Memorial Day in Suttons Bay: 10 Travel Tips

Northern Michigan Vacations: 10 Must-Do’s for Memorial Day Weekend in Suttons Bay, a lovely Leelanau County harbor town.

1. Rent a bike and ride the Leelanau Trail.

Suttons Bay Bikes, right in town, rents its fleet of two-wheelers by the day. Pick from seven bike types, including hybrids ($30), road bikes ($50), tandems ($60), kids ($15) and pedal-assist electrics ($50). Ride car-free on the Leelanau Trail, which starts at the edge of Suttons Bay and runs through a mix of field and forest for 15 miles to Traverse City. Lovely. 231.421.6815, Suttonsbaybikes.com.

2. Roam the cool sciencey stuff at Enerdyne

The North’s original fun science store is still serving up the gee-whiz of nature along Suttons Bay’s main drag. Magnify a bug. Telescope the stars (big selection!). Hook a compass to your daypack. Games, books, of course. 231.271.6033, enerdynet.com.

3. Stroll the marina

Dial down the stress level with an evening walk along the docks. Something calming about the clank of cleats against a mast, the rub of a boat rocking against a dock, the call of a sea gull.

4. Inspect the local wine section at Hansen Foods

Wine buyers at this Suttons Bay foodie emporium (barely south of town) have built a diverse and deep and quality selection of Northern Michigan wines. Local bottles have been winning big awards these days. Try some on the tongue.

5. Shop for antiques

See why Suttons Bay has long held a reputation as one of the North’s premier antiquing destinations. Go slow, inspect, hem and haw, be indecisive to prolong the experience. You know what we mean.

6. Shop for … the good stuff

Beyond a reputation for antiques stores, Suttons Bay is renowned for its inventive, unexpected retail. Fashion, art, furniture, garden … all just a block from that pretty bay.

7. Catch a film at The Bay Theatre

For generations of Leelanau County visitors and locals alike, a movie at The Bay Theatre has been an indelible part of the Suttons Bay thing. Pick a rainy afternoon or a dusky summer eve. Make an indelible memory for you.

8. Break for a cold one.

As in ice cream. No shortage of tasty options. 

The Ice Cream Factory for soft-serve or Moomers.

Little Bee’s Italian Ice for gelato, sorbets and fountain concoctions.

Marilyn’s Suttons Bay Ice Cream Shop.

9. Check out Tandem Ciders

Just north of town on Setterbo Road, Tandem Ciders is Leelanau’s first hard cider tasting room—think microbrew pub, but hard cider instead. Friendly, intimate atmosphere in a countryside setting. 231.271.0050, tandemciders.com.

10. Hit the casino.

Head four miles north of town to Leelanau Sands Casino & Resort, one of the first Native American casinos in Michigan. Situated in the village of Peshawbestown, the resort also offers lodging and multiple dining options. 800.922.2WIN, casino2win.com.

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Article Comments

  • Enerdyne

    Hey Traverse!
    Thanks so much for your mention in Travel Tips. You’ve nailed our image. We’re eager to see former visitor and new face this weekend. Let “The Season” begin.
    Pat