McClain State Park
McClain State Park is a beach and campground on the north shore of the Portage Canal's northern mouth. I've never camped here before, but as you can imagine from the above picture, I like it for other reasons. This is the best place (from Houghton at least) to come watch the Northern Lights on short notice. While breakers is okay for this, the lighthouse at the end of the pier obstructs your view a bit. At McClain the beach is out of view of the lighthouse and you can get some awesome pictures. Keep an eye out for Northern Lights alerts. They happen more often than you think.
To get here from Houghton, drive north on the lift bridge and continue through downtown Hancock on Quincy Street. Continue straight on Quincy Street when you get to the Lincoln Drive intersection. Quincy will turn into Jasberg Street after a mile. Continue on Jasberg Street for 8.5 miles until you get to the entrance of McClain State Park on your left. If you come during the day you'll need a Michigan Recreational Passport but at night the ranger station isn't attended.