1. No salt. No sharks. (On the flipside, no circulation. The water is “brisk.”)
2. Michigan is all about Americana—picket fences, parades, U-pick farms, ice-cream stands, bike rides, family time.
3. Unlike other beach destinations, public parks claim many of Michigan’s best and broadest stretches of sand.
4. All shoreline is public, so you can walk the water’s edge on private beaches.
5. This isn’t the land of beach resorts and surfside motels. Most vacationers book a cottage or camp in lakefront parks.
6. BYO chair and umbrella.
7. The water gets colder and the sand rockier the farther north you go.
8. Inland lakes are just as popular as Lake Michigan, and the water is usually warmer.
9. Don’t miss: fresh-picked cherries, whitefish sandwiches, local craft beer.
10. The closest beach is three hours from Indy, but much of the monied crowd drives seven hours to destinations “Up North.”
11. “Fudgies” = tourists.
12. Baby in the taproom! In many places, it’s legal to take minors into a bar.
13. What you don’t see in photos: The air is crisp and pure, and there aren’t many bugs.
Enter our Lake Michigan Photo Contest