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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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5. Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) Family Ecology Sail

  • 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.

6. The Holland Princess

  • 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.

7. Nauti-Cat

  • 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!

8. Lake Express

  • 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.

9. Saugatuck Boat Cruises

  • 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.

10. Pictured Rocks

  • 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!

Old to new | New to old
Jul 25, 2011 01:18 pm
 Posted by  SailMichigan

Getting involved in sailing with your kids is a wonderful idea. Sailing is a truely intergenerational sport as both young and old can sail together as a family, team, or even as competitors. Get your kids involved early by finding a sailing class, school or camp near you. In addition, parents can take classes themselves to also enjoy the sailing experience. Families can then join any one of a number of low-cost sailing clubs (not necessarily the same thing as a yacht club) to sail together. These clubs offer family activities and even provide the boats for sailing. Sailing information for the state of Michigan (classes, clubs, events, boats, locations) can be found at on the SailMichigan website (www.sailmichigan.org)

Aug 26, 2011 09:03 pm
 Posted by  tanialsk

Boating is really enjoyable game and everyone likes it.Boating can enjoy with family and kids. To enjoy your vacation, please go to a boating with your family member.It will refresh your mind

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