Summer is just around the corner, and Michigan is known for its many lakes and beaches!

There are more than 11,000 inland lakes in our great state, and you are never more than 6 miles from one of them. Here are the best beaches for summer fun in greater Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

Ramona Park and Beach

8600 South Sprinkle Road
Portage, MI 49002

Ramona Park is a great place for the family!  It has a fully-staffed swimming beach, playground, basketball courts, fishing areas, and a large picnic area for parties over 150 people.  Did I mention it's pet friendly?!  Unfortunately, your dogs can't swim in the lake but they are welcome in posted areas (which is most of the park).

Park Hours: Year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk

Beach Hours: Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and on the weekends and holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • $5 per vehicle daily for Portage residents
  • $10 per vehicle daily for non-residents
  • $25 per vehicle annual Portage residents
  • $45 per vehicle annual non-residents
  • $50 per bus daily for groups of 15 or more
  • Free admission during non-beach season

Markin Glen County Park, Kalamazoo

5300 North Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49004

Markin Glen County Park was originally the estate of Morris Markin, the founder of Checker Motors corporation of Kalamazoo. From the top of one of the highest points in Kalamazoo, hikers can experience a scenic view of downtown. It is dog friendly, it has 38 modern campsites with fishing and swimming beaches. Markin Glen is located just north of downtown Kalamazoo. To make camp reservations, call (269) 383-8778.

Robert Morris Park

8415 East H Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Robert Morris Park has 40 acres of park property, a disc golf course, swimming (no lifeguard), off-shore fishing, playground equipment, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, two pavilions for daily rent; tables and grills for picnics. To reserve the pavilions for special events, contact the Parks and Recreation office at (269) 343-8212.

Park Hours: 9 a.m. to sunset

  • Day Pass Rate: $5 per vehicle
  • Comstock Resident Annual Pass: $20
  • Non-Resident Annual Pass: $35
  • Senior Comstock Resident Annual Pass: $10
  • Senior Non-Resident Annual Pass: $20

Willard Beach Park

Located off of Capital Avenue, SW, South of Columbia Avenue
Battle Creek, MI

Willard Beach Park on Goguac Lake offers a sandy swimming beach (no lifeguards) and small shelters where up to 50 people can hang out and picnic. Bring the family, pack a lunch and experience the best of summer at Willard Beach.

Park Hours: April 1 through Oct. 31 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Day Pass Rate

  • Individual $2 /Vehicle (3 or more) $5

Seasonal Pass Rate: 

  • Vehicle Pass (windshield sticker) $20
  • Family Pass (picture I.D.) two (2) adults, three (3) children $20

Fort Custer Recreation Area

5163 Fort Custer Drive
Augusta MI, 49012

Located in Augusta between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, Fort Custer offers three lakes, the Kalamazoo River, scenic views, a 219-site campground with cabins (that you can use in the winter), and a trail used by mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers, and dog-sledders.  You can swim, fish, hunt, rent a canoe and go disc golfing! It seems this park has everything so you may never want to leave!  For more info and camp reservation prices, call (269) 731-4200.

Grand Mere State Park 

Stevensville, MI 49127

There's no actual address that I could find but, I'm new to the area and I found it twice. Grand Mere is Michigan’s largest state park on Lake Michigan, and it is right on Lake Michigan, about an hour West of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

I loved it so much the first time that I had to go back a week later.  Although it doesn't offer all of the amenities and activities as some of the other beaches and parks in the area, it has over one mile of coastline for sunbathing and swimming. One of the more secluded parks, Grand Mere has acres of wetlands, woods, sand dunes and beach. My dog loved being able to run into the water to fetch her ball and I got a wonderful workout!

Did we miss your favorite beach? Let us know in the comments!