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Explore Historic Places! Traverse City to Mackinac Itinerary

This Traverse City to Mackinac Itinerary explores historic landmarks, islands, and areas of the Great Lakes.

Traverse City to Mackinac
Traverse City, Michigan

Day 1 | Traverse City, Michigan

Your Captain will meet you at the airport and escort you to the city docks, where you will board the yacht. Settle in and relax. Enjoy lunch on board, then cruise to the quaint fishing village of Northport on the western arm of the Leelanau Peninsula. For a relaxing activity, visit Green Bird Cellars. Not only taste the wine and handcrafted hard ciders but also tour the farm and say hello to the farm animals.

If you’d like a more active day, head to Leelanau State Park. You’ll find miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.

Day 2 | Cruise to Charlevoix, Michigan

Enjoy the shops, art galleries, and restaurants in town. Afterward, take a leisurely ride down Lake Charlevoix to Boyne City, and do some water skiing or tubing along the way. The golfers will have an opportunity to hit the links at Boyne Highlands or any of the other nearby golf courses. See the historic Charlevoix Lighthouse, which keeps watch over Lake Michigan.

Traverse City to Mackinac
Charlevoix Lighthouse

Day 3 | Bay Harbor

Depart Charlevoix for a short voyage to Bay Harbor, a quaint upscale community. There’s plenty to do here, such as horseback riding, golfing at a 27-hole championship golf course, fine dining, and exclusive shopping boutiques.

The Bay Harbor Marina

The Bay Harbor Lake Marina has fantastic amenities. You’ll find unique shopping, restaurants, a full-service salon, a Pilates studio, a Spirits Tasting Room, and the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. There is also a 24-hour swim & fitness center with an Olympic-size swimming pool and jacuzzi (both open seasonally). The marina is near superb golf courses and a 26-mile walking and bike path.

Additional amenities include:

  • Private Showers
  • Private Restrooms
  • Coin Laundry
  • Electric & Water Hook-up
  • Wi-Fi
  • Dockside Sanitary Pump
  • Dock Carts
  • Concierge: Photo Copy, Mail, Shipping
  • Services & Rentals
  • Boat Launch & Trailer Parking
  • Bicycles

Day 4 | Harbor Springs

Sail to the historic resort town of Harbor Springs. This town, similar to Nantucket, is a long-time summer home to some of Michigan’s wealthiest families. It is a small community with a beautiful downtown area situated on a natural, deep harbor. Spend a leisurely afternoon browsing the antique shops, or rent a bike and explore the area. In addition, this town has a thriving art community with various art galleries.

There are also two beaches within the city limits and just a few blocks from downtown.

Days 5 and 6 | St. James Harbor and Mackinac Island

From Harbor Springs, head north to St. James Harbor on Beaver Island. Or if you prefer, continue under the Mackinaw Straits Bridge to historic Mackinac Island. There are no cars on the island; in fact, transportation is provided only by bicycle, horseback, or horse-drawn carriage. So, take a bicycle trip around the island (8 miles), enjoy touring the historic two forts, or visit the town’s many artisan shops. A visit to the Grand Hotel, boasting the most extended outdoor open-air porch in the world, is always a delight.

Day 7 | Cheneaux Islands

Take a scenic tour through the Cheneaux Islands. This island group consists of 36 small islands stretching twelve miles along the Lake Huron shoreline. Spend the night at a remote island anchorage. Return to Mackinaw City for your departure from Pellston, a short ride from the Mackinaw City Marina in the morning.

If arriving by private jet, you can fly into Mackinaw and finish up in Leland.

The end of this Traverse City to Mackinac Island Itinerary on the Great Lakes.