Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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July 13th 2018
Published: July 14th 2018
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Glen Lake Picnic AreaGlen Lake Picnic AreaGlen Lake Picnic Area

We brought sandwiches and found a picturesque picnic spot.
I wasn't able to reserve a campsite at Sleeping Bear Dunes last fall (they must fill up quickly!), so we booked a site at Traverse City KOA Holiday in Buckley, Michigan. It's nearly an hour from Sleeping Bear, but it ended up being a great fit for us. The KOA was well run and had plenty of family activities. That meant we could "rough it" when we wanted, but we could still do things like family movie nights, swim in the pool, and play giant chess games.

On Friday, we decided to set out for the dunes. My friend Mona was staying nearby with some family, so she and the kids met us at Glen Haven beach. On our way there, we stopped at Glen Lake picnic area to eat our sandwiches and enjoy a nice view. We saw the dune climb, but that didn't really fit our schedule for the afternoon. We ended up enjoying the beach with friends, and then checked out the Glen Arbor general store that was restored to look like it did in 1920.

The water at the beach was so cold! Shockingly cold. That didn't deter the kids, though. Compared to the Indiana Dunes beach, this part of Lake Michigan is crystal clear. The water looked inviting (even though the temperature wasn't). Unlike the Indiana Dunes beach, though, this one was covered in pebbles. It seemed more fit for skipping stones than anything else, but, of course, the kids were determined to swim!

After spending a couple hours at the beach, we purchased some old-fashioned candy from the general store and then made the trek back to our campground. The kids watched "Sing" at the KOA general store (complete with a little bag of popcorn), and Andrew and I did our laundry. That's not the most vacation-y way to spend an evening, but it was nice to get our clothes cleaned and ready for the next leg of our trip. Tomorrow, we're heading to Mackinac Island!

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