Best Places to Set Sail in Michigan
This is a prime family activity here in the Great Lakes State! Check out these 10 amazing vacation opportunities sure to get parents and kids loving the water.
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- The hook: A floating classroom
- Where: Suttons Bay and Traverse City
- Call: 231-271-3077
- Duration: 3 hours
- Max passengers: 25
Kids not only become sailors-in-training during this voyage; they also try out being a scientist for the day. With two ports and school groups as frequent onboard visitors, ISEA knows how to cater to kids. From the moment children set foot on board, they're put to work manning the sails and then going through six education stations placed throughout the ship. (Your kids can even take a turn at the helm!) Along with the Family Ecology Sail, there are several other options, including night sails.
- The hook: Perfect for winding along the river
- Where: Holland
- Call: 616-393-7799
- Duration: Two hours (dinner cruises)
- Max passengers: 100
Designed to look like a Victorian-era paddle-wheel riverboat, this cruise meanders through Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan (lake conditions permitting). Along with a live narration during the journey, there is a singer onboard who takes requests! Take a turn on the karaoke machine, too. Make sure to have your kids ask the captain for a bit of treasure – he's got treats onboard and will even let some youngsters toot the ship's whistle.
- The hook: Adds a little speed
- Where: Traverse City
- Call: 231-947-1730
- Duration: One-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours
- Max passengers: 43
For something truly unique, cruise through West Grand Traverse Bay aboard a catamaran. The 47-foot ship offers smooth sailing as well as sightseeing from the four nets hanging just above the water's waves. There are two restrooms onboard and complimentary snacks throughout the journey. The Nauti-Cat is the largest commercial catamaran sailing on the Great Lakes. Expect your kids to help raise the sails!
- The hook: A vacation across the lake
- Where: Muskegon
- Call: 866-914-1010
- Duration: Two-and-a-half hours
- Max passengers: 248
Looking to include a little sightseeing along with your trip? Take off on a high-speed ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee, Wis. You can bring the car with you or leave it in Muskegon.
- The hook: See Kalamazoo from a different point of view
- Where: Saugatuck
- Call: 269-857-4261
- Duration: One-and-a-quarter to one-and-a-half hours
- Max passengers: 150
For a journey through Kalamazoo River, Lake Kalamazoo and even into Lake Michigan (lake conditions permitting), this leisurely cruise offers a live narration of the local history and sights along the way.
- The hook: Breathtaking scenery in the Upper Peninsula
- Where: Munising
- Call: 800-650-2379
- Duration: Two-and-a-half to three hours
- Max passengers: 150
To enjoy the sights and sounds of Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, hop aboard one of four motor-powered ships that sail through Lake Superior. Have your camera ready!