7 Lakes to Visit in Michigan

When Ish said he got the job last summer, my first thought was “I need the beach!”…and it turns out that Michigan has plenty of them.

Sure, they’re freshwater beaches, but my original assumption that freshwater meant rocky was totally wrong. Yes, there are rocky beaches here, but there are more sandy, gorgeous, lake-side beaches than I ever could have dreamed of.

It’s funny, we never really took summer vacations when we lived down south, probably because it was too hot (which is ironic considering that the “low” yesterday was 90 degrees), so I got really excited about the prospect of actually going somewhere this summer.

We have camping trips booked, we visited Fishtown and Traverse City, and my next “summer bucket list” items are some of the gorgeous lakes that we have up here.

Smalls is obsessed with going to an actual Great Lake, so those had to be on the list, but after living on Lake St. Claire for 18 months, I knew that there had to be awesome lakes that were just as good.

And, since I put together my dream list of lakes to visit in Michigan, I thought I’d share. Being by water always makes me happier.

7 Lakes to Visit in Michigan

7 Lakes to Visit in Michigan

I started with the obvious (the lake with the same name as our state), but then I started to research which lakes were great for fishing, camping, day trips, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking…and y’all. I was hard-pressed to make this list just 7 lakes.

Lake Michigan

I mean, this lake is what people think of when they think Michigan, right?

Maybe that’s just me…

Lake Michigan is an absolutely enormous lake. Obviously. It’s one of the Great Lakes.

In fact, Lake Michigan is one of the largest of the Great Lakes, and it has all kinds of lighthouses and beach towns lining its coast, from the south all the way up to the northern part of Michigan.

And it’s definitely top on my bucket list.

Lake Charlevoix

Ish always talks about how gorgeous Charlevoix is, and it happens to also have a lake. Charlevoix is in the upper part of the state, and Lake Charlevoix is the third largest lake in the state of Michigan, and quite possibly Ish’s favorite.

This lake borders many counties near the northern tip of the mitten, which allows for an abundance of public beaches to access, and lots of opportunities for exploration.

Gull Lake

Gull Lake is located in southwest Michigan may not be the largest lake, but it is great for fishing.

The boys have been begging to go fishing this summer, so this is definitely on the top of their list.

Gull Lake is only 11 miles from Kalamazoo and is usually not super crowded, which can be a relief in comparison to the larger lakes. 

Torch Lake

Torch Lake is located in the northern portion of the mitten and is known for its crystal clear Carribean blue water.

It’s definitely worth the drive for those of us in mid-Michigan, but totally worth it!

Burt Lake

Burt Lake has tons of activities from camping, hiking, birding, boating, fishing, and swimming (and that’s not even an extensive list!).

This lake is located in southeast Michigan and looks like it’s tons of fun.

Houghton Lake

The sandy beaches of Houghton Lake are the perfect place to enjoy a family picnic.

The beaches include barbecue pits and sheltered picnic areas, which make it the perfect place to spend a day.

Higgins Lake

Higgins Lake is located just north of Houghton Lake, in the Heart of northern Michigan.

It is full of a variety of different fish and is another great fishing spot. I cannot wait to spend a weekend bouncing between Houghton Lake and Higgins Lake. I can float while the boys fish!

What’s on your list of lakes to visit in Michigan?

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