The Barron family has been calling Bay Harbor Home for more than a decade. “This is our lake home, we like to call it,” says Lissa Barron. “We commute back and forth between our home downstate, and this is our second home up here in Bay Harbor. We still work full time so we’re here as often as we can be, year-round.”
For Bruce Barron, boating is where it began. “We started coming up in 2006 by boat and got very enamored with the place. We then bought a home and then kept the boat up here.” Gaining a new appreciation for Michigan’s unique destinations, the Barrons enjoy exploring. “We are a part of the BHYC Cruise Club, so we boat all over the Great Lakes. Last year we spent two weeks on Lake Superior and went up to Grand Marais, Marquette and Houghton. It’s gorgeous. We are very spoiled here in Michigan. There’s no other state that has all of this.” Lissa adds “We did Lake Superior last year. That’s pretty far up north, and it was just the most beautiful trip. We’ve been boating for over 20 years, and there’s never a shortage of places to discover from here.”
Yet for the Barron family, some of their fondest memories occurred closer to their homeport at Bay Harbor Yacht Club. “Our oldest daughter was married here three years ago. It was a beautiful event. Bruce recalls “They were married at the Catholic Church in Harbor Springs and then two boats brought the wedding party over to the Yacht Club. They landed right outside here on the Promenade with all of us, and our guests greeted them when they pulled in. That was really cool.”
The family now has a second wedding on the horizon, and they have already reserved the Yacht Club for the reception. Lissa shared, “I was surprised that my youngest daughter would want to do the same thing that her older sister did…. come to the same place. But she grew up here, and Bruce always considered her his ‘first mate’ on the boat. When they thought about it, they just couldn’t think of a more beautiful place.”
Weddings and special events are a big part of life for the Barron family. “We have a group of 35 friends and family that were just here for July 4th,” says Lissa. “This is a gathering that we’ve been doing for over 10 years now. It’s a group of friends that we have from downstate. They don’t necessarily own places here, but since we’re based here, they would come up to visit.” Reminiscing about the year’s past, “Some stay at the Inn, and we accommodate as many as we can. We were just hosting them for the July 3rd party, which includes fireworks. It’s an annual family event that everyone looks forward to. It’s tradition now. We just love it.”
Bruce also celebrated his 60th birthday last year, and the Bay Harbor Yacht Club hosted a special evening centered around his passion for food and wine. “Well, special events if you want to have one here, they do a fantastic job,” says Bruce. “It was my 60th so it was a big one.
We did sort of like a wine pairing dinner. We had dinner for eight of us, and we chose all the wine and pairings, and the chef prepared a special menu.”
“We put together a special menu, a seven-course menu with wine pairings and the Sommelier came and introduced every wine and poured them for everybody. The kitchen staff came out and presented it all at once. I mean, it was really cool.” Bruce gives the Yacht Club’s new Chef Adam Hightower high marks. “He’s doing well. I think he’s brought some different nuances to the menu, interesting accompaniments, and different preparations. He has been exposing us to different things that haven’t been typical up here.”
But for these wine aficionados, the Club is going above and beyond. “In terms of wine and wine tasting here at the Club, we are spoiled. We have had some fantastic vintners visit us here. Just a couple of weeks ago we were at the Venge tasting. We have an Adobe Road tasting coming up at the end of August. We had the Fisher Family here. Fred Fisher came himself for the tasting. Reilly Keenan from the Keenan Vineyards came to town. These are pretty big-name Napa guys and gals. We get them here for a group of 30 people for tasting and a pairing. I don’t want to miss them. If I can’t make one, I’m upset that I can’t make it. They are fantastic.”
The Barrons also have a deep appreciation for the staff at Bay Harbor Yacht Club. Bruce says it best, “They’re great, and we’ve gotten to know them extremely well. Fortunately, most of the senior staff has been here most of the 12 years that we’ve been Members. It’s been a blessing to be able to be around them.” He adds “And you feel guilty sometimes because they’re like your friends and part of your family, but when you’re here they’re here to be hospitable and serve us. I would like to be serving them in the same way they serve me, but we know they get satisfaction out of a job well done, and the Members are very happy. I would still love to come in and give them a big hug to thank them.”
The Barron family are just a few of the wonderful Members that make the Bay Harbor Yacht Club such a special place to be a part of. Encompassing 5 miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor’s natural beauty – serene lake views of crystal-clear water, lush woods and gently rolling topography create a peaceful haven away from the noise of everyday living. 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.
Bay Harbor Yacht Club has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar transformation and members are loving the new facilities. This renovation brought 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.
The coolest thing about this community is that the fun doesn’t have to end when the sun sets. 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 price ranges 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 never too late to plan your Northern Michigan adventure by requesting a complimentary digital copy of the 2021 edition of 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!