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Florida replacement?!?

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Florida replacement?!?

We are from Indiana and almost always make the summer trek to Florida. We are tossing around the idea of replacing that trip with a trip up to the Grand Haven area. Google and trip advisor are usually enough for me to educate myself and plan a trip, but I haven't had as much luck trying to plan this. Are there any good camping places? Other than state parks? The state parks don't allow alcohol and not that I drink a ton, but on vacation around the fire I like a sip or two. Is the Grand Haven area pet friendly? Any pet friendly beaches? And finally....the beaches... I understand it's not the ocean but I am spoiled by the gulfs white, soft sand and clear turquoise water. Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect? Not against other places in the area either. Since this would be our first trip, I'm open to any and all suggestions.

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Indiana
Indiana
United States
Florida
Florida
United States
Grand Haven
Grand Haven
Ottawa County, MI
9 replies to this topic
Hell, Michigan
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1. Re: Florida replacement?!?

We've camped at Hoffmaster State Park and had no issue with the alcohol rules. We poured our beer in a glass and nobody said a peep. Lots of other campers indulging but were well behaved. Beaches around Grand Haven are fine.

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Hoffmaster State Park
Hoffmaster State Park
314 Reviews
Muskegon, MI
Grand Haven
Grand Haven
Ottawa County, MI
Chicago's North...
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for Illinois, Chicago
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2. Re: Florida replacement?!?

i'm quite sure you'll find the beaches, especially the state park and municipal beaches around the various beachtowns will exceed your expectations.

i think when it comes to booze, be smart about it.

if you stay somewhere with a solid roof over your heads, be prepared for lodging sticker shock....west MI along the lakeshore is very pricey during the summer....

look into weko beach--not great for tent camping, but some nice RV campsites. the beach and beach house are really nice too.... they also have limited rustic camping cabins. next door is warren dunes state park.... campground is not on the beach, but behind the dunes... my understanding is they're pretty strict with everything.... beach and dunes are beautiful, and there's a doggy beach area, HOWEVER, dogs MUST be leashed...

MI state parks have a nice res system---best to go on the website and book a site ASAP.

ANOTHER possibility is beaver island....which is where we're going after the 5th..... logistically, it's more challenging to get there (ferry and/or flight over, but worth it, IMO)...... pristine beaches, crystal clear FRESH water and the beaches are dog friendly..... however, very few lodgings are dog friendly, but there is a kennel on the island, which i heard is very flexible.... you could call the beaver island chamber and see if the campgrounds (2 on the island) are dog friendly.... there are a few vacation rentals that are dog-friendly too, and surprisingly, the island lodgings tend to be competitive with, or in some cases, cheaper than the mainland.....

Edited: June 13, 2018, 10:47 am
Chicago's North...
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3. Re: Florida replacement?!?

oh, and if you're willing to make the drive, wilderness state park up by mack city is awesome, especially the campground loops along the beach.... camped there 2 years ago and it was excellent.... plus, you'll be only 20 minutes from mack city/island..... if you go that route, visiting the island is worth it.....

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4. Re: Florida replacement?!?

https:/…

www.lakemichigansanddunes.com

Just a few pages to read and photos to give you an idea on some area dunes. Note the south end I believe of Grand Haven City Beach is dog friendly. Also, Kruse Park, a short drive north has a dog friendly beach as does Kirk Park a short drive south.

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Grand Haven
Grand Haven
Ottawa County, MI
Little Rock
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5. Re: Florida replacement?!?

Some of the beaches along Lake Michigan Oh definitely has nice as the Florida Gulf Coast beaches. Water is a wee bit less salty ... but also we bit cooler ... and of course fewer aquatic animals that will eat you while you’re swimming ;-) There are riptides / currents just like the ocean so pay attention when swimming.

Also the temperatures are so much nicer.

There is a list online that tell you what state parks serve alcohol restrictions. Mostly they don’t want younger people and drunk noisy people disturbing others.

https:/…00.html

Also you should make reservations ASAP as most people make reservations soon as they open, some six months in advance ... especially for weekends, holiday weeks, and at the more desirable parks.

Edited: June 13, 2018, 2:38 pm
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Florida
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6. Re: Florida replacement?!?

Grand Haven City Beach allows dogs, but only before 11:00am and after 5:00pm. Just like others have said, don't worry about the no alcohol rule at State Park campgrounds - they don't search your belongings or site, I think it's more about maintaining family friendly campgrounds and less noise. Be aware that Coastguard Fest runs the last weekend of July thru the end of the first weekend in August - Grand Haven is super busy during this time. If you're willing to go a little more north, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a Michigan must - beautiful beaches, dunes, and a lot of fun stuff to do in town.

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Grand Haven
Grand Haven
Ottawa County, MI
Silver Lake Sand Dunes
Silver Lake Sand Dunes
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Hart, MI
Michigan
Michigan
United States
Simpsonville, Ky
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7. Re: Florida replacement?!?

I'm planning a trip too with the same idea that I'd like to try something different than Florida. Also, I've always wanted to see Mackinac Island. We don't camp and was having trouble finding accommodations anywhere on Lake Michigan unless it was very pricey. Plus I found out the hard way that you need to make reservations rather early. I discovered that there are some really nice lakes nearby however and came up with the idea of staying at one of them which are much cheaper and using it as a basecamp and venturing out to the many attractions not far away. We ended up finding a really neat Airstream camper right on Six Mile Lake. Also, I heard lots of good things about Torch Lake which is really close. So if you are having trouble finding anything you might want to consider that as an option.

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Florida
Florida
United States
Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island
Mackinac County, MI
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8. Re: Florida replacement?!?

The further north you go on Lake Michigan, the clearer the water. Lake Huron has very nice water for Michigan but few beaches.

Any campground along the lakes will require a six month out reservation as they are very popular and fill up fast.

The biggest difference you will find between Michigan's lakes and Florida's oceans is the water isn't sallty.,lol.

Edited: June 19, 2018, 4:40 am
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Michigan
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9. Re: Florida replacement?!?

I appreciate everyones advice and info. I've decided going further north is probably more what we're looking for. We haven't had a hard time finding camp sites. They're just a little more cramped than what we're accustomed to and a lot less bathrooms which play a big role when taking my older mother and a little one. I've had a really hard time finding dog friendly beaches,so it might be a trip we take at a later time, without our fur family.

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