Lakeside, Michigan

We just returned from a week at the beach in Michigan. We rented a house with our good friends and tried (mostly successfully) to entertain 6 kids aged 7 and under for a 24/7 playdate. Almost every day was a beach day. It was a short (ish) walk to a private entrance to the beach from our house. The beach in southwest Michigan is beautiful. The water can be a bit cool but on a hot day, it felt great.

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We brought sand toys to build sand castles and some cars to drive around the castles. We had watering cans and boats to play in the water. We also brought a football and floaties. There was a sandbar not very far off shore that the bigger kids and the adults (except for me) liked to swim out to.

The water is quite clear there and really very nice. After playing and swimming and building, the kids were glad to have juice boxes to get refreshed. We froze them before we left and they were perfect and cold for a hot summer day. Lakeside, Michigan and the surrounding area is a great place for a beach vacation, especially if you don’t live close to the ocean.

Silver Beach Carousel and Whirlpool Compass Fountain, Michigan

Last week when we were staying in Lakeside, Michigan with the Weitls, we were looking for something to do other than our usual visit to the beach. We decided to head north up Red Arrow Highway (Hwy 12) and make a few stops. First we went to Harbert Swedish Bakery for breakfast, then cherry picking at Jollay Orchards, and then to the Silver Beach area in St. Joseph. We parked right behind the Silver Beach Center ($2/hr) and went  in to ride the Silver Beach Carousel. There were some neat different carousel figures for the kids to ride and the music was classic. The kids and adults enjoyed the ride.

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After riding the carousel, we walked out the front door and across the street to the Whirlpool Compass Fountain. It was a hot day and the kids enjoyed cooling off in the water fountains. It took them a few minutes to get started, but once they got going they were all soaking wet. There were fountains that came up from the ground and others that sprayed from above. It alternated between the two which was a fun change.

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Whirlpool Compass Fountain CollageThere were many other things to do in the Silver Beach area. There is a children’s museum and a discovery zone as well as beach access. When we were there, there was an art fair as well. You could easily spend a day there and still have more to do. After the fountain, we walked back to the parking lot and headed back to our vacation house.

Ramada Limited Waterfront, Mackinaw City, Michigan

Last summer, we stayed at the Ramada Limited Waterfront in Mackinaw City, Michigan for two nights. It is a great choice for a stay in Mackinaw City, Michigan for a few reasons. One of those reasons may seem strange at first and that is that the Comfort Suites Lakeview is right across the street. What? Well, as a guest at the Ramada Limited, you have access to the amazing waterpark at the Comfort Suites. We also ate breakfast there one morning. The location of the hotel is also great. It is located directly next to one of the ferries that goes to Mackinac Island. The Ramada Limited also has a small beach. It was a nice place to relax and unwind for a bit. The rooms are a bit rundown and outdated, but our room was clean and comfortable. Overall, we enjoyed our stay and I would choose it again for the price, location, and to see the kids have a great time in the waterpark.

Mackinaw City