Best Day Trips Near Silver Lake Sand Dunes

If you're planning a day trip near Silver Lake Sand Dunes, you're in for a treat. This area is known for its beautiful dunes, stunning views, and outdoor recreation opportunities. But while there's plenty to do within the park itself, there are also plenty of great day trips you can take to explore the surrounding area. Here are some of the best day trips near Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

Ludington State Park

Just a 30-minute drive from Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Ludington State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. With over 5,300 acres of wilderness, this park offers miles of sandy beaches, hiking trails, and camping facilities. Take a stroll along the beach, go for a swim, or rent a kayak to explore the shoreline.

One of the most popular things to do in the park is to explore the miles of hiking and biking trails that wind through the park's stunning wilderness. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, you'll find plenty of options to choose from. The trails take you through forests, along the shores of Lake Michigan, and past historic landmarks like the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and paddle along the Hamlin Lake, taking in the serene beauty of the park from the water.

Another fun activity in Ludington State Park is to hit the beach. With over 5 miles of sandy shoreline, there are plenty of great spots to swim, sunbathe, or play in the sand. The park boasts two main beaches, Hamlin Lake Beach and Lake Michigan Beach, both of which are popular with visitors. Lake Michigan Beach is particularly noteworthy for its stunning views of the lake and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, which towers over the shoreline. Whether you want to take a dip in the lake, build sandcastles with the kids, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery, Ludington State Park's beaches are a must-visit destination when looking for the best day trips near Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

On your day trip out to Ludington State Park don’t miss these scenic spots: 

  • Big Sable Point Lighthouse – This 112-foot-high lighthouse is a must-see on your day trip to Ludington State Park. The lighthouse rests on the shores of Lake Michigan and is open for tours daily in the summertime. 
  • S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry — If you’re lucky you may be able to stop and see the S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry depart from Ludington, Michigan on its way to deliver passengers to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the United States and the large vessel is quite the scenic site sailing across Lake Michigan. 

White Lake

White Lake is just a 20-minute drive from Silver Lake Sand Dunes, and it's a great spot for boating, fishing, and other water activities. You can rent a boat or kayak and spend the day on the water, or explore the nearby shops and restaurants in the charming town of Whitehall.

Grand Haven State Park

Located about 40 minutes from Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Grand Haven State Park is another beautiful beach destination. This park has over 48 acres of sand, waves, and sunshine, making it the perfect spot for a day trip. Take a swim, play beach volleyball, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

On your day trip out to Grand Haven State Park don’t miss these picture-perfect scenic spots: 

  • The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is the largest of its kind, with lights, music, and water all synchronized for 25-minute shows each night during the summer. It’s the perfect scenic spot to stop and observe after your day trip in Grand Haven. 
  • The shores of Grand Haven are similar to the rest of West Michigan with beautiful sandy beaches, but the bright red lighthouse sitting along Grand Haven is a unique beauty that is worth stopping for on your day trip. 

Michigan's Adventure

If you're traveling with kids, a visit to Michigan's Adventure is a must. Located about 30 minutes from Silver Lake Sand Dunes, this amusement park offers roller coasters, water rides, and plenty of other attractions to keep the whole family entertained.

This amusement park offers over 60 rides, from the adrenaline-pumping drops of the Shivering Timbers roller coaster to the cool waterslides of WildWater Adventure, there's something for everyone. Additionally, the park offers a variety of live shows, games, and dining options, making it the perfect place to spend an entire day. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or just looking for a fun day out, Michigan's Adventure is sure to leave your family with plenty of memories.


Muskegon is a vibrant city located about an hour from Silver Lake Sand Dunes. This area is known for its beautiful beaches, excellent dining options, and cultural attractions. Visit the Muskegon Museum of Art, stroll along the boardwalk, or take a dip in Lake Michigan.

On your day trip to Muskegon, you will want to stop at the Muskegon State Park for a short hike. The Dune Ridge Trail takes you to the top of the dune and gives you a one-of-a-kind view of both Lake Michigan and Lake Muskegon.


Pentwater is a charming town located about 20 minutes from Silver Lake Sand Dunes. This area is known for its quaint shops, restaurants, and beautiful beaches. Spend the day browsing the boutiques, take a dip in the lake, or explore the nearby nature trails.


Located about an hour from Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Holland is a beautiful town that's well worth a visit. This area is known for its Dutch heritage, and you'll find plenty of windmills, tulips, and other Dutch-inspired attractions here. Explore the historic downtown area, take a stroll through the beautiful Holland State Park, or take a boat tour of Lake Macatawa.

One of the most popular attractions here is the Windmill Island Gardens, which features a working Dutch windmill, beautiful gardens, and a variety of cultural exhibits. Visitors can take a guided tour of the windmill, stroll through the gardens, or enjoy a picnic on the lush lawns.

The town is also known for its beautiful beaches, including Holland State Park and Tunnel Park, which offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. And with a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, including the Holland Museum and the Cappon House Museum, there's plenty to keep your family entertained for days on end.

Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure, family-friendly fun, or cultural attractions, there are plenty of great day trips to take from Silver Lake Sand Dunes. With so much to see and do in the surrounding area, you're sure to find something that appeals to everyone in your group.