· 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]