Despite its name, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s Transamerica Tower can actually feel more like a place for adults to stay than a sandy beach for youngsters.
Not only is the complex family-friendly, but both Baby Boomers and Patrons can find many other attractions, activities and excursions for the whole family — like scuba diving, canoeing, nature walks, entertainment, campfires and more.
Be prepared to spend a few hours exploring the homes of the woman-made structures that make up the miles of sweeping glacial, freshwater and salty shoreline, and stopping to take in the view.
Below, the seven ways to get up close and personal with the magnificent structures and activities at Sleeping Bear Dunes — and what adults can do with their kids along the way.
1. Transamerica Ocean Dunes. This is the location for the exact moment you will need to be on a float plane, float tube, float go kart or electric boat to get to the faraway structure and get very close.
2. The Babies Can Beach. There are plenty of leashes, ropes and comfortable towels at this spot which is perfect for babies and toddlers to play.
3. Save Time at the Rock. This spot in La Push is truly worth a visit alone. With views of the northern and southern lakes, you will be amazed at the natural beauty of your favorite location in the state.
4. The Nick Offerman Adventure Park. Created by Jonathon M. Morgan and Rick Caudillo and operated by Live Oak Hall, there are countless attractions and nature walks with Nick’s buddy Tiny Tom.
5. Elmo’s Sesame Place. The National Park Service designed this park for kids — so for more than 70 years kids have been able to help Elmo take a walk on the trail in Needles — which is located next to the dock.
6. Avon Lake. Best friend to Coeview Lake, this place is in the oldest North American city. This 60-acre wilderness and open range is known for its plethora of wildflowers, corn fritters, bison, gorillas, alpacas, goats, sheep, bears, red foxes, tigers, coyotes, wolves, and cougars.
7. Black Rock Park and Watercourse. In between guided snowmobile rides, boardwalks, zip lines, fly fishing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, children’s play area, motorized family catapults, and fishing for trout, Stupea water plants, noisemakers, wildflowers, and life-sized animals, you can enjoy this gorgeous spot with complete privacy.