Plan Your Traverse City Beach Day

Traverse City, Michigan, offers several excellent beaches that are perfect for families. We’ve compiled a list of locations, tips and activities to make it the best beach day ever!

Summer and beach days just go together! And if you’re looking for summer fun close to home, Traverse City, Michigan, has some great beaches for you to explore. 

We’ve compiled a list of 10 beaches in Traverse City, plus some ideas on how to make the most of your trip. Pack up the sunscreen, gather the kids and get ready for a great Traverse City beach day!

Traverse City beach day Clint Park Beach
Photo credit: Traverse City Tourism

1. Clinch Park Beach

  • Location: Near downtown Traverse City.
  • Features: Shallow, clear water perfect for kids, a large playground with a splash pad, restrooms, picnic areas and a concession stand.
  • Activities: Swimming, sunbathing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

2. Bryant Park Beach

  • Location: East Bay, north of downtown.
  • Features: Shaded picnic areas, restrooms, a playground and a sandy beach with shallow water.
  • Activities: Swimming, picnicking and playing on the playground.

3. West End Beach

Traverse City beach day - West End Beach

  • Location: West Grand Traverse Bay.
  • Features: A sandy beach, volleyball courts, picnic tables and restrooms.
  • Activities: Swimming, beach volleyball and walking along the TART Trail.

4. East Bay Park

Traverse City Beach Day - East Bay Park
Photo credit: Traverse City Tourism

  • Location: East Grand Traverse Bay.
  • Features: A shallow swimming area, a playground, picnic areas and restrooms.
  • Activities: Swimming, building sandcastles and picnicking.

5. North Bar Lake Beach

  • Location: Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City, Michigan.
  • Features: With a small outlet to Lake Michigan, the shallow, sandy-bottomed water is warmer, making this a good choice for families with small children.
  • Activities: Hiking, swimming and scenic overlooks.

6. Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park

  • Location: East Bay, about two miles from downtown.
  • Features: A large sandy beach, a playground, restrooms and picnic areas. Ample parking.
  • Activities: Swimming, hiking and camping.

7. Haserot Beach

Traverse City beach day - Haserot Beach
Photo credit: Traverse City Tourism

  • Location: Old Mission Peninsula.
  • Features: A quieter, more secluded beach with clear water, restrooms and picnic tables.
  • Activities: Swimming, picnicking and enjoying the serene environment.

8. Bayside Park

  • Location: Acme, just outside of Traverse City.
  • Features: A sandy beach, a splash pad, playground, picnic areas and restrooms.
  • Activities: Swimming, playing on the splash pad and picnicking.

9. Suttons Bay Beach

  • Location: Suttons Bay, a short drive from Traverse City.
  • Features: A sandy beach, restrooms, a playground and picnic areas.
  • Activities: Swimming, exploring the nearby village and enjoying the playground.

10. Old Mission Lighthouse Park

  • Location: End of Old Mission Peninsula.
  • Features: A beach with a historical lighthouse, picnic areas, restrooms and hiking trails. The shallow water makes it perfect for wading.
  • Activities: Exploring the lighthouse, swimming and hiking.

Looking for some extra fun on your Traverse City beach day? Check out these summer favorites!

1. Sports adventure on the water

Rent paddle boards or kayaks for a day of fun on the water. Traverse City offers calm bays that are perfect for beginners and families. You can also rent jet skis for some high-speed fun. Ensure everyone wears life jackets and take breaks to swim!

Traverse City Beach
Photo Credit: Traverse City Tourism

2. Beachside BBQ and games

Visit one of the public parks like Clinch Park Beach, which offers grills and picnic areas. Bring along your favorite BBQ items and enjoy a cookout right by the beach. Don’t forget to pack games like beach volleyball, frisbee and paddle ball for some active family fun.

3. Scenic bike ride and beach exploration

Traverse City has excellent bike paths that run along the water. Rent bikes for the whole family and enjoy a scenic ride to various beaches around the area. Each stop can include a swim, a game of beach volleyball, or a mini beach picnic. This is a great way to see multiple beautiful spots in one day.

Traverse City Beach
Photo Credit: Traverse City Tourism

4. Educational beach and nature walk

Combine fun with learning by exploring the nearby dunes and nature trails. One local favorite is the nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which offers both beach access and educational opportunities. For example, the whole family can learn about the unique ecosystem of the dunes before jumping in the refreshing water.

Your Traverse City beach day can be whatever you make it — the possibilities are endless. Give our suggestions a try and remember, life’s a beach!

For more information and to play your trip to Traverse City, visit

Jenny Kales
Jenny Kales
Content editor Jenny Kales has been in the business of writing for more than 20 years. A natural storyteller, she loves helping Metro Parent clients tell their stories in a way that resonates with their audiences.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


This Metro Detroit Duo Just Won HGTV’s ‘Battle on the Beach’

Meet Sam and Sean Kilgore, Richmond's proud parents and recent winners of HGTV's "Battle on the Beach" Season 4.

These Are The Hardest AP Classes To Pass

Discover the 10 toughest AP exams by pass rate, revealing challenges and surprises for high school students striving for college credit.

Discover the Most Fun Playgrounds in Royal Oak

Explore Royal Oak’s best playgrounds, perfect for family outings with fun climbing structures, swings and more for kids of all ages.

- Advertisement -