10 Best Lakes for Swimming in Michigan 2023

Best Lakes for Swimming in Michigan

Welcome to the Great Lakes State, where pristine freshwater havens await your aquatic adventures! If you’re planning to make a splash in Michigan this year, you’re in for a treat. We’ve meticulously combed through the state’s crystal-clear treasures to bring you the ultimate list of the best lakes for swimming in Michigan. From sandy shores to secluded coves, we’ll take you on a journey to the most inviting and picturesque swim spots, ensuring your summer in the Mitten State is filled with unforgettable moments.

So, grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure as we dive into Michigan’s top aquatic destinations for a cool and refreshing experience like no other. Whether you’re a local looking for new spots or a visitor eager to explore, these natural wonders are bound to make your summer memorable. Let’s embark on this watery escapade together!

1. Crystal Lake: A Northern Michigan Oasis

Nestled in the heart of Northern Michigan, Crystal Lake beckons with its pristine waters and inviting sandy shores. This spring-fed lake is a haven for families seeking a refreshing swim. What sets Crystal Lake apart is its gradual depth increase, ensuring safe and enjoyable swimming conditions for all ages. While here, make the most of your day with picnicking by the water, casting a line for some fishing, or gliding along the surface in a kayak. Don’t forget to pause and soak in the breathtaking views of the rolling hills that frame this picturesque lake.

Water Temperature: Expect chilly waters in early spring and late fall, but a pleasant mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 24°C) during the summer months.

Location: Crystal Lake is located in Northern Michigan, a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Crystal Lake edited

2. Torch Lake: Michigan’s Slice of Caribbean Paradise

Torch Lake, often hailed as Michigan’s version of the Caribbean Sea, is a true natural wonder. As one of Michigan’s largest and deepest lakes, Torch Lake boasts striking blue hues that rival tropical destinations. Its crystal-clear waters reveal a sandy bottom, creating a paradise for snorkelers and paddleboarding enthusiasts. Whether you’re swimming in its inviting waters or soaking up the sun on the shore, Torch Lake promises an unforgettable aquatic experience.

Water Temperature: Summers offer pleasant swimming conditions, with water temperatures reaching the low 70s Fahrenheit (around 22°C).

Location: Torch Lake graces the northern part of Michigan, providing a serene escape for those seeking aquatic adventures.

Torch Lake

3. Silver Lake: Sand Dunes and Splashes Galore

Silver Lake, nestled adjacent to Lake Michigan, is renowned for its towering sand dunes and thrilling dune rides. While the lake itself is perfect for swimming and water play, the real excitement lies in the off-road adventures amidst the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area. Dive into the clear waters for a refreshing swim, then rev up your adventure with thrilling dune exploration.

Water Temperature: Enjoy refreshing swims with temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 19-23°C) during the summer.

Location: Silver Lake is found in close proximity to Lake Michigan, adding to its allure as a water and dune playground.

Silver Lake

4. Lake Michigan: Great Lakes Grandeur for Beach Lovers

Lake Michigan, one of the majestic Great Lakes, graces Michigan with its vast shorelines and stunning beaches. From the bustling city beaches in Chicago to the tranquil shores in Michigan, you’ll find an array of spots to take a refreshing dip. Beyond swimming, Lake Michigan invites you to explore its sand dunes, charming beach towns, and iconic lighthouses along the picturesque coast.

Water Temperature: Expect cooler waters early in the season, warming up to the upper 60s Fahrenheit (around 20°C) during the peak of summer.

Location: Lake Michigan’s shores stretch across several states, offering a variety of swimming spots to explore.

Lake Michigan

5. Higgins Lake: Dive into Exceptional Clarity

Higgins Lake, a hidden gem in Northern Michigan, is celebrated for its remarkably clear waters. This lake is a dream come true for swimmers who value underwater visibility. Beyond swimming, Higgins Lake offers a serene atmosphere that’s perfect for relaxation, complete with breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky in hues of orange and pink.

Water Temperature: While cooler in the early and late seasons, Higgins Lake warms up to comfortable swimming temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 24°C) during summer.

Location: Higgins Lake graces Northern Michigan, inviting you to experience its aquatic wonders.

Higgins Lake

6. Tawas Lake: Family-Friendly Waters for All Ages

Tawas Lake is a family-friendly oasis boasting calm and relatively shallow waters, making it an ideal destination for those who prefer a tranquil swim. The nearby Tawas Point State Park adds to the charm, providing opportunities for additional recreational activities. Come here to create cherished memories with your loved ones in a peaceful lakeside setting.

Water Temperature: Enjoy comfortable swims with water temperatures in the mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 24°C) during the summer.

Location: Tawas Lake is nestled in a picturesque corner of Michigan, providing a serene setting for your aquatic adventures.

Tawas Lake

7. Glen Lake: Discover Tranquility in the Sleeping Bear Dunes

Nestled within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Glen Lake is a hidden treasure surrounded by awe-inspiring natural landscapes. Its crystal-clear waters beckon swimmers and water enthusiasts alike. Explore the lake’s hidden corners by renting a kayak or paddleboard. Glen Lake promises a memorable experience immersed in the beauty of Michigan’s outdoors.

Water Temperature: Summers bring pleasantly cool water temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 18-23°C).

Location: Glen Lake is situated within the enchanting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, promising a nature-infused aquatic experience.

Glen Lake

8. Lake Huron: Diverse Swimming Options Along the Shoreline

Lake Huron, another of the magnificent Great Lakes, offers a multitude of swimming options along its picturesque shoreline. Beaches, parks, and campgrounds dot the landscape, inviting you to swim, build sandcastles, or simply bask in the sun’s warmth while the cool lake breeze sweeps over you. Lake Huron is a haven for those seeking natural beauty and endless aquatic enjoyment.

Water Temperature: Expect refreshing swims with water temperatures ranging from the upper 50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 14-19°C) during the summer.

Location: Lake Huron’s shoreline stretches across several states, offering diverse swimming experiences.

Lake Huron

9. Big Glen Lake: A Natural Beauty for Water Enthusiasts

Adjacent to its sibling, Glen Lake, Big Glen Lake offers an equally inviting escape. This lake is the perfect destination for swimming, boating, and fishing. Its pristine waters hold a special allure for those who appreciate unspoiled natural beauty. Dive into Big Glen Lake’s cool waters and create lasting memories in a serene and unspoiled environment.

Water Temperature: Enjoy refreshing swims with water temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 18-23°C) during the summer.

Location: Big Glen Lake complements its neighboring Glen Lake, creating a water wonderland in Northern Michigan.

Glen Lake

10. Lake Erie: A Refreshing Oasis for Swimmers

Mullett Lake, one of Michigan’s largest inland lakes, beckons water enthusiasts with its clear waters and abundant fish. Whether you’re an avid swimmer or a water sports enthusiast, Mullett Lake has something for you. Dive in for a refreshing swim, embark on a boating adventure, or cast your line for a chance to reel in a trophy catch. Mullett Lake promises endless aquatic excitement in a pristine Michigan setting.

Water Temperature: The lake’s swimming conditions can be delightful, with water temperatures in the mid to upper 70s Fahrenheit (around 24-26°C) during the peak of summer, providing a comfortably refreshing experience.

Location: Lake Erie spans across four U.S. states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan, and stretches into Ontario, Canada.

Lake Erie


Discover the enchanting variety of swimming experiences awaiting you in Michigan’s pristine lakes. From the sparkling clarity of their waters to the expansive stretches of shoreline, these aquatic gems cater to all preferences. Whether you crave a tranquil escape or an action-packed adventure, you’ll find your perfect spot among these top 11 Michigan lakes. So, grab your swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, and embark on a memorable aquatic journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to swim in Michigan lakes?

Michigan lakes are generally safe for swimming, but it’s essential to follow safety guidelines and be aware of local conditions, such as currents and water quality.

What is the best time to visit these lakes for swimming?

The best time to visit is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warmest, and the water is most inviting.

What is the cleanest lake for swimming in Michigan?

Lake Charlevoix is renowned as the cleanest lake in Michigan for swimming. Its pristine waters and excellent water quality make it a top choice for swimmers seeking a refreshing and pollution-free aquatic experience. Enjoy a dip in its crystal-clear depths and relish the natural beauty that surrounds this beautiful lake.

What is the warmest lake Michigan?

Lake Erie is the warmest lake in Michigan. Its relatively shallow depth allows it to heat up quickly during the summer months, making it an ideal destination for those seeking warmer waters for swimming.

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