COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan State Parks are tentatively scheduled to open for camping activities on June 22, 2020.
Michigan is the King of Camping and #Lakelife
The thought of camping in other states has me curious – do those campgrounds boast enormous picturesque lakes, warm days and cool nights, and plenty of incredible views like campgrounds in Michigan?
Maybe they do, but I may never find out, as I’m still finding plenty of family fun in Michigan year after year.
If you want to know how to do camping, you need to do it in Michigan. We have the views, the hikes, the amenities, and plenty of friendly people to help you out if you have a question at your campsite or just need directions.
We’ve got a mix of state parks, national parks and privately owned campgrounds that all want your family to have the best experience possible. So request that vacation at work, read up on our favorite Camping Hacks, and pick your new favorite campground from our mega list of reader-recommended summer getaways!
Camping in Michigan with Kids
This huge list has 40+ reader-recommended places to take kids camping in Michigan from the primitive to glamping-style and book your outdoor summer adventure today.
Every campground is different and exploring each is part of the fun. Some range from rustic with no water or electricity hookups and others have ‘all the comforts of home‘ amenities. Whether you are a seasoned camper or looking to take your family camping for the first time, there are a number of great options all around Michigan (and a few in bordering states).
This post lists reader favorites along with comments about why they love these campgrounds for their families.
Some of these facilities are more for RV-camping families, while some are better suited for hardcore campers who leave their technology at home.
Get the family ready to unplug, make s’mores, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Did we miss one? Please leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite campgrounds in Michigan for families!
LOWER PENISULA – CAMPGROUNDS IN MICHIGAN
Camping in Michigan is possible in every corner of the state. If you want to camp under the bridge, use this list.
One of the most popular campgrounds in Michigan. This scenic spot makes packing it in easy. Holland State Park has a family in mind with the new playground, views of the iconic lighthouse, two campgrounds, beautiful beaches, and paddle rentals. Consider the Holland Camper Cabins if you desire a bit more of the modern conveniences.
We go to Hungry Horse Campground in Dorr every year! Excellent family camping, close to Grand Rapids, and the kids LOVE it! With a mile-long list of things to do on-site, you don’t have to leave to find the fun. A swimming pool, splash pad, three playgrounds, jumping pad, basketball courts, wagon rides, and tons of family activities make this campground a family favorite. 96 large sites are available on 90 acres.
Located a mere two miles away from Lake Michigan, the St. Joseph KOA has a pool, hot tub, playground, bouncing pillow, mini-golf, and bike rentals. Families can check out the nearby attractions in St. Joe – children’s museum, splash pad, and carousel for one of the campgrounds in Michigan packing in the fun.
The South Haven KOA is only 10-15 minutes away from six popular beaches in the area. Perfect for families, the campground features a trampoline basketball court, rock climbing wall, gem mining, fishing, craft time. Wanting a quick meal or snack? Order pizza or snacks from the cafe and have it delivered directly to your campsite.
If you aren’t ready to be rustic, but still want close proximity to Lake Michigan, Oak Grove Resort is a great option. There are complete hookups for RV’s, a swimming pool, hot tub, laundry room, gift shop and cabins available for rent.
Orchard Beach has an amazing bluff view of the sunset, in a small town, great biking on M22, and is wooded. While the beach is not really family-friendly, you can head south about five minutes to Fifth Street Beach. The beach house bathrooms were clean, and they had tables if you wanted to take a break from the sun.
With a heated swimming pool, a recreation room with a pool table and video games, a playground, horseshoe pits, volleyball and basketball courts, Salmon Run is sure to make your vacation a fun-filled time. It’s a great place for kids!
With tons of activities and amenities, there’s something for the entire family. Make sure to check out the events calendar before you book, so you can plan your vacation. If you have little ones, you may want to rent a golf cart, the campground is one of the larger campgrounds in West Michigan. Clean, level sites all with water and electric make it easy to relax for 2 nights or up to 2 weeks per season. Sandy Pines also offers Rustic Cabin or Rental Trailer options. They have family activities galore – a splash pad, mini golf, ropes course, four large heated pools and plenty more.
Silver Lake Resort and Campground offers a resort-style stay and is conveniently located only one mile from the sand dunes. The campground has over 200 campsites and offers both RV sites and campsites for tent camping or cabins for rent. A playground, catch and release fishing pond, and heated swimming pool will keep the kids busy.
Tyler creek has a great creek/pond area for beginner fisherman, a playground, sandbox, volleyball area, all to keep your kids busy. And, it’s only about a mile away from Boulder Ridge Animal Wildlife Park.
This is an absolute favorite of ours. Hiking trails, mini-golf, fishing ponds, spacious fields, large lots, friendly staff, and clean facilities. TriPonds is a place you can come to relax, retreat, and reconnect with family and friends. Kids can hit up the playground, mini-golf course, or go fishing for a start at TriPonds Family Camp Resort. The resort hosts various levels of family campsites, including eight rental cabins. Enjoy 90 acres of beautiful shaded trees, hiking trails, peaceful ponds, spacious fields, and large lots.
Michigan’s Van Buren State Park sits on picturesque Lake Michigan in South Haven. The campground has 220 modern campsites. With one mile of sandy beach and high dune formations, kids will love to take a roll down the dunes. Local shops and restaurants are only minutes away.
Wabasis Lake has been a favorite campground in my husband’s family for years. Now we go every summer. It’s a haven for campers, boaters, and nature enthusiasts! The campground is located within Wabasis Lake Park, so bring your hiking boots, there are plenty of trails between the campground and park. But we can’t forget about the large sand beach, boat ramp, and fully stocked campground store.
What can I say, it’s a Yogi Bear Campground! If you’ve never been to a Yogi Bear Campground, you need to book your vacation now. So much for the kids to do, they will never want to leave and beg to come back year after year. Amenities include a large heated pool, kiddie pool with mushroom fountain, arcade, playground, fishing pond, basketball & shuffleboard courts, wagon rides, daily activities, and movies.
Another Yogi Bear Campground! Jellystone in South Haven is one of the smaller campgrounds, so it’s perfect for first-time campers. Activities planned for the kids every day! Yogi Bear’s Camp-Resort is all about family fun. The campground has campsites, cabin rentals and offers unique themed weekends. Family activities abound with arcade, laser tag, pedal carts, a large jumping pad and plenty more so boredom won’t be an option.
One of our long-time favorites is Woodchip Campground in Byron Center. It is just outside GR and provides easy access to the lakeshore, shopping, downtown, & surrounding areas. It provides the perfect low-stress getaway for families, with a wide variety of leisure activities (beautiful pool area, modern playground, bounce pillow, free crafts, volleyball, basketball, gaga ball, horseshoes, four square, a newly renovated camp store and even free rootbeer floats!)
One of the great campgrounds in Michigan for kids..right on the Thunder Bay River. They have an indoor pool for rainy days. .a water trampoline on the river..putt putt golf…tri-wheeled bike rentals…paddleboat, pontoon, and fishing boat rentals. Activities for the kids on holiday weekends and “train rides” for the kiddos. They have cabins to rent or campers to rent as well.
Interlochen State Park is situated between two well-known fishing and swimming lakes and is across the street from The Interlochen Center for the Arts, which has renowned musicians perform concerts year-round. Maybe you can catch a concert while camping!
Located in the countryside between Ludington and Pentwater and a mile from Lake Michigan. They have a swimming pool, fishing ponds, playground, kids barrel train, mini-golf, arcade, and camp store featuring ice cream, candy, Slush Puppies, and more!
Despite the name it takes all types from tents to motor homes – the campground is on the Leelanau peninsula and sits right on Lake Leelanau – tons of families, beautiful area – we grew up camping there and is a favorite to return to every year.
I could go on for days why Ludington State Park is so great, it is a must for campers and is always in the top campgrounds in Michigan. Hiking, biking, fishing, tubing down the Sable River, and swimming in either Lake Michigan or Hamlin Lake. Yup, that’s right, two different beaches! Be ready with your camping plans in the winter though, because this campground is a favorite for most, spots do fill up quickly, so be ready to reserve six-months in advance. Big Sable Point Lighthouse sits on Ludington State Park and is a classic Michigan stop. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse (fee applies). The park features three campgrounds with 360 campsites. A one-mile stretch of the Big Sable River runs through the park and provides excellent opportunities for fishing and paddling.
We stayed at Mackinaw Mill Creek last summer, when we were on our way up to camp in the U.P. If you like camping with a view of the Mackinac Bridge, this is the perfect campground for you! We had the most amazing view, especially at sunset. If you are heading over to Mackinac Island, you can buy ferry tickets at their camp store, and they have a shuttle bus that will take you to and from the ferry dock. If you have older kids remember to bring your bikes, the shuttle bus has a trailer so you can bring them to the island (there is a small fee on the ferry for the bikes, but it’s still cheaper than renting on the island).
Wooded campsites along a pristine section of Lake Michigan beach are one of the reasons families love to camp here. Petoskey is a fun family destination in the summer with loads of bike trails and walking paths, a historic downtown area, and great restaurants. The Bear River recreation area is nearby as well. Hunting for Petoskey Stones is a favorite pastime.
Best ever! Super clean grounds, only minutes from Sleepy Bear Dunes, and seconds from the Platte River. There is tubing, canoeing, and kayaking down the river, which ends in Lake Michigan. Nearby biking and hiking trails, and short drives to Traverse City, and Glen Arbor. SO much to do in this area, the list goes on and on. Great for kids!
Camping in the City? Yes, please! Traverse City State Park is an urban park that features a quarter-mile of beautiful beach on the Grand Traverse Bay. When surrounded by the woods you wouldn’t believe you are only two miles from downtown Traverse City. Being another family favorite campground, make sure to reserve well in advance if you plan on camping during The National Cherry Festival or in the Fall when leaves start to change colors. Also, plan on bringing a wagon to carry all your beach supplies!
Before you write this off because you don’t have an RV – they rent RVs! Bring your own or rent one of theirs and you’ll be set up for an amazing adventure. They have an epic waterslide launching you into the lake! Bonus: This campground is a hop skip and a jump from Greenfield Village / Ford Museum. Plus, Detroit fun awaits just 30 minutes east.
You can get beautiful sites right on the beach and the sunset is incredible! Awesome place for kids and right down the road from Caseville. One of the campgrounds in Michigan that you have to check out.
If you have a love of horses, make sure to visit Waterloo Recreation Area, the lower peninsula’s largest recreational park. In addition to the two general campgrounds, nature trails, beaches, and boat launches, Waterloo hosts a unique equestrian campground.
A general store, a beautiful waterfront, and family fun weekends are a sampling of some of the fun amenities at Camp Michiwana. There are 54 campsites, some with water and electric only and others are full hook-up sites. Rustic cabins are also available at this Christian campground located on Long Lake.
Bring your tent, camper, RV or rent an RV directly from the Dumont Lake Family Campground. Enjoy 520 feet of private beachfront activities including kayaking, paddleboarding, a new fishing dock, corn hole, and disc golf.
Fort Custer is a short distance from both Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. Near Eagle Lake, the campground offers 219 modern campsites. In addition to the campground, this State Park features three lakes, the Kalamazoo River, a swimming beach and more than 25 miles of multi-use trails.
They have a pool and spa, it runs right along the Pine River so you can hear the water all night while you sleep. They also have a pond with a water trampoline, a jungle gym, and an aqua slide! It’s a great place with family activities.
Just outside of Michigan is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park. Lodging includes 540 campsites, as well as deluxe cottages and rustic cabins. The family-oriented amenities include an indoor pool, three outdoor pools, a water splash park, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals, five playgrounds, game room, mini-golf, pedal cart rental, kiddy train rides, wagon rides, horseshoes, sand volleyball cards and more.
UPPER PENINSULA CAMPGROUNDS IN MICHIGAN
Say Ya to Camping in Da U.P.!
Really, camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a treat. You are a world away and immersed in natural beauty. If you like camping with kids, give one of these UP campgrounds a try!
Note: These are campgrounds in Michigan that our readers have vetted for us. We know there are so many more incredible campgrounds in the U.P., so tell us about your faves in the comments so we can add them to our list!
Looking for campgrounds in Michigan that are on an island? Beaver Island has a few campgrounds if you are interested in taking the ferry over for some good old-fashion rustic camping. None of the campgrounds take reservations, and there is no water or electricity.
Bewabic State Park is wonderful place to camp in the U.P. Picnic areas, a hiking trail, two playgrounds, an excellent beach and a boat launch to Fortune Lake are among the additional amenities at this park.
There are two campgrounds at Tahquamenon Falls. If you have younger kids I recommend staying at the Lower Falls. The trail along the falls is very kid-friendly. You can also rent a row-boat and row over to the island. The island is a great adventure. A quick hike around and you will find small water hole areas for kids to splash and play in. If you are camping you can pay for an all day rental and head over to island multiple times. Our younger kids loved it. This is one of our favorite campgrounds in Michigan.