Every once in a while, during the summer months in Michigan, you might stumble across some photos of people swimming in water so blue that you assume they must be vacationing in the Bahamas. But, it's actually possible to go see those crystal clear waves right in our own state. Torch Lake is one of the most popular tourist locations for a reason. That reason is that it's gorgeous!
It's only a short drive from Traverse City. If you're looking to spend a weekend away from the city, this lake is two hours from Grand Rapids and four hours from Detroit.
It's well worth the drive for a day of fun in the sparkling blue water.
There is a public beach with an access ramp that can be used to put a boat in. Although this spot offers a gorgeous view and a lot of activity, the actual sandy beach area is not that large.
You could stop here if you're looking for a grassy spot to lay a blanket down on and have a picnic with your friends.
The main attraction is the sandbar. The land rises up, which makes the water really shallow so everyone can hop out of their boats and walk around.
As if the clear blue waters weren't enough to make you feel like you were in the tropics, if you go on a holiday weekend, the parties at the sandbar will make you feel like you stepped into a college Spring Break movie.
If you had a large group of friends, you could have a boat all to yourself for just $30 a day.
The Carribean blue waters do have a bit of a catch. This is one of the coldest lakes in the state because it's the deepest inland one in Michigan.
It stays at around 60 degrees well into the summer months.
Although that temperature sounds pretty good to us right now, it'll be a very refreshing swim in the summer. If the current weather has you down, there are some other activities that'll get you outside in the winter, like searching for these frozen waves or ice volcanoes.
If you do rent a boat, make sure to ask the marina for directions to the sandbar, because you really don't want to miss out on it.
Bring some frisbees, footballs, and floaties and you'll be set for a trip to the Caribbean in your own backyard.
Address: Northwest Cedar Street, Rapid City, MI
Why You Need To Go: The color of the water is truly breathtaking and will give you a lakeside experience unlike anything you've experienced in Michigan.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.