Best Great Lake Beaches for a Summer Vacation

The Great Lakes straddle the border of the United States and Canada, providing a summer vacation destination for millions of people each year.

Five different lakes give you access to hundreds of miles of beaches to enjoy in both countries.


Although any beach with your loved ones is a perfect place to be, these destinations are the best options that the Great Lakes has to offer.

List of the Best Great Lake Beaches

1. Oval Beach – Saugatuck, MI

This beautiful beach gives you access to pristine waters, yellow sand, and plenty of sunshine. Lots of activities are here to enjoy, including kayaking, sport fishing, and paddleboat rides. You can explore the dunes at your leisure or head into town to enjoy some homemade treats. 

2. Ohio Street Beach – Chicago, IL

The skyscrapers of downtown Chicago stand tall in the background when you visit this gorgeous metropolitan beach. You might be in the heart of the city, but this destination is a quiet paradise. It sits adjacent to Milton Lee Olive Park, giving everyone lots of chances to wander and explore.

3. Sauble Beach – Sauble Beach, Ontario

Life is slow in this peaceful Canadian community. It is on the Bruce Peninsula, providing you with seven miles of warm, shallow water to enjoy. The color of the Great Lakes here is almost emerald, with soft sands under your feet offering the perfect experience. You’ll want to hang around to enjoy the sunset!

4. Presque Isle State Park – Erie, PA

The arching peninsula that makes up this protected area gives you a total of 13 beaches from which to choose. Each one is numbered – and all of the locals have a favorite that they prefer. The waves on the Great Lakes tend to be bigger than those at most of the other beaches, creating something that feels closer to the ocean.

5. Big Bay State Park – Madeline Island, WI

The Apostle Islands are one of the best attractions that Wisconsin offers. You can find sea caves, a beautiful backcountry, and quiet beaches awaiting your arrival. It takes a 20-minute ferry ride to access the state park, and then you are on your own to start exploring! Overnight camping is always a great experience here.


The best Great Lake beaches are the perfect destination for a summer vacation. Pack your bathing suit, grab some comfortable shoes, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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