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Fun Things to do in Elk Rapids, Traverse City, and Suttons Bay.


Some of the recreational offering spots in the surroundings of the Torch Lake are the Elk Rapids, Traverse City, and Suttons Bay, so keep your eye out for them. If you are planning a getaway for a week or longer and you are uncertain whether there is enough around the Torch Lake to keep you entertained - simply put - YES, there is lots! Besides the mesmerizing beauty of the deep blue waters of the lake itself, the area hosts dozens of hidden retreats just waiting to be explored and enjoyed by the right folk.

Located just a few miles away from Torch Lake, Elk Rapids, Traverse City, and Sutton Bay make great spots for day trips from our B and B. Elk Rapids is a lovely quaint village situated just 17 miles to the South of Torch Lake on the Eastern shores of Lake Michigan. From shopping in the neighborhood outlets to sipping on Louisiana beers and unique cocktails at Pearls New Orleans Kitchen the short drive to Elk Rapids gives you a good taste of the local flavors.

The Village of Elk Rapids is surrounded by Elk Lake to the East, Bass Lake to the North, and East Grand Traverse Bay to the west. A short drive from the Elk Rapids will connect you to more than 300 miles of non-motorized trails. Here you can enjoy a ton of fun activities including bird watching, hiking, paddling, and mountain biking. It is a heaven for those seeking some peaceful time to bathe in the sun. Wonderful restaurants, cute little ships, and a beautiful sandy shore are the convincing features that will make you want to plan a day trip to Elk Rapids when visiting our B n B.

Elk Rapids used to be home to the Native Americans in the 19th century. Previously known as Stevens, it was renamed as Elk Rapids after a set of elk horns were found in the river rapids. The Elk Lake was originally referred to as the Meguzee Lake. In the last quarter of the 19th century, the Elk Rapids Iron Works began in the east part of the town, soon followed by a chemical plant, a cement plant, and a population of approximately 2000 folks. By the start of the 20th century, the town had become a popular commercial center. However, very soon the economic growth came to a halt and stayed that way until the middle of the century when the area experienced a boom in tourism that is lasting to date.

Elk Rapids is the place you want to be in to enjoy visits to historic landmarks, play a fun game of tennis, enjoy slow bites and sips of flavorsome food, and burn away the calories by biking around town. And when nothing else makes it to your to-do list, just lay back and lick a cone ice cream as you watch the waves make their way to you and wash your feet. For tourists who are looking for some fun out there in the shops, Elf Rapids won’t disappoint you. It offers an eclectic range of art galleries and antique stores and even. Therefore, if you are planning on taking back home some souvenirs, you will find something for everyone. Besides shopping, there is much to treat your palate with while you are here. From a great burger joint to a high street dining option like Pearls New Orleans Kitchen and Riverwalk Grill and Tap Room Elk Rapids will continually surprise you.

There are two amazing marinas in Elk Rapids: The Grace Memorial Marina and the Elk River Marina. The first gives access to Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay and the former gives access to Elk Lake, Torch Lake and the remaining Chain of Lakes on the north side. Therefore, you can have lots of water sports fun in Elk Rapids especially if you are into fishing. The Elk Lake water is rich in Salmon, Perch, Trout, and Pike.

Pearls Restaurant in Elk Rapids
Pearls restaurant in Elk Rapids, Michigan. Image source: Pearls Facebook

Aside from fishing, there is plenty more to do out in the water in Elk Rapids. Our tourists especially enjoy wakeboarding, water skiing, sailing, tubing, and the Instagram-worthy kayaking experience. Moreso, recently Elk Rapids has become popular for the several shipwrecks that have been found in the area. This has attracted a lot of deep-water divers and adventurers who like to explore wrecks and record their findings.

Holidays mean beach time and the sun for a lot of us, so another reason to check out Elk Rapids is the amazing beaches that you will find there. You can pack a picnic and make your way to the soft sandy beaches and bathe in the sun to your fullest. The Elk Rapids Dam Beach is a beautiful white sand great for unwinding and taking beautiful pictures to make memories. It is adjacent to the Elk Rapids Dam.

For some quality family fun time, you can enjoy together at any of the 2 main parks here. The Elk Rapids Liberty Part caters to everyone. It has basketball courts, tennis courts, a sandy beach, a play area for kids, a swim area, picnic tables, a barbeque area, and picnic tables. It is located on River Street downtown. The Elk Rapids County Day Park comes with a large beach, nature trails, a bathhouse and restrooms. It is located on South Bayshore Drive just outside of Elk Rapids.

Downtown Elk Rapids
Downtown Elk Rapids. Image source: ElkRapidsDDA

When it comes to real estate, from condos to waterfront homes, Elk Rapids offers a wide variety of options. Many houses here date back to the late 19th century and the neighborhood is great with a close-knit community. Therefore, if your holiday here makes you want to keep coming back, you may as well consider moving, because, why not?

Traverse City is another great place located 34 miles to the south. Traverse City is known for seeing visitors return as it makes quite an impression with its Little Traverse wheel way, the wonderful downtown shopping experience, the wineries, and the night life at Turtle Creek Casino. Many tourists fly in at Cherry Capital AirPort in Traverse City. Also, just beyond Traverse City is Suttons Bay that makes for a wonderful day trip.

Traverse City is rich in seasonal adventures and when covered in fresh snow, it has a majestic inviting look for all those who enjoy winter sports. Once done playing, you can choose from a selection of cozy indoor spots to get your fill of drinks that warm up your insides with a heavenly flavor.

To truly experience what the City has to offer, you must make way to the trails and ski hills and see how the seasons take over. The great thing about the area is that it doesn’t force you to hide indoors during winter, rather it encourages you to celebrate it.

Wineries in Traverse City
Wineries in Traverse City. Image source: metroparent

The wineries in Traverse City cater to all sorts of drinkers and their preferences, so it doesn’t matter if elegance in the ambiance is your favorite ingredient of a sipping experience or just a place where you can unwind - Traverse City wineries will satisfy you. Traverse City wineries are comparable with the most prestigious European wine regions such as Bordeaux, so we mean it when we say that you are going to have a GRAPE TIME here! The top wine options here are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc.

Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel is another great option to add to your getaway plans when in the area. The vast casino floor, countless dining options, and stunning accommodations will make you glad that you paid a visit. Also, do check out the Little Traverse Wheelway for some time outdoors. However, check for erosion status beforehand as sometimes certain sections of the trail may be shut down due to that.

Suttons Bay is located approximately 30 miles north of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and it is a lovely harbor town. It has a super interesting science store with a great selection for all the science wizards out there. Riding the town on a bike and exploring the Leelanau Trail is another great way to spend some hours out in the sun.

Suttons Bay Chamber of Commerce
Image source: Sutton's Bay Area

The outdoor dining spots in Sutton Bay are great for spending some quality time munching in the sun. You can also take walks outside and explore the wine section at the food emporium. Also, when in Suttons Bay, missing out on the Tandem Ciders tasting experience and not watching a film at the Bay Theatre would be a shame, so do not do that. It is safe to say that Northern Michigan will keep you sufficiently entertained during your stay.