East Tawas MI


East Tawas, MI

Lat: 44° 16.635   Long: 083° 29.162

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: Town
  • Monitors VHF: 9 16 68
  • Charts: NOS 14863
  • Customs: No
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers

Area Code989
Police(989) 362-1430
Hospital(989) 362-3411
Pharmacy(989) 362-7415


Port Distance (nm) Port Distance (nm)
Alpena, MI 65 N Southampton, ON 106 E
Port Austin, MI 39 E Goderich, ON 94 E
Bay City, MI 47 S Grand Bend, ON 112 SE


The town of East Tawas MI shares Tawas Bay with the much smaller City of Tawas. Together, these communities have a population of about 5,000 residents. East Tawas is the destination of most sailors when they cruise this area as this is where most of the services are located.

East Tawas MI has its roots in the lumbering boom of the later 19th Century. At one point, local mills actually imported white pine logs across Lake Huron from Ontario. The decline of the lumbering industry coincided with the expansion of the railroads. The Detroit and Mackinc Railway was in business for a century, not only moving goods but also brining in vacationers by excursion trails. As Detroit industrialized, the foundations were laid for a thriving tourist industry. Today, East Tawas Michigan and the Tawas Bay area is a popular destination for cruising sailors.


Tawas Bay is formed by a long point - Tawas Point. Tawas Point is surrounded with extensive shoals so care needs to be taken in your navigation. East Tawas MI lies across the bay from the point.

From the NORTH and the WEST
Stand well off the end of Tawas Point. Leave the Fl RED "R2" marker buoy to your starboard. Once you clear the "R2" buoy, alter course to approximately 347°T which will bring you into the harbor about 2.3 nm distant.

The entrance to the State Dock is marked by a Fl GREEN buoy, visible 7 mi/5.8 nm offshore.

From the SOUTH
As you enter Tawas Bay, note the charted obstructions at approximately 44° 13.762 Lat and 082° 28.463 Long. Leave them on your starboard as you follow a course of approximately 004°T to the harbor.


East Tawas State Dock   (989) 362-2731   VHF 9
This is a large, modern dock built by the State of Michigan. It has 110 slips for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. There is water and power at the docks. There are restrooms and showers. Other amenities include a playground and picnic areas. This marina only processes credit and debit transactions. No cash transactions can be done.

Jerry's Marina Inc.   (989) 362-3595   VHF 68
Jerry's Marina is located on the inner (west) side of Tawas Point across from East Tawas MI. Once you clear the "R2" buoy, follow a course of approximately 017°T to the Fl RED "R4" buoy. Alter course to 065°T to reach the Fl RED "R6" buoy. Passing "R6", maintain that course of 065°T until you can line up the range lights over your starboard quarter on a course of 128°T. The range lights are both F GREEN. At that time, alter course to 128°T and follow it into the harbor.

There is transient docking for almost 2 dozen vessels. There is a fuel dock (gasoline only) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. This is a full-service marina. They can carry out engine, mechanical and electrical repairs, fibreglass maintenance and painting. There are restrooms and showers. There is also internet access. The marina is within walking distance to Tawas Point State Park and miles of sandy beaches.

Tawas Bay Yacht Club   (989) 362-3137   
TBYC is located adjacent to Jerry's Marina, sharing harbor space with the US Coast Guard base. The entrance is guarded by a shoal on the starboard and a note on their website says that the only way to cross it is on foot! Watch your depths as you come in. There may be several slips for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock but there is a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. The clubhouse has restrooms, showers, a cafeteria and a bar/lounge.

The bottom of the bay runs from sand and weeds to sand/mud and sand alone in the northeast part. This would provide good holding.


Jerry's Marina (See above)

Home Towne Foods, about 2 blocks from the State Dock, is the closest grocery store for provisioning.

Independent Bank is about 2 blocks from the State Dock and has both counter service and ATMs.


St. Joseph's Hospital (989) 362-3411 is located approximately 1.25 mi/2 km from the State Dock.

The Medicine Shoppe (989) 362-7415 is the closest pharmacy to the State Dock, located about 2 blocks away.


There are several restaurant/pub options for visiting sailors. If you like deli food (and I sure do), check out Richies New York Deli. The Whitetail Cafe is a popular local restaurant. For pub food, there is Barnacle Bill's and Mr. Jack'ss Sports Bar & Grill. All of these are within a few blocks of the State Dock.


For anglers, East Tawas MI is a mecca and the surrounding waters are home to perch, whitefish, salmon and pike.

In July, there is the Independence Day Parade and Fireworks and, later in the month, Summerfest. Early August see the Tawas Bay Fine Arts Festival followed mid-month by the Tawas Bay Antique Show. Tawas Uncork'd and Untap'd Wine and Food Festival is an annual wine, food and beer festival that is a fund-raiser for the local East Tawas MI library. Late August sees the Blues By The Bay jazz festival.

Check out this East Tawas MI tourism site that will give you many ideas on getting the most of your visit.

Return from East Tawas MI to Lake Huron

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Restaurant Suggestion Not rated yet
No trip to Tawas is complete without a trip to G's Pizza, followed by Marion's Ice cream next door. Both are right across the street from the docks. We …

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