the northern lights viewed at Bay Harbor

Few places are more beautiful in the summer than northern Michigan, but at this time of year, we look to the sky to celebrate nature’s beauty. You may spend your days enjoying the spectacular Lake Michigan shoreline at Bay Harbor or picking cherries at King Orchards, but there’s only one way to enjoy a clear, crisp Michigan night: watching the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are a result of solar winds breaking through a magnetic field and colliding with Earth’s atmosphere. These captivating hues of green, pink and purple (sometimes even red) are a rare sight, and Michigan is one of the few states in which they can be seen. While it’s never guaranteed that the Northern Lights will be visible, there are a few factors you should consider when planning to catch a glimpse of this spectacular nighttime performance. Keep reading to learn more about the best times and places to view the Northern Lights in Michigan.

Best Times to View the Northern Lights

While the viewing season runs from August through April,the best months for seeing the phenomenon include April,October and November. You’ll want to be watching the sky between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight for the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights. It’s also important to look at the predicted weather conditions before your Aurora Borealis adventure. Check the forecast throughout the day to ensure there will be cold temperatures and no clouds. To view space weather forecasts and sign up for aurora alerts, visit

view of northern light in michigan

Best Places to View the Northern Lights

When picking your viewing location, you must find a spot with little to no light sources interfering with the sky’s visibility. Although many Bay Harbor residents enjoy the show from their backyard visitors often enjoy The Headlands, an International Dark Sky Park (IDSP), is located about an hour north of Bay Harbor. According to the International Dark-Sky Association, an IDSP is a certified land that meets a “set of guidelines based on land management, size, and sky quality”. All IDSPs meet strict requirements to ensure they are preserving the natural night sky. This makes them the perfect viewing spots for space phenomena such as the Northern Lights.

the headland park sign in front of park in michigan

In addition to the Northern Lights, Michigan is home to endless picturesque scenes of nature. Located near Petoskey and Little Traverse Bay in the heart of the action is 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 Wheeleway.  The Bay Harbor Golf Club has been called “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest” and the Bay Harbor Yacht Club is known as the exclusive social centerpiece for this community of golf and boating enthusiasts. The Village at Bay Harbor offers many options for unique shopping and delicious dining, and is home to the Great Lakes Center for the Arts which will be returning to action this summer. 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 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 to find out more!


Bay Harbor has scheduled the perfect pair of weekends to kick off the summer season the right way! Fully stocked with gorgeous boats and even cooler cars, Bay Harbor will be the place to be for Father’s Day weekend. Check out these cool events heading to the area this month!

• 15th Annual In-Water Bay Harbor Boat Show
June 16, 2017 to June 18, 2017

Bay Harbor Lake Marina will host the 15th annual In-Water Boat Show over Father’s Day weekend – June 16th – 18th. The show will feature the finest in watercraft from pleasure boats to yachts and everything in between! Diverse land displays will also be a part of the show including a dynamic showing of Cars and GEM cars from Fox Motors and others.

Times for the In-Water Boat Show are as follows:
Friday, June 16 – Noon – 8pm
Saturday, June 17 – 10am – 8pm
Sunday, June 18 – 10am – 3pm

• 19th Annual Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Boat Festival
June 22, 2017 to June 24, 2017

The Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Boat Festival kicks off the summer in Bay Harbor with a fantastic collection of classic cars and wooden boats.  The highlight of Vintage Weekend is the Parade of Vintage Cars and Display of Vintage Boats, held Saturday starting at 10:00 am, and followed by the awards ceremony at 2:30 pm.  The parade is free to the public and every year thousands of people, both locals and visitors from across the Midwest, bring their families to this elegant gathering of vintage cars and motorboats.  It will be an exciting opportunity for our spectators to see these one-of-a-kind cars, and our exhibitors will enjoy the chance to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones while enjoying fantastic social events.

Whether you are a boating enthusiast, a car aficionado, a nature lover, or something in between, there’s never been a better destination for making memories with your family or traveling with friends. At Bay Harbor, you have found a destination for everyone. Residents and visitors from all across the world cherish Northern Michigan’s scenic waterways, rolling fairways and picturesque trails. And with great events year-round, there’s always something new to do with the ones you love.

It’s happened many times before.  Visitors come to vacation in Bay Harbor and never want to leave.  Learn more about Bay Harbor’s local area, impressive community and fun activities through the pages of Explore Bay Harbor Magazine. Request your free copy for all of the area’s insider information.

Very few places have as many diverse wonders as Bay Harbor in Northern Michigan. Charming towns dot the coastline – each with its distinct personality and quaint downtown district. This lakefront resort retreat is full of natural wonders waiting to be explored. One of the area’s grandest summer traditions is the search for the historic Petoskey Stone.

As the official state stone in Michigan, the Petoskey stone is fossilized coral from over 350 million years ago during the Devonian period. This was a time when Michigan was covered by warm seawater and located near the equator. The stone’s hexagonal pattern makes it stand out when lying in the sand. When holding one in your hand, it’s amazing to think that you are holding a fossil of colonial coral, which predates humans by 300 million years.

Below are three Petoskey Stone hotspots that will help you dig up your own piece of history:

  •  Petoskey State Park – In addition to a wonderful sandy beach, the Petoskey State Park offers hiking trails, restrooms, biking on interior roads, picnic facilities, sand volleyball courts and a small playground. A concession stand is even open (limited hours) during the summer for when you need a break.
  •  Magnus City Park Beach – Located on Little Traverse Bay, Magnus City Park Beach offers 1,000 feet of shoreline and is just a short drive from Downtown Bay Harbor.
  •  Right in Your Own Backyard – The best part about being in Bay Harbor is that the shoreline is never far away. Hunting for the stones in Bay Harbor is about as enjoyable as it gets. Searchers are able to explore the entire shoreline while marveling at the beautiful landscape of The Bay Harbor Golf Club, gorgeous architecture of the lakeside homes, or enjoying a day at The Inn at Bay Harbor or The Village Hotel.

Whether you are an outdoor adventurer or a boating enthusiast, a self-proclaimed foodie or a sports lover, making memories with your family or traveling with friends – you have found a destination for everyone at Bay Harbor. Residents and visitors from all across the world cherish Northern Michigan’s scenic waterways, rolling fairways and picturesque trails. And with something as special as the Petoskey Stones here, there’s always a new treasure to discover.

It’s happened many times before.  Visitors come to vacation in Bay Harbor and never want to leave.  Learn more about Bay Harbor’s local area, impressive community and fun activities through the pages of Explore Bay Harbor Magazine. Request your free copy for all of the area’s insider information.

Great play begins at the award-winning Bay Harbor Golf Club, showcasing 27 holes of Arthur Hills’ best. Its three distinct and varied courses feature breathtaking, cliffside vistas along Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, aptly earning it the title “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest.” Ranked 8th in the United States by Golf Magazine, Bay Harbor Golf Club was also named as one of Golfweek’s “Best Resort Courses,” and included on its list of “Best Courses You Can Play.”

The three 9-hole Bay Harbor courses offer consistently challenging play in a range of distinctive settings that encompass shoreline bluffs, rock formations, natural dunes and lush woodlands. Together, they boast the longest coastline of any course in the United States. The courses can be combined into one seamless experience, or paired to form three unique 18-hole routings that test and reward every player and skill level.

The Links, with its towering bluffs and dunes, was the first course completed at Bay Harbor and is a stunning achievement in the game of golf. Its play is reminiscent of great Scottish seaside courses, set along miles of magnificent Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Preserve was designed to showcase the natural beauty of northern Michigan, with dense hardwoods, lush greens, wildflowers, wetlands and an abundance of wildlife. The final hole is a dramatic par 3 with a spectacular lakeside view.

The Quarry has rightly earned its reputation as one of the world’s most unique courses. The ruggedness of an existing shale quarry was preserved to give the course a rough, industrial edge as it winds its way through 40-foot gorges surrounded by stone cliffs, natural ponds and a gentle waterfall. Its finishing holes along the lake are some of the most picturesque you’ll find anywhere.

Bay Harbor Golf Club’s 114 high-tech golf carts are equipped with USB ports to recharge mobile phones and rangefinders. And before you tee off, you’ll want to download the Bay Harbor Golf Club app – available from Google Play and the iTunes Store. Its complete suite of tools is designed to give you all the information you need to devise the perfect strategy for each hole, including comprehensive yardage guides utilizing GPS mapping and 3D scaling, audio descriptions, flyover visuals and yardage information.

Before and after your game, you’ll appreciate Bay Harbor Golf Club’s first-class amenities. Warm up at the expansive practice facility, where complimentary practice balls come with every round. Take advantage of expert PGA professional instruction, available right on site. If you don’t have your clubs, you’ll find a wide selection of top-of-the-line equipment available for rent.

And what would a game be without the 19th hole? Relax at the Club’s Links Grille, a casually comfortable venue that serves up panoramic lake views with some of the best pub fare anywhere.


If you love golf, you’ll love being a member at Bay Harbor Golf Club. Your membership starts with unparalleled golf including preferred tee times and no greens fees – at Bay Harbor and on 10 additional Boyne golf courses, including Big Sky, Montana and Sugarloaf, Maine.

But golf is only the beginning. The moment you enter Bay Harbor Golf Club, you know you have arrived. Quiet elegance and gorgeous vistas surround you. The 14,000 square foot Fuller Nichols-designed Clubhouse sits atop a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, beckoning you to relax and take in the spectacular views.

You’ll enjoy exclusive member tournaments, social events, league and couples play. Plus preferred member pricing on snow sports, lodging, dining, shopping, spas and more. Your membership is transferrable and refundable with no assessments and no minimums.

Join us at Bay Harbor Golf Club – the perfect setting to gather with family, friends or business associates to create lasting memories.

There is nothing else like golfing at Bay Harbor. The pristine fairways and greens on the immaculate shores of Lake Michigan set the backdrop for a true one-of-a-kind experience. Often referred to as “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest,” the Bay Harbor Golf Club offers three distinct and varied Arthur Hills courses with 27 holes of championship golf. While the courses and setting may be gifts in themselves, the health benefits of golfing at Bay Harbor are also worth exploring. Here a few more reasons why golf at Bay Harbor should top your bucket list:


Exposure to the outdoors – The nature of playing golf on courses as large as 200 acres requires players to be outdoors. Basking in nature provides us many health benefits for our mind and body. Studies have shown that constant exposure to green areas relaxes the body, reduces stress and can aid in alleviating anxiety. Furthermore, exposure to sunlight allows the body to soak up vitamin D from the sun, promoting bone growth in youth and reducing the risk of depression, heart disease and certain cancers


Good for your brain – As your heart rate increases, so will blood flow to the brain, which can stimulate and improve nerve cell connections. This can delay mental illnesses such as dementia. While competing against others, golfers will also compete with themselves for personal best scores. This type of challenging boosts confidence and self-esteem, while the mental alacrity involved in tallying scores, improving strategy and fostering hand-eye coordination will keep the brain active in logical functions.


Better sleep – Since you are getting quite a bit of exercise, your tired body will thank you at night when it’s time for some long deserved rest. Golfers will fall asleep faster, sleep more profoundly, and are able to remain in a deep sleep for longer periods of time due to the amount of energy expended. Deeper sleep is necessary for your body to regenerate cell and repair any muscles and tissues.


A good night’s rest is sure to be on the docket after conquering Bay Harbor’s three distinct courses. The Links, with its towering bluffs and dunes, is reminiscent of great Scottish seaside courses, set along miles of magnificent Lake Michigan shoreline. The Preserve was designed to showcase the natural beauty of Northern Michigan, with dense hardwoods, lush greens, wildflowers, wetlands and an abundance of wildlife. The Quarry has rightly earned its reputation as one of the world’s most unique courses. Carved out of a shale quarry, the course winds its way through 40-foot gorges, surrounded by stone cliffs, natural ponds and a gentle waterfall. You’ll also enjoy the Club’s expansive practice facilities, expert PGA instruction and wide selection of top-of-the-line equipment for rent.


Spanning more than five miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor, Michigan is a cherished destination for vacationers and residents alike. Whether you’re looking for the best golf around, Lake Michigan vacation rentals, waterfront homes for sale, or simply the best place to visit in Northern Michigan, you’ve found it at Bay Harbor.

Click here to sign up for a complimentary issue of Explore Bay Harbor Magazine to discover what else makes Bay Harbor, Michigan unlike any other place in the world.

The unofficial kick off of summer is finally upon us and there is only one place to be this Memorial Day Weekend – Bay Harbor, Michigan. The beautiful, lakeside town provides the perfect backdrop for your holiday weekend. Gorgeous waterfront homes, unrivaled championship golf, delicious dining options and plenty of boutique shopping options – all in the center of Michigan’s best Memorial Day festivities. Here is a quick preview of why Bay Harbor is the only place to be this weekend.

Stroll the charming streets of the Village at Bay Harbor and enjoy the shopping bliss of Bay Harbor’s Sidewalk Sales. Bay Harbor boasts some of the finest and fun shops in Northern Michigan.

Propellers offers a wide variety of colorful resort wear, footwear, nautical gifts and accessories, carrying brands such as Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer and Sperry. J. Phillips provides classic women’s apparel and accessories for every occasion including stylish brands such as Joseph Ribkoff, Frank Lyman, Brighton, Bylyes and Mary Francis Handbags. At the Bay Harbor Logo Store, you’ll discover an extensive collection of apparel and accessories with the signature Bay Harbor logo. Enjoy seasonal retailers like Tulips Little Pop-Up Shop featuring brands like Trina Turk, Calypso, Cortland Park, Linda Richards, Joseph Ribkoff, Elan and more – you never know what treasures you might find.

For all their many differences, the communities of Charlevoix, Bay Harbor, Petoskey and Harbor Springs have one big thing in common: location on Little Traverse Bay That connection has proved key to the foundation of a road race that is uniting all four communities and bringing increased attention to the area: the Stafford’s Community Marathon, scheduled to be run on Saturday, May 27.

The race, now in its second year, runs from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, and includes a marathon, half-marathon and a 10K race/walk, as well as a team marathon.

Families can pedal the day away as they bike the Little Traverse Wheelway, the 26-mile bike path along the blue waters of the bay from Harbor Springs through Petoskey and on to Charlevoix. This Northern Michigan bike path is a mostly-asphalt dedicated surface that winds from one downtown to another, with lots of perfect places to stop along the way.

Start your day at East Park near Bay Harbor, and cruise along the breathtaking bluff views of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. Bring a backpack and pause to snack along one of the trail’s benches, or take the steps to the rocky beach for a quick dip in the lake.  Head back toward Bay Harbor for a bite to eat outside at Knot Just A Bar, where you can watch the boats bob and the sun start to set in Bay Harbor Marina.

If you’re still looking for other things to do this weekend, check out the Crooked Tree Arts Center Artisans and Farmers Market. Stop by Crooked Tree Arts Center Friday from 10:00am until 1:00pm to see a wide variety of locally grown and handmade goods. On Monday, honor our Veterans by attending one of our local Memorial Day Parades. The Petoskey service beings at 9:00am and the Harbour Springs service begins at 10:00am.

It’s happened many times before.  Visitors come to vacation in Bay Harbor and never want to leave.  Learn more about Bay Harbor’s impressive community and fun activities through the pages of Explore Bay Harbor Magazine. Request your free copy for all of the area’s insider information.

It’s your special day. All eyes will be on you and everything needs to go perfectly. We have complied this specific list to help you make sure the plan is on the right track. These are a few of the top wedding trends of 2017 to make sure your day is unforgettable:

Location, Location, Location:
Today’s couples want a wedding that will blow their guests away, and one of the key elements to an unforgettable event is the choice of venue. Advice: Bay Harbor Michigan. Sweeping elegance and beauty combined with state-of-art venues combine to make Bay Harbor the absolute go-to wedding destination in 2017 and beyond. Bay Harbor is an incredible year-round setting for a destination wedding. It’s picture perfect and loaded with charm. It’s a great place to keep your guests entertained with excellent golf, fishing, skiing, shopping and a luxury spa, And best of all, no matter what size, budget and type of wedding you’re planning, Bay Harbor has a perfect location for your special day. Just ask Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee. To learn more click here!

Paired up
Wine-and-cheese pairings have become a familiar site at cocktail receptions, but the idea of matching different foods with different drinks is being carried over to other types of beverages and appetizers. It elevates the guest experience by keeping guests active and engaged. Some duets to consider: wine and pasta, cake and craft beer, margaritas and guacamole, or for a wedding brunch, try mimosas and pastries.

Setting a mood
Lounge areas have been an important decor element at wedding cocktail hours for years, but as after-parties come into fashion, wedding pros find themselves setting up more lounge-style seating vignettes closer to the dance floor.

Reaching new heights
Couples can’t get enough of the unique perspectives offered by drone technology for both videos and aerial stills, and pros are following suit, offering packages that include drone footage as an add-on option. Poised for take-off: professional-quality, user-friendly drones for non-pros (and perhaps a wedding guest).

The beautiful drone footage on the shores of the majestic Lake Michigan, the perfect wine and cheese combination and a lounge that would make even Sinatra proud can all be accomplished with just a click of a mouse. If you are looking for the perfect wedding ceremony and reception venue in Northern Michigan, check out all the great selections in Bay Harbor. From the country club feel at the Bay Harbor Golf Club to the elegant Inn at Bay Harbor, from a ceremony right on the beach at The Bay Harbor Village Hotel to a nautical wedding at the Yacht Club, you can find the perfect venue for a wedding of any size and budget, right here in Bay Harbor.

To get started, check out our website at where you can register for an insider’s look at the area. Chock-full of local information, this publication offers insights into what makes Bay Harbor, Michigan unlike any other place in the world.

Bay Harbor offers a wide selection of golf, waterfront and preserve homes with prices, sizes and views to match your lifestyle. From lavish estates on a private peninsula to stylish condos located right in the Village, there are many varied ways you can live here. Choose from luxury single family and multi-family residences to building sites and yacht docks. Single family homes typically range from $350,000 to $8 million with condominiums ranging from $95,000 to $2 million. Building sites are offered from $25,000 to $1.2 million. A big part of how you live depends upon where you live.

With over 30 unique neighborhoods, Bay Harbor provides a myriad of opportunities for year round and seasonal living with family-friendly, resort-style amenities. Gated neighborhoods are also available for those seeking ultimate privacy. Here are the community’s four major lifestyle areas:

• For golf enthusiasts, nothing is better than a relaxing view of any one of Bay Harbor’s 27 magnificent holes of golf. That’s why we call this area Fairway Living. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of neighborhoods, ranging from condos with incredible, cliffside views to large, architecturally distinctive custom homes. One asset they share, however, is that whether they are tucked in the area’s lush woods, resting beside a perfectly groomed green or overlooking the dramatic shores of the lake, they all offer spectacular views and close proximity to some of the best golf courses you’ll ever experience.
• The incredible Lake Michigan vistas are one of the biggest draws to Bay Harbor. Whether residents arrive in a yacht or not, Harbor Living provides an elegant, nautical way of life. The magnificent homes in neighborhoods such as The Shores, Harborside and The Peninsula, allow residents to enjoy the Bay Harbor Lake Marina’s impressive amenities and active social life, including day trips, cookouts and more. First, they are within walking distance of all the fun and excitement of this resort town. If they want to grab a cup of coffee, shop for a gift, go to the Fitness Center or relax by the pool, they are just steps away. And, they have access to incredible lake views—a pretty great combination!
• For those individuals who are looking for a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of this ancient hardwood forest, Woodland Living is the perfect choice. Here, in neighborhoods such as Preserve and Preserve South, they can enjoy large homesites with magnificent views of the golf course, the woods and the lake. Life here is serene and private—just the way these residents prefer.

Learn more about Bay Harbor’s impressive real estate options through the pages of Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Request your free copy for all of the area’s insider information.