Are you ready for summer vacation?

By Charlie Pena
CBS 62/CW50 Intern

Its spring again and time to start planning for summer trips. What better way to spend quality family time than to visit one of Michigan’s beautiful five-star campgrounds. Whether you enjoy lounging on the beach or hiking through the dunes, Michigan’s campgrounds have something for everybody. In this blog I will go over where some the highest rated campgrounds are in mid and northern Michigan as well as the Upper Peninsula.

Southern-Mid Michigan

Silver Lake State Park is known for their enormous sand dunes. If you are looking for a camping experience like never before, grab your off-road vehicle and head to this campground, but be prepared to reserve a spot upwards of six months in advance! Camping in southwest Michigan can be a little more costly as well with sites ranging from $15-35 a night. Watching the sunset over the lake from atop a 150 foot sand dune is something everyone should experience.

Arial Shot of Silver Lake Sand Dunes (Photo by: Dean Pennala/Shutterstock)

Taylor’s Beach Playground located in Howell, Michigan is a great family campground. Bring your kids here and they will want to come back year after year. This place is known for the great service, selection of water toys, and being fun for the whole family. Its central location and sites from $20-30 make it a perfect family getaway without traveling too far.

Sleeper State Park is located on the tip of Michigan’s thumb right off Saginaw Bay. This campground has an enormous beachfront that is very clean and not normally overcrowded. Sleeper State Park is also known for its spacious sites, modern accommodations, and affordable camping from $10-25. When I go to Sleeper State Park I always enjoy watching the cargo ships out in lake Huron.

Northern Michigan

The prices for the next three campgrounds fluctuate throughout the year. Due to the popularity you will need to make reservations months in advance.

Ludington State Park might be the most popular campground in Michigan. This place is well known for the river access, huge Lake Michigan beachfront, and widespread trails. This campground is my all time favorite because I never ran out of things to do.

Ludington Michigan Lighthouse (Photo by: Craig Sterken/Shutterstock)

Sleeping Bear Dunes – Platte River Campground is another place that everyone needs to visit at least once. This is one of the best-maintained parks in Michigan with all amenities in working order. The trails are long and groomed, the beach is free of litter, and the rangers are friendly! Do you have the guts to climb down a 300 foot sand dune to get to the lake?

Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park (Photo by: Benjamin Simeneta/Shutterstock)

Wilderness State Park Campground might be the largest park in Michigan and one of the only places that allows year-round camping. It’s located a few miles west of the Mackinaw Bridge and has around 10,000 acres of land to explore. Many sports enthusiasts visit Wilderness State Park in the winter months. I love Wilderness State Park because of the amazing trails.

Upper Peninsula

The Upper Peninsula is a part of Michigan that many overlook. With a population of roughly 400 thousand, the UP is the most sparsely populated part of the state.  There are many Michiganders who have never been over the Mackinaw Bridge into the UP. If you have yet to cross the bridge, Michigan’s most well-known landmark, then this summer might be the perfect time to visit one of these campgrounds.

Bewabic State Park lies right outside Crystal Falls, Michigan in the southwest corner of the UP. The rates are cheap with tent sites from $10-20 a night. Every site has privacy, electricity, and a fire ring. This is a great place to explore the wilderness and it comes with access to many outdoor activities. The beautiful Crystal Falls waterfall is within walking distance as well.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is another great campground with a range of different camping options to choose from. This park is located in the middle of the “fin” (peak of the UP) about 50 miles south of Whitefish Point. They have rustic and modern campsites from $12-23 a night. The centerpiece of the park is the Tahquamenon River and its waterfalls. Tahquamenon Falls alone is 200 feet wide and drops over 50 feet.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park (Photo by: Jim Guy/Shutterstock)

Porcupine Mountains State Park is one of the UP’s hidden treasures.  Located in the north west tip of the UP, with prices and camping options almost identical to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, it seems like a dream vacation and something you can do without going broke. Being deep in the wilderness, you can expect to see bears, trout, eagles, and waterfalls.

Porcupine Mountain State Park (Photo by: John McCormick/Shutterstock)

Camping is a way to escape the daily grind, get away from technology, and enjoy Michigan for its natural beauty. These campgrounds are some of the best places to vacation in the midwest. I hope my list makes it easier for people to find their next vacation destination. For more information on any of these campgrounds visit –

Charlie Peña is a Digital Media Specialist who studied at Lansing Community College. He is a CBS 62/CW50 Community Affairs intern who enjoys filming and editing video along with recording and mixing music.


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