Beautiful blue water, stunning views and plenty of ways to stay and play make Torch Lake a wonderful destination for a family getaway. If you’re planning on camping or renting a cabin, here are 10 things you need to know.

  1. Torch Lake is Big

    Torch Lake stretches for 19 miles and at more than 18,000 acres is Michigan’s second-largest inland body of water. That means there are plenty of different areas to consider camping, and if you’re planning on seeing the sights on foot, you’ll need some comfortable shoes.

  2. Glamping is an Option

    Making s’mores around the campfire is a fun adventure, but if you want a few more home comforts, consider glamping instead. Choose from cozy vacation rentals, cabins with waterfront views and RV parks.

  3. Torch Lake Is Beautiful

    The lake is an area of natural beauty, forming part of the Chain of Lakes that covers more than 75 miles of the state. Bring your camera, because you’ll want to capture these views.

  4. You Need a Boat

    To get the most out of your stay, you need access to a boat. There are places to rent vessels of all types and sizes if you don’t have your own.

  5. Not All Beaches Are Public

    Only a few of the lake beaches are open to the public, so make sure you know the best spots. The beach at Alden is one place to try if you want to swim and sunbathe, and it’s a lovely spot for watching the sunset.

  6. There Are Great Picnic Areas

    If you don’t want to fire up the grill or head to a nearby town for dinner, pack a lunch and head to the beach at William K. Good Day Park. As well as a public access beach, there are numerous pavilions and picnic tables that make dining a delight.

  7. The South End Gets Busy

    The sandbar at the south end of the lake is well-known as a tourist hot spot thanks to the shallow waters that make it easy to drop anchor and relax. If you want to dodge the crowds, head to the north end.

  8. There’s a Floating Burger Bar

    Wherever crowds gather there are clever entrepreneurs on hand to sell their wares. It just so happens that at Torch Lake the crowds are on the water, which is why on busy days you’ll find The Burger Barge serving fast food to revelers at the sandbar.

  9. Bring Your Fishing Rod

    The lake is home to lake trout and brown trout, perch, Atlantic salmon and muskellunge. Dangle your line for long enough, and you may get a record-setting bite.

  10. Visit in July

    On Independence Day, the south end of the lake becomes the stage for a massive fireworks display. Rent a boat and watch the rockets from the water for a truly memorable experience.