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Sun and sand in the Midwest: These beaches offer an amazing summer escape

  • July 04, 2022

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Park Point Beach, Duluth, Minn.

Stretching for 7 miles, Park Point is the longest freshwater sandbar in the world. One side of the natural sandpit looks out to Lake Superior, and the other faces Superior Bay. In addition to swimming and sunbathing on the beach, you could play beach volleyball and reserve pavilions and grills.  

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Bradford Beach, Milwaukee

About 10 minutes drive from Milwaukee’s city center, the beach has parking nearby, and many locals come to this urban beach to play sports and relax, especially during the summer. Even though the water is chilly, you could play and swim in Lake Michigan. If that isn’t for you, you could dine at The Dock, a waterfront bar and grill on the beach.

Oak Street Beach, Chicago

Only 2 miles away from Chicago’s Cloud Gate and flanked by skyscrapers, Oak Street Beach is a popular destination for Chicagoans who want to get away from the city hustle. Swimming is permitted during lifeguarded hours, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., but Lake Michigan’s water is relatively cold – even during the summer. 

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Clinch Park Beach, Traverse City, Mich.

From Adirondack chairs commanding great views to a splash pad area where children and adults alike can play, there is something for everyone at Clinch Park Beach. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards to venture farther into Lake Michigan should you desire, or you can rent bikes to explore nearby trails.

Indiana Dunes National Park Beach, Porter, Ind.

On the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes National Park offers 15 miles of sandy beaches, where you can watch birds and enjoy sunset strolls. But the park has an entrance fee of  $15 per person or $25 per family-size vehicle.

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Headlands Beach, Mentor, Ohio

Less than an hour’s drive from Cleveland, Headlands Beach stretches more than a mile, which makes it the largest natural beach in the state. Mid-July is a great time to visit because of the Headlands BeachFest, where you can compete in a sandcastle building contest and join other festivities. 

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