Is the Michigan summer open road taking you to Mackinac Island or just into the Upper Peninsula and St. Ignace? If so, take some time to drive westbound U.S. Route 2, one of the major east-west drives in the U.P. Once you are about ten miles off I-75 and the Mackinac Bridge you will find yourself along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
You will be on a part of the official Lake Michigan Circle Tour. For miles and miles it will be just lake, beach, sand dunes and brush straight ahead. The brush along the road is narrow, along with the beach that snugs the northern shore of the Great Lake.
There are plenty of places to park the car alongside the road to walk the beach. Despite being here in the middle of the summer, I had the scenery all to myself.
Well without further ado, some more pics of my time out on the open road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan:
What lake side drives are your favorites? Any in Michigan?
A while back I got in the car in the dark and road-tripped a couple of hours to Hoffmaster State Park on the West Side of Michigan. I arrived on the parks Lake Michigan beach about an hour after sunrise.
Why the early start to the day? The pictures say it all. Warm it was not so I had the state parks three miles of beach along the Great Lake all to myself. I hung out with the sand dunes, blue sky and cold Lake Michigan waters as I walked. 🙂
Where else in Michigan would you recommend going for an early morning beach walk along Lake Michigan?
Standing up-top the sand dunes and staring out at the pier, the lighthouses and Lake Michigan in Grand Haven is my favorite spot in all of Pure Michigan. Each time I’m there I also walk the pier to its end passing by both lighthouses. While walking I always see people on the pier across the Grand River Channel fishing or walking.
With all the time I’ve been in Grand Haven I’ve never been over there. On recent road trip along the Lake Michigan coast I was hanging out at North Beach Park just north of town. I said to myself, now is my chance.
I took the short stroll down N. Shore Rd to North Shore Fisherman’s Pier. Immediately after parking in the small lot I was on the pier heading towards the small North Pierhead Inner Light. Low and behold there were fisherman and visitors walking the pier.
As I walked I looked over to the other side of the channel and it was cool to see everything from a different perspective from the dunes and the catwalk to the pier and two lighthouses.
It was a sunny day, but very windy. The waves were crashing onto the pier. People were stopping about half way down, myself included.
Despite that, it was a memorable walk because I finally got to see the Grand Haven Lighthouse and pier from the “other” side!
Tip: It’s a quick twenty minute drive to get here from the other side of the channel and downtown Grand Haven. While you’re there stop at nearby North Beach Park and the North Ottawa Dunes and make an afternoon out of it.
Up until now I had only been in South Haven, Michigan around sunset. This always made for beautiful and romantic views looking west out into Lake Michigan. On a recent day road trip though I set out to see what the area looked like during the day with the sun shining.
I made the trek towards the shoreline and South Beach just outside of downtown. A recommended place to capture the scene is from up in the hills overlooking everything on Monroe Boulevard. It was time to get out on the open path towards the edge of the hill soon seeing…
…the dunes, brush, beach and the blue, vast Lake Michigan. Off in the distance sat the pier and South Haven South Pierhead Light.
I found myself capturing all of the same photos as before except to sunny skies and daylight. It was great getting a different perspective seeing more of the color of the sand, lighthouse and water. When here at sunset the sky always seems to dominate color-wise. 🙂
Anyone for a romantic picnic with those views on the sand and sometimes even in the lakes waters?!
Back up top the hill, you’ll find additional romantic opportunities on the park benches lining the street.
It was now time to walk the pier, under and along the catwalk towards the red lighthouse.
On the pier I continuously looking forward and behind. There is just something about walking and hanging out along the lake, with the sound of the water that relaxes you. Not seeing land on the other side makes me think I’m in a place far-far away along the ocean. 🙂
It was a fun afternoon checking out the South Haven lakeshore for the first time by day. Who knows what time of day, the year and what the weather will be like next time I come this way. Maybe it will give me an additional perspective of this scenic spot.
Checkout the post about my time here at sunset, also detailing more information about the lighthouse, catwalk and area: A Lake Michigan Lighthouse and Sunset in South Haven.
What beaches and town shorelines would you recommend checking out along Lake Michigan? Anywhere?
A while back I took a day trip over to Ludington in Michigan to capture the sunset. I watched the sun go down into Lake Michigan from Ludington State Park. Brush, sand dunes and other photographers added to the beautiful scenery of the evening.