Get into the Up North holiday spirit! From festive Northern Michigan events to gift and sip stops, here are our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in Elk Rapids and Bellaire.

This article first appeared in Traverse Northern Michigan. Find this story and more when you explore our digital issue library. Want Traverse delivered to your door or inbox monthly? View our print subscription and digital subscription options.

2022 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 downtown’s boutiques, visit Veterans Memorial Park to see the frosty landscapes for yourself.

Shop Local in Elk Rapids

On River Street, Wildflower Soapworks, Stoney Cabin Toys and Word Love Goods have gifts galore. At the newly opened Golden Hill Farms, find beautiful bouquets, beeswax candles and potted plants to spruce up your home for the holidays.

Merry Sips in Elk Rapids

Sip as you shop at Cellar 152, a gourmet wine and food market with holiday deals and a treasure trove of kitchen and home accessories. After picking out presents, spend some time on the heated outdoor deck for fantastic winter views as you enjoy specialty wines by the glass.

Elk Rapids Gift Spots

Dig into The Flour Pot’s holiday confections, including the signature sugar cookies frosted with seasonal designs (think: holly wreaths, cheerful reindeer, crystal snowflakes). Be sure to save some for Santa, too.

Explore Elk Rapids’ Winter Wonderland

When dusted with snow, the Elk Rapids Day Park is entirely enchanting. Stroll past sculptures made by local artists at the park’s Walk of Art, spot birds hunkering in hardwoods and look out across icy East Grand Traverse Bay.

Elk Rapids Holiday Events

Nov. 17–20 | Myrtle & Maude’s Christmas on the Farm
Nov. 26 | Alden Holiday Illumination & Open House
Dec. 3 | Polar Express in Elk Rapids

Downtown Elk Rapids in the Winter

Photo by Allison Jarrell

Celebrate the Holidays in Bellaire

Bellaire lights up during the holidays, literally. Local businesses string hundreds of glowing strands across storefronts in time to welcome Santa to town during the annual Light Up the Night parade.

Shop Local in Bellaire

Sing fa-la-la as you shop on Bridge Street: browse vintage finds and home décor at The Flying Pig, stock up on gourmet blends for holiday cooking at The Spice & Tea Exchange and delight in fabulously festive cookies at Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery.

Merry Sips in Bellaire

Short’s Brewing Company, Mammoth Distilling, Hello Vino and Bee Well Mead & Cider share a block on Bridge Street. Find bottles to gift and serve, then toast the season with friends. (Mammoth Distilling’s coffee liqueur makes a particularly good Holiday Hummer. Get the MyNorth exclusive recipe here.

Santas Secret Bellaire Stop

Give the gift of adventure. Shanty Creek Resort’s Schuss Mountain has 42 runs and three terrain parks, but if skiing and snowboarding aren’t your thing, there’s still a whole lot of fun to be had, including snowshoeing, fat biking, even dogsledding. The afterglow: Grab a fireside seat beside Base Camp, the resort’s food truck.

Explore Bellaire’s Winter Wonderland

Rent fat bikes from Paddles & Pedals, and check out the groomed trails (about 8 miles) at Glacial Hills Pathway & Natural Area. The Vandermark and Eckhardt trailheads are plowed for access, and the natural area’s additional 20-plus miles of ungroomed trails are open to hiking, snowshoeing and back-country skiing.

Bellaire Holiday Events

Nov. 5 | Holiday Gift Fair at Shanty Creek Resorts
Nov. 26 | Lighting Up the Inn Open House at Applesauce Inn Bed and Breakfast
Dec. 3 | Light Up the Night

Downtown Bellaire covered in lights

Photo by Bellaire Chamber of Commerce

Give the Gift of Traverse Magazine this Year!

Northern Michigan is the greatest gift! Share it with the ones you love this holiday season. 🎄❄️✨ From feature stories on seasonal adventures to can’t-miss locally-inspired recipes, give the gift of Northern Michigan for under $30 with a 12-month Traverse Magazine gift subscription:

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell