Sleeping Bear Dunes in Benzie County
The most beautiful place in America. A top national park for families. One of the best beaches in the world. That’s just a taste of what the media has called Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore over the years.
Here in Benzie County, we call it home.
The park’s sandy beaches stretch along Lake Michigan’s coast, while bluffs and dunes tower above the water. Forests, lakes, and rivers interconnect with miles of trails to immerse you in an unspoiled world full of beauty and tranquility.
There are a hundred ways to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes, but these are our favorites right here in Benzie County.
Otter Creek leads the way to Esch Beach in Honor. Perfect for family time, sunbathing, or rock hunting, Esch Beach gives you easy access to the blue waters of Lake Michigan.
A short drive down M-22 lands you at Peterson Beach, one of the most secluded beaches in the park. From the shore, you can spot Sleeping Bear Point and Empire Bluffs, and on a clear day, even South Manitou Island.
Platte River Point Beach is complete with parking, picnic areas, and restroom facilities, making it the perfect place to sit back and watch the waves for an afternoon of relaxation.
Platte Plains Trail offers nearly 15 miles of hiking, biking, and cross-country ski loops. The mostly flat terrain welcomes adventure seekers of all abilities.
A shorter walk in the woods can be found on the Old Indian Trail, with two loops each about 2.5 miles long. The trail leads through the dunes to Lake Michigan and is a popular trail even in the winter.
Turn back the clock with a hike to Boekeloo Lodge, a 100-year-old homestead cabin that stands beside a (former) cranberry bog. Today, you can peek in the windows for a taste of vacation life from when the cabin was last in use more than 50 years ago.
Tourists flocked to the Ken-Tuck-U-Inn from 1925 until the early 1960s, where the Sunday chicken dinners were legendary. Sit on the back porch or wander around the property (chicken coops and all!).