Anya Zentmeyer

With the temperature rising alongside the summer sunshine, students at Grand Valley State University have no better place to turn to for some relief from the heat than one of many Lake Michigan beaches. From bustling beach towns to quiet shoreline getaways, the Lanthorn has highlighted some of the best beaches near GVSU’s Allendale Campus.


Rosy Mound Natural Area

13925 Lakeshore Dr., Grand Haven, Mich. 49417

If you’re looking for a little bit of sweat-equity, the 0.7 mile hike from Rosy Mound’s parking area to the Lake Michigan shoreline is well worth the trek, which includes 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the Great Lakes dune blowout there, along the Lake Michigan shoreline. With 164 acres of land complete with a boardwalk trail throughout the dunes, this natural area offers a little bit of solitude during the busy beach season.

Distance from GVSU: 20.3 mi (about 35 mins)


Grand Haven City Beach

Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, Mich. 49417

Grand Haven, one of Michigan’s most popular beaches, is not only good for catching quality rays on the shoreline, but is known for its host of lively outdoor recreation, including shops and eateries in its downtown area, a number of festivals and events, its boardwalk and piers as well as its lighthouses — not to mention the world’s largest musical fountain.

Distance from GVSU: 23.4 mi (about 38 mins)


Kirk Park

9791 Lakeshore Dr., West Olive, Mich. 49460

With acres of dunes, woods and a sandy beach along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Kirk Park is good for the active among us, offering beach-goers a swimming beach, hiking trails with scenic dune overlooks, a covered pavilion and a playground for the little ones.

Distance from GVSU: 19.7 mi (about 38 mins)


Holland State Park

2215 Ottawa Beach Rd., Holland, Mich. 49424

For those who want more than just a day at the beach, Holland State Park is a great place to start. The Lake Macatawa campground offers up 211 traditional campsites while the Beach Campground hosts 98 paved campsites, with 31 of those equipped for full hook-ups, tucked away between sand dunes. Both Lake Macatawa and Beach Campground sites are within 50 feet of shoreline swimming.

Distance from GVSU: 25.9 mi (about 52 mins)

**Information from and