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Three Crazy Easy Ways to Get Out on the Water in Upper Michigan

July 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM | by | ()

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. So you're thinking of a late season trip so long as there's blue water involved, hm? Believe it or not, Michigan's got beaches, blue water and budget-friendly destinations. This week we'll be looking at the ways and places in which you can chill out while diving into the state's northern bits.

We known we know. It's too hot outside. That's nothing that a little getting-out-on-the-water can't fix. Plus we have a theory, that as global warming continues, more and more people are going to be looking favorably on beach vacations in traditionally cold locales, like—oh—upper Michigan (where it was in the high 80s last week!)

Flying over the state, you'll be able to pick out at least ten lakes you wish you were cannonballing into right that moment. The good news is that you can...but you know, get off the plane first and check out these three ways to get on the water in Michigan's Upper Peninsula:

· Go for a sail on Lake Michigan
Sunshine Charters sails a 40' catamaran through the summer, until Labor Day. Several-hour trips from Charlevoix Harbor encompass a turn on Lake Charlevoix and a trip through the drawbridge and by a lighthouse to enter Lake Michigan proper. Bring a swimsuit if you're keen on jumping in. Day sails are $35 per adult, or $40 for the sunset sail. Make reservations by calling 231-547-0266 or just get tickets right at the kiosk by the dock.

· Kayak or paddleboard through the yachts of Harbor Springs
This cutie-pie town has a harbor ripe for trying out paddleboarding, or go the easy route with a kayak built for two (or one). The Outfitter of Harbor Springs does guided 2- or 3-hour tours starting from $50 per person, including gear. Have them take you down by the yacht club to gawk at the restored vintage wood boats.

· Rent and captain your own pontoon boat
Okay so...until we got out on the lovely Mullett and Burt Lake, we had no idea it was possible to rent and drive a pontoon boat without a boating license. Michigan may be the state with the largest number of issued boating licenses, but here's one place you can act like you've been born with a silver spoon and a yacht key in hand. Of course, common sense and a regular drivers license are necessary.

Rentals of a new (and very slick) 23', 11-person pontoon boat from Indian River Sports go for $175 half-day or $250 full-day. Take it down the Indian River and wave at fellow boaters, just be sure your cap is jauntily perched just so.

Disclosure: We were in Michigan as a guest of Pure Michigan, but all photos and opinions are completely our own.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

Upper Peninsula?

All of the places in this article are indeed beautiful, but none of them are in the Upper Peninsula. All are in the northern Lower Peninsula. The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are separated by the Straits of Mackinac.

Upper Peninsula????

I think you need to consult a map. None of the places listed are in the wonderful, beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan! I'm very disappointed in you Jaunted.

Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula

There is so much to discover in Michigan's Upper Peninsula but for lack of space, I'll give you the skinny on my stomping grounds, The Straits of Mackinac and surrounding area. As I watch many areas blasted by heat, I catch a cool evening breeze, great to sleep by and typically daytime breezes off the Great Lakes...Up here, in God's country, cool breezes and moderate temperatures prevail.

The Straits of Mackinac Region is one of the most captivating places on earth.  It's where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. It is here, at the northernmost tip of the Lower Peninsula and the southernmost tip of the Eastern Upper Peninsula, two distinct worlds come together beautifully in the "Center of the Freshwater World".  As if to symbolize this union, the majestic Mackinac Bridge quietly welcomes visitors to this glorious destination that many have come to know and love.  This region is known as the "Straits of Mackinac".

The three picturesque sister port cities of, St. Ignace, Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City, are within minutes of each other, offering individual unique experiences.  Many other villages small towns and historic cities and attractions are short drives away.  Mackinac Island is a popular no-car destination flagged by a world-class resort , The Grand Hotel, and connected by a ferry system.  Mackinaw City offers cinema, shopping, museums and parks.  With it's popular waterfront boardwalk, St. Ignace is located on the north side of the bridge and beckons you with its sand dunes, restaurants, unique shops, free museums, great marina, weekend festivals and Saturday night fireworks. You can sit and watch the freighters or a majestic tall ship pass beneath the bridge.   All three communities offer dramatic views of the deep blues of Lake Huron and Michigan.

This region, discovered and settled by the Jesuit Missionaries in the mid 1600's, is of important historic significance to this country. Each community's pride of their history is showcased through museums, landmarks, stories, re-enactments and passion of the local people.  It's no wonder each year; more people decide to make this vacation destination, a place they call home.

Blessed with unsurpassed natural beauty and its desirable summer climate, this four-season world-renowned destination is sure to offer something for everyone.

Whether its walking the beach, sailing, kayaking, fishing, hiking the North Country Trail or just hanging around our little harbor towns or renting a cottage or hotel room on one of our pristine lakes, you will understand why we live here.

Cheryl Schlehuber,resident & small business owner
Mackinac Properties