It’s never been easier to get on the water in Traverse City. Set sail on a historic schooner, speed into the sunset on a jetski, or test your balance on a paddleboard. See for yourself why Traverse City got voted number one boating town in the nation by BoatU.S.
A sunset cruise aboard this catamaran tour boat is by far one of the most memorable ways to experience the bay. Four cruises daily; or rent the whole boat for you and up to 45 of your closest friends. Cash bar and bathroom on board. 231.947.1730, nauti-cat.com.
Float up to 80 feet above Grand Traverse Bay for a seagull’s view of one of the biggest, cleanest, freshwater bays on earth. Try East Bay Parasail (eastbayparasail.com) or Traverse Bay Parasail (tbparasail.com) for solo and tandem flights.
If you love speed and don’t want to miss an inch of Grand Traverse Bay’s 300 square miles, a powerboat is a must. Sail & Power Boat Rental has ski boats, pontoons and jet skis—plus all the kneeboarding, tubing and waterskiing paraphernalia you’ll need for a perfect afternoon. 231.922.9336,theboatrental.com.
A sailboat is still one of the most nostalgic and romantic ways to experience the water. Bay Breeze Charters has a fleet of more than 20 yachts you can rent. Not a captain? You can hire one there too. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. 231.941.0535, bbyc.com.
This 114-foot-long, 1800s-replica schooner seems to have cruised straight out of a Great Lakes history book. The deck beneath your feet, the sails billowed above: unforgettable. Choose from three daily tours (noon, afternoon and the popular evening cruise), each two hours long. 231.941.2000, tallshipsailing.com.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Paddling the shoreline of Traverse Bay is a summer classic. But if you’re up for something new, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding: a hot sport that’s akin to surfing on still water. Whatever your paddling pleasure, The River at Clinch Park can connect you with rentals by the hour or day. 231.883.7890,therivertraversecity.com.
Charter Fishing on Grand Traverse Bay
For the outdoorsman, there are few thrills like chasing game fish on the Great Lakes. Traverse City offers options right at the docks, with the bonus that fishing amid the protection of Grand Traverse Bay offers more assurance of smooth waters. With nearly 300 square miles, a depth of 600 feet, and an abundance of lake trout, brown trout, steelhead, and salmon, the bay offers fisherman all the species of desire. Charter fishing need-to-know: All bait and tackle are usually provided; a typical half-day trip runs about four hours; and anyone over 17 who plans to fish will need a valid Michigan fishing license (day licenses run about $10). Three charters to try in TC: Big Kahuna (bigkahunacharter.com), Daydreamer (fishdaydreamer.com), and Reel Fun (reelfunfishingcharters.com).
For more summer vacation ideas in Northern Michigan, grab the 2013 MyNorth Vacation Guide!
Your Guide to Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Leelanau, Benzie & More
From the same people who produce Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, this is a colorful, easy-to-use guide to Northern Michigan vacation ideas from Ludington to Traverse City, from Charlevoix to Mackinac Island and everything in between. It is filled with ideas, tips and hundreds of websites that connect you to fun, food, activities, lodging and recreation in every part of Northern Michigan.
- More than 140, full color pages with stunning photography and travel stories
- Maps of each region
- Hundreds of resources
Be sure to also check out our free online area-specific vacation guides!
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Traverse City, Acme, Fife Lake, Interlochen, Kingsley, and Williamsburg
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Mackinac Island, and Boyne Country
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Charlevoix, Alden, Beaver Island, Bellaire, Central Lake, Easst Jordon, Elk Rapids, and Torch Lake
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Cedar, Empire, Glen Arbor, Lake Leelanau, Leland, Maple City, Northport, Peshawbestown, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Suttons Bay, and Omena
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Benzie, Manistee, West Shore, Beulah, Benzonia, Crystal Lake, Frankfort, Ludington, Onekama, and Pentwater