Best Beaches in Leelanau County

Top 5 Beaches in Leelanau County

Pristine water, sandy beaches, and gorgeous views are just a few reasons visitors choose northern Michigan as their vacation destination year-round. From swimming in the warm summer months to hiking and enjoying the scenery in the winter, there’s always an adventure waiting around the corner.

Dive in with our team at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge to learn more about the top beaches in Leelanau County:



Named one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore holds a special place in our hearts. With 111 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of room to explore. Located in Empire, MI, Sleeping Bear Dunes has plenty of spots to hike, sunbathe, and explore. All beaches located within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore require a park pass, which you can purchase at the visitor center or at the kiosks located at the dune climb or Pierce Stocking Drive.

Since we couldn’t pick just one of the many beautiful beaches in the area of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, here are our top-recommended spots:

  • Platte River Point
  • Peterson Beach
  • Esch Beach
  • North Bar Lake
  • Glen Haven Beach



Located in Empire, MI, Village Park is a great spot to relax and unwind. With an incredibly friendly atmosphere, it’s a great place to bring your family and pets for an enjoyable day. During the winter you can explore the frozen waves and ice caves. There are pavilions, outdoor grills, fire pits, restrooms, and a playground to keep everyone entertained. This beach also has an inland lake right behind it where the water is warmer and the waves are calmer. Ultimately, this beach is great for a quick beach visit or wintertime adventure.

Entry/Parking Fee: Yes
Address: 10484 Niagara St., Empire, MI 49630



This long and sandy beach located in Glen Arbor, just up the coast from Sleeping Bear Dunes, offers magnificent views of North and South Manitou Islands. It is pristine, family friendly, and close enough to downtown Glen Arbor that dinner or a post-beach treat is just a few miles away. There’s also a picnic area, restrooms, and carry-in boat access.

Entry/Parking Fee: Sleeping Bear Park Pass Required
Address: Good Harbor Trail, Glen Arbor, MI, 49636



Located in Leland, MI, just a few miles up the coast from Good Harbor, Van’s Beach is a hidden gem for a relaxing afternoon. With gorgeous crystal-clear blue water, beautiful views, and sandy beaches this spot is perfect to spend your day hunting for Petoskey or Leland blue stones in the sunshine. Van’s Beach is also a great spot to view gorgeous sunsets that are different but equally as beautiful each evening.

Entry/Parking Fee: No
Address: 205 Cedar St., Leland, MI 49654



Grab your paddleboard and head to Suttons Bay Municipal Beach for an exciting beach day. More populated than some of the other beach locations, this beach is located incredibly close to downtown Suttons Bay if you’re looking to spend your morning in the sun and your afternoon exploring the unique, locally-owned shops nearby. Suttons Bay Municipal Beach is also a great place to ride bikes, as it connects to the TART Trail.

Entry/Parking Fee: No (local city parking)
Address: 416 Front St., Suttons Bay, MI 49682


As a four-season destination, Leelanau County is the perfect location for your next vacation. Adventure and explore the beauty of Leelanau County when you stay at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge.

View our online accommodation options and give us a call (800) 930-3008 or book your room online today.