These Campgrounds in Michigan Are Perfect for Your Great Lakes Getaway

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View of Great Lakes Michigan near some of the campgrounds.

For stunning waterfront views and easy access to trails through untamed forests, don’t overlook the incredible campgrounds in Michigan. The western coastline of Michigan has towering sand dunes and glorious sunsets, but you’ll find other scenic woods and waterways throughout the state.

Sure, it gets bitterly cold in these parts, but it’s not oppressively hot in the summer. If you schedule your Midwestern getaway for the right season, you can beat the crowds and the heat.

What are the campgrounds in Michigan like? Let’s find out!

Why RV Camping in Michigan Is Awesome

If you haven’t been there, you may not realize how much waterfront property Michigan has. In fact, the state has more than 3,200 miles of coastline. That’s because water from almost all of the Great Lakes surrounds the state.

Michigan has vast areas of pristine forests, too, and sometimes just a few steps from shore. Additionally, many of the campgrounds in Michigan are nicely maintained and offer some room to spread out.

The most popular ones get crowded during the peak season, but others allow for some breathing room.

Whether you’re on the beach or back in the woods, you can encounter a dose of down-to-earth friendliness.

About the Great Lakes

Michigan and seven other states make up the Great Lakes Region. The five lakes are interconnected and provide a vital shipping link from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River.

We have Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. Collectively, they cover more than 94,000 square miles and contain 84% of all of the freshwater in North America.

Incredibly, parts of Michigan touch four of the five different Great Lakes — more than any other state. They have a major influence on daily life and tourism.

In fact, many campgrounds in Michigan border the shores of one of the Great Lakes.

When’s the Best Time for Camping in Michigan?

You have to shoot for late spring and early fall in most places to avoid overcrowding and brutally high temperatures. However, the summer months may be the best time to visit campgrounds in Michigan.

According to WeatherSpark, the average temperature is 72 degrees between late May and mid-September. 

The hottest month of July has an average high of 82 and a low of 62 in the interior of Michigan. And many of the places we recommend border a shoreline, with cooling breezes day and night.

The woodsy campgrounds in Michigan, away from the beaches, have the benefits of thick shade.

Woman walking at the Great Lakes near one of the campgrounds in Michigan.

What Is a Michigan Recreation Passport?

Some, but not all, of the best campgrounds in Michigan are in state parks. For entry, the state requires that you purchase an official Recreation Passport and affix it to your vehicle.

It’s a pass that gives you access to all state parks and rustic campgrounds, boat launches, and trails. A portion of the proceeds pays for improvements at the parks.

For state residents, it’s something you can automatically renew every year at the same time as your license plate registration.

For non-residents, you can pay $9 for a day pass or $34 for a year. The annual price is a better deal if you’ll visit several parks (which you definitely should do!)

Campgrounds on Lake Michigan

When researching campgrounds, we like to look at the ratings and reviews that other campers give them online.

Occasionally we run across what seems like an unfair rant, but many reviews are helpful. These are the highest-rated campgrounds on Lake Michigan, forming the state’s western coastline.

Pro Tip: Before visiting, make sure you’re prepared for camping in Michigan. Here’s everything you need to know about Michigan Camping!

1. Brevoort Lake Campground 

This sliver of paradise lies on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on a stretch of land that divides Brevoort Lake and Boedne Bay. It’s in Hiawatha National Forest, and the U.S. Forest Service manages the land. 

The campground has spacious, wooded, and waterfront sites for tents and RVs. It has drinking water and flush toilets but no amenities other than fire rings and tables.

The day-use area has a boat launch, and you can also rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats.

Kids kayaking at Great lakes near one of the campgrounds in Michigan

2. Eden Springs Park and Campground

In southwestern Michigan, about 50 miles from Kalamazoo, Eden Springs Park and Campground sits next to an old amusement park.

These days, the former House of David attraction has a new life as a historical park aimed at families. You can even catch a ride on the miniature trains that run through the property. 

The campground also has 42 full-hookup RV sites with heavy shade and grassy pads. They also have tent sites, cabins, and cottages for rent.

You can also use the bathroom and shower facility. Nearby you’ll find beaches of Lake Michigan, shopping opportunities, museums, and pick-your-own fruit farms.

3. Sandy Shores Campground

Farther up the shore, Sandy Shores Campground is celebrating 40 years in business. Their successful enterprise includes a sand beach on Silver Lake and camping in the shade of 100-ftl old-growth hardwoods.

It has a playground and a swimming pool, too. Plus, it has 212 RV sites with full or partial hookups and some pull-through sites.

Extras include free Wi-Fi, a laundry room, volleyball and basketball courts, and a general store.

“What a beautiful, cozy place,” a Tripadvisor user commented. “The beach is beautiful and not crowded at all.”

Keep in Mind: Looking to rent an RV in Michigan? Check out this article the Best RV Rentals in the state!

The Best Michigan State Park Campgrounds

You can put your Recreation Pass to good use by visiting these three top-rated state parks. Based on our research, these park campgrounds in Michigan stand out from around 100 parks across the state.

4. Traverse City State Park Campground

On a map, Michigan looks like a mitten, putting Traverse City between the pinky and the ring finger. Here you’ll camp in a more urban setting along Grand Traverse Bay off Lake Michigan.

Traverse City State Park Campground has a quarter-mile of sand beach, a swimming area, and a modern campground with three separate loops. 

It has 343 RV sites with electricity and an on-site water and dump station. Additionally, you can use the clean bathrooms and showers.

It’s convenient to State Highway 31 and sits directly on the 10.5-mile TART Trail, a popular Rails-to-Trails path.

5. Warren Dunes State Park Campground

South of St. Joseph in southwestern Michigan, you’ll find Warren Dunes State Park Campground.

This park has 3 miles of shoreline and 6 miles of hiking trails. One of them leads right up to the 260-ft dune called Mt. Randall, which offers spectacular views over Lake Michigan. 

The park has two campgrounds with 219 sites, some with full hookups but most with partial. A reviewer on Campendium called it a “quiet and spacious” place and said the sunsets alone were worth the trip.

Additionally, it has playgrounds, pavilions, bathhouses, and a swimming beach.

Warren Dunes state park, with two campgrounds in Michigan

6. Sleeper State Park

This one’s up on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay in northeastern Michigan. Sleeper State Park has a mile of sandy shoreline, dunes, forest, and wetlands. Two rivers also run through it.

Anglers love these waters for various fish, including walleye, perch, lake trout, and salmon. You can enjoy both the sunrise and sunset from certain locations in the park, and it has 226 campsites with electrical service.

They also have canvas-walled tents for rent. The park sits across the road from the lake, but it has a pedestrian overpass.

The Overall Best RV Parks for Michigan Camping

Google is one of a handful of our go-to resources for user reviews and ratings. According to Google users like us, these are the best campgrounds in Michigan.

These ratings are just a little bit shy of the full five stars!

7. Sleeping Bear Dunes-Platte River Campground

Sleeping Bear Dunes lies on the state’s northwest shore and boasts a 4.8-star rating on Google.

It has sand dunes and the 400-ft Pyramid Point. It’s a National Lakeshore spread across two islands, North Manitou and South Manitou.

Activities include swimming, fishing, climbing the dunes, and hiking through forests studded with maple and beech trees. The National Park Service’s Platte River Campground has 179 sites, all with electrical service. It has both back-in and pull-through campsites.

For the more adventurous, you can also stay in the backcountry campground!

Sleeping Bear Dunes, one of the campgrounds in Michigan

8. Ludington State Park and Campgrounds

Ludington State Park Campground also holds a 4.8-star rating on Google. You can easily get to the iconic Big Sable Lighthouse by using the 1.8-mile walking and biking path. It’s one of many attractions at this state park with 7 miles of sandy shoreline on Lake Michigan. 

“It’s a very large park and a wonderful place to explore, walk, camp, fish, kayak, launch a boat, etc.,” says one reviewer in a Google review.

“I like being able to walk over the river dam. There are many wood bridges to walk and many boardwalks.” Ludington State Park has several campgrounds with 360 sites with partial hookups.

9. Waffle Farm Campgrounds

Waffle Farm Campground holds a 4.6-star rating on Google. There’s plenty of water inland, too. The area of south-central Michigan has numerous lakes.

Fishing and other water recreation draw many people, as does the city of Coldwater’s quaint downtown shopping district. 

The campground, which has two sections, has around 400 campsites. Some are primitive, while others have full or partial hookups.

At the main camping area, you’ll find three restrooms, two playgrounds, and a larger boat launch. Other amenities include a swimming beach and courts for basketball and volleyball.

Book These Campgrounds in Michigan for Your Next Adventure 

As online opinions from experienced campers illustrate, many campgrounds in Michigan deserve their stellar reputations.

You may love the ones we’ve highlighted, but you may also find many others. Michigan is a big state with lots to do. Besides the huge range of outdoor experiences, the state offers many family-friendly activities and attractions.

Are you ready to hit the water? Make your plans now for a memorable Michigan getaway!

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