One of my favorite places to visit is the Lake Michigan Recreational Center which is about twenty miles from where I live. There are no lifeguards at this beach so swimming is at your own risk. The center is off US 31 halfway between Manistee and Scottville. From that point on all you’ll find is a curvy road and the Manistee National Forest until the road ends.
The Manistee National Forest actually touches the sand dunes and that is all there is between the forest itself and Lake Michigan. Climbing the lookout tower is an exercise in itself especially in the summer. But what a view once you reach the top. The stairs to this tower are just before the path over the dunes to the beach.
Once on top you can not only view Lake Michigan but on the flip side is the neverending forest where you can see for literally miles.
There is also a camping ground at the center along with a picnic area, restrooms, and even showers.