There are many beaches you can visit in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the beach along Good Harbor Bay is one of the many Lake Michigan beaches you can spend your time at!
Good Harbor Bay is a bay of Lake Michigan.
Cost to visit Good Harbor Bay Beach
The beach is officially a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
It’s listed at the beach that this is a National Park Service “fee area” and that a pass is “required.”
There’s no one actively monitoring the beaches of the Good Harbor Bay area (as in, no park rangers are posted for entry) but it’s still a good thing to have a Sleeping Bear Dunes park pass or another kind of national park pass when visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!
You can get a park pass at the Sleeping Bear Dunes visitor center (it’s a 30 minute drive from Good Harbor Bay), or you can make your payment at the self-pay stations that are located throughout the park. There is one of these pay stations at Good Harbor Bay.
In 2020, a one week pass was $25. See current fees here, where you can also buy your pass online.
Things to do near Good Harbor Bay
aka ideas for planning out a perfect day in Sleeping Bear Dunes that includes a Lake Michigan beach!
- Pyramid Point
- Port Oneida rural historic district
- Bay View farm trail
- Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
- DH Day campground
1. Pyramid Point Trail
Pyramid Point will offer you stunning views of Lake Michigan from above.
If you want to make it a “hike + beach” kind of day when you’re in the northern area of Sleeping Bear Dunes, you can make it a hike to Pyramid Point, and then drive around 15 minutes to Good Harbor Bay!
2. Port Oneida rural historic district
If you’re coming up from the south through Sleeping Bear Dunes, you’ll naturally start driving through Port Oneida rural historic district on M-22.
3. Bay View farm trail
If you want to make it a hike + beach kind of day, and you want to include history to go along with it, then you can hike the Bay View farm trail that will take you past an old farm.
4. Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
You can also make it a “bike + beach” hike of day! Before you head off for the beach, stop for a bike ride along Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail!
Also along the way on M-22, you’ll find the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail that’s best known as a biking trail, and you can use it as a walking trail too. Bring your bike, and you can stop at one of the Port Oneida parking areas and start riding along the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.
This trail actually starts further south in Sleeping Bear Dunes, so you can pick any number of spots to ride the trail.
5. DH Day campground
The Sleeping Bear Dunes campground that’s the closest to Good Harbor Bay is DH Day campground. This is a campground for tent camping and RV camping that is located about a 20 minute drive from Good Harbor Bay. For another Lake Michigan beach, there’s a beach trail directly from the campground.
Here are some ideas for an Upper Peninsula road trip!
The most important places in the UP to know about are Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and the bubbling Big Spring of Kitch-iti-kipi.
Make it a Michigan camping trip to remember by going camping near Lake Superior.
Lighthouses are also a thing, so stop by one of the Lake Superior lighthouses (or many more!), like Whitefish Point and/or Crisp Point. You can also go to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum to explore why Lake Superior has a reputation for being Shipwreck Coast and the Graveyard of the Great Lakes.
Many people don't make it over to the western part of the Upper Peninsula. But if you want to, you will want to know about Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Then, on your way back down south, you can make a detour to go to Mackinac Island (ferry required) or Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. (Or, you can do these things on your way up north!)
Read the details: Best places to visit in the Upper Peninsula
Save the Upper Peninsula Michigan video playlist to watch on youtube later!
More PHOTOS of Good Harbor Bay beach!
There are 2 roads that lead to Good Harbor Bay:
- County Road 669 (South Bohemian Road, western side of the bay)
- County Road 651 (Good Harbor Trail, eastern side of the bay)
These roads are a turn off of one of the main roads (M-22) that goes through Sleeping Bear Dunes.
S Bohemian Road (County Road 669 beach) was closed for construction when I went in summer 2020, so pictures below are of the County Road 651 beach.
Once you make the final turn onto the county road that leads to Good Harbor Bay, you’ll drive the road to the very end where you’ll find the parking lot!
In the parking lot area, there was a fountain for drinking water and foot rinsing station (with water that may or may not work for both), along with some picnic tables and “wildlife-proof” trash cans.
And then you’ll take the short trail to the Good Harbor Bay beach!
Be safe when swimming at a Lake Michigan beach!
In some ways, the Great Lakes can act like an ocean. Rip currents are a thing in the Great Lakes, including in Lake Michigan. Know before you go, just in case!
And that’s a bit about making a visit to Good Harbor Bay Beach and the area!
More Lake Michigan beaches in Sleeping Bear Dunes:
Also see some of the great hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes, including hikes to a Lake Michigan beach!
More Lake Michigan beaches in Michigan:
Also see Lake Superior beaches in Michigan’s other national lakeshore!
Plus, see the best of Michigan’s national lakeshores.
HAPPY VISIT TO GOOD HARBOR BAY BEACH!