Those who love the outdoors will find fantastic camping spots in Texas, Colorado, California, and many other states across the country, including mesmerizing Michigan. Home to gorgeous beaches, cutesy lake towns, and shimmering blue lakes, Michigan is a dream-come-true for campers. There are tons of terrific best camping places in Michigan, and these spots with cabins, spaces for tents, and RVs are peppered all across the state. Whether you love the quietude of lush forests, dream of waking amidst sand dunes, or wish to snooze right next to a sparkling lake, the Great Lake State has them all. The state is home to some 1,000-plus campgrounds that are surrounded by natural wonders such as Ottawa National Forest and the Lakes Erie, Huron, and, of course, Michigan. In some cases, there’s even winter camping for cold-weather enthusiasts who thrive when the temperature drops!
Besides being close to urban wonders such as Chicago and Detroit, what makes Michigan such a popular place is its plethora of attractions. Aside from being home to some of the Top USA Tourist Attractions, Michigan is also home to Fox Theater in Detroit, One Of The World’s Most Amazing Cinemas. Plus, the town of Holland has the Holland Harbor Lighthouse, one of the World’s Most Iconic Lighthouses. If all that wasn’t enough, then Michigan is also where lies one of the World’s Largest Zoos, the Detroit Zoo. So, what are you waiting for? Read about the best camping places and spots in Michigan with tents, cabins, RV camping, and what-not.
Table of contents
- Sleeper Modern Campground, Sleeper State Park
- Mt. Randall Modern Campground, Warren Dunes State Park
- Modern Campground, Sleepy Hollow State Park
- Seaton Creek Campground, Huron-Manistee National Forest
- Ludington State Park and Campground
- Pines Campground, Wilderness State Park
- Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- Lower Falls Modern Campground, Tahquamenon Falls State Park
- Modern Campground, South Higgins Lake State Park
- Platte River Campground, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeper Modern Campground, Sleeper State Park
Two-and-a-half hours north of Detroit sits the Sleeper Modern Campground in Sleeper State Park. Overlooking Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, this is one of the best camping places in Michigan. Don’t let the snoozy, misnomer of a name let you down; what hides beneath is the undeniable excitement that comes with these acres of dunes, sandy beaches, and even wetlands and forests. It’s no wonder that this is one of the best places in Michigan to watch the sunrise!
Choose from 226 tent-only spacious sites at Sleeper Modern Campground, most of which are shaded by pines and oaks. What’s more, every site has a sanitation station and a 30/50-amp service. Plus, there are even four ADA-accessible sites tucked at the western end of the campground. The location is great; they sit right near an accessible modern shower and vault toilet building. This is closed post-mid-October, but the vault toilets and potable water us available. The best bit? There’s even free Wi-Fi available at this host site.
Besides this tent-only camping area, there are also Tentrr safari tents and mini-cabins provided that make for unique overnight experiences. The pop-up Tentrr tents sleep four people, while the safari-style ones sleep up to six people. Since bedding isn’t provided, check out the Best Camping Portable Bunk Beds. For those who don’t want to rough it, the mini-cabins are the best cabins for camping in Michigan. Additionally, the day-use area lies on half a mile of sandy shoreline along Saginaw Bay. It even has a picnic area and a beach house. Plus, the pedestrian overpass bridge provides easy access to this place. What’s great is that this place is open in the winter too!
Mt. Randall Modern Campground, Warren Dunes State Park
For those who love sand dunes, Mt. Randall Modern Campground in Warren Dunes State Park is one of the best camping spots in Michigan. This state park sits an hour-and-a-half from Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan and has some of the state’s most breathtaking wind-swept sand dunes. The dramatic formations rise as high as 260 feet above the water also offer some superb hand gliding and sandboarding opportunities, besides spellbinding views. You can even go hiking, swimming, and even metal detecting – budding archaeologists, this is for you! The state park has two campgrounds, of which the Mt. Randall is modern with flush toilets and RV hookups. If you’re packing an RV for a long camping road trip, check out the Best Accessories for RV Camping.
Choose from 182 campsites, all of which are just a short walk from the beach. During summers, book early as Warren Dunes is very popular and fill up quickly. What’s more, all sites have 20, 30, and/or 50-amp service and are sunny, shady, and even wooded. Besides that, there are cabins and lodges available too for those who’re interested in a more ‘glamping’ experience. Amenities here include a concession store and a modern shower and toilet building with restrooms and six showers in each of the two loops. However, please note that the shower and toilets might be shut during winter. So, you might want to invest in the Best Travel Potties if you’re going to be camping here during winters.
Besides the modern Mt. Randall, Warren Dunes in Michigan has two other camping spots. These include rustic cabins for camping in Michigan and a semi-modern campground for tent camping with vault toilets but no electrical service.
Modern Campground, Sleepy Hollow State Park
Modern Campground in Sleepy Hollow State Park is one of the best camping places in Michigan for birdwatchers. This one lies less than two hours northwest of Detroit. Don’t snooze on this unspoiled gem which is home to 228 bird species and is an absolute haven for birdwatchers. And, we’re not just talking bald eagles and blue jays; Lake Ovid also has waterfowl. Are you looking to break in your new Best Trail Shoes? There are miles of trails for you to explore, winding through wooded forests and prairie grasses. If all that wasn’t enough, there’s even swimming, fishing, boating, biking, and horseback riding available for those interested. Plus, there’s no worry of riptides that are a staple at larger lakes. Add to that lots of sandy beaches to picnic, excavate, and simply laze about.
Choose from 181 modern campsites with common amenities, including a sanitation station, modern restrooms, and even electrical service. However, if you don’t want to tent or RV-camp, then go for the rustic or modern cabins. Both accessible cabins are powered by solar energy and have a propane wall heater for providing warmth during colder months. There’s even a vault toilet and drinking water located near the cabin, with the picnic table, fire ring, and private outdoor grill overlooking Lake Ovid. One of the best features of the campsite is that it provides mobility aids for campers with physical challenges. When you reserve the campsite, you can rent these aids too before you arrive.
Seaton Creek Campground, Huron-Manistee National Forest
Available on a 6-month rolling basis, the Seaton Creek Campground is one of the best camping spots in Michigan. It’s part of the gorgeous Huron-Manistee National Forest between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The region is particularly legendary amongst archaeologists, biologists, and botanists, as well as those who admire the sciences, of course! The forest is a particularly pilgrimage-worthy destination for anglers, birdwatchers, and hikers. So, do pack your Best Fishing Waders, Bird-Watching Binoculars, and Hiking Snacks.
Located close to the town of Mesick, Seaton Creek Campground lies right next to Seaton Creek. A pine forest surrounds the mostly rustic sites, which are non-electric, tent-only ones. On the Hodenpyl Backwater, you’ll find 17 family sites and 2 group sites near a nice little picnic area. Amenities include drinking water and two vault restroom buildings, which means you don’t have to rough it. Moreover, all sites come with picnic tables and fire rings. So, make sure you pack some excellent Camping Fire Starters for enjoying dinner around the fire under the stars. During winters, the accessible pit toilets are a blessing. Aside from all this, the campground also has a bear pole, cellphone service, lantern posts, and trash collection. Did we mention that pets are allowed? Yes! You can bring Fido along, so you might want to invest in the Best Camping Dog Tie-Outs.
Besides fishing and hiking, you can even enjoy a quality canoeing experience along the Pere Marquette River. Those who’re interested in ecology and carbon dating sciences will love examining the forest’s remarkable ecological features such as marshes, bogs, oak savannahs, dunes, and coastal marshlands. It’s no wonder that this is one of Michigan’s best camping spots.
Ludington State Park and Campground
Located less than three hours from Saginaw, Ludington State Park and Campground is one of the best camping places in Michigan. Have you heard people sing the praises of Ludington State Park’s trail network, forests, wetlands, sand dunes, beaches, and the iconic Big Sable Point Lighthouse? It’s all true! Since it lies between Lakes Hamlin and Michigan, this massive park enjoys several miles of shoreline along both lakes. Luckily, Ludington State Park also has options between walk-in tent sites, campgrounds, and even mini cabins, making this one of Michigan’s best camping cabins.
Choose from 360 campsites and three one-room cabins from three modern campgrounds – Pines, Cedar, and Beechwood. Of them all, the Cedar campground is divided into two loops, the west and the east loops. Moreover, the 106 sites are spacious, open, and sunny. Of these, there are eight non-electric tent-only sites on the west loop of the campground. Plus, there’s 20/30-amp service available on each site, complete with restrooms, showers, and even recycling and sanitation stations located nearby. For those who prefer more rustic camping, go for the Jack Pine hike-in-only campground.
As the name suggests, you can access the campground only via bicycles or hiking, and it has 10 tent sites. If that wasn’t enough, there are even three mini cabins, one each in each of the campgrounds. Besides grills, firepits, and picnic tables, the cabins also have electric wall heaters and mini-fridges, making them the best cabins for camping in Michigan. What makes camping here fun is that you can access a stretch of the Big Sable River for fishing, paddling, and tubing. Additionally, Hamlin Lake has a boat launch and a four-mile canoe trail for adventurous canoeing and boating opportunities.
Pines Campground, Wilderness State Park
Sitting right outside Mackinaw City at the northern tip of Michigan is Wilderness State Park. It’s home to the Pines Campground, one of the best camping spots in Michigan. The name of the park is perfect, especially since it’s home to a designated dark sky preserve and is prized for its impeccable stargazing conditions and fresh air. Add to that the gorgeous Lake Michigan shoreline and coniferous wetlands, and you know why this place is so popular with campers. The abundance of recreational activities certainly plays a huge role, too – you’ll find everything from swimming and fishing to biking and hiking. At the same time, it also has wetlands, forests, and huge swathes of dunes, all peppered with hiking trails.
What’s great is that Wilderness State Park provides camping facilities throughout the year in a wonderfully rustic yet modern environment. Welcome to the Pines Campground, which is home to 250 campsites across two units, Pines and lakeshore. Moreover, they’re a mix of full hookup (18) and walk-in tent-only (9) ones. Plus, they even have bunkhouse and rustic cabins, making this one of the best cabins for camping in Michigan. The Pine Loop (campsites 501-599) are generously sized and shaded by conifer and deciduous trees. Besides featuring direct access to the trails, they all have 20/30-amp electrical services.
The icing on the cake is the designated swim area across the street in the West Loop. But, a thoughtful addition here is that a beach wheelchair is available to borrow from the campground host, who’s at site 416.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Featuring old-growth forests, streams, rivers, and waterfalls, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is one of the best camping places in Michigan. The park, which lies on the Michigan-Wisconsin border in northern Michigan, is home to myriad natural wonders. The star attraction here is the tens of thousands of miles of Lake Superior coastline. It can be very hard to tear yourself away from it but do go hiking and exploring the more than 90 miles of trails across tens of thousands of acres of lush wilderness. A particularly spectacular sight here is Lake of the Clouds, which is one of the most photographed natural features in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Likewise, the best camping in the Michigan Upper Peninsula doesn’t get much better than at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This is in the form of the modern Union Bay and the rustic Presque Isle Campgrounds, along with options for backcountry camping too. Union Bay features modern toilets and coveted electrical services and has 120 sites, with 6 guests allowed at each site. Besides, they have showers, potable water, picnic tables, and fire rings for campfires. Presque Isle has 50 sites, toilets, potable water, and picnic tables and allows campfires and pets. If you prefer glamping, there are also several yurts and cabins available, making this one of the best cabin camping in Michigan options.
However, what makes the Porcupine Mountains special is that winter yurt camping is a thing here! For those looking for deep powder for winter fun such as snowshoeing, skiing, heli-hiking, and cross-country skiing, this Porkies campground is perfect. Just remember to pack Camping Water Tanks and Winter Camping Tents. It’s no wonder that this Michigan camping spot with cabins is so popular!
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Ah, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Not only is it one of the best camping spots in Michigan, but it’s also amongst the Best US Winter Vacation spots. Plus, it’s the best camping in Michigan Upper Peninsula! Pictured Rocks is all about evergreen forests, scintillating lakes, majestic cascades, towering dunes, sheltered beaches, and sandstone cliffs. Clearly, it’s easy to see why this visually arresting spot ranks amongst the Midwest’s most beautiful spots. The place offers many opportunities for viewing wildlife, kayaking, hiking, but what’s extremely popular is camping.
In fact, Rocks National Lakeshore is amongst the best camping in Michigan Upper Peninsula. Choose from three drive-in car campgrounds, Twelvemile Beach, Hurricane River, and Little Beaver Lake campground. While all are rustic without electric hookups, they all have sites spacious enough for trailers/vehicles up to 42 feet and RVs up to 36 feet. To that end, you might want to read up on the Best Boondocking RV Batteries. If you want to go a step further, there’s even backcountry camping available for backpackers. However, make sure to plan ahead as all drive-in campsites fill up quickly and require advanced reservations. Also, despite the park and the campground staying open throughout the year, some facilities such as water systems shut down sometime in October. So, be prepared to bring essentials such as drinking water if you’re here in the winter.
Besides camping, there’s a lot to do here, such as exploring the hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Yet another immensely popular activity is kayaking, which is a great way to explore some of the more remote lakeside cliffs. All in all, there’s no doubt that this is the best camping in Michigan Upper Peninsula.
Lower Falls Modern Campground, Tahquamenon Falls State Park
One of the best camping places in Michigan is Lower falls Modern Campground at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. In fact, it’s one of the northernmost of Michigan’s state parks, so much so that it lies around two hours east of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Spanning tens of thousands of acres of gushing waterfalls and undeveloped woodlands, this park is home to two waterfalls of the same name.
What’s even more delightful is that its rugged delights are perfect for camping, whether it’s a modern setup or backcountry camping. The better and more modern of the state park’s two campgrounds is the Lower Falls Campground, aptly located in Paradise, Michigan. Nestled alongside the Tahquamenon River, this has two campground loops, Portage and Hemlock, with a total of 188 sites. Nevertheless, all sites either have 30/50-amp services, as well as access to both recycling and a seasonal sanitation station.
Portage lives near the river and features a shower building, an ADA-accessible modern toilet, and a few accessible campsites. While a few enjoy river views, this one is more open and sunnier than Hemlock and is open for hike-in camping during winters. Hemlock, on the other hand, is also open throughout the year. However, it’s more shaded than Portage and has the best cellphone service around. During winter, some portions of the campground are reservable for semi-modern camping. Besides camping, swimming in the lakes during summers, hiking, and fishing are particularly popular activities.
Modern Campground, South Higgins Lake State Park
There’s more than one thing about the Modern Campground that makes it one of the best camping spots in Michigan. It lies an hour-and-a-half north of the town of Saginaw. Tucked in the heart of South Higgins Lake State Park, this campground is perfect for summer fun, such as swimming in the crystal-clear lake or going metal detecting for hidden treasure! Water babies can rent pontoons, motorboats, canoes, and rowboats and go off exploring the waters. Nature and wildlife enthusiasts will have a whale of a time too, especially enjoying the tranquility and observing the wildlife. And, of course, there are hundreds of nature trails for hiking and exploring.
Now that you have the lay of the land (and the lakes), how about exploring the snoozing setups here? How does staying at the state park system’s second-largest campground sound? That’s what we thought! Welcome to Modern Campground, which lies adjacent to Higgins Lake and enjoys picturesque views of the water. What’s more, it features a mix of full hookup sites, traditional sites, and a mini-cabin, making it one of the best cabins for camping in Michigan. Summertime camping isn’t harsh, as most of the sites are shaded by hardwoods, and all of them have 30/50-amp services. Plus, many of them lie close to each other, making this Michigan cabin camping perfect for family get-togethers and friends’ reunions.
Apart from a concession store, this place has four accessible modern shower and toilet buildings, a playground, and a sanitation station. The best bit? There are even two designated swim areas right in the campground, making this an excellent summertime destination to enjoy with the whole family.
Platte River Campground, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Topping the list of best camping places in Michigan is Platte River Campground, which is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The campground, and the park, lies tucked on the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, an hour north of Manistee. The lakeshore is famed for massive, scalable dunes, which make for some gorgeous pictures. But, that’s not all. It also has miles of forested trails, sandy beaches, and even historic shipwrecks and farmsteads. Besides guided tours of the dunes, there’s so much more to do here. Hike through beech-maple forests and swim at one of the many beaches here. Are you the adventurous kind? Take part in an enthralling “rescue mission” of shipwreck survivors at the Maritime Museum.
Clearly, there’s a lot of ground for you to cover here, which is exactly why there are also plenty of places to camp. The Platte River Campground is the best of them all, featuring a mix of tent-only and RV sites, some even with electrical hookups. The year-round site has both pull-through and back-in sites for RVs, walk-in sites for the more adventurous peeps, and even hike-in, tent-only group sites for up to 25 people. Amenities such as potable water, a dump station, a seasonal amphitheater, food storage lockers, seasonal trash/recycling, as well as seasonal Wi-Fi and cell reception, make this a favorite with campers. Add to that both flush and vault toilets, as well as hot showers throughout the year, and this is almost a glamping experience!
For those who enjoy a more rustic experience, there’s even a backcountry campground as well as the rustic D.H.Day Campground.