Picture of Cherries for the Cherry Festival Bay Harbor

There is nothing like a summer in Michigan where the weather feels just right, and the surrounding environment is stunning enough to stop you in your tracks. One of the most popular summer events just a short distance from Bay Harbor is the National Cherry Festival. After a year of social distancing, this year’s Festival is eagerly anticipated. Over 150 activities and events allow locals to show off their cherry pride including turtle races, pit-spitting, and pie-eating contests. The Festival runs from July 3rd – July 10th, so now is the time to plan your trip to the Bay Harbor area.

The staff and volunteers have closely evaluated each event on the regular schedule to provide the community with events that take into consideration the health and safety of attendees and locals. Events you will find on this year’s calendar include virtual events (such as the Porch Parade and GT Pie Company’s Virtual Make & Bake), fitness events (such as Zumba, Yoga, Cherry Pie Bike Ride, Meijer Festival of Race presented by Cherry Bay Orchards) and events at the Open Space (such as the Food Court and Beer Tent). In addition, the NCF is also working on relocating some other events to allow people to spread out and socially distance. These include the Arts & Crafts Show and the Old Town Car Show which will take place at the Grand Traverse Commons.

Here are 4 tips for planning your visit to the National Cherry Festival.

Where to Park

Plan on arriving in Traverse City early, approximately by 9:30 a.m. to park in the enclosed parking garage located on Front Street. There is a $15 fee for convenient parking and easy access so you can enjoy your day as soon as you find a spot. Park your car, smile wide, and start your cherry-loving day! See here for maps of available parking and the Festival location.

What to Bring

For the average cherry-viewer, it is recommended to bring a small backpack with necessities like water, sunscreen, and a hat. It is also convenient to carry cash for garage parking, booths within the festival, and, if you’re up for it, a pleasant kayak ride. For the explorer, bikes are welcomed, with free bike valet, and is a great way to navigate around the Festival. There will be local booths with food, swag, and lots of cherry history throughout the venue, so expect to leave with more than you came in with.

What to Do

There are a plethora of exhilarating activities to do while exploring this cherry extravaganza. To start your day, you can stroll along the beach or rent kayaks for a quick venture on the water while the kids play in the water fountain on location. Then you can saunter around the downtown area before making your way into the main event. Once inside, cherries will surround you as Michigan’s “pure” local agriculture is celebrated in traditional glee. Make sure you catch some of the fun races and parades happening throughout the week. From rides to booths to souvenir tents offering everything cherry, you won’t run out of sweet things to do.

Take the Shuttles

In addition to driving or biking, there is also the convenient option of taking the Bayline shuttle. It runs from morning to mid-afternoon every 15 minutes during this time of year for a relaxing trip to a day of fun. You can catch the shuttle at Woodland Creek (East), Cherry Lot at Northwestern Michigan College (Central), and Meijer (West) Parking Lot across from the Car Wash. The shuttles from the west stop at State St & Union St. Shuttles coming from the east stop at Front St & Union St.

With a little planning, your visit to the National Cherry Festival will be eventful and one to remember. For more specific information, check out the National Cherry Festival’s official website.

The Cherry Festival is an excellent day trip for residents and visitors of Bay Harbor, a coastal resort and golf community that offers a lifestyle like no other. Encompassing 5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is home to the area’s most cherished resort community. Families often enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing off the shores of Lake Michigan or walking or biking along the Little Traverse Wheelway. The Bay Harbor Golf Club has been called “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest” and the Bay Harbor Yacht Club is known as the social centerpiece of the entire community. The Village at Bay Harbor offers lots of options for unique shopping and delicious dining. Residents here enjoy life to its fullest. The coolest thing about this place is that the fun doesn’t have to end when the day does. Bay Harbor makes for a great place to stay a day, a week, or a lifetime.

Bay Harbor Yacht Club has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar transformation and it’s being unveiled this summer. This renovation brings a state-of-the-art Wellness Center, Relaxation Spa, full Aquatics Center, and upgrades to the member dining experience making this cherished lifestyle even more spectacular. There is so much interest in Bay Harbor that real estate inventories are very low. Joining Bay Harbor Yacht Club has become a great way for potential homebuyers to enjoy the lifestyle and stay updated on the newest listings. A great way to move to the top of the waiting list is to own a home at Bay Harbor.

For those who want to visit and explore the possibility of ownership and membership, two outstanding hotel options are available within Bay Harbor. Check out the Inn at Bay Harbor and the Village Suites Bay Harbor and start planning your dream. Visit ExploreBayHarbor.com to learn more about the local real estate opportunities and becoming a Bay Harbor neighbor.

No matter how long you stay, you’ll wish it could be longer. It’s not too late to plan your summer adventure today by requesting a complimentary copy of the Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Through its pages, you’ll find information on the area, more local events, and tips for planning your trip. Go to ExploreBayHarbor.com to find out more!

With summer around the corner, vacation season is revving up for Bay Harbor and its social marvel, the Bay Harbor Yacht Club. This is the place to be to do everything you want with a stunning view wherever you go. Sitting along five miles of the pristine Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is a cherished destination for vacationers and residents alike. Here are five anticipated summer events happening around Bay Harbor that you will not want to miss.

In-Water Boat Show

A great way to kick off summer is enjoying Bay Harbor’s 19th Annual In-Water Boat Show at the Bay Harbor Lake Marina beginning June 18, throughout the whole weekend. The boats are displayed both in-water and on-land, and information on each craft is available. Relish strolling the docks of the harbor as you view premier water vessels and boating accessories with live music from Chris Callaja and the Petoskey Steel Drum Band. Kids will have a blast, too with a free Bay Harbor Coloring book. It’s a festive evening for boat lovers alike!

Fourth of July Fireworks

Bay Harbor Yacht Club sponsors the annual fireworks display for the Bay Harbor area. Hosted at dusk on July 3, these fireworks are a can’t-miss event! Members and residents enjoy watching this spectacle in the comfort of the club’s property, and the surrounding community and guests are more than welcome to enjoy the display from the public areas in the Village at Bay Harbor. The Yacht Club is beyond ecstatic to host the firework show again this year and hope to continue an exciting summer with the annual Fourth of July Parade. With plenty of room to spread out and relax, this event is the best way to celebrate the holiday in patriotic fashion.

Bay Harbor Arts Festival

Come see one of the most lauded venues in Northern Michigan at the 21st Annual Bay Harbor Arts Festival July 23-24. The art is showcased on over 5 miles of Lake Michigan shores and the deep-water harbor of Bay Harbor Lake, creating a stunning canvas for visitors. Preview night begins Friday, where visitors can mingle with the artists while they enjoy jazz music by the Katherine Ryan Trio, and Saturday is a full day of art. It’s a delightful way to spend those soft summer nights while surrounded by captivating culture.

Balloons Over Bay Harbor

What is a summer without balloons? Balloons Over Bay Harbor at the Village at Bay Harbor lifts off September 17 – 19 for our second annual High Soaring event. Imagine glowing balloons lifted high in the sky as they reflect over the Little Traverse Bay. On Friday evening, the magnificent hot air balloons are flown by expert pilots as flights occur throughout the weekend, and breathtaking “nightglows” showcase a beautiful light show on the marina lawn Friday and Sunday evenings. Other events are still being planned, but they are sure to make this community event a thrilling summer adventure.

3K Autumn Glory Color Run

Are you ready to make a splash of color at the 3K Autumn Glory Color Run? Taking place September 18, Bay Harbor’s second annual color run begins on Saturday morning at 10am in the Village. Participants are encouraged to show their creativity and celebrate art, and it is suggested that runners either wear all white or dress in costume. There is no timed racing as it is a local event intended for friends and family to enjoy while supporting a good cause. Proceeds will benefit the McLaren Northern Michigan Pediatrics Department to help fund patient and family support for families in need.

With exuberant events and gorgeous sights to take in at the Bay Harbor Yacht Club, now is the summer to visit Bay Harbor in Northern Michigan. Bay Harbor, a coastal resort and golf community that offers a lifestyle like no other. Encompassing 5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is home to the area’s best amenities and lifestyles. Families often enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing off the shores of Lake Michigan or walking or biking along the Little Traverse Wheelway. The Bay Harbor Golf Club has been called “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest” and the Bay Harbor Yacht Club is known as the social centerpiece of the entire community. The Village at Bay Harbor offers lots of options for unique shopping and delicious dining. Residents here enjoy life to its fullest.

The coolest thing about this place is that the fun doesn’t have to end when the day does. Bay Harbor makes for a great place to stay a day, a week, or a lifetime. With more than 30 neighborhoods, Bay Harbor offers a wide array of homes and a price range to match your lifestyle. Visit ExploreBayHarbor.com to learn more about the local real estate opportunities and becoming a Bay Harbor neighbor. For those who want to visit and explore the possibility of ownership and membership, two outstanding hotel options are available within Bay Harbor. Check out the Inn at Bay Harbor and the Village Suites Bay Harbor and start planning your dream.

No matter how long you stay, you’ll wish it could be longer. It’s not too late to plan your summer adventure today by requesting a complimentary copy of the Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Through its pages, you’ll find information on the area, more local events, and tips for planning your trip. Go to ExploreBayHarbor.com to find out more!