Sailing Northern Michigan

Harbors, Anchorages, Islands & More!

The first thing people notice when arriving in Northern Michigan is the clear, teal and blue Caribbean-esque water.  Navigation is very easy due to lack of tides and water depths exceed 700 feet in some areas.

Michigan boasts more coastline than any of the lower 48 states and our cruising area offers the best of what this freshwater paradise offers.

Within our sailing grounds are 45 anchorages, harbor towns and marinas available to cruisers.

The locals are friendly and welcoming.  Harbor Masters have been known to loan the marina car out to cruisers looking for supplies.  Sailors feel welcome and are treated like family.

Area Highlights

Media Coverage

  • World class vineyards and wine tasting within walking distance from most every port
  • Deep, crystal clear bays
  • National Park coastlines and islands allowing for stretches of beaches that go on for miles
  • Large sand dunes towering out of Lake Michigan
  • Great marinas in most every waterfront town
  • Quaint, relaxing harbor towns
  • Top-rated golf courses
  • Award-winning micro-breweries
  • Shipwreck diving

Please note: Great Lakes Sailing Co. was formerly Bay Breeze Yacht Charters, as mentioned in the above articles.

Easy Anchorages


Some of our favorites include:

  • Power Island
  • Old Mission Harbor
  • Downtown Traverse City
  • Ingalls Bay
  • Bowers Harbor
  • Sutton Bay
  • Omena Bay
  • Northport
  • Charlevoix
  • Manitou Islands National Park
  • Harbor Springs

Popular marinas include:

  • Suttons Bay
  • Northport
  • Elk Rapids
  • Bay Harbor
  • Charlevoix
  • Mackinac Island
  • Leland

Click For Additional Marina Info


Cruising Guide


Did you know?

You can fit the US & British Virgin Island (minus St. Croix) into our sailing area?!

Charter Base

Traverse City

Our sailing school and charter fleet is located at the CenterPointe Marina - with access to sail Grand Traverse Bay, Little Traverse Bay, the Manitou Islands, Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore, Beaver Island and as far north as Mackinac Island if time allows. Sailors can experience towering sand dunes, deserted islands, quaint harbor towns, long stretches of beaches, quiet coves and local festivals.

The CenterPointe Marina is a private marina offering a quiet atmosphere and first rate facilities including a boater lounge, private shower rooms and washer/dryer.  Major grocery is just down the road, several good restaurants are within walking distance and downtown Traverse City is about a mile away.

Sample Itineraries

4-Day Cruising Itineraries


7-Day Cruising Itinerary


Area Video

Great Lakes Sailing Co. Destinations & Lifestyle Blog Posts


Viva la Vida

Where are they now? Stories from our charter guests. Every sailing school student and charterer has a unique story about their sailing background…from those who have […]

From the Great Lakes to the Caribbean

Where are they now? Stories from our sailing school students. We recently caught up with a former sailing school student who left the Great Lakes to […]

Students turned Cruisers

These stores (in this case ’emails’) never get old: Hello Great Lakes Sailing, In the summer of 2015, my husband, sister, and I took your ASA […]

Three-Cabin Fever

The benefits of 3 cabins… Most people associate 3 and 4 cabin boats as charter boats.  This is true in many cases but there are other […]

Balancing Escapsim & Reality

Sailing often conjures up thoughts of Jimmy Buffett, Margaritas, warm breezes, sunshine, no worries mon, stress-free and laid-back.  And in the charter business, we are on […]

Make it a Getaway Special

Whether you’re reading this in May or December (we’re eternal optimists at GLSC), Northern Michigan’s sailing season is just around the corner. Summer also happens to […]

Real Stories. Real People.

At Great Lakes Sailing Co. we aren’t concerned with Black Friday. Life is bigger than that. The boats are put away and we’ve had a chance […]

Memories Made on Grand Traverse Bay

Our friends, Mike & Marianne Lee, sailed the Gemini Legacy Catamaran last summer and have an great article over on – “4 Days on Grand Traverse […]