Summertime in northern Michigan – it really doesn’t get any better. In beautiful Harbor Springs, they set the bar high as far as scenery and things to do.

Anyone who has ever been to this delightful town on Little Traverse Bay knows that boats and boating are a big part of what makes it special. The marina and waterfront teem with locals and visitors. They come to be kissed by the lake breezes and to watch colorful sails and boats of all sizes go in and out of this historic waterfront.

Because they understand the allure of the water and the pleasures that bring guests back year after year, the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society started their own tradition six years ago, the Blessing of the Fleet and Summer’s Launch Celebration. For 2018, the Society is adding yet another event to seduce guests to visit their lovely waterfront, free tours on the Madeline.

Plan on coming to Harbor Springs the last week of June for these fun events in the deepest freshwater harbor in the country:

Blessing of the Fleet: This delightful boat parade on the harbor welcomes all kinds of boats – kayaks, yachts, canoes, ski boats and more – to kick off the season.  Bring your own boat and take part or simply watch the fun from the city dock beginning at 6pm on Wednesday, June 27.

Summer’s Launch Celebration: A fundraiser for the Historical Society, this is the perfect summer soiree. A strolling supper at Walstrom Marine Showroom complemented by local beer, wine and cocktails extends into dessert, a silent auction and entertainment.  Call for tickets at 231.526.9771 or shop online at

Schooner Madeline: What a great opportunity for boating and/or history enthusiasts!  Come and tour the schooner Madeline, a fifty-six-foot, twin masted replica of an 1840s commercial vessel. Imaginations will come alive aboard this tall ship.  Tours are free and open to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and June 27 from 10 am to 3 pm.

History, heritage, and an unparalleled waterfront community all blend together to make Harbor Springs the place to be the last week of June. Visit for lodging information or more information on the area.

Photo credit: Nate Graham

About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has “been there — seen that” when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.