17 low-key beaches within driving distance of Detroit to responsibly escape to

Despite all our rage, we're still just rats in a cage — and we're breaking out, baby. But not so fast.

Just because some of our restrictions have loosened up state-wide doesn't mean we should overwhelm some of Michigan's most beautiful beaches and hidden natural getaways.

Yes, these 17 beaches are open, but they will only stay open if we the people behave ourselves. In other words, continue to practice social distancing and if you see a place that appears crowded maybe, like, don't go there? It's actually pretty easy. It comes down to common sense, loving thy neighbor, and shaking off some of the collective anxiety, crippling depression, and those crusty-ass sweat pants you've been wearing for 60+ days.

Keep in mind that some of these state parks and beach fronts have restricted access to camping, lodging, restrooms, and other amenities. However, state park recreation areas, trails, boating access sites, forests, and other public land remain, well, public. These spots may also have their own staff to better assist you and your family in having the safest possible outing, so feel free to give them a shout (from six feet away, duh) if you're worried.

Other than that, get your feet wet. You, er, we, deserve it.

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W. J. Hayes State Park
Onsted; 1 hour, 17 minutes
Nestled within the gorgeous Irish Hills, Hayes offers visitors more than just a beach. Come for the shore, stay for the wide range of activities and facilities. Recreation passport required.
Photo via  W.J. Hayes State Park/Facebook

W. J. Hayes State Park


Onsted; 1 hour, 17 minutes
Nestled within the gorgeous Irish Hills, Hayes offers visitors more than just a beach. Come for the shore, stay for the wide range of activities and facilities. Recreation passport required.

Photo via W.J. Hayes State Park/Facebook
Rosy Mound
Grand Haven; 2 hours, 57 minutes 
Honestly? We feel wrong saying Rosy Mound in public. The beach is so sequestered that it’s bound to feel like a private getaway. 
Photo via Screen Grab/YouTube

Rosy Mound


Grand Haven; 2 hours, 57 minutes
Honestly? We feel wrong saying Rosy Mound in public. The beach is so sequestered that it’s bound to feel like a private getaway.

Photo via Screen Grab/YouTube
Wabasis Lake
Greenville; 2 hours, 22 minutes
In spite of its small size, this Kent County beach is rarely crowded. Not only that, but trips to Wabasis’ 300-foot shoreline are completely free.
Photo via Wabasis Campground/Facebook

Wabasis Lake


Greenville; 2 hours, 22 minutes
In spite of its small size, this Kent County beach is rarely crowded. Not only that, but trips to Wabasis’ 300-foot shoreline are completely free.

Photo via Wabasis Campground/Facebook
Kirk Park Beach
West Olive; 2 hours, 58 minutes
Comprised of high bluffs and wooded dunes, Kirk Park one of the quieter stretches along Lake Michigan. The water appears endless from its scenic shoreline. Free.
Photo via  Screen Grab/YouTube

Kirk Park Beach


West Olive; 2 hours, 58 minutes
Comprised of high bluffs and wooded dunes, Kirk Park one of the quieter stretches along Lake Michigan. The water appears endless from its scenic shoreline. Free.

Photo via Screen Grab/YouTube
Camp Dearborn
Milford; 50 minutes
Though it’s owned by the city of Dearborn, this 626-acre park is actually located in Milford. It contains several lakes and ponds, along with a half-mile swimming beach. 
Photo via Camp Dearborn/Facebook

Camp Dearborn


Milford; 50 minutes
Though it’s owned by the city of Dearborn, this 626-acre park is actually located in Milford. It contains several lakes and ponds, along with a half-mile swimming beach.

Photo via Camp Dearborn/Facebook
Belle Isle State Park/ 'Hipster Beach’
Detroit; 5-15 minutes
Not only is this low-key spot may be minutes away from the city, but it feels like an entirely different world. Plus, it’s free to the public public and dogs are allowed; a total win-win.
Photo via  Belle Isle Park/Facebook

Belle Isle State Park/ 'Hipster Beach’


Detroit; 5-15 minutes
Not only is this low-key spot may be minutes away from the city, but it feels like an entirely different world. Plus, it’s free to the public public and dogs are allowed; a total win-win.

Photo via Belle Isle Park/Facebook
Kensington Metropark
Milford; 42 minutes
Kensington Metropark’s beach is proof that you don’t have to travel far to escape.
Photo via Huron-Clinton Metroparks/Facebook

Kensington Metropark


Milford; 42 minutes
Kensington Metropark’s beach is proof that you don’t have to travel far to escape.

Photo via Huron-Clinton Metroparks/Facebook
Pinckney State Recreation Area 
Pinckney; 1 hour
At 11-thousand acres, this one can get a little overwhelming. But once you’ve chosen your preferred lakeshore, you’ll be sure to enjoy the park’s quiet seclusion. Recreation passport required.
Photo via Pickney State Recreation Area/Facebook

Pinckney State Recreation Area


Pinckney; 1 hour
At 11-thousand acres, this one can get a little overwhelming. But once you’ve chosen your preferred lakeshore, you’ll be sure to enjoy the park’s quiet seclusion. Recreation passport required.

Photo via Pickney State Recreation Area/Facebook
Caseville County Park
Caseville; 2 hours, 32 minutes
Located on the Saginaw Bay shore, Caseville contains picnic and camping spots, a playground, and swimmer-accessible water. Everything within the park is a mere bike ride or walk away. 
Photo via Huron County Parks/Facebook

Caseville County Park


Caseville; 2 hours, 32 minutes
Located on the Saginaw Bay shore, Caseville contains picnic and camping spots, a playground, and swimmer-accessible water. Everything within the park is a mere bike ride or walk away.

Photo via Huron County Parks/Facebook
Weko Beach
Bridgman; 3 hours, 2 minutes
Weko's sunny Lake Michigan shores are impressive, as is the solitude they offer. The park includes dune boardwalks with observation decks, and picnic areas. 
Photo via Weko Beach & Campground/Facebook
<>Weko Beach
Bridgman; 3 hours, 2 minutes
Weko's sunny Lake Michigan shores are impressive, as is the solitude they offer. The park includes dune boardwalks with observation decks, and picnic areas.

Photo via Weko Beach & Campground/Facebook