Where to Go Camping in Michigan

Michigan is full of stunning outdoor spots to camp with the family
Michigan is full of stunning outdoor spots to camp with the family | © Dennis MacDonald / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Frank Lopez
Writer10 August 2020

Michigan is a state that’s proud of its great outdoors, particularly its lakes and the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds them. Whether you want to swim in a river, go on a family vacation or escape city life, Michigan is the perfect place for your US camping adventures, and these spots are among the best.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Natural Feature
Map View
The overlook, 450 feet above Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Lake Michigan, USA
© Sunpix Travel / Alamy Stock Photo
Along Lake Michigan’s 37mi (60km) of eastern coastline, you will find the most incredible stretch of land. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore contains maple forests and many beaches with glorious dunes to climb and explore. There are also historic sites and museums for those who wish to learn more about the local history. With clearly marked hikes, this is one for those who love a rugged ramble. The Scenic Drive Trail is certainly one to take on as the sun is going down, and there are even two islands surrounded by sparkling waters to discover.

Sleepy Hollow State Park

Natural Feature
Map View

If you are searching for the peace and tranquility of pristine nature, Sleepy Hollow does exactly what it says on the tin. A large lake sits in the middle of this 2,600-acre (1,052-ha) park, where there are more than 200 species of bird to spy on, as well as the more common activities such as kayaking and canoeing. From here, you can enjoy the water or take advantage of the abundance of fish that can be caught. The sites are family-friendly with children’s playgrounds, and they have the comforts of electricity and cement slabs.

Ludington State Park

Natural Feature, Park
Map View
Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park. This is a popular lighthouse on Lake Michigan, available for tours
© Craig Sterken / Alamy Stock Photo
For those who love their summers at the beach, this park contains sand dunes and the locally admired Big Sable Point Lighthouse, as well as hikes through wetlands and forests along the lake’s picturesque coastline. There are many options for camping, with some spots offering electricity and showers, so it really is up to you as to how rustic you want your trip to be. Camping close to the Lake Michigan swim area is a good bet if you don’t wish to be too far from the action. Without a doubt, this is a fun family choice.

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  • Traverse City State Park

    Camping
    Map View
    Traverse City State Park is a 47-acre (19-ha) park on the southern shoreline of the East Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan, which really concentrates itself on being a campground. Its beach area is focused around a playground and picnic area, and with over 300 campsites, all containing electricity, this is a solid bet for an easy weekend trip, with the added benefit of being close to Traverse City. For those who enjoy a good cycle, the TART bike trail also leads you into town and across a well-ridden path to adventure.

    Wa Wen Camp Resort on Drummond Island

    Camping, Cabin
    Map View

    Accessible by ferry, this island on the coast of Lake Huron has a campsite offering comforts that others may not. There is the luxury of a heated pool, wifi, satellite TV and a basketball court. You can also try scuba diving, where you can search for hidden shipwrecks. Many also choose to rent a pontoon. Fitted with a GPS, it allows you to sail far from the site to reach your ideal fishing spot, or to find your own remote position to enjoy the sunset.

    Lake Superior State Forest Campground

    Camping
    Map View
    Isle Royal National Park on Lake Superior in Michigan Upper Peninsula provides recreational activities like camping and hiking
    © Dennis MacDonald / Alamy Stock Photo
    On the coast of Lake Superior lies a lesser-known campground that offers peace and seclusion right on the water. From there you can launch a boat straight onto the lake. This camp offers an intimate escape that other camps cannot, but it can also still accommodate the largest of motorhomes. Its location is close enough to reach the Paradise and Newberry areas with ease, both of which are very popular with tourists. If you want to get away for a hike or stargaze in the ultimate rustic setting, this is the site for you.
    These recommendations were updated on August 10, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.