Before I get to the point, here's a little bit of background. We're blessed here in Michigan to be surrounded by the incredible (indescribable) Great Lakes. There's nothing better, in my opinion, than beautiful freshwater shoreline.
Unfortunately, the closest bit of Great Lake to us is the strip of Lake Erie that touches the southeastern corner of the state. Although much cleaner than in the past, Lake Erie seems too dirty. The water is dark and mirky. The surface in the swimming areas is silty, slimy and squishy. The state and metro parks along that stretch aren't particularly scenic. Park users litter and leave cigarette butts all over the beach. In a word: ugly.
To get enjoy clean Great Lake water but not have to drive over three hours, last summer we decided to see what Lake Huron was like in the Port Huron area. My fear was that it would be too industrial there and, thus, dirty. I was wrong. We enjoyed a great day at Conger Lighthouse Beach. The water and beach areas were clean, the crowds were nice. The drawback was that the current was a little too strong near the mouth of Lake Huron (it ends there and flows into the St. Clair River.)
Yesterday we trekked up to that area but went a few miles farther north/up the shore. There we went to Lakeport State Park. If you're looking for a nice park in that area, I'd recommend. It's not big on amenities, but the beach is nice, the water is clean and there is plenty of picnicing areas. The beach is pebbly/stony, but about 100 feet out from shore there is a nice sand bar. Outside the designated "swim area," there is another nice sandbar.
Along the beach is a marshy area where the kids found frogs, turtles and other little critters. We also saw a family of snakes on the support beam of the park's pedestrian bridge/overpass.
All in all it was a very nice day. More than that, I'm starting to realize that Lake Huron seems to be a rather unappreciated body of water. Everyone in our state knows of the beauty of Lakes Michigan and Superior, but there's never much mention one way or another about Huron. If we were considering buying lakefront property, I'd be happy to be there. I also think it's worth the 1.5 hour drive to make semi-regular day visits.