizard View Post
Is it? I never know where the limits are between the 2. All I know is that my MIL used to live right around there, it was a complete PITA to get to her place, and her address was Spring Lake. Do people from Grand Rapids tend to drive through Spring Lake to get to Grand Haven? I guess I assumed they took alternate routes.
M104 is the most direct and shortest route from Grand Rapids. Plus it’s all freeway until you get off the exit. Due to Ottawa County’s disjointed road network the only other way in is Lake Michigan Drive(M45). It is slower but less conjested near the lake shore. Though LMD gets pretty backed up once you get into the urbanized portion of GR. As someone who commuted Grand Haven every day for four years the difference is neglible. It’s 33 miles or 42-45 minutes either way. It comes down to whether you want to sit in the Spring Lake congestion, or get stuck behind Harold and Mildred going 10 mph under the speed limit on LMD.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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If you want to go the dog beach in Muskegon, go to Kruse Park, not Pere Marquette.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
M104 is the most direct and shortest route from Grand Rapids. Plus it’s all freeway until you get off the exit. Due to Ottawa County’s disjointed road network the only other way in is Lake Michigan Drive(M45). It is slower but less conjested near the lake shore. Though LMD gets pretty backed up once you get into the urbanized portion of GR. As someone who commuted Grand Haven every day for four years the difference is neglible. It’s 33 miles or 42-45 minutes either way. It comes down to whether you want to sit in the Spring Lake congestion, or get stuck behind Harold and Mildred going 10 mph under the speed limit on LMD.
Agreed. I would way rather take I-96 to M-104 through Spring Lake than sit through "Standstill" :P (Standale) traffic to get out to the lakeshore. If you live on the far West Side though it's the only way that makes sense, unless you take Leonard all the way out to Spring Lake which is a pretty drive.
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