Along the shores of Lake Michigan lies a 1,952-acre park featuring a treasure trove of recreational opportunities. Sand, water, and vacation-ready vibes make this hidden gem the ultimate getaway.
Warren Dunes State Park is a haven for lake lovers. The park offers six miles of hiking trails, three miles of shoreline, and a 260-foot high dune that provides a beautiful view as well as a great place for hang gliding. This park is a great place to bring Fido, too, as it has a special dog beach for your four-legged friends. If swimming isn’t your forte, you can rent kayaks for $25.00 an hour.
Weko Beach Campground
Weko Beach Park & Campground offers 900 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline, 43 developed campsites, and six log cabins. The campground has a boardwalk and boat launch, and even offers hay rides for kids (or kids at heart). Weko Beach stretches right into Warren Dunes, so you will be right next to all of the activities the park has to offer. In the summer, the beach hosts live music performances near the snack bar. The park only takes reservations for their cabins, so make sure to get there early, and plan accordingly if you’re visiting during a weekend—you must stay a minimum of two nights.
Mikey's Drive In
The quaint white and orange building located right near Warren Dunes, Mikey’s Drive In is a great place to grab some grub after a long day of adventures. Whether you order a frosted mug of ice-cold root beer, a juicy burger, or crispy fries, you’ll surely hate to see your meal come to an end! The restaurant allows you to either order from your car and get your food delivered by a carhop, or to have a more traditional sit-down dinner in the dining room. Make sure to save room for a slice of delectable, homemade pie after your meal!
Grand Mere State Park, lies along one mile of grand Lake Michigan shoreline. The park is known for sweeping sand dunes, deep blowouts, and three inland lakes that are hidden in the undeveloped natural area. If you’re beach bound, be ready for a hike: There’s only one path that leads there, and it takes about 15 minutes to walk. It’s worth it, though—the beach is absolutely stunning. This park is a great escape from Warren Dunes, too, as it’s less crowded and a bit more wild.
Grande Mere Inn
Owned and operated by the same family for more than 30 years, the Grand Mere Inn is a great place to get a fancy dinner during your trip. The food is all locally sourced and features items from local wineries and breweries, local cheeses, and even farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. And that view! The cottage-style dining room is located on Covert Ridge, overlooking Lake Michigan, so get ready to see the beautiful sunset over the lake. On clear nights you can even see the lights of Chicago!
Within southern Lake Michigan, hidden gems are just waiting to be discovered: everything from an old-fashioned drive-in to rolling sand dunes to unusual converted barns. It’s the perfect destination for an epic road trip.
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