Grand Traverse Bay

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This is tour of the water-side attractions you can boat to around Traverse Bay. Grand Traverse Bay is 32 miles (51 km) long, 10 miles (16 km) wide, and up to 620 feet (190 m) deep in spots. It is divided into two arms by the Old Mission Peninsula. The bay earned its name from 18th century French voyagers who made la grande traverse or "the long crossing" across the mouth of the Grand Traverse Bay. If you have a trailer-able boat, consider putting it in at Northport and sailing down to Traverse City. The BATA Shuttle ( can be taken to any of the ports between Traverse City and Northport for $3

#1 - Elk Rapids
Elk Rapids is a busy village along the shoreline of East Arm Grand Traverse Bay. The village features a large full-service marina with 216 boat slips, an assortment of restaurants and even 5 nearby golf courses.
Coordinants: 44.900329, -85.415225
#2 - Old Mission Harbor
Old Mission Bay offers a quiet place to anchor after a day of exploring the nearby Old Mission State Park or some of Mission Peninsula's Wineries. Old Mission State Park Features a historic lighthouse and log cabin along with a long (but rocky) beach.
Coordinants: 44.958239, -85.480499
#3 - Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Museum is located in Leelanau State Park. The lighthouse opened in 1858 and closed in 1972. Since 1986, the building has been open to the public. Leelanau State Park covers 1300 acres of land and is traversed by 8.5 miles of skiing/hiking trails. The rocky shoreline is a great place to look for Petoskey Stones
Coordinants: 45.210207, -85.549990
#4 - Northport
The village of Northport is a quiet town with a couple restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. Northport Bay provides protection for anchored boats, but there is also a (newly rebuilt as of 2011) full service marina. Look for opportunities for wine tastings in town, or take a walk/bike ride around the quaint town.
Coordinants: 45.129349, -85.612775
#5 - Gull Island
In the mid 1800's a house was built on this small island, but a year later, the owner abandoned it: driven off by the black flies and seagulls. Since then, the house has remained abandoned to face years of weathering. At present, all that remains is the home's two chimneys and parts of the foundation. An underwater shoal runs north from the island to the mainland (with a channel dredged for boaters). Boaters are advised not to get too close to the island from any direction, though, because the island is still infested with black flies to this day.
Coordinants: 45.099942, -85.567017
#6 - Sutton's Bay
Sutton's Bay is a small village nestled along the West shore of Grand Traverse Bay. It is a good 3-4 hr sail north from Traverse City. Sutton's bay features an assortment of Restaurants and shops and a full service marina. The adjacent marina park features a sandy beach, grills, volleyball nets, and picnic tables. Radio the marina on Channel 16 or 68.
Coordinants: 44.986413, -85.626755
#7 - Bower's Harbor
Bower's Harbor is a protected area for boats to set anchor. Nearby is Bower's Harbor Vineyard, Boathouse restaurant and Jolly Pumpkin Brewery. Bower's Harbor Yacht club has a couple transient slips which tend to fill up quickly (so early reservations are a must). There are no accommodations to dock a boat for several hours, so you must rent a slip for the night if you plan to stop by for dinner.
Coordinants: 44.888958, -85.540924
#8 - Power Island
Power Island is a primitive nature preserve with hiking trails and several beaches. The island itself is 200 acres with 3 miles of waterfront and 5 miles of hiking trails. Power island offers good off-shore anchorage and a small boat dock but no marina. There are 4 primitive camping sites for visitors and firewood is available for sale. Drinking water is available at the picnic area on Power Island.
Coordinants: 44.865360, -85.576630
#9 - Elmwood Marina
Elmwood Marina is a short distance north of Traverse City. It is a great spot to stop for the night if you are traveling from Sutton's bay to Traverse city. Since it is only about 1 mile from Traverse City's Clinch Marina, you can get to Traverse City in the morning, with plenty of daylight to explore the city.
Coordinants: 44.789450, -85.634887
#10 - Traverse City
The Traverse City area is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States and lend's support to the city's claim as the Cherry Capital of the world. In addition to cherries, the Traverse city area is know for its numerous surrounding wineries. The National Cherry Festival, held during the first full week of July every year, brings thousands of tourists to Traverse City each year.
Coordinants: 44.766724, -85.622249

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