Northern Michigan’s laid-back, waterfront lifestyle is what makes the culture here so irresistible, and with miles of white sand beaches right in downtown Traverse City, no Traverse City Film Festival 2013 experience is complete without time spent on, and in, the water. Grand Traverse Bay is romantic yet playful, serene and yet constantly exciting. From swimming to boating to simply basking in the Michigan sun, there are endless ways to enjoy its crystal clear depths. Beaches that are within walking distance of Traverse City Film Festival 2013 venues and the Open Space include West End Beach, which is popular with locals for sunbathing, swimming, boating, and passing around a volleyball against the backdrop of shimmery turquoise H2O. Just east of the Open Space is Clinch Park Beach, which offers shallow waters that are perfect for families, along with amenities such as restrooms, snacks, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and more. The Traverse City State Park Beach located on East Bay is also great for kids with its brand new playground, and is conveniently located near many of Traverse City’s premiere resorts. Head up Old Mission Peninsula to Haserot Beach for a quiet getaway, and be sure to stop into the historic Old Mission General Store on your way.

Want to get out on the bay? Rent standup paddleboards or kayaks at The Wet Mitten (101 Park St., Traverse City) and The River (Clinch Park, Traverse City). Check out Traverse City Tall Ship Company on West Grand Traverse Bay for a majestic cruise on a 19th-century schooner—choose from daytime and sunset cruises. Or, set sail on the Nauti-Cat, a 47-foot catamaran that offers daily trips including a happy hour cruise—soak up the summer sun with a cocktail in hand—and a popular Champagne sunset cruise. Visit the MyNorth Tickets page to purchase your Nauti-Cat tickets.