Lake Michigan beaches are popular destinations for summer travelers; Silver Beach, Tiscornia and Rocky Gap are packed as soon as school gets out in June straight through Labor Day. Days spent splashing in the lake and relaxing in the soft sand are hallmark of summer, but we don’t think the beach fun should end there. We’re big fans of this shoulder season on the shores of Lake Michigan; here’s three reasons we love the beach in the fall!
temperature graph from MLive.com
1.) Warmer Swimming
The average temperature of Lake Michigan off our local beaches is just 52 degrees in May; if you visit in September, it’s over 60! Combine the higher water temperatures with cooler air, and you feel like the water is even warmer (trust us, we tried it!).
Here’s the average water temperatures for Southwest Michigan beaches, according to CoastWatch at MSU :
May- 52.10 degrees
June- 56.65 degrees
July- 59.27 degrees
August- 61.35 degrees
September- 60.48 degrees
October- 56.44 degrees
If you swam in June, you can swim in October! Pumpkin swim, anyone?
The sunset from Tiscornia Beach
2.) Sunset Times
There’s nothing like a West Michigan sunset. Each night, the spectacular show of orange, purple, red, pink, and blue packs Lake Bluff Park in downtown St. Joseph. The colors across the lake are amazing…but it can be a little late. Enter fall sunsets; by the end of September, we can see the nightly display at 7:30pm. To check what time you can watch, check out this website.
Shadows are a lot of fun this time of year!
3.) Open Beaches
It’s easy to get your favorite spot for that sunset, picnic, or swimming! All summer, we’ve been jostling for our beach towel’s space in the sand. It’s a great feeling to hike over a dune to have your pick of location. The parking is a little easier too…you can even park for free after Labor Day behind the Silver Beach Center!
We hope to see you at the beach this fall, right here in Michigan's Great Southwest!