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7 Best Beaches in the Midwest

Enjoy a day at a freshwater beach during your next visit to America’s Midwest. Home to the Great Lakes, these freshwater lakes offer visitors sandy shores and sparkling water. From urban beaches to sprawling natural shoreline, the Midwest offers a number of great beaches to explore. Experience the beauty of America when you visit one of these best beaches in the Midwest.

Park Point Beach - Duluth, MN Park Point Beach - Duluth, MN
Credit: Park Point Beach - Duluth, MN by © Mkopka | Dreamstime.com

Park Point Beach - Duluth, MN

Found on a sandbar of Lake Superior near the Aerial Lift Bridge, this Midwest beach offers both gorgeous views and picnic amenities. Park Point Beach is found on the world’s largest freshwater sandbar. The sandy shores here are greeted with chilly water, but that doesn’t stop visitors from swimming and partying on the beach. Equipped with grills and a playground too, this beach near Duluth, Minnesota is a stunning beach option for those traveling to the Midwest.

Oak Street Beach - Chicago, IL Oak Street Beach in downtown Chicago
Credit: Oak Street Beach in downtown Chicago by © Thomas Barrat | Dreamstime.com

Oak Street Beach - Chicago, IL

This unique beach is actually found in the city of Chicago on Lake Michigan. Not only enjoy sand between your toes but also a breathtaking city view when you visit Oak Street Beach. Found beneath Chicago’s towering Magnificent Mile skyscrapers, this urban beach is where Chicagoans go to find the sun in the Windy City. Head to Oak Street Beach for a summer event or just to escape city life.

Clinch Park Beach - Traverse City, MI Clinch Park Beach - Traverse City, MI
Credit: Clinch Park Beach - Traverse City, MI by Jess Clifton via Flickr

Clinch Park Beach - Traverse City, MI

Clinch Park Beach is a Lake Michigan oasis found in Traverse City. Traverse City is home to a number of beaches, however, Clinch Park Beach shouldn’t be missed. Within walking distance from downtown, visitors to this beach enjoy 1,500 feet of sandy shoreline. Swim, sail, fish or simply sunbathe here. Traverse City has often been referred to as the “Caribbean of the North,” and Clinch Park Beach is proof of that.

Lake Calhoun - Minneapolis, MN Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Credit: Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis by © James Kirkikis | Dreamstime.com

Lake Calhoun - Minneapolis, MN

Head to Lake Calhoun for a beach day in Minneapolis. This Minnesota city is home to 12 beaches, but being on the city’s largest lake, North Beach is a top-notch option for beach lovers. If you’re hoping to find a quiet beach, then look no further than North Beach. Guests to this Lake Calhoun beach also take advantage of the paved walking and biking trails here. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a day at Lake Calhoun, then head to the Tin Fish, a nearby restaurant serving fresh seafood.

Presque Isle Park - Marquette, MI Presque Isle Park, Marquette, MI
Credit: Presque Isle Park, Marquette, MI by © Steve Lagreca | Dreamstime.com

Presque Isle Park - Marquette, MI

This gorgeous beach is perfect for sunbathers and thrillseekers alike. Build a sand castle or cliff jump off the black rocks that line the beach. Presque Isle is a popular natural area visited all year round. With a number of hiking trails and beaches, Presque Isle Park offers outdoor recreation for visitors heading to Marquette, Michigan.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Empire, MI Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Credit: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore by © Oseland | Dreamstime.com

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Empire, MI

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore is a Midwest gem and is definitely one of the most scenic areas on this list. The park is home to 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. What really draws travelers to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore isn’t the shore necessarily but the dunes. The sand dunes here can rise to up to 450 feet tall. This outdoor oasis not only attracts beachgoers but also hikers and campers as well.

Kohler-Andrae State Park - Wilson, WI Kohler-Andrae State Park
Credit: Kohler-Andrae State Park by © Marynag | Dreamstime.com

Kohler-Andrae State Park - Wilson, WI

Another Lake Michigan gem is Kohler-Andrae State Park, which is home to over 100 campsites, miles of nature trails, breathtaking sand dunes, and of course a sandy shoreline. The beach at this state park is another Midwest spot that is popular in both summer and winter. During the hot summer months, guests here typically flock to the beach or the water, enjoying water sports and beach activities. However, during the winter, consider this state park for a snowshoe trek.

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