There is something calming and mystical about the water in Northern Michigan. We are grateful to be surrounded by magnificent Lake Michigan, Big and Little Glen Lake, and other gorgeous rivers that meander through the countryside. Here at Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast we’ve collected five of our favorite activities to enjoy in or on the water. So grab your sunscreen and swimsuits and get ready to make lasting memories!

Beach Day

Ah, a day at the beach. Throwing the frisbee, building sandcastles, talking and tanning, reading, and of course, jumping in! Whatever your speed, there are a plethora of gorgeous beach fronts close to our B&B. There’s even one practically in our backyard! You can reach the beach front steps from our door, just 500 feet away down the road. If you just can’t get enough of Lake Michigan beaches, take a 15 minute trip to the shoreline at Empire. With plenty of Leelanau Peninsula classics including Esch Road Beach, Glen Haven Beach, and Bohemia Beach, summer is a dream. Depending on the season and your tolerance for cold water, if Lake Michigan is too cold to jump into, you can head over to North Bar Lake for a beach with a warmer dip. And, of course, don’t forget to catch the epic sunsets over Lake Michigan, undoubtedly some of the best in the country. Regardless of what you choose, you cannot go wrong with the beaches in our slice of water paradise. 


Kayak the River

Grab your paddles and hit the local rivers for some fun and exercise. Experience life on the water where you get to go slower than a car, but faster than walking. You’ll be paddling through the wilderness and splish-splashing around in the sun. The beautiful Crystal River is a must-see, with its clear water and abundant wildlife. Bring some binoculars as this is a prime birding spot and you’ll be surrounded by nature. In addition, there are beautiful trees, wildflowers and mellow marshlands. Take it slow and paddle at your own pace or book a 2-3 hour trip through Crystal River Outfitters. With a few choices, you can rent a single kayak or double kayak for a romantic date. Throw on your favorite sunhat and paddles, and feel the rush of the river beneath you.

Rent a Pontoon Boat

What could be more fun than renting a pontoon boat for hours or an entire day? You can switch between basking in the sun on the deck, jumping in the refreshing water in the shallows at the Glen Lake Narrows, eating a picnic and sipping on refreshments, and just feeling the wind tousle your hair as you zoom along the water. The perfect water vehicle, you can take turns behind the wheel of a boat and decide which parts of the shoreline you want to explore and then cruise over in style and comfort. Both On the Narrows Marina ( and Glen Craft Marina ( have wonderful deals on pontoon boat rentals for you, your family & friends. On the Narrows Marina is right at the bridge between Little and Big Glen Lake, which together boast over 6,000 acres of water to play on! So pack your water coolers, put on your favorite swimsuit, and head over for a relaxing and enjoyable day on the water. 

Visit a Historic Lighthouse

Guiding ships to safety, there is something simultaneously humbling and beautiful about lighthouses. Luckily for those who visit or live on the Leelanau Peninsula, we have plenty to explore! A definite must-see, Point Betsie is an original lighthouse that has adorned the shoreline since 1858. Explore the lighthouse keeper’s living quarters, fog signal building, museum, and the lighthouse itself. Just south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, it is located on a beautiful parcel of lakeside land. Built in the same year, but many miles north, is the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Take the stairs to the top of the tower and you will be gifted with a sweeping view of Cathead Bay, Manitou Passage, Grand Traverse Bay, and of course, Lake Michigan. In summer months, you might just get the chance to hear the fog horn blare! Finally, there is the gorgeous Mission Point Lighthouse. With self-guided tours, miles of hiking trails, and beach access you will definitely find lots of photo-ops at this Midwestern landmark. 

Go Fishing

Few things are as exciting yet relaxing as a day out at the water spent fishing. For a great adventure and even greater sized fish, you can go charter fishing on Lake Michigan for trout and salmon with one of the local charter companies, such as Watta Bite and Mariah Fishing Charter. They’ll lead you around to their secret spots and help you catch the perfect fish. They provide sunrise, sunset, and daytime charter adventures complete with all of the necessary equipment. And of course, you get to keep what you catch if you’d like! 


If you have your own pole and tackle, there are also plenty of amazing spots to cast a line around the peninsula. Our family favorite is at the Narrows Bridge, a semi-secret fishing platform, between Big Glen Lake and Little Glen Lake. 


You can also bass fish on the inland lakes. Connect  to one of the best in the region, Butch the Bassman, who can pick you up at the inn and take you fishing on Big Platte, Lake Leelanau, or Glen Lake!   


Ready to enjoy the water around the Leelanau peninsula? Book a stay at Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast for a home base that is centrally located to all of the best water spots. With our luxurious rooms and commitment to customer comfort, you will be well equipped to make the most out of your trip to enjoy the waters of Michigan!

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