Sleeping Bear Point, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
Pure freshwater and 450-foot bluffs mean eyes-open swimming and vast views over Lake Michigan. Walk from the former Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station, now a maritime museum, or along the Sleeping Bear Point Trail over low-lying dunes to the beach. In the distance look for North and South Manitou Islands, prime spots for hiking and camping.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau and Benzie counties near Empire, Michigan. The park covers a 35-mile-long (56 km) stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou islands. This Northern Michigan park was established primarily because of its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. The lakeshore also contains many cultural features including the 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former stations of the Coast Guard (formerly the Life-Saving Service) and an extensive rural historic farm district. In 2011, the area won the title of “The Most Beautiful Place in America” from Good Morning America. In 2014, a section of the park was named the Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness by the United States Congress.