The Inn at Bay Harbor stands guard on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, reminiscent of San Diego’s Del Coronado. Though the water is clear and fresh, on a windy day the waves seem better for surfing than the Pacific. Ask for a lake front room to hear the lapping or surge of ripples against the shore. Poolside, screams of delight mix with sibling tiffs that are quickly squashed while lawn games and hammocks are geared for family fun. The floral landscaping is icing on the resort cake that serves as a getaway for all Michiganders and world travelers. The lollipop lamb chops and meaty crab cakes are to die for at the Vintage Chop House where the sunset causes a rush of gleeful photographers in and out the patio door. When not there to take selfies and groupies, take a peek on the cam view on their website. Sunrises are special too and the Sagamore’s breakfast buffet has an array of fruit, pastries and entrees plus the best omelet chef in the area to start the day. Walk to the harbor where the yachts sail in for a few shops and restaurants or make the short drive to Petoskey for blocks of fun shopping and eateries. Palette Bistro has stunning views of Little Traverse Bay and scrumptious scallops, salads and small plates that are plenty big to share.
Boyne Golf serves up ten championship-caliber courses and 2 more resorts. The Heather course at Boyne Highlands by Robert Trent Jones Sr. is celebrating 50 years but the maintenance crew keeps it fresh. Cue the heron by the pond with a fountain on number one tee box. Journey through the woods and wetlands and grab a Chicago dog at the turn. It is messy but well worth the hassle. Number 18 is a suitable finish to a memorable round, set below the ski slope with a large lake to maneuver front and center. Drive left and zero in on the green with a solid approach to end with a birdie putt.
The Links/Quarry/Preserve 9s are a real treat at Bay Harbor Golf Club. The Links begins with 4 beautiful holes on the Irish seashore. NO, they just seem like ocean holes but it is still Lake Michigan. The dunes and grass feel like Ireland’s Enniscrome. The quarry is a course Fred Flintstone would enjoy with Barney’s rubble, deep gorges, steep rock walls and swans on number 5. Nine is a grand finale indeed beginning with a blind tee shot to the top of a hill facing Lake Michigan. Cross the ravine down to the green where trees are swaying on the edge of the lake. Bring it home to the warmth of the elegant clubhouse perched above and adorned by brilliant flowers. This is Pure Michigan Golf at its finest.