The Ultimate Traverse City Outdoor Adventures Itinerary
Get your Vacation Inspiration here and build your own outdoor adventures.
If you are looking for vacation inspiration, our Lake Leelanau Itinerary is a great place to start creating the Traverse City vacation agenda of your dreams! As local boating experts, we’ve discovered all the best beaches, lakefront restaurants, sandbars, and other fun activities to enjoy with your friends and family. Check out all of our top recommendations for spending a sunny day out on one of our brand new pontoon boats below!
Lake Leelanau Boat Day Itinerary
Bingham Rd. Boat Launch
7001 E Bingham Rd, Traverse City, MI 49684
Start off the morning at Bingham Rd. Boat Launch where we will launch your pontoon boat for the day. For a one-day rental, you will from 10-6 pm (8 hours total) to soak up the sun and adventure around South & North Lake Leelanau. Combined these two lakes are more than 20 miles long, which means you’ll have tons of fun stops along the way!
North Lake Leelanau
If stopping at a sandbar is something that piques your interest, we suggest checking out one of the most popular “beaches” in North Lake Leelanau called Fudgie Beach. Just south of downtown Leland on the western shore next to M22, Fudgie Beach is an excellent option as it’s a popular spot for boaters to anchor and hang out at the sandbar. However, Fudgie Beach doesn’t have a huge beachfront area which is why it got its nickname. If you are looking for a more traditional beach location, we suggest checking out Nedows Bay Beach instead.
Also known as Carp River, the entrance to Leland River is right in between Fudgie Beach and Nedows Bay. We recommend taking the pontoon up to Fishtown, a quaint riverfront town with shops and restaurants that you won’t want to miss. We suggest tying up your pontoon at the sea wall next to the Leland Township Library and exploring all this place has to offer. If you are in the mood for riverside dining, you can also try to dock at one of The Bluebird slips or the Riverside Inn as well! Some of our other favorite attractions in Fishtown are The Cove, Cheese Shanty, Leland Mercantile, and The Harbor House.
Nedows Bay Beach
Nedows Bay is a family-friendly beach that’s a great option if you want to dig your toes in the sand. Located and managed by Leland Township, this beach is a popular destination with swimming access. Nedows Bay also has a lot of amenities like public restrooms, docks, grills, fire pits, and picnic tables which would be an excellent choice for making a quick lunch. Pets are also welcome as long as they are on a leash!
Lake Leelanau At The Narrows
The Narrows is one of the most iconic landmarks in Leelanau and is located at the heart of town. As one of the finest remaining wetlands on Lake Leelanau, the Narrows is a great opportunity to look out for birds, water lilies, and other unique wildlife. It’s also a popular spot for boaters because it connects North and South Lake Leelanau! Keep in mind, The Narrows is a no-wake zone. This means it is time to slow down and enjoy all this unique area has to offer! If you want to check out the town of Leelanau, we suggest tying-off at the dock between The Narrows Yacht Club and William St. You can also try to find a slip at Dick’s Pour House. Other fun places to check out in town are Soul Squeeze Cellars, Northern Latitudes Distillery, Boathouse Vinyards, NJ’s Grocery, and Hannah’s.
South Lake Leelanau
Paradise Cove Bar & Grill
If you get hungry or thirsty while enjoying a fun day on the lake, we suggest pulling your pontoon boat up to Paradise Cove Bar & Grill (formally South End Tiki, locally called Perrins Landing) in South Lake Leelanau. They have some local food options like their freshly caught walleye and cold drink options that are just as refreshing as they are delicious. Paradise Cove Bar & Grill is open at noon every day of the week besides Monday. It’s also very close to the Bingham Rd. Boat Launch so you can grab a bite before dropping off your pontoon!