Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-17-2014 Thread Starter
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Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

This thread is for those people that plan to cruise or have cruised the Great Lakes during the summer and wish to share their plans, experiences, local knowledge, etc..
For example; what are your favorite spots? Best places for kids? Best food? best marinas? Festivals?

My wife and I will be cruising Lake Michigan and upper Lake Huron during July and August with my twin 7 year olds and are looking for new adventures.

Looking forward to reading your comments.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-18-2014
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

Yeah... I mentioned in another thread I would like to cruise the Great Lakes

Used to live in Toledo and still trave to Put in Bay.. seems like a good place for kids during the day.. at night for adults who have not grown up. Also ---- as far as kids... in Sandusky (same area) is the amusement part Cedar Point

http://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/Great Lakes Sailing Guide


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post #3 of 17 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

Hi,thanks for sharing something about sailing guide here. I'm sure it will be great to cruise with the whole family at Great Lakes. Although, I have not experience one, I think , it would be real great and relaxing.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

Beaver Island and surrounding islands in Northern Lake Michigan are fascinating. North Channel in Northern Lake Huron is breath taking. Petoskey and Harbor Springs, on Little Traverse Bay, in Michigan are awesome towns with a lot of everything from art, food, culture etc. Maybe Mackinac Island by the Mackinaw Bridge since you have young children. If you are not familiar you should check it out. Many many cool and interesting things to see and do. Great Lakes encompass a huge geographic area and this is but a small part. Enjoy

Last edited by Waterrat; 07-24-2014 at 09:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

PuraVida, when you get back, let us know how it went (and remember, if there aren't pictures, it didn't happen).

BTW, are you a Tico?

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post #6 of 17 Old 07-24-2014
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

A couple of thoughts on some places in West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay...
1. Apple Island (goes by other names as well)— small island north of Traverse City, great place for families. Anchor on the east side of the angle, near the bottom. There are outhouses on the island and a trail around. Holding ground is sand. Check depths carefully; the sand shifts.
2. Traverse City - What can I say? It's the cool place now... hard to get into and out of and slips there can be difficult to get. No good places to anchor.
3. Suttons Bay Marina - I used to live in Suttons Bay and it's my favorite port in the area. The marina has guest slips with a depth of about 5 ft (check with them, it varies), also a long wharf with deeper spots. You can also anchor off the marina. The marina has a large park and swimming area. Access to restaurants, shops, movie theater and ice cream and a nice village to just walk.
4. Omena Bay— Great place to anchor but it takes a bit of skill. The bay has a shelf around it with a steep, steep drop off. The key is to find a space where you can get your hook down without having to put out enough scope that you could end up aground. Try the north side of the bay, half way down. There is a restaurant on shore, not much else.
5. There is a bay north of Omena point that doesn't have a name as far as I know. It's another shelf with a deep center place, but a great place to anchor and swim. Shore is private.
6. Northport- nice municipal marina, nice village, great bakery.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-29-2014
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

I would suggest anything with a beach or play ground. We usually find something they like at most towns we have stopped at.

We sail on lake Erie. My kids are 6 & 9. Their fav trip we do before school the last 3yrs is 1 night anchoring out.. Lots of swimming and sometimes a beach at Kelly's island, next day at cedar point water park, then a day on the rides, next day put in bay.. They love the gem mining thing there, winery (fresh grape juice), golf cart rides, and a great playground. Mom and dad get some sailing in all but one day so everyone is happy! For us it's a 6-9hr trip to the islands depending how much we motor

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post #8 of 17 Old 03-29-2015
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

Hi there. We are contemplating a week of cruising/sailing with our family on the Great Lakes this summer. Kids are 9, 11, 15. Will be a bit crowded in our 26' boat so we are looking for lots of outing possibilities on shore. Eastern Lake Ontario (Bay of Quinte area) has been recommended as beautiful. But, I'm not sure about beaches or kid-friendly activities in that area. I'm intrigued by Western lake Erie, Cedar Point, etc. However, the current algae bloom crisis each summer tends to scare me off. If we can't go swimming, we're done! Recommendations? Thanks
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-29-2015
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Re: Best Spots on the Great Lakes for family cruisers.

We sail this area a lot. I would not worry to much about the alge issues. You can see it and it's easy to know when not to jump overboard. Cedar point, vermilion, the islands (put-in-bay, pelee, Kelly's, etc) are usually not to effected vs toledo, oh where that stuff washes in. I have not been to lake Ontario but there is a lot to in this area that can keep the kids interested and allows for some fun sailing if you plan it right.

Currently Sailing a Allmand 31
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-31-2015
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Hi again. If you are from south west lake Erie, when does the algae generally begin to form each summer? Mid-july? What size of boat do you sail? I have heard that, because of erie's shallow depth, she can get pretty choppy, pretty fast.
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