Lake Michigan doesn’t get a lot of press, but that leaves more space for those of us ‘in the know’ to enjoy this Midwestern gem. As the largest lake located entirely within one country, Lake Michigan’s coastline provides ample opportunities to spend time by the water and bask in the incredible ocean-like views. Want to experience Lake Michigan for yourself? These four state parks along the Midwest Coast offer plenty of opportunities!
Kohler-Andrae State Park is actually a combination of two state parks that are jointly managed. It is famous for its sandy dunes as well as being one of the best places to surf near Milwaukee. When the wind is right, Lake Michigan’s waves become a surfer’s paradise that are as fun to watch from the shore as they are to ride!
Harrington Beach State Park is a great place to visit if you’re looking for day trips from Milwaukee. It is just about an hour’s drive north but feels like the heart of the northwoods. In addition to breathtaking lake views, the park has trails that wind through forest, prairie, and even around a quarry lake. It is also a great place to see fall colors near Milwaukee!
A visit to Lakeshore State Park is the perfect way to experience nature in Milwaukee. The park is conveniently located near the entrance to the Henry Maier Festival Park (where Summerfest takes place) and has free admission. Its trails are great for walking or biking, but it can also be enjoyed by water if you bring a kayak or motorized boat!
What Illinois’s coastline lacks in length, it makes up for in quality. Illinois Beach State Park is a great day trip from either Milwaukee or Chicago and has extensive lakeside frontage. It is also one of the best beaches near Chicago if you are looking to enjoy a lake day! Unlike most of Wisconsin’s state parks, this one has no admission fees.