Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
December 14, 2004
Park near Silver Beach.
Head south on Silver Beach’s extrawide sidewalk toward the hard left turn in the road. This section has various sculptures (see my sculpture entry), sweeping views of Silver Beach, and several benches.
Follow the sidewalk as it narrows through the hard left. Cross the street toward the steep uphill.
A few feet before the uphill bridge, on the right, is a blacktop trail. This is a slightly winding, slightly inclined, partially wooded trail that is mostly free of debris.
The first fork in the trail crosses the street to Lions Park Beach (bathrooms are there), or continue along the trail, and at the end, you can do what I did and turn around and head back to the car or take the many steps over the railroad tracks up to the top of the Bluff. This section has sand dunes overlooking Lions Park, and there are a few benches.
If you take the steps up, just follow the street of historic homes to the left, back to downtown. There are probably some nice views of Lake Michigan from here.
At the blue pavilion downtown, take the steps down the Bluff.
Cross the railroad tracks.
Continue straight ahead on the sidewalk along a big field, and you'll be back to your car near Silver Beach.
Whichever way you go, the roundtrip is maybe 3 miles and has a nice variety of scenery. The route may sound complicated, but you are always in sight of the water, so you can always use that to help you get your bearings. About half of the route is shaded.
*Take this path at sunrise or sunset, and you won't forget it.
From journal Tropical Paradise on Western Michigan's Coast?!
December 10, 2004
Silver Beach is where ALL the tourists go, so it’s always very crowded and noisy on hot weekends. Silver Beach's popularity is no surprise— it has the closest and most visible location to downtown, a concession area, a playground, volleyball nets, sculptures, etc... okay, it has everything a beach could offer.
Silver Beach is undoubtedly the best family beach—the water depth is never over an adult's head, there’s very little wave action, and there are three lifeguards on duty until 6pm. If the kids get hungry or have to go to the bathroom, only one hundred yards away are full concessions, bathrooms, and showers. If the kids tire of the simple pleasures of sand and water, an awesome playground in the sand is sure to keep them entertained.
Of all the area beaches, Silver Beach is the largest swath of sand within walking distance of downtown (five-minute walk). Bring a frisbee, football, and a volleyball; there are about ten sand volleyball courts (the only ones in the area) and plenty of free space to throw frisbees and balls. What really sets Silver Beach apart from all beaches elsewhere, are the four mammoth-sized (Krasl Art Center sponsored) installation sculptures that are placed along the wide, smooth sidewalk, which by the way is perfect for rollerblading, romantic walks, or scenic jogs. Sunsets and sunrises are spectacular when viewed from anywhere in Silver Beach—for extra romance, try watching one while cuddled up with your honey in your own little world at the top of a wooden lifeguard tower.
As an added bonus, Silver Beach flows into a park with a walkable pier opposite the Saint Joseph lighthouse pier. The Silver Beach pier joins land near a grandiose, open-air, covered pavilion. This pavilion is fronted by a lush, grassy, theatre-sloped, lawn and backed by the harbor. The setting is so idealistic that I have witnessed weddings and sunset concerts taking full advantage of the setting.
Six hundred $5 parking spots are conveniently located right at the beach, but I recommend the more distant free parking areas in downtown, if you can find a spot. A "locals' secret" free parking lot can be found one block behind the beach, near the residences.