Lake Michigan is known for its expansive shoreline and cooling waters. During the warmer months, beach days are a staple. Anyone who knows Michigan’s lakes and weather will know that it will vary hour by hour and day by day. Remember to keep that in mind when planning your trip!


When is the best time to go swimming in Lake Michigan? Summer is undoubtedly the best time as the air warms up, the sun shines brightly, and the water temperatures reach the mid-70s. For Michigan lakeshore towns like South Haven and Saugatuck/Douglas, Summer is the prime tourist season so be prepared for crowds. We recommend getting to the beach earlier in the day or later in the afternoon/early evening. If lounging in the sand and swimming in the lake isn’t ideal, many lakeshore businesses offer rentals for bikes, boats, kayaks, beach supplies, and more. Check out our Fun in the Sun blog for places offering rentals in Saugatuck and South Haven.


While summer is the perfect time for swimming, beach days are still fun during the other seasons. Grab some coffee or food from a local restaurant and have a picnic, take a stroll along the waterfront and take in the scenic views, kick back and relax with a good book while listening to the waves, or play some beach games. During the colder months, bring a camera to capture the beautiful fall color and ice formations. There are lots of things to do in town as well. 


Is it okay to go swimming during the other season? It depends on your tolerance to colder water. In the early spring, the water temperature is about 32-45 degrees and increases to about 50-60 degrees in the later spring. The water temperature ranges from 60-70 degrees in early fall and drops to around 50 degrees by late fall. We highly recommend staying out of the water in winter with water temperatures ranging from 32-35 degrees. Should you choose to visit the lake shore during the colder months, dress accordingly. 


We want everyone to enjoy their beach day and trip to the lakeshore but it’s important to be safe! In our Beach Safety blog, we discuss beach safety tips so the fun can keep on going. Make sure to give it a read before heading out to the beach. 

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