Awesome Boondockers Welcome Locations near the Great Lakes

A trip to the ocean is a quintessential summer adventure that many people try to plan for at least once per year. Those close to the West Coast United States typically visit the Pacific Ocean that’s known for its unique biodiversity, surfable waves, and gorgeous beaches. From So-Cal all the way into Canada, the Pacific Ocean beckons visitors from all over. Back East and in the Midwest, many people make the trek to visit the Atlantic Ocean, which stretches from Newfoundland, Canada, to the tip of southern Florida. However, many people throughout the Midwest and all over the United States that visit and camp near the Great Lakes annually.

Many of these stunning lakes offer great vacation opportunities and offer an experience very similar to visiting the ocean. Visiting any of the five great lakes in your RV is a unique experience that all RVers should take advantage of if they can. With a Boondockers Welcome membership, you gain access to free overnight stays all across North America. Did you know that there are tons of Boondockers Welcome locations near each of the Great Lakes? Get ready to beat the heat this summer as we explore cities to visit, things to do, and places to stay all around the stunning Great Lakes of North America. 

Photo Credit: detroitmom.com

Lake Superior

Lake Superior covers territory ranging from Minnesota to Upper Peninsula Michigan and Southern Ontario. Known as the largest freshwater lake in the world, it spans over 31,700 square miles across. It was formed roughly 1.2 billion years ago and has always played an important role in local biodiversity and resource gathering for humans. 

Photo Credit: superiortrails.com

Things to Do

On the water, Lake Superior is a great place for water skiing, jet skiing, paddling, windsurfing, swimming, and boating. Throughout the shores, there are plenty of attractions, activities, and places to eat no matter where you go. Here, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches and historic lighthouses to be found. Consider checking out this interactive map of the Lake Superior Circle Tour to find some amazing places to visit.

One very notable stop is in Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. This large cluster of islands covers an impressive 500,000 acres of land in the middle of stunning Lake Superior. In true national park fashion, there are campgrounds and plenty of hiking trails to choose from here.

Photo Credit: lakesuperior.com

Places to Stay

In addition to the many hotels, campgrounds, Airbnbs, and B&Bs, there are thirteen Boondockers Welcome locations located all around Lake Superior. As always, be sure to request your stay in advance, and get ready to make some new friends!

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan borders the west side of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. It’s the fifth largest lake in the world, the third largest great lake and spans over 1100 total miles. Similarly, Lake Michigan was formed about 1.2 billion years ago as well.

Photo Credit: michigan.org

Things to Do

Dotting the lake are tons of fun “beach” towns that so many people vacation to every year. Here, the sands are gentle, and the water is sparkling. Because of how north it is, Lake Michigan doesn’t get super warm, unlike popular parts of the oceans. Water temperatures reach between 60 and 70° F, but that doesn’t stop many lake-goers from enjoying all the water sports, recreation, and beaches. If you happen to be in the area, don’t forget to check out Indiana Dunes National Park!

Photo Credit: livescience.com

Places to Stay

Many Lake Michigan vsitors choose to stay in hotels, campgrounds, Airbnbs, and B&Bs. However, surrounding the entire lake, there are also an impressive forty-two Boondockers Welcome locations to choose from. As always, be sure to request your stay in advance and get ready to make some new friends!

Lake Huron

Just across the Straits of Mackinac lies Lake Huron. Technically these bodies of water are connected, but similarly to Earth’s oceans, they are considered separate. Half of Lake Huron belongs to the United States, and the other half to Canada. Out of all the great lakes, Huron has the longest shoreline and contains over 30,000 individual islands.

Photo Credit: greatlakes.guide

Things to Do


While all the great lakes are home to shipwrecks, there are some particularly notable locations in Thunder Bay of Alpena, Michigan which many locals and visitors alike consider to be haunted. Alpena is also home to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. Similar to the other great lakes, there is no shortage of lighthouses, attractions, and incredible restaurants dotting the coasts. 

Photo Credit: glc.org

Places to Stay

Many Lake Huron visitors choose to stay in hotels, campgrounds, Airbnbs, and B&Bs. There are also a total of twenty-eight Boondockers Welcome locations all around Lake Huron. As always, be sure to request your stay in advance and get ready to make some new friends!

Lake Erie

Despite being the smallest and most shallow of the great lakes, Lake Erie has the most abundant fish population. The lake is famous for being one of the world’s largest freshwater commercial fisheries.

Photo Credit: thelakehouseinn.com

Things to Do

As stated above, the fish population in Erie should excite all the people who fish. Visitors can take a boat or go paddling to catch their own, or hit a local market to purchase fresh fish. A famous local stop is Niagara Fall, which iconnects Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Additionally, there are tons of wineries from the part of the lake that borders New York to Pennsylvania, known as The Concord Grape Belt.

Photo Credit: eriedrifter.com

Places to Stay

Many Lake Erie visitors choose to stay in hotels, campgrounds, Airbnbs, and B&Bs. However, at this time, there are also forty-one Boondockers Welcome locations to choose from around Lake Erie, both on the US and Canadian side. As always, be sure to request your stay in advance and get ready to make some new friends!

Lake Ontario

Last but not least is beautiful Lake Ontario. Despite its smaller surface area, the waters of Lake Ontario are actually significantly deeper than Lake Erie’s waters. While some of its fish population has decreased, it remains home to the American Eel and many other species. Unfortunately, it is the most polluted of the great lakes, but it is also well known for all the treasures that divers have found hete. 

Photo Credit: wikipedia.org

Things to Do

Between the numerous state parks and other attractions, there is plenty to do around Lake Ontario no matter which side of the border you happen to be visiting from. If you visit from the New York side, be sure to swing by the Antique Boat Museum or the Derby Hill Bird Observatory, both if which are noteworthy stops.

Places to Stay

Many Lake Ontario visitors choose to stay in hotels, campgrounds, Airbnbs, and B&Bs. In addition, at this time, there are forty Boondockers Welcome locations around Lake Erie, both on the US and Canadian side. As always, be sure to request your stay in advance and get ready to make some new friends!

Photo Credit: worldatlas.com

No matter which great lake you find yourself visiting, there’s so much to see and do and plenty of Boondockers Welcome options to choose from. However, if you’d like to boost the number of places you can stay, consider adding a Harvest Hosts membership. This will give you access to thousands of unique overnight stays at breweries, wineries, farms, museums, and more. The best times of year to visit the Great Lakes are the summer and early fall, so there’s no time like the present to begin planning a trip!

Photo Credit: osprey.com

Where are you heading this summer? Which of the great lakes is your favorite? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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