Northern Michigan Vacations: There’s plenty to do for the land-lovers in Leelanau County, but you can see even more from the water. Jet ski the perimeter of Little Glen, take a crack at surfing on the big waters, paddle with the family on the Crystal, or relax after-dinner on a sunset cruise that hugs the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Sail the Inland Seas

Book the astronomy cruise on this 77-foot schooner to stargaze beyond the city lights, or join the Family Science Sail to trawl and test the waters—all while singing some communal sea shanties. 100 Dame St., Suttons Bay, 231.271.3077,

Take a Sunset Cruise

Watch the sunset from an ever-changing vantage point, edging the coast from Leland along the dramatic slopes of shoreline dunes, on a 11/2-hour evening sail on the Mishe-Mokwa ferry. 231.256.9061.

Paddle the Crystal

Rarely deeper than two feet, the Crystal River is a family favorite for leisurely float trips and chances to spot such wildlife as great blue heron and whitetail deer on the cedar-lined shore. Rent: Crystal River Outfitters, 6249 W. River Rd., Glen Arbor. 231.334.4420,


Boat on Glen Lake

When the turquoise color seems so unearthly that you have to get on the water to be sure it’s real, Glen Lake Marine has your vessel—pontoon for a leisurely cookout, Jet Ski for an adrenaline rush, fishing boat to hook perch, bass, pike or trout. 5411 W. Empire Hwy., 231.322.5666,

Catch a Wave

Opt for a stand up paddleboard when waters are calm, surfboard when the waves are breaking. Either way, you get an overview of the basics with your rental at Sleeping Bear Surf and Kayak: 10228 W. Front St., Empire, 231.326.9283,

Go Charter Fishing

Experience Fishtown’s heritage firsthand by heading out in search of your own trophy Chinook or Coho salmon, steelhead or trout. Whatever the catch, your memories will include the view: the dunes rising along the Leelanau Peninsula shoreline, the Manitou Islands in the distance. Pick a captain who participates in the state’s new Catch and Cook program, and a portion of your haul goes straight from boat to waterside dining. Far Fetched/Northwest Charters partners with both The Riverside Inn and Restaurant and The Cove, where one favorite preparation is foil-wrapped and baked with peppers and onions (231.941.4375,; Fishtown Charter Service (231.256.9639, partners with The Cove.

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!

Traverse City

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

Charlevoix & Chain of Lakes

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

Benzie & West Shore

Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Benzie, Manistee, West Shore, Beulah, Benzonia, Crystal Lake, Frankfort, Ludington, Onekama, and Pentwater