Best lakes in Northern Michigan

Check out the top lakes in Northern Michigan, reviewed and ranked by the city’s locals
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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108 local reviews
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
PremiseParkPoint of interest
Jean & Rod
The Most Beautiful Place in America from Good Morning America In 2014! Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore…
Heidi
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast…
Jason
Miles of sand beach, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, unique…
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
host-0host-1host-2
108 local reviews
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Jean & Rod
Jean & Rod
The Most Beautiful Place in America from Good Morning America In 2014! Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National…
Heidi
Heidi
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of…
Jason
Jason
Miles of sand beach, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, unique flora and fauna make up the…
2. Dockside Torch Lake
2. Dockside Torch Lake
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22 local reviews
6340 Old Torch Lake Dr, Bellaire
Closed · Opens 11:00 AM
+1 231-377-7777
RestaurantFoodPoint of interest
Melissa
Bar/Restaurant right on Torch Lake. It has free docking and you can access it by the water if you have a…
Michelle
This can get busy so be prepared to wait, especially if you want to sit on the deck. If you are on Clam Lake…
Adam
Great place to sit on the deck and watch the boats come in and out of the marina with incredible lake views…
2. Dockside Torch Lake
2. Dockside Torch Lake
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22 local reviews
6340 Old Torch Lake Dr, Bellaire
Closed · Opens 11:00 AM
+1 231-377-7777
Melissa
Melissa
Bar/Restaurant right on Torch Lake. It has free docking and you can access it by the water if you have a powerboat. There is also…
Michelle
Michelle
This can get busy so be prepared to wait, especially if you want to sit on the deck. If you are on Clam Lake or Torch Lake, you can pull…
Adam
Adam
Great place to sit on the deck and watch the boats come in and out of the marina with incredible lake views. The food is okay, but the…
3. Charlevoix
3. Charlevoix
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15 local reviews
Charlevoix, Charlevoix
LocalityPolitical
Heather
This little town is quite different than​ most as it has a draw bridge, a lake in its​ downtown​ and many…
Marie
This town has a movie theater, restaurants and shops, and is only 28 miles away. The picturesque drive to…
Julie
A small town on Lake Michigan - good food and things to see! It is a very scenic drive from Petoskey to…
3. Charlevoix
3. Charlevoix
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15 local reviews
Charlevoix, Charlevoix
Heather
Heather
This little town is quite different than​ most as it has a draw bridge, a lake in its​ downtown​ and many unique shops. The town is also…
Marie
Marie
This town has a movie theater, restaurants and shops, and is only 28 miles away. The picturesque drive to Charlevoix follows the shores of…
Julie
Julie
A small town on Lake Michigan - good food and things to see! It is a very scenic drive from Petoskey to Charlevoix along the shores of Lake…
4. The Filling Station Microbrewery
4. The Filling Station Microbrewery
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28 local reviews
642 Railroad Place, Traverse City
Closed · Opens 11:30 AM
+1 231-946-8168
BarRestaurantFood
Jason
Established in the spring of 2012, The Filling Station Microbrewery is a family owned and operated business,…
Katy
The beer is good. The food is good. They have live music frequently. You can eat indoors or outdoors. It's…
Avon & Kenny
It's a brewery and also offer delicious pizza. We are not big fan of pizzas but the quality is really good. …
4. The Filling Station Microbrewery
4. The Filling Station Microbrewery
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28 local reviews
642 Railroad Place, Traverse City
Closed · Opens 11:30 AM
+1 231-946-8168
Jason
Jason
Established in the spring of 2012, The Filling Station Microbrewery is a family owned and operated business, dedicated to providing friendly…
Katy
Katy
The beer is good. The food is good. They have live music frequently. You can eat indoors or outdoors. It's located in an old train depot,…
Avon & Kenny
Avon & Kenny
It's a brewery and also offer delicious pizza. We are not big fan of pizzas but the quality is really good. During the week days local…
5. Barrel Back Restaurant
5. Barrel Back Restaurant
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16 local reviews
4069 M-75, Walloon Lake
Open · Closes 9:30 PM
+1 231-535-6000
RestaurantPoint of interestFood
Monica & Michael
One of the most popular restaurants in our area is located just down the hill in Walloon Village (.5 mile)!…
Sandy
For great food a 20 minute drive away, head to the Barrel Back overlooking Walloon Lake. No reservations…
Mary Ann
Just 7 miles from Boyne City and well worth the drive! Looks over Walloon Lake and is beautiful any time of…
5. Barrel Back Restaurant
5. Barrel Back Restaurant
host-0host-1host-2
16 local reviews
4069 M-75, Walloon Lake
Open · Closes 9:30 PM
+1 231-535-6000
Monica & Michael
Monica & Michael
One of the most popular restaurants in our area is located just down the hill in Walloon Village (.5 mile)! Gorgeous views of Walloon Lake…
Sandy
Sandy
For great food a 20 minute drive away, head to the Barrel Back overlooking Walloon Lake. No reservations accepted, so go early or be ready…
Mary Ann
Mary Ann
Just 7 miles from Boyne City and well worth the drive! Looks over Walloon Lake and is beautiful any time of the year. My personal favorite…
6. Torch Lake
6. Torch Lake
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16 local reviews
Torch Lake
Natural featureEstablishment
Pat
Sandy Beach on beautiful Torch Lake, one of the largest lakes in the state, it is spring fed, so the water is…
Kasey
Torch Lake is a must-see lake, even if you don't plan to swim or boat. Ranked 3rd most beautiful lake by…
Kim
Torch Lake "The 3rd Most Beautiful Lake in The World". Some refer to it as "The North America Caribbean" -…
6. Torch Lake
6. Torch Lake
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16 local reviews
Torch Lake
Pat
Pat
Sandy Beach on beautiful Torch Lake, one of the largest lakes in the state, it is spring fed, so the water is crystal clear and a bit chilly…
Kasey
Kasey
Torch Lake is a must-see lake, even if you don't plan to swim or boat. Ranked 3rd most beautiful lake by National Geographic! We'll provide…
Kim
Kim
Torch Lake "The 3rd Most Beautiful Lake in The World". Some refer to it as "The North America Caribbean" - crystal clear blue water. …
7. Boardman Lake Trail
7. Boardman Lake Trail
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9 local reviews
Boardman Lake trail, Traverse City
Route
Avon & Kenny
This is located in the center of TC and great to walk, jog, run or bike along the lake in four seasons. It's…
Allison
This trail wraps around much of Boardman Lake, winding past the library and connecting to the TART trail…
Jim
Walk or bike along the scenic trail around Boadman lake.
7. Boardman Lake Trail
7. Boardman Lake Trail
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9 local reviews
Boardman Lake trail, Traverse City
Avon & Kenny
Avon & Kenny
This is located in the center of TC and great to walk, jog, run or bike along the lake in four seasons. It's also close to the cozy city…
Allison
Allison
This trail wraps around much of Boardman Lake, winding past the library and connecting to the TART trail. There is a trail access just…
Jim
Jim
Walk or bike along the scenic trail around Boadman lake.
8. Legs Inn
8. Legs Inn
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22 local reviews
6425 North Lake Shore Drive, Cross Village
+1 231-526-2281
LodgingRestaurantFood
Julie
What a place! The building is unique and eccentric, fashioned by the owner years ago (topped with the legs of…
Alicia
Authentic Polish cuisine in an unbelievably cool, must-see restaurant and Lake Michigan setting. Excellent…
Josh
Famous "destination" restaurant in Cross Village, after driving the Tunnel of Trees. Amazing Polish food. …
8. Legs Inn
8. Legs Inn
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22 local reviews
6425 North Lake Shore Drive, Cross Village
+1 231-526-2281
Julie
Julie
What a place! The building is unique and eccentric, fashioned by the owner years ago (topped with the legs of chairs, hence its name). Ask…
Alicia
Alicia
Authentic Polish cuisine in an unbelievably cool, must-see restaurant and Lake Michigan setting. Excellent beer, wine and spirits list with…
Josh
Josh
Famous "destination" restaurant in Cross Village, after driving the Tunnel of Trees. Amazing Polish food. Somewhat upscale. Fantastic…
9. Sleeping Bear Dunes
9. Sleeping Bear Dunes
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20 local reviews
Sleeping Bear Dunes
Natural featureEstablishment
Chris
The Sleeping Bear Dunes are a National Park and rightfully so. The park features a dune climb that everyone…
Susan
Overlooking Lake Michigan, these large sand dunes are considered one of the top 10 family vacation sites in…
David & June
A trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes in definitely worth the time to see these magnificent sand dunes and the…
9. Sleeping Bear Dunes
9. Sleeping Bear Dunes
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20 local reviews
Sleeping Bear Dunes
Chris
Chris
The Sleeping Bear Dunes are a National Park and rightfully so. The park features a dune climb that everyone can enjoy, as well as the…
Susan
Susan
Overlooking Lake Michigan, these large sand dunes are considered one of the top 10 family vacation sites in the country. Along with walking…
David & June
David & June
A trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes in definitely worth the time to see these magnificent sand dunes and the beautiful emerald waters of Glen Lake…
10. Right Brain Brewery
10. Right Brain Brewery
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23 local reviews
225 East Sixteenth Street, Traverse City
Closed · Opens 12:00 PM (noon)
+1 231-944-1239
BarFoodPoint of interest
Jim
Absolutely our most favorite place to go when we want to get a drink. Tucked away on the 16th St next to the…
10. Right Brain Brewery
10. Right Brain Brewery
host-0
23 local reviews
225 East Sixteenth Street, Traverse City
Closed · Opens 12:00 PM (noon)
+1 231-944-1239
Jim
Jim
Absolutely our most favorite place to go when we want to get a drink. Tucked away on the 16th St next to the Boardman Lake, it offers a huge…
11. Riverside Canoe Trips
11. Riverside Canoe Trips
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14 local reviews
5042 N Scenic Hwy, Honor
Closed · Opens 9:00 AM
+1 231-325-5622
Travel agencyGas stationStore
Susan
Part of Sleeping Bear National Park, but beautiful river for floating down on rafts or rental of canoes. Go…
Ann
A summer tradition, we never miss the easy, lazy canoe trip down the Platt which ends at the great sand dunes…
Renee
I have so many great memories of floating down the beautiful Platte River to Lake Michigan. Go early in the…
11. Riverside Canoe Trips
11. Riverside Canoe Trips
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14 local reviews
5042 N Scenic Hwy, Honor
Closed · Opens 9:00 AM
+1 231-325-5622
Susan
Susan
Part of Sleeping Bear National Park, but beautiful river for floating down on rafts or rental of canoes. Go here either very early in the…
Ann
Ann
A summer tradition, we never miss the easy, lazy canoe trip down the Platt which ends at the great sand dunes on Lake Michigan. A hit with…
Renee
Renee
I have so many great memories of floating down the beautiful Platte River to Lake Michigan. Go early in the morning or late in the day to…
12. Leland
12. Leland
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27 local reviews
Leland, Leland
LocalityPolitical
Jean & Rod
Visit Fishtown! Walk along the docks, amongst the weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, racks of drying…
Kalin
Historic "Fishtown" can not be missed during a trip to the area. The beauty of Leelanau Peninsula unfolds…
Tom
Fishtown is an awesome historic fishing hamlet in Leland, now with shops, places to eat and a stones throw…
12. Leland
12. Leland
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27 local reviews
Leland, Leland
Jean & Rod
Jean & Rod
Visit Fishtown! Walk along the docks, amongst the weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, racks of drying fishing nets, and fish tugs on…
Kalin
Kalin
Historic "Fishtown" can not be missed during a trip to the area. The beauty of Leelanau Peninsula unfolds before your eyes as you travel…
Tom
Tom
Fishtown is an awesome historic fishing hamlet in Leland, now with shops, places to eat and a stones throw from Lake Michigan.