picture of couple walking along dock of bay harbor

It is a well-known fact that Bay Harbor, Michigan is a gorgeous destination along the Little Traverse Bay shoreline of Lake Michigan in the lower peninsula. This cherished year-round destination for residents and visitors alike is a picture-perfect setting for endless adventures. Here are 15 facts you might not have known about Bay Harbor and the surrounding area that will have you booking a trip to visit!

1. Hemingway Vacationed Here

During his youth, American Novelist Ernest Hemingway vacationed at Michigan’s Walloon Lake in his family’s waterfront home near Petoskey. Here, he learned many outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, and camping in the woods. Explore eleven sites where Hemingway traveled on a marked tour.

2. The Land Is Reclaimed

Bay Harbor’s beautiful site used to be mining operations and cement manufacturing before the industry faded out. Many tried salvaging the land before, David V. Johnson took ownership in 1993 and transformed it into the luxurious residential community we know today as Bay Harbor, Michigan. This went on to be North America’s largest land reclamation project and won awards for its visionary planning and development.

History of Bay Harbor Land Reclamation

3. Fossils Can Be Found

You may have heard of the Petoskey Stone, but did you know it is actually a fossil of coral? The unique hexagon pattern we see today comes from the prehistoric rugose corals that used to make up reefs decorating the lake floors. The best areas to find these stones are on rocky beaches or in surrounding areas near uprooted trees.

4. Revitalized Castle

A short drive away sits a castle just outside of Charlevoix. Castle Farms was built in 1918 and was briefly used as a concert venue in 1969 with performers such as Bob Dylan and the Police. It has been brought back to its original grandeur so guests can tour the grounds and view the beautiful gardens, castle towers, and even get married in this magical location.

5. Tour a Hobbit Home

Experience Hobbiton without having to travel all the way to New Zealand! Right in the charming town of Charlevoix, Michigan is a collection of mushroom houses designed by Earl Young. Transport yourself into the world of The Lord of the Rings by touring these homes that have dotted the town since before the Great Depression.

6. Natural Surrounding Beauty

This coastal community exemplifies a lifestyle that many people assumed was long gone. Most visitors to Bay Harbor are astounded by the area’s natural beauty. Without nearby light pollution, experience the awe-inspiring Northern Lights and a breathtaking star-gazing opportunity in Headlands Dark Sky Park. The best time to view these spectacular sights is August through April.

7. Tie the Knot

With its scenic vistas and poignant beauty, Bay Harbor is a popular destination wedding location including 15 unique venues. Offering breathtaking lake views, nestled along Little Traverse Bay, it is the storybook fantasy location to marry your best friend!

Photo of wedding at Bay Harbor

8. Memorable Scuba Diving

Lake Michigan’s fresh water has provided great preservation of the many shipwrecks littering the Great Lakes. This makes Michigan home to the only freshwater shrine in the world. In honor of local scuba divers and all who have perished at sea, a memorial was built in 1962 right off the shore of Little Traverse Bay in Petoskey. Aside from diving, there is a chance during winter for visitors to walk out to see the shrine.

9. Can’t-Miss Microbreweries

Ranked fifth in America, Michigan has some of the best breweries with over 200 throughout the state and is widely known for its beer production. Along with great brews comes trivia nights, open mic sessions, and local musicians to enhance the experience. Open year-round, the microbreweries host special events and offer plenty of options for sampling their craft beverages.

10. A Golf Destination To Remember

Bay Harbor received accolades and a myriad of global awards for “Top 50 Best Resort Courses” by Condé Nast Traveler, “America’s 20th Top Golf Resort” by Golf Digest, and “Best Residential Development USA” by CNBC. The Bay Harbor Golf Club is often called “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest” for its three extraordinary courses, The Links, The Quarry, and The Preserve, designed by Arthur Hills. Totaling 27 holes, the Golf Club celebrates 25 years of exceptional play and extraordinary views.

Bay Harbor's breathtaking golf destination

11. Amazing Annual Events

There is always a fun event happening at Bay Harbor. Whether visitors and residents are attending annual events such as the In-Water Boat Show, Vintage Car Show, Sailing Races or Hot Air Balloon Festival, there is always something to celebrate. The Fourth of July firework display is one of Bay Harbor’s most notable events and always brings a patriotic crowd together. And you won’t want to miss the exciting 52 Super Series race on August 20 through August 22. Two of Bay Harbor’s very own will be making an appearance out on the water!

Picture of balloons over Bay Harbor

12. Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Open since July 2018, The Great Lakes Center for the Arts is a state-of-the-art theater amongst the Village at Bay Harbor. Hosting many live events including music, film, theater and dance, this art center always has a dynamic performance happening. Check out the list of upcoming performances.

Picture of piano on a stage at Great Lakes Center for the Arts

13. Spa at the Inn

The Spa at the Inn at Bay Harbor serves as a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This upscale spa provides a plethora of high-end services including luxury body treatments, therapeutic massages, and rejuvenating facials. Relax and unwind in pure tranquility.

14. Dining Galore

There are plenty of dining options in the Village at Bay Harbor. Between bars, traditional restaurants, sweet shops and convenience stores, there is a place that will capture everyone’s interest. Knot…Just a Bar is a popular dining destination with lunch and dinner menus overlooking the marina. A sweets lover’s dream, Candy Harbor specializes in homemade ice cream, chocolates, and other sweet confections. There is even a quick service store, Salvatore’s Grocery Kitchen, that provides hot meals as well as everyday items. With all types of cuisine options, there is a place for everyone to eat. Explore all the restaurants located in the Village at Bay Harbor.

15. Welcoming Marina Docks

Bay Harbor Lake Marina open for residents and visitors alike. Simply cruise up, dock your boat, and stretch your sea legs with a bit of shopping and dining at Bay Harbor. With such an easygoing, welcome invitation, it’s a destination that needs to be visited often. Experience quaint, lakeside living at the breathtaking Lake Michigan Village at Bay Harbor.

Picture of the Lake Marina at Bay Harbor

Last but certainly not least? The lifestyle of your dreams doesn’t have to end when the day does. It’s never been a better time to visit Bay Harbor, and in the summer months things are heating up in northern Michigan. Located 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’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 that was 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.

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 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!

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!

Every place in the world has a unique set of rules that the locals follow to adjust to the weather, move around more quickly, or just because it’s the way its always been done.

This especially applies in Michigan, a truly special place with its own set of unspoken rules. Whether you’re in bustling Ann Arbor, enjoying all of the cultural landmarks, or swimming, playing, and staying at Bay Harbor on Little Traverse Bay, you’ll see Michiganders following these “rules.”

1. Show Where You’re From On Your Hand

You’ve got to give Michigan a hand when it comes to its unique formation-it really does look like a hand or a mitten. As a result, many Michiganders don’t really need a map to show people where they’re from. All they have to do is hold out their left hand and point to their hometown!

2. Enjoy The Beach

Michiganders recognize the value of their beautiful Great Lakes beaches. The clean, white sands and peace and quiet make these beaches the best place to be when it gets warmer. Plus they’re salt-free! A real Michigander chooses the lake over the ocean any day. A favorite beach past time is collecting Petoskey Stones. They’re only found here.

3. It’s Called Pop

You’ll hear many names for this carbonated beverage – soda and cola, for example. But here in Michigan, we know that it’s called pop. No question.

4. Never Depend on a Weather Report

Weather technology has changed drastically within the past few years, but us Michiganders will always be suspicious of whatever the weather report says. You never know what you’re going to get. Dressing in layers is a safe practice.

5. If You Need A Break, Head “Up North”

Michiganders get tired from being so amazing all of the time. Hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, shopping and eating can wear you out. So, when we need to get away, we head “up north.” Although “up north” means something different to everyone, it always includes relaxation, natural beauty and plenty of family time.

Bay Harbor is one of Michigan’s most treasured up north destinations. With its direct proximity to Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan and its small town charm, there’s nothing about Bay Harbor that isn’t uniquely Michigan!

Located along five miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is a coastal resort community that offers a great place to stay for a day, a week or a lifetime. No matter how long, you’ll wish it could be longer. Families often enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing off the shores of Little Traverse Bay, shopping and dining at the many boutique stores and restaurants in the city, and staying at the Inn at Bay Harbor or the Bay Harbor Village Suite. Start planning your summer adventure today by requesting a complimentary copy of Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Through its pages, you’ll find information on the area, local events, and tips for planning your trip.

For a while now you and your friends have talked about a golf trip to Northern Michigan, but you haven’t planned it yet. Well today can be that day! You don’t want to wait to book your summer trips because most places will be fill up quickly. Before you know it, summer will arrive and golf season will be in full swing! Here are a few tips on planning your best golf trip to Northern Michigan:

1.Designate one person in charge of planning and booking. Everyone can make suggestions, however it’s much easier to have one person make the final decision on each detail of the trip.

2.Research the area before booking accommodations and tee times. Travel guides and online browsing are great resources for your entire trip needs.

3.Decide where you are going. Situated on the shoreline on Lake Michigan, Bay Harbor Golf Club is a “must play” offering three unique nine hole courses and 27 holes of Arthur Hills gold.

4.Schedule your tee times in advance. The sooner, the better!

5.Purchase a durable well-made travel bag for traveling with your golf clubs and if you do use a soft-sided bag, don’t forget to pack a golf club protection device so your clubs don’t get damaged.

6.If you’re traveling via airplane, don’t forget that golf bags are considered oversized check-in luggage.

7.Accommodations can make or break the trip. Stay at Bay Harbor’s Village Hotel or the Inn at Bay Harbor. Within close proximity to the Bay Harbor Golf Club, these accommodations are a stone’s throw away and provide access to a great game of golf with your friends!

Bay Harbor makes for a great place to stay for a week, a month, or a lifetime. No matter how long, you’ll wish it could be longer, and the fun doesn’t stop off of the golf course.

Start planning your summer adventure today by requesting a complimentary copy of Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Through its pages, you’ll find information on the area, local events and tips for planning your trip. Go to ExploreBayHarbor.com to find out more!

Is the winter season giving you a case of cabin fever? Here are a few fun and different ideas to get out of the house, but still keep you out of the cold.

1. Take a Tour – And a Sip!

Luckily for residents and visitors here, winemaking and micro brewing are well established throughout Northern Michigan, so there are tons on options for winery and brewery experiences. Petoskey Brewing, Mackinaw Trail Winery and Petoskey Farms Vineyard are all great choices. Try the “Sparkle American Lager,” a Bay Harbor favorite from Petoskey Brewing.

2. Relax and Unwind

Looking for a spa getaway that’s close to home? The Spa at the Inn at Bay Harbor will not disappoint. The Spa offers a wide range of services from body treatments and massage to manicures, pedicures and a full-service salon. Grab your girls for a cozy day of pampering.

3. Get Artsy

The Crooked Tree Arts Center features four galleries, a theater, dance studio, classrooms, a culinary arts kitchen and much more. Located in downtown Petoskey, the art galleries are free and open to the public. Enjoy the offered exhibits and displays for a fun afternoon out of the house. Or, take a class to learn something new. They offer everything from photography, crafting, painting and more. The talent is amazing and the people are as friendly as can be.

4. Warm up

Nothing is better on a chilly day than a cup of hot coffee, hot chocolate or hot tea. Try Dripworks or North Perk Coffee, both in Petoskey, for the best javas around.

Located along five miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is an idyllic resort community in the heart of it all. Located just minutes from both downtown Petoskey and downtown Charlevoix, Bay Harbor grants residents and visitors the chance to really experience the Northern Michigan area.

Looking for other things to do in the area? Get your complimentary copy of Explore Bay Harbor magazine, now. This comprehensive travel guide can help you plan your Northern Michigan vacation with its local information and insider tips.