Bay Harbor Cottages over looking the water

The 2020 Real Estate market in Northern Michigan has started off a bit different this year, for reasons we all understand. The same applies to the luxury resort community of Bay Harbor, an extraordinary Lake Michigan community that offers some of the finest Northern Michigan properties for sale. While the community is known for an impressive, deep-water marina, championship golf, two hospitality venues, and the community’s social centerpiece, Bay Harbor Yacht Club, no one can anticipate what the “new normal” will be. For homeowners and sellers, all the uncertainty might have them looking to the market for answers, but there is a silver lining of hope shared by Pat Leavy.

Given the drastic reduction in air travel, it might be easy to assume Bay Harbor completely lost rental requests from prospective visitors and buyers. Not so fast. “We are finding that our rental requests have been high because people are trying to escape the suburbs and city. These are the same people who were unable to take a spring break with their family, so they are excited to vacation in northern Michigan,” says Pat Leavy of Kidd & Leavy Real Estate.

While no one knows how persistent the situation will be, real estate remains a long-term investment and many buyers continue to move forward with housing interests.  In addition to the increased rental requests, there is also an increase in inventory within the Bay Harbor community due to downsizing and other life events, and it is evident prospective buyers are willing to travel to northern Michigan to explore and learn about Bay Harbor.  Many homeowners have felt the frustration of being stuck at home during the quarantine and the idea of having a second home or a vacation escape, could spark some transactions in Bay Harbor.

“Sellers need to stay aggressive on their price points to attract buyers. With interest rates being low, it should attract more potential clients to look around,” says Leavy. There are certain life events such as birth, marriage, and downsizing that call for home sales.  Leavy says he is optimistic there will be transactions in Bay Harbor, but the year could be similar to what happened in 2008 and 2009 when the market was tough, but then the community came out of it strong.

While society goes through social and cultural shifts, homeowners are truly recognizing the value of a home and its surroundings. Home is where we eat, sleep, play, work, and flourish with outdoor spaces, patios, and decks becoming a necessity. As safety and a sense of community become more important every day, Bay Harbor continues to lead luxury real estate in Northern Michigan with its distinct personality, the resort lifestyle, and natural wonders. Now is the chance to build and maintain Bay Harbor’s confidence in the market as real estate will be at its height once it shifts back into normalcy. In the meantime, all these silver linings of hope should keep buyers and sellers optimistic.

People come from all over the world just to see the scenic Lake Michigan Circle Tour. But did you know one of the most impressive parts of the Tunnel of Trees Tour begins right in Petoskey?

Voted in the top 10 Motorcycle Rides in North America by the Discovery Channel, the Tunnel of Trees Tour is a can’t miss for all. Experience spectacular views while driving or biking along this scenic route. From Mackinaw City to Petoskey, there is plenty to see so make sure you relax and take it slow to catch all of the fall beauty.

While feeling the cool fall breeze on your face, you will witness the changing of the leaves into beautiful tints of reds, yellows and oranges like you have never seen before. No wonder tourists continue to come back every year to this all-American destination.

If you need to take a pit stop, there are many little coffee shops and scenic spots along this 27.5-mile route.

Need a place to stay after experiencing The Tunnel of Trees? Check out one of the award-winning hotel options just down the road at Bay Harbor. With beautiful waterfront views, the Inn at Bay Harbor and the Bay Harbor Village Hotel are both great choices for your accommodation in Northern Michigan.

Recognized by Travel + Leisure as one of “The World’s Best Hotels” and distinguished as a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, The Inn at Bay Harbor will blow you away with its uncompromising levels of elegance, detail and service. With breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and world-class amenities and service, the Inn is a renowned destination, offering 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites.

Overlooking the Bay Harbor Lake Marina, the Bay Harbor Village Hotel offers a collection of rooms, suites and penthouses. Dedicated to the highest level of hospitality and known for its “Boutique Distinction,” there is no accommodation that can compare to the Bay Harbor Village Hotel. It’s the perfect location for travelers who love to be in the center of activity, just steps from a variety of shops and dining options.

Both hotels are currently offering special rates for this time of the year. Visit Explore Bay Harbor’s website more information and how to book your stay.

Looking for other things to do in the area while you’re there? Request a complimentary Explore Bay Harbor Magazine to find out why Bay Harbor, Michigan is a place like no other. With information on local events and activities, it’s your all-inclusive guide to Northern Michigan.

For those unfamiliar with northern Michigan, wine might not be the first thing that springs to mind, but there’s a unique microclimate along Michigan’s northwest coast – a product of the exposed bluffs and the winds off the bay – that makes this a welcoming place for grapes to grow.

For years, most of the region’s winemaking has been concentrated in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties, but Bay Harbor and the Bay View Wine Trail is quickly become a new destination for wine connoisseurs.

From Petoskey east to Alanson and then back west to Harbor Springs, Emmet County’s Bay View Wine Trail offers eight wineries that aim to bring visitors the best of new northern Michigan wines. Here’s our guide to the Trail.

Est. 2014 3199 Intertown Road, Petoskey – 231-622-8645 –
Located on the 60-year-old Dennis Farms, this winery is a mere mile from placid Walloon Lake, with a production facility surrounded by 36 acres of cold-hardy grapes. A new tasting room is in the works for summer 2015, as is the return of several popular summer wines: End of the Pike Peach, North Arm Noir, Randall’s Point Red and Wildwood White among them.

Est. 2004 3423 US Hwy 131, Petoskey – 231-487-1910 –
With the goal of becoming a mainstay of the Michigan wine industry, the Stabile family has been awarded more than 500 medals for their wines, including their classic Big Red. Other standouts are their vidal blanc ice wine, a wine crafted from vine-frozen grapes with honeysuckle notes, and the North Shore Red Port, an International Wine Competition bronze medal winner.

Est. 2014 3720 Atkins Road, Petoskey – 231-290-9463 –
Just 3 miles from downtown Petoskey’s shopping and dining, Petoskey Farms features a covered patio overlooking their vineyards, where glasses of their crisp Petoskey White and lightly-oaked Petoskey Red wines are local favorites. Another highlight is Petoskey Farms’ unique apricot wine, a distinctive and refreshing counterpart to spicy foods like Thai or Mexican.

Est. 2015 4454 Atkins Road, Petoskey – 231-487-9058 –
Maple Moon started as a maple syrup business, but the Petersen family began experimenting with turning their maple syrups into wine – fermenting the syrup and sap – and these unusual wines have been earning raves for their tone and sweet crème finish, especially the aptly named Maple Gold. Bonus: maple ice cream, candy and syrup are all still available.

Est. 2012 9090 Michigan 68, Alanson – 231-548-1280 –
Utilizing premium hybrid grapes specially designed for the northern climate, Seasons of the North focuses on intriguing handcrafted wine flavors that complement local foods. Located just minutes from I-75, these medal-winning wines include The Cabin, a dry red wine made from Michigan Marechal Foch grapes, and Burt Lake Breeze, from imported seyval blanc.

Est. 2013 8370 Lakeview Road, Alanson – 231-881- 6582 –
With a name inspired by their surroundings, Crooked Vine makes the best of the breezes from Crooked Lake to develop the flavor of their grapes. The results include wines like Tip of the Mitt Red and the more complex dry red Marquette. The Peach Sangria, a light refreshing pour made from peach wine with mango and lime notes, is just the thing for outdoor summer dining.

Est. 1994 6769 Pleasantview Road, Harbor Springs – 231-526-8100 –
The most interesting character at Pleasantview Winery isn’t an element of the wine itself, but of the proprietor. Jerry Perrone makes it his mission to educate visitors about Pleasantview’s wines with a quirky sense of humor. Try their unique Enaj wine (Perrone’s wife Jane’s name spelled backwards) and other crisp varietals made from cold-hardy grapes.

Est. 2010 5581 S. Lake Shore Drive, Harbor Springs – 231-526-3276 –
This year-round working farm and vineyard offers a new wine tasting room and local cafe right on their grounds and features award-winning pinot gris and chardonnay, among other varieties. Their complex Cottage White is the perfect summer sipping wine and their Sweet Riesling is a delicious accompaniment to goat cheeses and northern Michigan salmon dishes.

With so much to do and see in the area, you’ll definitely want to spend time here in Bay Harbor.  Download the exclusive Explore Bay Harbor Magazine for insider tips and information and schedule your visit to this very special place. One thing’s for sure, no matter how long you are here, you’re going to want to grab a glass and stay longer.

One day, in the no-so-distant future, Bay Harbor, Michigan may very well be the next, must-see, event destination in the United States. With the already luxurious reputation, extraordinarily serene resorts and unparalleled beauty, Bay Harbor was only missing a state-of-the-art facility to attract the top names in show business to its front door. As the old saying goes, if you build it, they will come…and Bay Harbor is building the finest performance center in the Midwest.

In July 2018, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts will host its Grand Opening Gala and begin its premier season of programming. This world-class $25 million venue features a state-of-the-art, 500-seat theater, community engagement space for education and receptions, rooftop deck overlooking Lake Michigan and an exclusive donor lounge.

When the curtain goes up, the Center will usher in a new era of top-notch, year-round entertainment in Northern Michigan, featuring internationally acclaimed artists and companies ranging from concerts, theatrical productions, music and dance series to movies and films, comedy, lectures, festivals and events.

Founding Artistic Director and lead consultant for all areas including mission, vision, program planning, and leadership, Michael M. Kaiser, President Emeritus of the Kennedy Center in Washington and Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, is providing the expertise, knowledge and experience to the Great Lakes Center for the Arts ensuring its sustainable success.

Guests will enjoy social spaces in the building, adding to the dynamic energy of the Center’s mission to serve as a community cultural and social hub. Affordable ticket pricing for performances will allow year-round and seasonal residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy and benefit from the Center’s resources.

Tucked along five pristine miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is a prime destination for vacationers and residents alike. Stunning views, unrivaled recreational opportunities and a calendar, rich with exciting seasonal events provide the perfect place to mix business with pleasure, connect with friends and family or simply unplug and enjoy leisure time. Opportunities for year-round and seasonal living range from luxury homes to building sites to condos and yacht docks.

Visit to learn more about the exciting addition of The Great Lakes Center for the Arts and the future of Bay Harbor.