Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Suttons Bay, MI

  • Published 2023/02/15

Suttons Bay is midway along the eastern side of the Leelanau Peninsula and is the county seat of Leelanau County, Michigan.

The broad range of activities lures people to this place for vacations, whether they arrive by boat or automobile.

The beautiful landscapes and clear seas create a lovely background for various activities, such as seeing Michigan’s wine region, sailing and relaxing on the beach, or visiting one of the numerous art galleries.

Take a walk through the historic downtown retail district or play golf on well-kept courses.

Enjoy your holiday and plan your trip with this list of the best things to do in Suttons Bay, Michigan.

Sample Drinks at Suttons Bay Ciders

Sutton’s Bay Ciders, situated just outside Traverse City, provides beautiful views and a relaxing ambiance.

Their cidery and sampling room are a jewel that lets both brewers and wine experts enjoy their wonderful beverages and relaxing atmosphere.

If you’re searching for an authentic Traverse City experience, stop by Sutton’s Bay Ciders.

The cidery grows their apples, cherries, and sumac berries on the Leelanau Peninsula.

Further, their house-made ciders are terrific thirst-quenchers and will appeal to a wide range of tastes.

Come outside for a sample of ciders and enjoy the day touring the cidery grounds while taking in the gorgeous scenery.

Play Golf at Bahle Farm Golf Course

The 18-hole Bahle Farms Golf Course is in the central section of Leelanau County.

Indulge in Leelanau’s unadulterated beauty, featuring hillsides, breathtaking vistas of Suttons Bay, and a lush landscape that winds into a blooming cherry orchard.

The perfect golf experience features great gardens and steep descents.

Bahle Farms also hosts events, including Wednesday Ladies Nights, where you can have a good time and meet new people while playing a casual 9-hole round of golf.

You may also unwind with a bottle of wine on the terrace!

Enjoy Wine Tasting at the Two K Farms

The K & K Farms Group bought the 80-acre from the Lee Family after seeing its enormous potential.

It is in a glacial valley with remnants of a dune that initially stretched to the bay.

Much of the property had become inactive, with just a few acres cultivated with maize and wheat and cherries and potato in previous years.

Two K Farms produces top-grade cider and wine, utilizing estate-grown fruit to cultivate traditional cider types professionally.

The Tasting Room at Two K Farms is within fields of pine trees, with an outdoor patio facing West Grand Traverse Bay.

Indoor seating features a rustic yet beautiful vibe known for its high ceiling with open beams and gorgeous vintage chandeliers.

It’s a perfect alternative for big groups of people who want to book a private party.

Stop at Two K Farms to taste Leelanau if you’re driving along the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route.

Watch Films and Live Performances at the Bay Theatre

The Bay Community Theatre manages the Bay TheatreThe Bay Community Theatre manages the Bay Theatre, a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers and located at 214 N St Joseph St in Suttons Bay.

The Bay Community Theatre Organization was formed in December 2018 to carry on the long tradition of a society movie theater in Suttons Bay.

For more than 70 years, The Bay has become a meeting ground for the people to enjoy great films and live performances.

They showcase film, performing arts, and creative skills by offering a localized venue for artistic, intellectual, and educational programs.

Likewise, the group aims to preserve the historic Bay Theater structure.

Visit this Suttons Bay tourist site to enjoy movies and live performances with friends and family.

Appreciate the Scenery at the Suttons Bay Beach

Suttons Bay beaches are ideal for enjoying a whole day outdoors, whether sunbathing, stone searching, or swimming in the clear waters.

The Suttons Bay Beach is a beautiful tourist spot situated on the western arm of Grand Traverse Bay, 15 miles north of Traverse City.

Here you’ll find a beach, picnic areas, a playground, and bathrooms.

The beaches at Suttons Bay on Grand Traverse Bay offer an opportunity to play about in Lake Michigan’s pristine, clean waters.

The water is a little shallow there, but it heats up rapidly under the summer sun, ideal for swimming.

Glen Arbor, Elk Rapids, Lake Leelanau, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore all provide beautiful beaches.

Stop by the Shady Lane Cellars

Shady Lane Cellars is a historic house nestled at the base of the Leelanau Peninsula, only minutes from Traverse City.

Shady Lane Cellars is a small-estate winemaking business and vineyard with a strong sense of purpose.

They strike a balance between practicing sustainable agriculture and offering high-quality products.

The winery wants to make wine with a character of refinement and structure and an intensity of fragrance and taste.

They also offer a variety of outstanding local events such as music events, wine pairing feasts, and private gatherings.

Search for Healthy Food at Leelanau Farmers’ Markets

Farmer’s markets are a definite plus for Leelanau County because they give residents access to fresh, high-quality fruit and other items.

These markets also foster relationships between farmers and consumers and support the region’s economic vitality.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, baked products, meat, poultry, syrup, flowers, cheese, childcare products, gourmet cuisine, wine, and artisan items are all available for purchase at this market.

All items and products sold at the marketplace come from nearby, within 60 miles of the market.

Leelanau Farmers Market provides fresh local products throughout the summer.

Stop by and pick up some fresh fruits and veggies to take home.

You’ll need to re-energize and nourish yourself in time to see numerous attractions in Suttons Bay, Michigan.

Wander the Beer Garden at Hop Lot Brewing Company

Enjoy the great outdoors of Northern Michigan at the Hop Lot Brewing Company.

The owners formed Hop Lot in 2015 to create a family-friendly brewery with a classic ale tapping selection and a beer garden that embraced its North Michigan environment.

This brewery is a great way to unwind with picnic tables and outdoor activities.

You can also find more things to do in their distinctive outdoor garden.

Wander the beer garden and sample their popular beers while basking in the atmosphere.

Are you spending the weekend in Traverse City?

Hop Lot Brewing Company is near notable bicycling and hiking routes such as the TART Trail.

They produce several varieties of beer to appeal to a wide range of tastes, and they constantly have something new on tap.

Have a Relaxing Stay at the Korner Kottage

People need food, water, and shelter to live.

However, the Korner Kottage believes a few more things make life worthwhile: romance, respite, art, adventure, and perhaps a few sweets before bedtime.

Enjoy the luxury life at the Korner Kottage B&B.

Every day, the sun rises over the seas of Suttons and Grand Traverse Bay, filling the Suttons Bay streets and into Korner Kottage’s window panes.

So, what do you have to lose?

Come in and nourish your spirit, inspire your heart, and relax your body.

Look at Handmade Art at Blue North Arts

Blue North Arts in Sutton Bay combines art and handmade goods.

Throughout the summer, Blue North Arts presents various local artists and makers on the grass along the center city walkway.

Showcasing artists and manufacturers effectively markets them to visitors.

Visit and enjoy Blue North Arts in Suttons Bay’s vibrant bayside hamlet!

Blue North Arts is impossible to miss with their bright orange shop and shared comfortable porch with The Happy Woman shop next door.

Expect a Peaceful Stay at the Vineyard Inn

Water and wine create the ideal setting for a wedding, celebration, or romantic getaway.

This modern lakeside inn features spectacular lake scenery in every room, a private beach, friendly service, and is only one mile from the Casino and Vineyards.

Relax indoors, under the shelter of the wooden stone oven, on the balcony, or at the beach bar, where they prepare their wood-fired pizzas.

Besides excellent accommodation, their Bistro, a waterfront restaurant with a vibrant environment, offers inventive wine-friendly cuisine and refreshing beverages.

You may also enjoy a relaxing boat trip around Suttons Bay’s crystal blue waters and unload right at the Beach Bistro.

Purchase Unique Gifts at the Painted Bird

The Painted Bird is a modern American handicrafts shop located in Suttons Bay, Michigan, in Leelanau County.

Since 1987, the gallery has represented over 150 artists and craftsmen.

Many of these artists are local, primarily from Michigan, and all American.

They provide handcrafted jewelry, clothes, accessories, and imaginative, unique gifts from over 150 American artists and designers.

The collection is extensive and enjoyable to peruse.

The artists keep it fresh.

They are always looking out for new and inventive American artists and new and fantastic inventions to thrill their guests.

They have trained their vision to find the best American crafts, narrowing the collection to styles that genuinely work and that people adore!

Take a look around the Painted Bird and enjoy the work of many artists.

Come by the Stites Natural Area

Stites Natural Area is a quarter-mile from Suttons Bay Post Office and close enough to the Suttons Bay Schools that such cross-country teams have trained there.

This approximately 20.23-hectare ecological jewel offers spectacular ridge-line vistas, towering forests, and magnificent fall colors.

The existing trail system stretches for .65-mile around two tracks with a sharp rise to start.

Stites Natural Area is a terrific place for youngsters to spend time with their friends and family.

Pets are also welcome as long as they’re leashed.

You can expect beautiful views as there are amazing trees there, some of which are over a century old.

Birds, bobcats, and other animals live there, too.

Book a Table at Boone’s Prime Time Pub

Boone’s Prime Time Pub in Suttons Bay, Michigan, has served delicious cuisine and good fun since 1979.

They’ve prepared delicious meals for the Suttons Bay neighborhood for decades.

Boone’s invites everyone to eat on the eastern edge of the Leelanau Peninsula, overlooking the gorgeous Suttons Bay.

If you don’t want to bring packed lunch or cook supper at home, stop by Boone’s Prime Time Pub for a delicious meal.

The products on their extensive menu include lemon pesto salmon, Boone’s burger, New York strip steak, homemade Arizona eggrolls, and many more!

Whenever you drop by this restaurant, rest assured that the restaurant will meet anything you desire.

You’ll enjoy a memorable dining experience with delicious food in a fun environment.

Check Out the 9 Bean Rows Bakery and Farm Market

Suttons Bay, MI, is home to 9 Bean Rows, situated at 9000 E Duck Lake Rd.

They also provide a selection of iconic European pastries, varying from butter airy croissants to toast and cupcakes, pies, and eclairs during peak season.

9 Bean Rows specializes in greens and giant pumpkins, but they also cultivate a selection of greens and root vegetables all year.

Their selection changes regularly.

Since they are also food enthusiasts, they appreciate the flavor of freshly harvested crops.

So, they harvest produce at low temperatures with little treatment to ensure the best possible condition.

Purchase fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods.

Otherwise, visit their bakery if you prefer sweets.

Sunbathe by the Beach at Marina Park

Marina Park is your perfect beachside getaway along Front Street.

Complete with park benches, picnic areas, and spaces for quiet contemplation.

You can enact your waterfront food preparations with the grilling equipment.

Your little ones may also have fun within the playground area.

During summer, the park offers public access to the beach.

Marina Park hosts a variety of summer-long festivals, including Arts Fest and Wine on the Water, so be on the lookout for those too!

If you suddenly feel up for a challenging nature hike, the park’s south end connects to the TART trail.

Surround Yourself with Nature at Leo Creek Preserve

Suttons Bay’s Leo Creek Preserve is one natural treasure you shouldn’t overlook while on your trip.

During the 80s, this preserve was primarily known for being a Montessori school playground.

In 2016, the nine-acre property became a non-profit, officially becoming open to the public as a place of nature and wildlife exploration.

Now, the site blends both a botanical garden and an outdoor laboratory.

Walk past grown plant shrubberies and blooming flowers as you go on your peaceful stroll.

Admire the lakeside beauty of the creek, whether it be spring or winter.

Leo Creek Preserve is accessible via the Leelanau Trail.

Explore the Garden Art and Deco Collection at Bayside Gallery

When it comes to outstanding art and decorations in Suttons Bay, Bayside Gallery‘s name almost always comes up.

Known for its unique garden art showcases, this gallery opened in 2000.

From chimes and lanterns to birdbaths and other forms of outdoor sculptures, this gallery offers the best of the best centerpieces and adornments to your exterior.

Not a fan of decorating your gardens?

That’s not a problem!

The gallery has a wide selection of indoor art and jewelry you can keep for your home or gift to someone special.

Bayside Gallery on North Saint Joseph Street may just be what you need to get that artistic inspiration you’re looking for.

See the Cheesemaking Process at Leelanau Cheese

Tired of the same old historical landmarks and museums?

Suttons Bay has something eccentric enough to pique your interest.

Leelanau Cheese offers you a local taste of Suttons Bay food culture.

Established in 1995, this World Cheese Gold awardee takes pride in its raclettes and traditional sourcing methods.

What’s even better is that this creamery opens its windows to everyone who may want to peek at its unique cheesemaking processes.

Learn a thing or two about cheese by also joining a workshop hosted by the creamery.

To get to Leelanau Cheese, drive along West Bay Shore Drive.

Admire the Scenery along Your Bike Adventure at Leelanau Trail

Take your Suttons Bay trip to new heights with a trek along Leelanau Trail.

Part of the TART trails system, this trail extends to about 17 miles.

It also serves as a bridge between Suttons Bay and Traverse City.

This trail features majestic views of lakes, Riesling grape vineyards, and forests.

Some of the notable attractions you may come across while en route along the trail includes the Historic Potato Barn and Leo Creek Preserve.

During the winter season, the spot is common among skaters, snowshoers, and mountain bikers.

You can access Leelanau Trail from North Dumas Road or 4th Street.

Final Thoughts

You’ll never run out of things to do in Suttons Bay, MI.

From sunbathing and swimming along the coastlines to hiking and bicycling along the various hiking paths, you’ll have fun, whether on land or at sea.

The quaint town center is also home to places featuring creative and culinary expertise.

This charming town abounds in beaches, eateries, shopping, theaters, and other attractions.

Look through stores and galleries for fine handcrafted jewelry, stunning artwork, and one-of-a-kind home décor.

Stop by these several locations in Suttons Bay to enjoy an unforgettable vacation.

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