It’s quite unfortunate that Benton Harbor has been getting some bad rep in the news lately. What should be a cool little town on the shores of Lake Michigan is a place of many controversies these days. All that being aside, there are some truly amazing Benton Harbor beaches around town.
Maybe if everyone spent more time on the beach people would be more relaxed and the situation would be better. We wish it would be this simple to solve the issues and while it is not that simple we do have some great beach recommendations around Benton Harbor.
This stretch of Lake Michigan has some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Lots of sandy beaches with sand dunes lining the coast. Light vegetation and tons of space for everyone. This is what you can expect from the beaches in this area.
We hope that by the time you read these tips, the situation in town is better and you get to enjoy a perfect vacation in Benton Harbor.
Jean Klock Park
Distance: 5 mins
Jean Klock Park is the local park right on the Michigan lakeside. It’s an extensive park with not only a beach but plenty of other fun activities like a volleyball court.
This is an expansive sandy beach that provides picturesque views over the lake. If you were to take a photo you could not tell that it’s on Lake Michigan and not on the oceanside.
As far as amenities go you have your standard beach restroom and that’s pretty much it. There are no lifeguards but luckily the shore is quite forgiving so if you are careful you probably won’t get into any trouble. If you are not a good swimmer then take extra care due to having no lifeguards.
We loved the beauty of the place and the convenience. It’s right next to the downtown area so access is super easy.
Distance: 8 mins
Tiscornia Park has a beautiful beach in Benton Harbor. The views here are picturesque regardless of the weather. There is a huge pier going into the lake with a lighthouse at the very end.
During summer you can enjoy the warm breeze, the sandy shore, and the gentle waves. In autumn and spring, you may find some more interesting weather and harsher waves. These conditions will create dramatic effects as the waves crash onto the lighthouse.
When winter rolls around the landscape transforms into its most dramatic shelf. It’s not uncommon for the pier to partly or even completely freeze. There have been cases when the whole lighthouse became a big block of ice due to winter weather.
This park is a popular option for beachgoers and during summer it does get pretty crowded.
Rocky Gap Park
Distance: 5 mins
This idyllic beach offers up a mixture of sandy shores, scattered rocks, and shaded spots to rest and relax while taking in the picturesque views. Parking is pretty limited so we recommend getting here early.
The shore is also good for swimming if the weather allows it. Sometimes the waves do get high but in typical summer weather, it should be a good place to relax.
This beach is one of the not-crowded picks on the list so if you want to avoid the big crowds you should definitely check it out.
Distance: 7 mins
Silver Beach is one of the most popular among the Benton Harbor beaches. It’s a fully equipped sandy beach that can accommodate the crowds that are seeking refuge from the summer heat.
The sandy shore is beautiful and it is overlooking the lighthouse so the views are pretty. There are a set of dunes behind the beach which separates the area nicely from the residential areas just down the road.
There is ample parking but still, we would advise arriving early if it’s the height of the beach season. There are restaurants, restrooms, a playground, splash pads, and plenty of space to sit and relax. This is without question the most equipped beach in the area and one of the best.
Lions Park Beach
Distance: 10 mins
Lions Park Beach is an uncrowded option with paid parking down the coast from Silver Beach. We do note though that his beach is definitely not the best for swimming in Lake Michigan. There is a water filtration plant right next to the beach so water quality is questionable at best.
It is however still a great place to walk around, have a picnic, and enjoy the scenery. Too bad the paid parking keeps most people away but it is what it is.
Hagar Park Beach
Distance: 10 mins
Hara Park Beach is the place to go if you want to avoid crowds but still swim and enjoy a picturesque sandy beach. This park is located between residential areas so it has quite a rural feeling.
The yellow sand and gentle waves make it a good option for families who are looking for some private time. It’s actually one of the larger beaches in the area. Combine that with the low number of people visiting and you have a nice and spacious beach where everyone can sit and enjoy the sun comfortably.
Warren Dunes State Park
Distance: 25 mins
Finally, we have one of the most rustic and beautiful beaches in this area. As the name suggests this one is not merely a beach but a state park so the wonderful scenery is a guarantee.
It has huge parking so this one can accommodate the crowds that flock here during the summer. The beach is fine yellow sand with gentle waves. Families absolutely love this place.
If you are bored of swimming you can take on the dunes nearby and make some epic memories as you scale them for the overlook views. Once you climb the dune and come down you’ll surely be ready for more swimming in the summer heat!