Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Empire Beach Village Park is located a few blocks east of downtown Empire, Michigan. The town of Empire is located near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The village was named after the schooner Empire, which was icebound nearby during a storm in 1865. The beautiful sandy beach and clean waters of Lake Michigan draw many visitors to Empire Beach. Empire Beach was named by National Geographic as one of the top 21 beaches in the world. The bluffs of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that rise as high as 450 above Lake Michigan can be seen to the north and to the south from Empire Beach Village Park.

There is a small fee required to use the park’s parking lots. The park has many amenities including a playground, a basketball court, picnic tables, a handicap accessible pavilion, and outdoor grills. Fires are permitted in designated fire rings. The park has a restroom with vault toilets and drinking water is available. The park also has a boat launch and a lighthouse.

The lighthouse at Empire Beach Village Park is a memorial to Robert H. Manning who was a life-long resident of Empire. Manning loved to fish on Lake Michigan and longed to have a lighthouse built in the Empire. After his death in 1989, family and friends raised money to have a lighthouse built to honor Manning and in 1991 the Robert H. Manning Memorial Lighthouse was dedicated. While the lighthouse is not an official nautical lighthouse, it does flash every four seconds from mid-April to mid-November.

The scenic and family friendly Empire Beach is worth a stop for those visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day use fee

Open Year-round



Beautiful beach and views.


Small parking fee.


ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Potable water
Covered picnic areas


Nearby Adventures

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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