West Grand Traverse Bay is a recreational hotspot.
West Grand Traverse Bay, simply known as West Bay, is a recreational hotspot surrounded by waterfront restaurants, sandy beaches, and beautiful public marinas where you can dock your boat after a day on the bay. With so much to do and see, there’s no better way to experience this local paradise than with a boat rental from Sunset Watersports.
Did You Know?
- The coast of West Bay is 75 miles long and encompasses both the Leelanau Peninsula on the western shore and the Old Mission Peninsula along the east.
- The 45th parallel (halfway between the equator and the North Pole) runs right through Grand Traverse Bay.
- West Bay was an important port for shipping, lumber and tourism in the early 1900s.
- Port cities along the West Bay shoreline include Northport, Omena, Suttons Bay
and Traverse City
Points of Interest
- Power Island is the largest island in Grand Traverse Bay. It can be found 6.5 miles out from Clinch Harbor, was once owned and operated by Henry Ford, and has today become a popular picnicking, hiking, and fishing destination.
- The Bayshore Resort is right on the bay. It’s also home to Sunset Watersports beach rental location where we have onsite boat rentals for your convenience.
- Apache Trout Grill is a beautiful waterfront restaurant where boaters are welcome to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. Day dock space is available.
- The Boardman River flows right through the heart of downtown Traverse City. Take a leisurely ride down the river, or tie up your boat rental at one of the docks and grab some food at nearby eateries.
- The Duncan L Clinch Marina can be found just off Grandview Parkway at the end of Union Street. It’s a full-service harbor offering fuel, transient slips, and a place to dock for the day.
- Sunset Watersports delivers boat and jet-ski rentals to Clinch Marina for
convenient access to West Bay.
- Elmwood Township Marina in Grelickville (not far outside the city limits) has restrooms and ample parking. As the largest and deepest launch in the Traverse City area, it can accommodate vessels of all sizes.
- The protected Bowers Harbor boat launch can be found midway up the Old Mission Peninsula on Peninsula Drive. Here you’ll find easy access to the bay along with parking and restroom facilities.
- The Boardman River boat launch is just off of Park Street. The parking lot is close to Traverse City’s many shops and eateries.
Parks & Beaches
- Clinch Park, located near Clinch Marina, hosts one of Traverse City’s most popular beaches, complete with a snack bar and a splash pad for the kids to enjoy. When parking, your best bet is to use the Sara Hardy Farmers Market parking lot and then use the tunnel to safely cross Grandview Parkway.
- West End Beach is another popular swimming destination on the bay near downtown Traverse City. It has restrooms, a grassy picnic area, and volleyball nets.
- Bryant Park is smaller than the first two but no less beautiful. Located where Garfield and Front Street intersect, it consists of a picnic area, a playground, restrooms, grills, and a sandy beach. Grassy areas with large trees offer some shelter from the sun.
● Bowers Harbor Park is just steps away from the boat launch and contains a picnic area and a playground as well as restrooms.
● Elmwood Township Beach, located near the marina, has grills, a picnic area, a playground, and a place to swim.