Discover Michigan in summer when the livin' is easy -- with 3,200 miles of shoreline, 11,000 inland lakes, sandy beaches and fishing piers that help make the state a fun outdoor playground.
Although Michigan is surrounded by three of the Great Lakes (Lake Huron and Lake Erie to the east, and Lake Michigan to the West) most insiders will tell you to head west for the Lake Michigan beaches where the waters are clearer.
The tour ends at the state's cool northern wilds with the mother of all Michigan beaches, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore featuring 35 miles of sandy beaches and dunes including North and South Manitou Islands.
Just up ahead, check out more information on finding your place in the sun at top sites offering guides on how to laze the summer days away at beach resorts and summer communities throughout the Great Lakes State.
Morning mist along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan.
What's the weather like today? Michigan beach webcams
• Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States.
• The sand dunes located on Lake Michigan make up the largest freshwater dune system in the world. Keeping it all together is the familiar beach grass which grows a mat-like network of roots underneath the sand. This also allows other plants to grow and take root in the shifting dunes. The scientific name for beach grass is ammophila, from the Greek for "loves to grow in sand."
• The turn of the century and the Age of the Automobile paved the way for the famed West Michigan Pike, which allowed tourists for the first time to go beach hopping along Michigan's western shore.
• Michigan tops the list for having the most lighthouses of any US state. Although numbering more than 240, today most of the state's lighthouses serve as historic sites, museums, and even bed & breakfast accommodation.
More about Michigan beaches around the Web:
Holland Convention & Visitors Bureau - Beaches - Check out an overview of Tunnel Park, Holland State Park, Laketown Beach and more with resources to further information on amenities, location, contact details and driving directions.
Southwestern Michigan Beaches - Get acquainted with the beach communities of St. Joseph and the southwestern region with maps and directions, a summer event calendar, and nearby attractions.