Being in a state full of lakes we’ve spent every summer heading to our favorite one of all– Lake Michigan. As a kid, my family always headed to Manistee to a friend’s cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan so being a parent has left me searching for a way to recreate the trip.
Over the years of traveling to Lake Michigan with kids we’ve narrowed down our favorite ways to enjoy the lake to a select few.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes
I know many families who enjoying camping at Silver Lake but we tried out a hotel our first year going and have never went back. Every year we stay at The Dunes Waterfront Resort. It is the only hotel on Silver Lake and right down the road from Lake Michigan. The Dunes Waterfront Resort is the perfect place for kids. We reserve a first floor room facing the water each year and our kids can walk right out of our hotel room onto a sandy playground and head out to the lake from there.
We walk to the dunes, drive over to Lake Michigan and spend way too much money on touristy stuff like go-karts and ice cream. If you’re thinking of visiting Silver Lake my advice would be:
1. Pack food. There are a few restaurants in the area but we have not found many we like. Most are over-priced with food that doesn’t meet the standards for the cost. There are some great places to walk to for quick food like donuts or pizza but for a decent meal it’s better to head to nearby towns like Pentwater.
2. Request a first floor, waterfront room if you stay at the Dunes Waterfront Resort.
3. Bring walking shoes when you head to Lake Michigan. You can climb the lighthouse at the lake but it’s not the easiest climb, especially with young kids. If you’re wearing flip flops, one or both of them may not make it to the top.
Tubing Platte River
I have so much to say about our tubing trip on Platte River that this should probably be it’s own post but I’m going to squeeze it in here anyway. The tubing trip on Platte River will float you out to a space of the river that is a short walking distance from Lake Michigan. As you get further on the trip you can see the lake and the views are amazing.
We started out by choosing a tubing rental place and chose Riverside Tubes and Canoes because the point where their tubing trips ends was the closest to Lake Michigan. If we were going to do it again, which we definitely will, here’s what I would do:
1. Skip the tubing rental place. You can purchase your own tubes anywhere and easily set off on Platte River on your own. The only benefit of going through a business is that they shuttle you to the drop off. If you have the ability to drop off a car at the park where Platte River and Lake Michigan meet you can tube the river for just the cost of your tubes.
Favorite places near Lake Michigan
The Cherry Pit- My husband has been going to this place since he was a kid. They have great homestyle food and every cherry item you can image. I can’t have gluten and I didn’t have a ton of options but that’s nothing new for me.
Coffee place at Crystal Lake
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