Weko Beach may be smaller than its big neighbor to the south, Warren Dunes State Park, but it scores high marks from beachgoers. Located at 5239 Lake St. off Red Arrow Hwy., Bridgman, this city park has many amenities that make it a family-friendly place to splash and build castles.
Start with its 960-feet of sandy shoreline that gives you and your children easy access to Lake Michigan’s shallow water along the beach and sand bars further out. A few trees offer shade, an extra plus when you want to escape the sun.
For on-the-water fun, the park is one of only three that offers a boat ramp with direct access to Lake Michigan. Boats 16 feet or less are permitted; sorry, no jet skis. [NOTE: Please call ahead, 269-465-3406, as the ramp is currently closed for repairs.]
This is also a great beach to paddle. Bring your own or rent by the hour from the park’s livery of single, double and triple kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
Like its state park neighbor, Weko Beach is edged by towering dunes. Take a wooden boardwalk and steps to the top of one of the dunes to get a seagull-eye view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. If you are the fastest to the summit you can also claim to be “king of the hill.”
One of its nicest amenities is the Weko Beach House which offers restrooms, changing rooms, concessions and outside showers to rinse after a day in the sand. Its Sunset Room, which seats 100, offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan and is a popular place to rent for weddings, showers, birthdays, meetings and special events.
While pets are not permitted on the beach, they are allowed with a five-foot or less leash in the park’s campground, on sidewalks and a boardwalk trail that connects you to the dog beach at Warren Dunes.
The park also hosts a summer concert series on Sundays at 7 p.m. from June through the end of August. Free admission starts at 6:30 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket and relax or dance on the sand to great local bands.
Weko Beach is also the site of the annual Makers Trail Festival. It combines great regional music acts with delicious local food vendors and opportunities to taste Southwest Michigan’s craft beers, wines and spirits at one beautiful location on the lake. Visit makerstrail.org for dates, times and the entertainment line up.
You can visit Weko Beach year-round from dawn to dusk. There is a daily entrance and boat launch fee; seasonal passes are also available. Be sure to take a front row seat and watch a spectacular sunset. As night falls, the park crew plays Taps — a gentle reminder that “From the lake, from the sky. All is well, safely rest…”