Since we are coming up on campground reservation season for next summer, I figured it was time to share some campground reviews from last summer. Because we took the big Europe trip, we didn’t get started with our camping season until after the 4th of July this year. Our first camping trip of the year was at Orchard Beach State Park which is a park and campground on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan in Manistee.
It is important to note that while the park is called Orchard Beach, the beach has been closed for several years due to erosion of the cliff. But, if you are looking for a beach, 5th Avenue Beach is a short drive away. Unlike some Michigan State Parks, Orchard Beach is not far at all from Manistee. It is only a short drive to the shops, restaurants, and riverwalk downtown. If you are hoping to explore Manistee, this is a great place to camp!
Orchard Beach is famous for its sunsets. Campers flock to the edge of the cliff to watch the sun go down over the waters of Lake Michigan (top). Like most Michigan State Park campgrounds, the sites at Orchard Beach are very open to each other and even the outside sites didn’t have much privacy.
We booked Orchard Beach because it is a park I’ve wanted to check out for a while but also because of its proximity to the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area and the Lake Michigan Recreation Area where we were booked the following weekend. While camping here, Chris had to work for two days and the cell signal (both Verizon and T Mobile) in our site was pretty much nonexistent even though the RV Life app said the park has good signal. He ended up having to go to a coffee shop in town to work and the wifi there wasn’t great either. If you need to be connected while camping, Orchard Beach is not a great option.
Overall, the campground was clean and the people were friendly, but the lack of cell service made this stay very difficult for us. While I enjoyed our stay in Manistee, there are other Michigan State Parks that I enjoy more than this one. This is probably a one-and-done for us.
Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. To read campground reviews, check out my Michigan Campground Reviews page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.