It just doesn’t get any better than a kick-back cruise through the bay. Whether yours is a crew of landlubbers or seasoned sailors, the big boats of Grand Traverse Bay offer delightful escapes into the wide-open water. Just find your sea legs and choose your adventure. Here are two that we love:
Family sailing fun: The 62-passenger tall ship Manitou (231-941-2000, tallshipsailing.com), a replica of an 1800’s cargo schooner, cruises elegantly through West Bay to reveal fantastic views of Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas. Take your family on the two-hour noon cruise (adults $37, children $18), which includes an on-deck picnic lunch. Or, reserve a post-sail patio seat at Scott’s Harbor Grill (12719 S. West Bay Shore Dr., 231-922-2114) for seafood, ribs and a splendid view of the bay.
Adventurous paddle: For unparalleled access to beaches, coves and sweet shoreline vistas, slip into a kayak delivered to you from Northwest Kayak Outfitters (northwestkayakoutfitters.com). For $40 a day, you can tool around the East Bay coastline or follow one of three paths in the Northwest Water Trail System — ask for a map designating worthy stops like parks and beach towns. Celebrate the voyage’s end with a wood-fired pizza at North Peak Brewing Co. (400 W. Front St., 231-941-7325).
More Ways to Get on the Water!
- Get on the Water in Traverse City
- Charter Fishing the Big Lake from Frankfort
- Cruise on the Manitou
- Rent a Pontoon and Cruise the Chain of Lakes
- Pick Your Summer Day on Traverse City’s Inland Seas Schooner
- 7 Ways to the Water
- Sleeping Bear Dunes Cruise
- Best Places to Boat to Dinner
- Cruise Lewiston’s Twin Lakes
- Cruise the Mackinac Straits
- Float Away on the Manistee
- Kayak Les Cheneaux
- Canoe Traverse City’s Boardman River
Quick Links to More Fun in Traverse City!
- The Traverse City Vacation Directory: Listings to lodging, galleries, restaurants and more along with an interactive map.
- Traverse City Digital Vacation Guide: Browse the pages of the complete digital Guide and click to hundreds of websites.
- Video: Traverse City’s Guide to Fun!
- The Complete Traverse City Restaurant Guide
- Flying in or out of Traverse City? Take a video tour of the Cherry Capital Airport to learn all you need to know.
- Plot your day in Traverse City using this Interactive Map: Choose an activity in "I’d like to find" and choose Traverse City for "in a town near." Then click away!
- Rent a Cottage in Traverse City
- Traverse City music, festivals, arts and hundreds of events
- Beaches near Traverse City
Emily Bingham is assistant editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This article was first published in April 2006, and was updated for the web February 2008.