adelson family and children enjoy bay harbor

Kendra Adelson is a proud Mom whose family purchased a home at Bay Harbor in 2016. But perhaps it was her daughter Tia, who really shed some light on what makes this lakefront lifestyle so special by sharing her thoughts about growing up in this cherished coastal community.

Tia kicked off the conversation. “We used to have a place in Charlevoix so when I came here there was so much more to do,” referencing the move to Bay Harbor. “I made more friends. We go boating a lot. We swim. We go to the beach. We do a lot of things.”

the adelson family kids at bay harbor

Kendra appreciates the uniqueness of the Bay Harbor Yacht Club lifestyle. “They have a great camp for the juniors here. They aren’t bored for one minute. They teach them how to sail, they teach them tennis, they teach them pickleball. And these kids are growing up together.” For the family, life has changed. “We come to Bay Harbor after the last day of school, and we go home the night before school starts. We just have our new life up here with these new families, and it’s amazing. And just watching them grow up together, it’s wonderful. So it’s a great place for families. It really is.”

Tia lends her thoughts. “It’s very kid friendly, from my perspective. At the beach you can go paddleboarding, kayaking or you can go on sailboats. There’s a restaurant on the beach. There are fun activities, there’s a playground and that’s not even including the day camp and the Yacht Club Kid’s Room here.”

adelson family at bay harbor pool

For those who thought Yacht Club living is just for adults, Kendra would disagree. “They make sure that everything we do is family oriented. We were one of the youngest members to join five years ago, and everybody made us feel welcome from the minute that we joined. And every event that we go to, they love having the kids. It’s just a great place.”

“We always say that this is like this ‘little pillow of perfection.’ Now we’ve had families that have come and stayed with us, who are now Members. So that’s really fun to merge those two worlds. Whether it’s new families that we met up here– some of our best friends and my closest friends now are the families up here. And now they come from all over–some who are year-round up here. It’s wonderful.”

adelson children in costumes

For Tia, her growing friend base is a big part of the attraction. “Our first summer here it was just like back-to-back family. Now, at least three of my friends who stayed up here, have places of their own up here.” And what do they do together? “Well, we just got a new boat a couple months ago, and so we’re still like getting used to it. But we day boat all the time. We go to Fisherman’s Island, Petoskey State Park and sometimes we go to other places to dock or anchor. But our favorite place is definitely the Yacht Club, just because there’s so much to do.”

Mom is thrilled. “When we say, “let’s go on vacation, let’s go to Florida.” “All the kids say ‘No, let’s go to Bay Harbor.’ It’s just cute to watch these little girls. It all started when they were 2 or 3. And now, they are 8, 9, 10. And you’re just watching them walk along the promenade or down at the beach. It’s like this is their home. They own it. You know, we’re just kind of spectators in their world.”

adelson family boating

For those wondering what happens after summer ends, the Adelson’s have that covered. “We spent about 60% of our time here and about 40% down state last year. So that allowed us to understand what winter is like. Tia took a few skiing lessons with my husband, and now she’s an avid skier.” And how has this changed the family’s perspective? “Now I feel like we have kind of merged those seasons together and learned what northern Michigan winter looks like. We’ve had a lot of fun with that.”

Tia agrees, “There’s just so much to do. Like my family and I like to joke around, and we say there’s almost too much to do. Like every day there’s a different party or event.” Kendra says “When I ask my kids, whether it’s December or it’s April or its the middle summer, ‘where do you guys wanna be today?’ It’s always Bay Harbor. And we’ve taken them all over the world- this is honestly their favorite place. So obviously we made a good decision.”

The Adelson 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 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 to find out more!

For the Marriott family, it all started with a game of golf. “We first discovered Bay Harbor on a trip to the Charlevoix/Harbor Springs area. A friend suggested we try a new golf course that was rated highly in Golf Digest. The course was
Bay Harbor Golf Club. The next day, as we traveled to Harbor Springs, we came across the Village at Bay Harbor. That evening we had dinner in the Village and realized that something special was happening here,” recounted Sue Marriott.

The Marriotts were intrigued by Bay Harbor and decided to return. “We traveled to Bay Harbor in the spring of 1999 and stayed the weekend at the Marina Village Condos. We purchased our lot that weekend,” she said. For the Marriott family it was an easy decision. “The beauty of Bay Harbor brought us from Wisconsin to Upper Michigan, but it’s the people and friendships that we have built with other Bay Harbor residents that have kept us coming here, year after year, during the summer and holiday seasons. We have ‘family’ in Bay Harbor now, and that’s what makes Bay Harbor unique.”

Buying a home in Bay Harbor was a great decision for this family. They love being a part of an active and involved community.

“If you want to stay active, there’s always something to do in Bay Harbor. The Yacht Club does an amazing job planning activities that our whole family loves! Our boys grew up going to the Youth Sport Camps and have made so many friendships through this journey. The Yacht Club also has a full calendar of events/classes that keep me busy during the summer months, such as exercise classes, a variety of social events and the Cruise Committee.”

The whole family loves their home in The Shores neighborhood. “We chose to live in The Shores because of how beautiful our view is. As boaters, we also like how close we are to the channel that goes out to Lake Michigan. We love the location of The Shores and how close it is to the beach and Yacht Club. We knew that when we had children, being close to all the activities would be very important.”
“We treasure our summers here at Bay Harbor. We love boating, fishing, walking, eating out at the many restaurant choices in the area, social events and kid’s activities. We especially love the Fourth of July celebration and the Vintage Car and Boat Festival.”

“Bay Harbor is one of the most beautiful places to be. I wake up every day and pinch myself that I can call Bay Harbor home,” Marriott concluded.

Bay Harbor is a coastal resort community residing in the natural beauty of Northern Michigan. This small town located along the shores of Lake Michigan has established itself as a great vacation destination to stay for a day, a week or a lifetime. Shopping, dining, and exciting events for both young and the young at heart, offered with plenty of Northern Michigan hospitality make this a great family destination.

Start planning your summer adventure today by requesting a complimentary copy of the 2018 edition of Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Through its pages, you’ll find more stories on other Bay Harbor families as well as information on the area, more local events and tips for planning your trip.

No matter how long you stay, you’ll wish that it could be longer. Go to to learn more about local real estate offerings and about opportunities to become a Bay Harbor neighbor.