We just completed our third year of camping at Munising Tourist Park in Munising, MI. It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive and we travel from CST to EST so we lose an hour on the way there. Because of the long drive and how much we love this campground we go for a long weekend. We try to get there at check in and try to leave just before check out.
This year we left at about 9 A.M. and caravanned with some friends. For the most part the drive is uneventful except as you are getting closer to Escanaba, MI where there always seems to be some sort of construction going on. M-35 is a two lane highway so any construction poses a problem. This year it was at least a 15 minute stand still. You could see the worker with the stop sign but no cars were driving through. Turns out they were “working” in both lanes which is not efficient for drive time.
When we arrived at the campground we were able to quickly check in. The campground manager is always helpful and friendly. This is not true of all staff, however. There is one lady there that is not the nicest and likes to speed around in the golf cart in a huff. Try to deal with the manager if possible. The camp store is very small. It has a few camping necessities like cords and some small snacks available.
There are a few different types of sites located right on the beach next to Lake Superior. Both ends have full hook up back in sites. They have gravel parking pads water and sewer and direct access to the beach. There are a few large grassy sites and several smaller sites with dirt, gravel and sand in the middle. They also have direct beach access and gorgeous lake and sunset views. Tree coverage in the middle sites is minimal. I do recommend having extra electrical cords and hose. The poles are located near the road and if you park in the ideal spot you may not be able to reach it with normal lengths. The sites are bigger than you expect. This was the 3rd different site we have had and they all seem pretty level. All but the 6 middle sites are pretty close to each other with little to no separation so make friends with your neighbors!
All sites have fire pits and picnic tables as well.
On either end of the RV/Camper sites are tent sites. Most of these are rustic. The sites to the west are more secluded from each other but the ones to the east are more directly located on the beach itself. The rustic tent sites are all walk to sites. There are a couple tent sites on the east side that you can park directly at.
There are also sites not located on the beach. They are all good size sites and have water and electric hook ups. There is also a public beach and picnic area where you can access the Lake if you have one of these sites.
This is a no frills campground. A very small playground- swings and a slide- is all you get. But with the lake right there it is all you need. You will NOT find yourself looking for a game room or craft time. The kids will just want to walk down the beach and explore or swim in the ice cold water (even at the end of July) as you sit in your chair parked in the sand and wonder how they can brave it.
You can kayak or paddle board or bring the boat and go for a spin. There are a lot of shops, tours, hiking trails and other beaches to check out in neighboring towns. I highly recommend Miners Beach just east of Munising. It is on the edge of the rock cliffs and absolutely amazing. We drove by a beach in Au Traine on the way home I want to check out next time, it is right on M-28 and looks beautiful.
Booking is crazy. You have to be on your game. And it is online only for the first month. Whatever day and time is designated (and the last 2 years it has been at midnight EST) you have to be ready. Those great beach sites, for the prime and not so prime summer weekends, will be gone in minutes, maybe even seconds. Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me. For what you get it is super inexpensive, between $25-$40 per night, and totally worth staying up late to make sure you get your site booked!
There are 2 bathrooms which are both heated and clean. I personally have not used the showers but have heard good things about them. The dump station is easy to get to and use.
Check in and check out time is noon. The next person coming in will most likely be waiting there for you to leave. But remember to enjoy your last morning!
We love camping by the water and Munising is a great place to do this. But when packing one must remember that the weather in Munising can be fickle. One day can be a cold rainy 55 degrees and the next a gorgeous sunny 72 that feels like 80 when there is no wind. When the sun goes down you will typically need your pants and sweatshirts but this year was the first year that we had bad daytime weather and needed to pull out the stocking caps on the first night. Misty rain and high winds reminded us that we are happy we are from the north and most everyone had stocking caps in the cupboards of their campers. We also did some improvisation and built a wind block while we braved the climate. Regardless of the weather the company is what makes the trip and my family and friends always make them such a great time