Soak up every last bit of September sunshine. These Northern Michigan restaurants with decks deliver delicious views with dinner.


5705 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor | 231.334.2530

The tiny beachside patio at this gourmet restaurant may be the best-kept secret in the North. Since there are no reservations for outside eating, you might have to wait your turn sitting on the beach looking out at Sleeping Bear Bay and the Manitou Islands. Darn.


5858 Manitou View, Glen Arbor | 231.334.6444

This log lodge has a giant deck in the middle of town with live music, shrimp, burgers, steaks and great summer people-watching.

Rick’s Cafe at The Cove

111 River St., Leland | 23.256.9834

A Chubby Mary and a seat on the Leland River with Lake Michigan lapping in the background. Summer, my friend, is still here.

Coho Cafe

320 Main St., Frankfort | 231.352.6053

Hit the Frankfort beach, then walk downtown to the Bestie Bay-side deck for fine dining at Coho.

Boathouse Restaurant

14039 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City | 231.223.4030

Power Island resting on diamond-flecked waters, the sun dipping low, a bowl of mussels—and thou. Enjoy upscale dining on the shore.

Mission Table

13512 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City | 231.223.4222

A superb farm-to-table experience at a casually elegant restaurant overlooking Bowers Harbor on Old Mission Peninsula. (Chef Paul Olson shared a few recipes with us.)

Blue Tractor & The Shed

423 S. Union St., Traverse City | 231.922.9515

A cozy pub and seasonal beer garden attached to Blue Tractor Cook Shop in Old Town. Excellent burgers, brick-oven pizzas and Michigan brews.

North Peak Brewing Co.

400 W. Front St., Traverse City | 231.941.7325

Have a handcrafted microbrew on the West Front Street sidelines. Nice. (Order the white cheddar ale soup. Trust us.)


6340 Old Torch Lake Dr., Bellaire | 231.377.7777

Steer your boat over here for fried pickles, burgers and an unforgettable view of Torch Lake’s aqua depths.

Douglas Lake Bar and Steakhouse

10990 Douglas Lake Rd., Pellston | 231.539.8588

Known to locals as the “DLB”, the rustic log restaurant overlooking Douglas Lake serves steaks, chops and lots of seafood.

Dudley’s Deck at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant

102 E. Bay St., Harbor Springs | 231.526.6201

A true waterfront dining experience, the Pier Restaurant was built on the original pilings over the harbor. Beautiful views of the marina pair with New England crab cakes, seared scallops and oak-planked whitefish.

Bayside BBQ & Bar

7463 Main St., Mackinac Island

Set on the shores of Haldimand Bay, this is the best place to watch the ferries coming and going while enjoying smoked barbecue classics like pulled pork and BBQ mac & cheese. Bonus: You’re also right downtown.

More Northern Michigan Restaurants