From Elk Rapids shops and tips to holiday gifts from Bellaire, these two cities will make celebrating the holidays Up North even more festive! Dive in for upcoming Northern Michigan events, our favorite holiday tips and our Bellaire and Elk Rapids Holiday Gift Guides.

Elk Rapids Holiday Guide

Tucked between Lake Michigan, Elk Lake and the Elk River, there’s no shortage of sparkling, frozen views in this darling village. After you browse the downtown boutiques, visit Veterans Memorial Park to see the frosty landscapes for yourself.
Toy store in Elk Rapids during winter.

Photo by Dave Weidner

Shop Local in Elk Rapids

On River Street, Stuff & Such, My Michigan Roots and The Nature Connection have gifts galore, and the Northern Michigan-inspired collection of soaps at Wildflower Soapworks are perfect stocking stuffers—choose from Mackinac Island Lilac, Upper Peninsula Pine and more.

Enjoy Merry Sips in Elk Rapids

Townline Ciderworks ciders are made with apples that are pressed and served on the edge of the orchard where they’re grown. Visit the tasting room off US-31 to grab a growler or four-pack to share with friends.

Santa’s Secret Elk Rapids Gift

Ethanology’s holiday gift crates include a craft spirit, recipe card and goodies like gourmet maraschino cherries and aromatic bitters, depending on the cocktail you choose, for easy mixing at home.

Explore the Elk Rapids Winter Wonderland

For a beautiful kid-friendly adventure, explore the 1.2-mile Ridge Trail at Maplehurst Natural Area in neighboring Milton Township. Hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski the loop, stopping for a view of Lake Maplehurst.

Holiday Events in Elk Rapids

Visit the MyNorth events page and the Elk Rapids Chamber website for Santa sightings, tree lightings and more. And find everything you need for an Elk Rapids outing on our Elk Rapids page!

The Ultimate 2021 Elk Rapids Gift Guide

This year’s Elk Rapids gift guide features gifts from Nature Connection, My Michigan Roots and Bayfront Beach & Bike. These shops all feature unique and exciting items to help make the holidays a blast and gifting a breeze!

Nature Connections in Elk Rapids gifts

Photo by Dave Weidner

Nature Connection is located at 137 River St. in Elk Rapids and is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. They feature creative gifts celebrating treasures from the earth including home and garden décor, educational toys and books, jewelry and more.

From left to right, here are the Nature Connection gifts featured in our 2021 guide:

  • Men’s Socks | HotSox, $12.00
  • Petoskey Stone and Leeland Blue Beach Rock Bracelet, $135.00
  • Nature Explorer Microscope, $26.95
  • Paper Product Design Double Walled, Stainless Steel 16.5 oz Water Bottle, $29.99
My Michigan Roots gifts in Elk Rapids

Photo by Dave Weidner

My Michigan Roots is located at 126 River St. in Elk Rapids and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and then from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. This shop features Michigan outdoor gear and accessories for adults and children with exclusive, handmade designs.

Here are the My Michigan Roots items featured in our 2021 gift guide:

  • Long Sleeve Vintage Thermal, $36.00
  • MI License Plate Sign (medium sign shown above): Small, $495.00. Medium, $595.00. Large  $795.00.
  • Roots Collection Pint Glass in Black, $12.00
  • Tailgate Hooded Sweatshirt, $48.00
A bike and scooter from Elk Rapids

Photo by Dave Weidner

Bayfront Beach & Bike is located at 130 River St. in Elk Rapids and is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This shop features e-bikes, beach cruisers, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and beach accessories.

Here are the items from Bayfront Beach & Bike featured in our 2021 gift guide:

  • Gazelle Medeo T9 Bike in Red, $2,499
  • LongWay Summit Goldline Scooter in Gold, $179.99

Bellaire Holiday Guide

Bellaire lights up during the holidays, literally. The month of December brings endless strings of lights on local businesses (Short’s goes all out) and festively decorated storefronts.
Downtown Bellaire in winter

Photo by Bellaire Chamber of Commerce

Shop Local in Bellaire

Sing fa-la-la as you shop on Bridge Street: Uniquely North for fab home décor and clothing, Bee Well Meadery for one-of-a-kind meads and ciders, The Spice & Tea Exchange to stock up on party dip and gourmet blends for holiday gatherings and, of course, you have to treat yourself to Christmas cookies at Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery.

Cocktails & Wine: Merry Sips in Bellaire

Hello Vino has wines from around the world and wine cocktails like the Vino Mule: vodka, pinot noir, lime and ginger beer. Pair an après-shopping cocktail with charcuterie, Waygu hot dogs or a rice bowl.

Santa’s Secret Bellaire Holiday Gift

Make a reservation at Mammoth Distilling for the Create-Your-Own Whiskey Blend experience. Sample from six to seven barrels, learn how to identify notable flavors and then blend your own unique bottle to take home!

Explore Bellaire’s Winter Wonderland

At Grass River Natural Area, three-plus miles are groomed for classic cross-country skiing (when conditions allow). The remaining trails are open to snowshoeing. On-site snowshoe rentals for all ages and skis for kids are available.

Holiday Events in Bellaire

Visit the MyNorth events page and Bellaire Chamber website for Santa sightings, tree lightings and more. And find everything you need for a Bellaire outing on our MyNorth Bellaire town page.

The Ultimate 2021 Bellaire Gift Guide

Uniquely North and Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery from Bellaire are both featured in our 2021 gift guide. From perfect gifts for the little one in your life to delicious bakery goods and gear, both of these Bellaire businesses will help you make holiday shopping a breeze!
Gifts from Uniquely North in Bellaire

Photo by Dave Weidner

Uniquely North is located at 221 N. Bridge St. in Bellaire and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This shop features unique Michigan-themed decor, gear and gifts to help you bring the feel of Northern Michigan to those you love most.

From left to right, here are the items from Uniquely North featured in our 2021 gift guide:

  • Crossbody Soruka Leather Handbag, $57.99
  • Little Birdie’ Dinosaur Pattern Pillow, $39.99
  • Handcrafted, Painted Polish Pottery, Spoon rest  $19, Triangle dish $21, Star votive/tealight holder $14, Long small spoon $18, Small casserole  $34.
  • Dinosaur Blanket Dinosaur Blanket, view pricing in-store.
  • Soruka Handbags Leather Backpack $103.99
  • GANZ Brachiosaurus Plush Dinosaur Stuffed Animal, $34.99


Ruthanns Gourmet Bakery gift items

Photo by Dave Weidner

Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery is located at 105 N. Bridge St. Suite B in Bellaire and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They serve up delicious baked goods, bakery gear and gifts for all.

Here are the gifts in our 2021 gift guide from Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery:

  • Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery Double Walled Camp Cup, view pricing in-store.
  • Ruthann’s Gift Card, range of pricing- make your selection in-store.
  • Ruthann’s Bake Your Own Cookies Gift Tin, $19
  • Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery Hat, view pricing in-store.

Give the Gift of Traverse Magazine this Year!

Searching for the gift that keeps on giving? Send an annual, 12-month gift subscription of Traverse Magazine to someone you love for under $25. If you order before November 30 you can receive the January issue. Orders placed after this date will come with a complimentary postcard announcing your gift! And new for 2022? This gift subscription to Traverse includes the coveted MyNorth Weddings, a $6.95 value.

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell