If nothing else, Saturday's sudden blast of warm weather got you thinking of the summer. At least a little bit.

To that end, National Geographic magazine has come out with a list of the World's best Beaches, and a Northern Michigan favorite has made the list.

But now would not be the best time to go there.

Sleeping Bear Point Beach, in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore made the list of NatGeo's Best Beaches, which includes some very exotic locales, most in far off tropical lands.

While not the least bit tropical, Sleeping Bear Point is among the most pristine beaches I have ever visited, mainly because it's a good half mile hike from the parking lot to the main beach.

If you're in good shape, hike northwest a mile or two over the point to a lesser populated area of the beach, where you'll find clean sand, an occasional ship wreck and a vista that includes a view of South Manitou Island off in the distance.

You can also access this beach with a long 3.5 mile hike from the famous Dune Climb on Michigan route 209 near Glen Lake.

The area is also known for its bird watching. You can find shorebirds, American pipits and horned larks most any summer afternoon. Piping plovers and spotted sandpipers nest near the shore and towhees sing near the road to the Sleeping Bear Point Trailhead.

Sleeping Bear is also the only beach on the list on a freshwater lake. All the others are on salt water oceans.

The feature article in NatGeo describes it this way:

Pure freshwater and 450-foot bluffs mean eyes-open swimming and vast views over Lake Michigan. Walk from the former Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station, now a maritime museum, or along the Sleeping Bear Point Trail over low-lying dunes to the beach. In the distance look for North and South Manitou Islands, prime spots for hiking and camping.

National Park Service

National Geographic’s Top Beaches In The World
(Click here to check out images of each destination)

  • Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
  • Playa del Amor, Marietas Islands, Mexico
  • Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Western Australia
  • Piscinas Beach, Arbus, Sardinia
  • Cas Abao Beach, Curaçao
  • Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland
  • Noordwjk Beach, The Netherlands
  • Cathedrals Beach, Ribadeo, Spain
  • Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
  • One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
  • Sunset Beach, Brunswick Islands, North Carolina
  • Bowman's Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Lyme Regis, England
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • Carmel City Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
  • Papakōlea Beach, Hawaii
  • Pink Beach, Great Santa Cruz Island, Zamboanga, The Philippines
  • Pelican Beach, South Water Caye, Belize
  • Blue Bay, Mauritius
  • Sleeping Bear Point, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan
  • Corniche Beach, La Teste-De-Buch, France