Running in a sandy arc from Traverse City’s Open Space a mile west to M-72, West End Beach has long provided a measure of Traverse City's summer vital signs. Locals and visitors stake out space on shore, while boaters anchor nearby, creating a boat-to-shore social scene. The region’s most active volleyball action fires up here as well, with the fit and oiled competing nearly every evening all summer long. An easy walk to downtown delivers T.C.’s restaurants, cafes and a break from the sun.
With its fat strip of sand, playground equipment on the grass, a plenitude of picnic tables (with grills) and a nice bathroom, Bryant Park, ranks high on family beach favorites. Smaller crowds seal the deal for those looking for a quieter beach scene than what’s found downtown. Plan a late afternoon gathering followed by picnic dinner and sunset, and you’ll have a day to remember. At the southeast corner of West Grand Traverse Bay, where Garfield Ave. meets Peninsula Dr.
Tracing the shore of the diminutive bay at Old Mission Village, the Traverse region’s first European settlement, Haserot Park beach presents a
sequestered piece of classic summertime. Playground equipment, picnic tables and grills. But also modest sailboats moored in the bay, cottages
running along the shore, and an old timey souvenir shop is a short walk up the little two-lane. One bonus: the bay opens to the southeast—
protected from the north and west winds.
Families, especially those with little kids, appreciate the warm inland lake water that Long Lake offers up. Shade from towering fir trees in the park offer respite for naps and for when the sun gets too hot. Picnic tables keep the meals easy. A small market a halfmile away fills in what you forgot. And of course, there’s that fall-in-love-with-it Long Lake view. About 6 miles west of Traverse City on North Long Lake Rd.
Find ideas, tips and hundreds of links to fun, food, activities and recreation to pack around your time at a Traverse City beach!