December 10, 2004
Jean Klock Beach is the only beach in the area that is free on weekdays, but not on weekends; therefore, I only came here to eat on my lunch breaks from work.
*Insert vinyl record scratching sound*
"Eating at the beach in the middle of your work day?!"
Ah, yes, that was a marvelous perk of working near the water and downtown.
Imagine yourself in my place: After ordering your absolute favorite sandwich to-go, the drive back to work just happens to pass Jean Klock Beach. You drive into the parking lot, and the only other car there belongs to the concession stand worker, who is hidden from view inside the bathhouse. You walk along the white sand while keeping your work shoes on the cement sidewalk. A 2-story, open-air pavilion with picnic tables seems to be waiting just for you. As the lake breezes whistle through the surrounding dune grasses, you take a bite of your sandwich while your eyes gaze out over white sands and sparkling blue water that flow all the way into the cloudless blue horizon. Eating the sandwich only takes a few minutes, so why not enjoy the setting better? You take off your shoes and roll up your pants, and with shoes in hand, you walk in the sand down to the water. From here, the sound of the water and the wind is all you can hear, and the sights of the beach and the grass are all you can see. A wave comes up over your toes. Aaaaah, yessss, this is the best lunch break ever.
If you aren't planning on visiting in the middle of a weekday, you're still likely to really enjoy this beach. The bathhouse facilities here are the largest in the area, and they look nice and new, but smell bad. The beach boasts two GIANT pavilions tucked back into trees and grasses. Both have very high roofs suitable as a stage area or perfect for large cookouts, although one pavilion was lacking in picnic tables.
Because of this beach's gentle sand dunes with tall grasses, this is one of the most scenic beaches in the area, very reminiscent of Cape Cod. The distance from the bathhouse, combined with a gentle slope to the water, creates a very serene feeling of untouched seashore. Of course, the downside to this is that the trek back to your car is a long and uphill walk in the sand.
Parking Tip: When no one is in the parking lot (weekdays), feel free to drive right past the warning signs, over the tire spikes, and park right next to the bathhouse. (But first double-check that there are other cars on the other side of the tire spikes.)
To get to Jean Klock, cross the drawbridge from downtown and follow the park signs.
From journal Tropical Paradise on Western Michigan's Coast?!