United States

The 10 Most Charming Campgrounds in Michigan 

by Holly Riddle  |  Published August 19, 2020

With miles of coastline and endless forests, inland lakes and other pristine spots, there’s no better state in the US for camping than Michigan. And you won’t need to “rough it” or go deep into the remote woods to pitch your tent, either. Michigan offers a bevy of campgrounds located near some of its most eye-catching natural attractions, allowing you to connect with nature while taking advantage of practical on-site amenities. Whether you’re an RV camper seeking a large area to spread out all your camping gear, or a tent camper wanting to pitch up next to a body of water before sparking up your own private campfire, you’re certain to find somewhere that suits your tastes and needs. 

Photo: Pixabay

So, what are you waiting for? Some of the most charming campgrounds in Michigan are ready to provide you with your next adventure. Here are 10 to consider for your next trip. 

Houghton Lake Travel Park Campground 

Located on the shores of picturesque Houghton Lake – Michigan’s largest inland lake – the Houghton Lake Travel Park is a family-friendly campground that offers plenty of outdoor activities for you to enjoy without ever even leaving the park itself. Go out onto the lake in a boat or canoe, indulge in some fishing, or simply go for a invigorating swim. If you want to get in a game of golf, you can even do that too, and hiking is a perennial favourite activity around these parts as well. For the truly adventurous, you can even hunt in the fall months. 

370 Cloverleaf Lane, Houghton Lake 

Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping

Photo: Courtesy of Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping

Situated in northern Michigan, the Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping campground has been a longtime family favourite, receiving numerous awards for its kid-friendly atmosphere and desirable location. You can find all kinds of camp sites here, including cabin rentals, making the site an easy pick if you’re a beginner camper without any of your own gear. The camp is remote enough too, with a thousand acres of wilderness around you, but still convenient enough to easily reach the ferry, historic sites and more, all within a short drive.

9730 U.S. Hwy 23, Mackinaw City

Wa-Wen Resort 

You do have to take a ferry in order to get to this campground on Drummond Island, but longtime campers here say that it’s well worth the trip. The family-friendly campground offers RV camping, cabins and cottages, as well as RVs and trailers for rent. When you stay at the campground, all of your canoe, kayak and paddle boat usage is free, and other top-tier amenities include wireless internet, satellite television, access to a fish cleaning house, a basketball court, communal fire pit and a solar heated pool. The campground is pet-friendly, too.

32884 South Maxton Road, Drummond Island 

Camp Dearborn

Camp Dearborn boasts a long history of serving vacationing families. Set across 626 acres, it provides lots of camping options for those with tents, RVs or other camping trailers, but also gives you the option of booking a rustic or resort-style cabin, for those wanting the camping experience without all of the work involved. Amenities include access to a large beach, tennis courts, picnic areas, multiple lakes, a mini golf course and even a 27-hole championship golf course.

1700 General Motors Road, Milford 

Ja Do Campground  

Camp among the beautiful, rolling Irish Hills of Michigan. Ja Do Campground puts you right in the middle of all the action, so you can enjoy camping at night in a relaxing setting, and then spend your days exploring some of the fun this area of Michigan offers. You’re just a few minutes’ drive from the Michigan International Speedway, and an hour’s drive from Detroit and Toledo. You can also easily access Ann Arbor. If you don’t want to leave, though, there will still be plenty for you to do at the campground, such as playing a friendly game of horseshoes, volleyball or basketball. 

5603 US-12, Tipton 

Michigan Oaks Camping Resort 

Michigan Oaks Camping Resorts sits in northern Michigan and offers expansive camping options, including 160 wooded campsites suitable for tent, trailer and RV campers. There’s plenty to do at the campground, as the staff puts together an array of fun, family-friendly activities and themed events throughout the summer, but if you want to see what the rest of the region offers, you’ll find plenty of outdoor diversions. Fishing, boating, golf, paddle boarding, elk viewing and more await.

2201 East M-68, Indian River

Gateway Park Campground 

Another campground near the Irish Hills, Gateway Park Campground offers family-friendly fun in a welcoming environment. The mainly full hook-up, RV campground provides camping sites with concrete pads and patios. Check the campground’s calendar before you book, and you may be able to catch one of their fun events, which are open to guests on a donations-only basis, with all proceeds going to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. 

4111 West Hallett Road, Hillsdale 

Kritter’s Northcountry Campground & Cabins 

Kritter’s offers it all. Sitting in Upper Michigan, the family-friendly campground provides camping within 40 acres of wildlife-filled wilderness and cabins with all the comforts of home. There are 50 large and grassy pull-through campsites to choose from, where you and your family will enjoy a leisurely time relaxing beneath the shade of the poplar and white pine trees. Beyond the scenic campground, amenities include laundry facilities, kids’ play areas and a nature trail. The campground welcomes groups as well, making it a good fit for family reunions and other events. 

13209 State Highway M-123, Newberry 

Indian Creek Campground 

You’ll feel right at home at Indian Creek Campground, where the staff goes out of their way to make everyone feel like family and where the amenities are plentiful. Stop into the camp store to get to know the staff and enjoy a complimentary cup of hot coffee. Check out the calendar and attend one of the many camp activities, from karaoke to fireworks, and Halloween fun to wagon rides. The store itself provides all the gear you could need in case you forgot something at home, as well as ice cream treats and souvenirs. 

9415 Tangent Road, Tecumseh 

Whispering Surf Campground 

Photo: Courtesy of Whispering Surf Campground

If it’s the beach experience that you want, look no further than Whispering Surf Campground, which also just so happens to be Michigan’s oldest privately owned campground, open since 1913. You’ll enjoy camping among the trees, but will never be more than a short walk away from Lake Michigan and the beautiful white sands of Bass Lake. There’s a private beach for camp guests only, but then you’re also never far from the Lake Michigan beaches, either. Free facilities and amenities include mini golf, WiFi, coffee and popcorn. 

7070 South Lakeshore Drive, Pentwater