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Bay Harbor, MI (Resort Township)

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams!

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by Meghann

Dave Johnson was responsible for developing Bay Harbor in the 1990's.  The location was perfect except for the 100 year old cement operation that needing to be disposed of and cleaned up.  Bay Harbor is a combination of golf courses, yacht clubs, restaurants, shopping and Petoskey accommodations. Bay Harbor is the casual, retreat home of the rich and famous yet remains accessible to everyone.  Bay Harbor exudes an impressive feel but its maturity lacks the timeless tradition that grab you in older high-end port towns like Harbor Springs or Leland.

While you're in the neighborhood, head a few miles down the street to Petoskey MI.

1. Stay at the Inn at Bay Harbor

Location, Location, Location.  The Inn at Bay Harbor's location couldn't be more prime.  Sitting on the shore of Lake Michigan, The Inn overlooks Grand Traverse Bay & Harbor Springs. With it's grand accommodations and views you'll be re-juvinated and inspired to take on Up North Adventures.  The Inn offers golf, spa, pool, dining, & relaxing with your stay.  Head out to the edge of the water and relax in their family size hammocks or cruise out to the giant chess board also on the water and play a match with a pawn the size of your 5 year old!  The Inn is located right inside of The Village of Bay Harbor so  you'll have plenty to see, eat, and experience without ever leaving the village.  Cruise the village streets for cocktails, dinner, sunsets, breakfast, and boutique shopping.  It's all right there!

2. Eat at Galley Gourmet

On your cruise through the Village of Bay Harbor, stop in at Galley Gourmet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!  You'll find a full service deli & catering along with fine wines & gourmet groceries.  Galley Gourmet serves up Oven Fired Pizzas, soup, various salads, sandwiches galore and decadent dessert choices.  Dylan goes for the Cherry Chicken salad for his appetizer and the starts & finishes the real meal with a GENEROUS slice of carrot cake.  I like the Grilled Ahi Tuna Sandwich.  It's grilled Ahi Tuna vegetables, Roasted Tomatoes and Saffron Garlic sauce on Toasted Whole Grain Bread.  Yum!  You'll also find a full selection of meatless treats for your veggie friends with tofu sandwiches, & falafels everyone will be happy!  You can grab your food to go and head down the the docks and take in the boats crowding the docks during high summer or sit street side and people watch. 

3. Expereince the Little Traverse Wheelway

Jump on this 27-mile paved path in Petoskey, Charlevoix, or Harbor Springs!  From Bay Harbor you'll hop on right at the entrance.  The path runs along Lake Michigan on the edge of the water, what better way to work off your lunch?  The wheelway is full of northern explorers on any given day.  Stop and enjoy the view...mingle with other walkers or bikers and meet people from all over the world!    

4. Walk the Bay Harbor Marina Docks and Explore Luxury Boat Names

In high summer the docks of Bay Harbor turn into luxury parking for yachts, sailboats, and speed boats of serious size.  Often you'll find boats docked here from all over the world... a few weeks ago we saw one from the Cayman Islands!  You'll get full viewing and bragging rights during your stroll and many times the owners are out and about waiting to chat with you about their recent travels.  Grab a glass of wine and take a leisurely stroll into another world.

Check out this helpful guide on how to best name a boat and what to avoid

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What Do You Think about Bay Harbor, MI (Resort Township)?

Adventure Rating: B-

Bay Harbor is by no means "extreme".  The Little Traverse Wheelway bike path is flawlessly paved from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix, which Bay Harbor placed smack dab in the middle of the route.  The gravest danger is getting lost in the serenity of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay and losing your balance!

Locals Tip

Bay Harbor is a great spot because it's centrally located between Boyne, Charlevoix and Petoskey.  If you're a big boater, then you can cruise to Harbor Springs for dinner or Mackinac Island within a half day.

For the rest of us, Bay Harbor can be expensive.  If you want to rub elbows with the rich and famous but you're looking for a discount, go to Cava and eat off their appetizer menu and know that they serve PBR in bottles.  Knot Just a Bar serves up deep fried food on the marina docks.  Knot is kid friendly and has affordable meals with hefty portions.

up north michigan poster

"One of my favorite spots in Northern Michigan is the water front hammocks at The Inn.  I could live there.  I've also been known to shop at "Threads" a few times:)" Meghann "There is nothing like having a mansion on a peninsula with a harbor view in your back yard and Lake Michigan in your front yard." Dylan

Geocache Winner

Submit your best boat names for a chance to win the Galley Gourmet gift card!

To enter, post your boat name idea to our Facebook wall.  We'll select the best names and then put them to a public vote.  The first person to get 25 votes for their name wins!

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You might also like our How To Name Your Boat guide