Grand Traverse Bay Cruising
by Pura Vida
(Grand Rapids,MI, USA)
One could spend a month just cruising Grand Traverse Bay.
At the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula is the harbor of Northport MI. This is one o my personal favorites. The Northport Harbor has recently undergone a complete renovation with new shower and bathroom facilities and even free laundry. The town of Northport is coming back to life. If you are looking for great food, you have several selections. The Garage, Lelu Cafe and the Soggy Dollar all offer very good food at a price that wont make you cry. The supermarket (TOM'S) sells block ice (normally) and has an outstanding beer and wine selection. Toms also provides dock carts in order to haul your purchases. Everything is a VERY short walk from the marina. During the summer months don't miss Music in the Park every Friday at 7-9pm.
The park is part of the marina and therefore to enjoy the performance, one does not even need to leave their boat. The music is never too loud and the crowd clears out quickly. BTW After 10pm the marina is virtually silent.
Omena Bay is most likely the best anchorage in northern Lake Michigan. It is a very well protected bay. There is not a marina, but the very small town has a general store, post office, and a nice restaurant (Knot just a Bar) with a spectacular view and good food (the fish and chips are great).
Suttons Bay is just south of Omena and has shopping opportunities galore. It is a very cute village with ample dining choices. The supermarket is a bit of a hike (about 1 mile from marina), but the other amenities make up for it. There is even a wonderful movie theater.