Start your day in boutique-y Harbor Springs with a summertime stroll and one-of-a-kind shopping. Harbor’s pedestrian-friendly downtown sidewalks are lined with colorful little shops–find clothing, antiques, candy stores and more, including stunning original jewelry at Mary Ann Archer Designs (263 E. Main St., 231-526-3200, maryannarcher.com), and gear for your favorite pooch at Tails on the Town (101 Main St., 231-526-6100), a pup-lovin’ store with Fido-friendly treats. Grab a seat at the old-fashioned soda fountain Mary Ellen’s Place (145 E. Main St., 231-526-5591), the real deal since 1928. Don’t miss a sip of the house’s classic chocolate malts, blended cold and thick with a shot of cream. After your stroll, head for the bay and spend a little beach time at Zorn Park (231-526-7999, harborspringschamber.com), where the super-cold spring-fed water is refreshing on a hot summer day. Not one for lying around? Try a float around Round Lake, the small cove of Little Traverse Bay on which Harbor Springs sits. You can rent kayaks, paddles and lifejackets from the folks at The Outfitter (153 E. Main St., 231-526-2621, outfitterharborsprings.com), and they’ll meet you at grassy Ford Park with your gear ready to go. Push off and zigzag over waves and through moored sailboats, all the while ogling the million-dollar cottages dotting the surrounding shoreline. Make for Harbor Point Peninsula to catch some breathtaking views, then head back to the launch for a lazy walk down the docks of the city marina. Peruse the stylin’ watercrafts and take a front row seat at the end of the dock as the sun sinks low over the peninsula.
QUICK BITE: Join the resort crowd at Harbor’s historic, upscale The New York Restaurant, right across from the town’s marina, for fresh fish, filet mignon, veal, duckling and other delicacies. (101 State St., 231-526-1904, thenewyork.com)
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Make a point to head downtown Thursday evenings July 5 through August 2 for the annual summer Street Musique shows. Between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., the street corners come alive with jazz, blues, easy listening, country-western, Oom-Pah (think German beer hall tunes) and more. Look for special exhibits, in-store receptions and extended evening shopping as well.