10 Northern Michigan Waterfront Real Estate Dream Homes

Big water, small water, flowing water … in Northern Michigan, we adore our H2O. Give in and let these places set you dreaming of what can be possible in your own real estate world.

Here are 10 Northern Michigan waterfront real estate dreambook-worthy homes, originally published in the April 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

Portage Lake, Onekama

Portage Lake, Onekama

MLS 1811477

$525,000 | 3,332 square feet | 6 bedrooms | 110 feet waterfront

From this perch on Portage Lake, you could sail out the channel to Lake Michigan and around the planet if you had the hankering. But, honestly, who would ever want to leave? This enchanting 1913 cottage is drenched in authenticity, and it stands on one of Northern Michigan’s legendary resort lakes (the lovely Portage Point Inn is just up the shore). Amble in flip-flops to tiny Onekama village for ice cream cones and groceries. Steam sweet corn and make fresh berry pies in the spacious kitchen. Come nightfall, open all the windows in the big front room, light a fire and play pinochle till 2 a.m. And we haven’t even mentioned the fishing. Linda Proffer, Coldwell Banker


 

Platte River, Sleeping Bear

Platte River, Sleeping Bear

MLS 1801569

$489,900 | 1,860 square feet | 4 bedrooms | riverfront

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was voted most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America viewers, and this is your chance to immerse full-on in that irresistible landscape. All summer long, swim and fish from the dock along this sleepy bend of the Platte River, and roam forever along the beaches, trails and waterways of Sleeping Bear. (Platte River empties into the enchanting Platte Bay just a half-mile up the road.) Come fall, yours is a ringside seat to the legendary salmon run up Platte River—FISH ON! Around home, relax in the sauna. Gather round the firepit. Cook up fun and fab meals in the spacious kitchen. Park big toys in the 30-by-40-foot pole barn. Stapleton Realty, Christine Stapleton


 

Crystal Lake, Beulah

Crystal Lake, Beulah

MLS 1801616

$750,000 | 1,326 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 73 feet waterfront

Crystal Lake’s glistening expanse, clear water, dynamite fishing and proximity to Lake Michigan make it one of the Midwest’s most renowned vacation lakes. Lock in your place on the shore and fall under the Crystal trance yourself. A demure 1955 beauty whose honey-toned pine-paneled walls will never let you forget you’ve arrived at the promised land, aka Up North. Sit at dock’s end and take in that Crystal view: the heart swoons, friend. Hoist a sail and spend days on the water (national sailing championships are held here on occasion). Sublime: sleep summer nights in the floor-to-ceiling screened porch. Century 21 SBR-Frankfort, Faydette Fitch


 

Dyer Lake, Manton

Dyer Lake, Manton

MLS 21115837

$56,900 | 572 square feet | 2 bedrooms | 40 feet waterfront

Who says lakefront has to be expensive? This cute little place with 40 feet of shore on Wexford County’s Dyer Lake refutes that notion. Just 572 square feet (easy to clean!) and coming in at $56,900. Mortgage calculator puts that at about $200 a month. (Cancel your cable, buy a cottage, done.) Bluff-top setting delivers on-high view of Dyer. Take the stairway to the shoreline and the dock where your fishing boat and daysailer await. Screened porch for bug-free evenings and breezy summer sleeping. Buy and be a hero to your children. Whitetail Realty, Rick Lantz


 

Long Lake, Traverse City

Long Lake, Traverse City

MLS 1791329

$799,000 | 1,570 square feet | 2 bedrooms | 229 feet waterfront

With four islands, a multitude of bays and a 4-mile reach from north to south, Long Lake ranks as one of the North’s most beautiful bodies of water, and it glitters just 10 minutes from Traverse City’s cultural buzz. This mid-century modern gem of a home presents the perfect basecamp from which to access all that wonder. Architect Bob Goodall, who apprenticed under renowned architect Alden Dow, designed the home for his own family and had it built in 1948. Find intelligent, warm, earthy spaces in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright design. The bluff-top view down Long Lake is spectac; 229 feet of shore. Coldwell Banker Schmidt, Dean Templeton


 

Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula

Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula

MLS 1806802

$599,000 | 2,406 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 90 feet waterfront

With 90 feet of frontage on one of the world’s biggest, cleanest freshwater bays, and just 4.5 miles north of one of America’s most vibrant small towns, this home on West Grand Traverse Bay is set to be the base of operations for a good life—your good life. Say yes to evenings on the shoreside deck, or entertaining at one of the two wetbars indoors. Immaculate home. Graceful grounds with a bricked patio and intimate garden gathering spot. A comfortable, open floor plan makes for easy mobility. Space to store six vehicles (or boat, or RVs, or whatever) means rich potential for the project-inclined. Century 21 Northland-Elk Rapids, Anne Perry


 

Boardman River, Traverse City

Boardman River, Traverse City

MLS 1799540

$314,900 | 1,270 square feet | 2 bedrooms | 780 feet waterfront

The legendary Adams Fly was invented near the Boardman River’s banks, and still today the stream is making new trout legends, ranked as a Blue Ribbon stream. Settle in to this classic 1984 log-sided home right on the shore and lace up the flyrod. With your own 780 feet of frontage (more than two football fields long!) you can cast into the current right near home, or let the flow tug you downstream for hours. The gas fireplace and pine paneling throughout sets a cozy scene for sharing fish tales and a bourbon upon your return. Metal roof means no roof problems ever. Real Estate One, Lynne Moon


 

Spider Lake, Traverse City

Spider Lake, Traverse City

MLS 1800327

$290,000 | 1,428 square feet | 3 bedrooms | 95 feet waterfront

Spider Lake enchants with its crazy, convoluted shore, myriad bays and peninsulas and inlets. Tap in to that water and mystery from this ridge-top cottage just 15 minutes from Traverse City’s food, entertainment and boutique scene. With a major overhaul (including new roof, electrical and way more) still fresh, this place is move-in ready (meaning your weekends will be spent on the boat, not hunched over a sawhorse). The nice position on a ridge delivers an exquisite view of Spider’s enigmatic shore. True North Properties, Ken Weaver


 

West Grand Traverse Bay, Suttons Bay

West Grand Traverse Bay, Suttons Bay

MLS 1810755

$750,000 | 3,466 square feet | 4 bedrooms | 290 feet waterfront

Channeling a classic Up North sensibility, but transitioning it in a smart and irresistible way to the 21st century, this home on the West Grand Traverse Bay shore a few miles south of Suttons Bay makes a lustrous outpost for your days in Leelanau. Fine craftsmanship indoors, nature’s glorious handiwork outdoors on that glistening blue bay. Captivating living spaces flooded with the glow of natural light. Roam inland to explore one of the nation’s on-the-rise wine regions and a popular bike trail that runs 17 pretty miles from Traverse City to Suttons Bay. Coldwell Banker Schmidt—Suttons Bay, Roger Schaub


 

Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix

Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix

$10,500,000 | 22,000 square feet | 6 bedrooms | 167 feet waterfront

If Marie Antoinette had vacationed in Northern Michigan, she might have commissioned a lakeshore palais like this 22,000-square-foot marvel on the northern shore of Lake Charlevoix. Some of the finest craftsmanship anywhere sets a genteel stage for spacious, glowing rooms illuminated by banks of south-facing windows. Gaze through the glass and soak in the never-ending views down one of America’s premier resort lakes. Out shoreside, arrange your watercraft along 167 feet of frontage, and launch days on the waves or get playful in the sand, building more castles of dreams at water’s edge.  Harbor Sotheby’s International Realty, Eric Yetter


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