Suttons Bay Boat Rental
Is Suttons Bay worth visiting? YES! This area of Northern Michigan is a cozy, family-friendly, and fun coastal town. Suttons Bay offers a variety of summer activities to keep busy on Lake Michigan, including several public beaches with fun waterfront playgrounds, unique restaurants to visit by boat, and shopping downtown! Below you will find a few of our favorite local places to visit by boat, along with tips for boating, floating, paddling, and jet skiing in Suttons Bay. This Leelanau County spot is one the best places for you to see the sunrise over the water.
Is Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Peninsula?
Suttons Bay is known for being a charming coastal village with unique shopping in the downtown area and close proximity to Traverse City. Founded in 1886, Suttons Bay got its name from founder Henry C. Sutton, a settler who saw it as a handy location for steamer ships to stop off and fuel. The town is located on the Leelanau Peninsula, acting as the closest gateway to Leelanau County from the busier parts of Northern Michigan. Suttons Bay is not far from Traverse City - it's a quick boat ride, bike or drive away, just 17 miles north.
What Lake is Suttons Bay, Michigan, On?
Suttons Bay is a bay of Lake Michigan! The openness of this Great Lake makes it ideal for watersports! Boaters can take their boat or jet skis out into the deep, clear water of Lake Michigan and see the house-sized boulders only 20 feet below the surface in some areas. You can jet ski across this bay of Lake Michigan, but always keep in mind that this is a Great Lake. Don't miss out on a safe, fun, and relaxing day of boating and jet skiing on Lake Michigan! We'll go over our easy-to-follow safety tips and local boating laws before you take possession of your boat rental.
What Size Boat do I Need for Lake Michigan?
Northern Michigan locals will always be sure to tell you that Lake Michigan is not your average lake - and they're right! Leelanau County is known for having the 2nd highest proportion of water area in the United States, and water safety should always be a number one priority in our boating paradise! Do not underestimate the lake and miss out on a comfortable and safe boating experience!
Because of the size and ever-changing weather conditions, you should aim for a larger vessel when renting a boat on Suttons Bay. Our Manitou Tritoon boat rentals are ideal for a safe and fun time on Suttons Bay because they handle the water better than a traditional pontoon. A third pontoon provides stability and performance in a variety of bodies of water, while the powerful Yamaha Outboard motors are the most dependable on the market. It's easy to see why Tritoons are an increasingly popular choice in Northern Michigan.
Even experienced boaters should be very cautious attempting to safely cross Lake Michigan by boat. Crossing Lake Michigan by jet ski involves careful planning due to its size and fluctuating weather conditions, even by the most experienced boaters. We recommend not attempting to jet ski across Lake Michigan. Waves on Lake Michigan can be as big as over four feet in the summertime, and distances are much farther than they look!
Boat Launches on Suttons Bay:
- M-204 North Park DNR Boat Launch
- Suttons Bay Marina Boat Launch
- Hilltop Road West Grand Traverse Bay DNR Boat Launch
Suttons Bay Vacation Tips:
The Best Place to See the Sunrise in Leelanau County!
Suttons Bay is a large, northeast-facing bay with a strategic location. The bay is sheltered from the winds of Lake Michigan, setting the stage for a calm and glassy paddle. This is of the best places to experience the sunrise in Leelanau County! We deliver kayak and paddle board rentals to private waterfronts as well as public beaches in Suttons Bay. Take this opportunity to start the day with an incredible view from your kayak as the sun rises over the bay.
Anchor at Marina Park and Shop Downtown Suttons Bay
Located just off Front Street, Marina Park has a grassy picnic table area, grills, beach volleyball nets, and a sprawling playground with swings and park benches. The TART trail is at the south end of the park. It’s a perfect park for a family beach day in Suttons Bay! Check out this handy Suttons Bay Village Map for help planning your day.
V.I. Grill Restaurant
Anchor your boat rental at Marina Park in Suttons Bay and it's a short, 5-minute walk to downtown! The V.I. Grill is the oldest tavern in all of Leelanau County. It's a group-friendly restaurant, with crowd-pleasers such as pizza, sandwiches, salads, and local brews on the menu.
Boating, Jet Skiing, Ice Cream, Repeat.
It's a short walk from the Suttons Bay Marina to Scoops 22. The locally homemade Buchan ice cream is worth your visit, with flavors like Peninsula Peach and Lavender!
Hop Lot Brewing Company
Located right off of M-22, this microbrewery is another group-friendly restaurant in Leelanau County. Featuring an onsite hop garden and a large outdoor setting, Hop Lot is family-friendly and dog-friendly with a great atmosphere.
Catch a foreign classic at the Bay Theatre
Film Buffs unite! The Bay Theatre is a renovated Victorian movie theatre that has been showing films since 1978 and is the only theater in Leelanau County.