Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Torch Lake, MI

  • Published 2022/08/03

Torch Lake in Michigan rivals the best lakes in the world with plenty of activities to do in the area.

Its pristine blue-green water and wide sandbar are just perfect for a day of outdoor activity when visiting the place.

The lake sits mostly in Antrim County in Northern Michigan and is about 19 miles long, the state’s longest inland lake.

It stretches from Six Mile Lake in the northern part of Antrim County with connecting rivers and empties into Lake Michigan.

The water in the lake is comparable to the Caribbean waters and has become a popular spot for nature lovers.

Public figures like Eminem, Michael Moore, and Kid Rock have built vacation homes on the lake.

Nature lovers and partygoers consider the lake a paradise where you can enjoy fishing, canoeing, diving, hiking, and camping, among others.

Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean of the North?

Don’t miss these fun things to do in Torch Lake!

Go on a Boat Ride at Torch Lake with Dewitt Marine

A kayak on Torch Lake's dock

Sean Patrick Doran /

Torch Lake is one magnificent vacation spot to go to; you’ll appreciate it even better if you go boating.

The lake is large, deep, and long enough for you to explore.

However, it’s fun and always spectacular to experience a slice of the Caribbean, right in Michigan.

For boat rides, you can rent either a pontoon or a powerboat; it depends on what you like the most.

Silhouette of a kayaker on Torch Lake

BeccasDigital /

For boat rentals, you can have one from Dewitt Marine in Bellaire.

Enjoy a full, fun day of boating right on Torch Lake with family and friends, and witness the gorgeous sunset.

Don’t forget to bring your food and drinks.

It’s more fun in the water when you have them!

Enjoy Staying at the Torch Lake Bed & Breakfast

Before going on a vacation, one vital thing to remember is to find out where to stay.

When you’re visiting Northern Michigan, one of the best inns to stay in is The Torch Lake Bed & Breakfast.

The inn is budget-friendly, serving a daily complimentary delicious breakfast.

Likewise, the inn allows you to use their kayaks and paddleboards during your stay.

You can also go fishing from their dock and snorkeling.

These activities are free when you stay at the Torch Lake Bed & Breakfast.

You can find this place in Central Michigan.

From this location, you can see the lake, walk through the woods, and smell the fragrance of peach blossoms, cherries, and apples.

During the fall season, the inn is also one of the designated routes for fall color tours.

Grab a Bite at Dockside

If there’s any iconic spot in Torch Lake where you can grab a quick bite, it’s at Dockside.

You can dock your boat or kayak at the restaurant straight from your spot on the lake and eat.

Their outdoor deck is perfect for a great view of the lake itself.

Enjoy their delicious Mexican food, burgers, deli sandwiches, salads, and many of your favorite beverages.

They also have baskets and a menu for the kids.

Dockside also offers pontoon rentals if you want to explore the lake further.

Go on a Nature Walk in Torch Lake Trails

If you can have fun on the water, you can also have fun on land.

As soon as you’re done exploring the lake, you can hike up the Torch Lake Trails, where you can enjoy the tremendous bounty and gifts of nature.

Grass River Nature Area offers lakes, rivers, open meadows, and gorgeous forests to experience on your hike.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a newbie, there’s no reason for you not to take a nature walk in this beautiful place around the lake.

Another famous spot to explore is the Torch Lake Nature Preserve.

This place is smaller than the Grass River Nature Area but it gives you a breathtaking view of the lake.

If you’re bringing your pet dog, keep them on a leash for safety measures.

Get active at the Torch Lake Trails!

Play Golf at A-GA-Ming Golf Resort

The A-GA-Ming Golf Resort is a 72-hole golf course right between Torch Lake and Lake Michigan.

This unique golf resort provides an inland activity in case you get tired of the water.

The golf resort also offers lessons for newbies, gorgeous lodging, dining, fun, and recreation.

You’ll get spectacular views of the lakes’ banks from the resort.

A-GA-Ming Golf Resort has served golfers since the 1970s.

Hit a hole and have fun!

Go Camping at the Torch Lake Campgrounds

It’s impossible not to experience camping at one of the Torch Lake Campgrounds when you’re in the area.

Since there are many campgrounds, you can choose to stay at one, two, or three.

Of course, you can even stay at them all.

For tent or boat camping, you can choose Barnes Park, Chain O’Lakes, and Honcho Rest Campground.

You can only stay at Torch Grove Campground, though, if you’re camping with motorhomes, trailers, and trucks.

There are plenty of choices if you love camping and spending the night under the gorgeous skies in Northern Michigan.

Wake up to the sound of waves in the water, and start another day at the Torch Lake Campgrounds.

Spend a Day at the Torch Lake Sandbar

Aerial view of Torch Lake Sandbar

AnotherViewDroneService /

The best way to arrive at the Torch Lake Sandbar is by kayak, canoe, or boat.

The famous sandbar has been one of the most in-demand party spots in the country, boasting superb water fun.

It’s around 3.2 kilometers wide, which is perfect for small events.

You can also rent flyboards and hoverboards for more fun and excitement at the sandbar.

Bring your stuff, especially your sunscreen, so you can stay longer under the sun.

You can find the Torch Lake Sandbar right at the southern end of the lake.

Try a New Sport with Torch Lake Windsurfing

Whether you’re an advanced windsurfer or new to this watersport, you should link up with Torch Lake Windsurfing.

They also offer windsurfing lessons for you to enjoy the lake without hassle.

For your safety, they provide life jackets.

Likewise, they also hand out long tethers for beginners, so they don’t get too far from the shore.

Torch Lake Windsurfing also has a rescue boat on its dock.

Apart from windsurfing, they also offer kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing.

You can find them right in Wak-Wing, Central Lake.

Shop for Souvenirs at Adams Madams

There’s nothing more memorable than bringing souvenir items from the place where you enjoyed many fun moments.

Adams Madams is a unique boutique that promises you some of the best artworks from local artists, handmade crafts, and jewelry.

You can even get books, bags, some antique finds, and more souvenir items.

The boutique has four showrooms where you can find all these precious items to bring home with you at a reasonable price.

Now, you can go home with these memorable finds from Torch Lake.

You can find Adams Madams at Main Street in Central Lake, inside a building built in the 1800s.

Grab a Beer or Two at Torch Lake Beer Company

There’s nothing more pleasurable than having a beer or two in the middle of the water.

You will find Torch Lake Beer Company a short walk from the boat launch in Alden.

From there, you can listen to live music and a great selection of beer and other beverages.

You can also munch on short orders like pizza, fish & chips, tacos, burgers, and many more.

Don’t miss the fun.

Visit Torch Lake Beer Company.

Taste Sustainable Wines at Waterfire Vineyards – Torch Lake Winery

Torch Lake is also about sustainability among small businesses that continue to take good care of the environment.

A winery close to the lake called Waterfire Vineyards – Torch Lake Winery has produced sustainable wines that leave little to zero impact on nature.

Since 2017, the winery has committed itself to caring for the lake and its surroundings by using low-risk pesticides and zero herbicides on its vineyard.

Their wines have no harmful chemicals and enjoy a Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certification.

You can taste their love for nature in every glass of wine at their small tasting room in the winery.

Besides, you can also savor the welcoming ambiance in their vineyard.

You can stay at their private suite that can accommodate up to two persons.

You can find Waterfire Vineyards – Torch Lake Winery in Kewadin.

Visit Guntzviller’s Spirit of the Woods Museum

If you go to Torch Lake, it only means one thing; you love the outdoors.

If you love the outdoors, you should visit Guntzviller’s Spirit of the Woods Museum in Elk Rapids.

The museum, founded in 1928, offers educational and interactive learning for the whole family who loves the outdoors and wildlife.

Marvin Guntzviller founded Guntzviller’s Taxidermy, which he passed on to his son, Voss, who also became a professional taxidermist.

Their passion led to showcasing a vast and unique collection of Michigan wildlife, including a full-body elk, bear, mountain lion, fish, whitetail deer, waterfowl, and much more.

Visit Guntzviller’s Spirit of the Woods Museum, and experience the unique ambiance of the Michigan wildlife.

Go Fishing with Fish with Jim Outfitters

A fishing rod at Torch Lake

Juli V /

Another way to have fun on Torch Lake is fishing with Fish With Jim Outfitters.

Since 1998, Jim has helped many visitors to catch fish like a pro.

He will guide you on a fishing trip to the lake where you can catch many famous fish varieties.

For example, you can reel in lake trout, steelhead, brown Trout, cisco, Atlantic salmon, Coho salmon, king salmon, and perch.

All you need to do is book a trip with him and get ready to have fun on the lake.

Sit back on the boat and catch some good varieties of fish that the lake offers.

You can find Fish with Jim Outfitters in Mancelona.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Skydiving with Skydive Charlevoix

If you love a good thrill, you’ll get even more of it when you explore the lake from above.

Skydive Charlevoix offers both fun and thrill with skydiving, where you can freefall for 45 seconds at 120 mph from up to two miles off the ground.

See the beauty of the lake, its neighboring rivers, and lush vegetation from above.

If this extreme sport is new to you, Skydive Charlevoix offers a skydiving class before boarding.

You will also have a certified skydive instructor fly and fall with you.

Experience the thrill and feel the adrenaline rushing through your body.

See the beauty of nature two miles from the ground.

You can find them at Charlevoix Municipal Airport, only 22 minutes away from Torch Lake.

Dive into the Water with Scuba North

Another fun way to do nearby is scuba diving, which you can do with Scuba North in Traverse City, Michigan.

It’s only 33 minutes away from Torch Lake, but they will help you explore the lake itself and the rest of its neighboring dive spots.

With the help of certified diving instructors, you can enjoy the joys of scuba diving even if you’re a first-timer.

Since 1971, Scuba North has served Northern Michigan and also offer scuba diving lessons where you can earn scuba certification.

Your certification will be valid anywhere in the world, so you’ll never waste time with them.

You can find them at Garfield Avenue.

Final Thoughts

Torch Lake has everything from exciting watersports and activities to in-land excursions.

You’ll always have time to explore this paradise, no matter how short or long your vacation is.

Experience the Caribbean in Northern Michigan!

Book your trip today!

You might find more things to do in Torch Lake, MI after you arrive.

Discover More of Antrim County, MI

Things to Do in Bellaire, MI

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