Sailing is a popular activity in the spring, summer, and fall months when the water is warm and the sky is sunny. The Great Lakes are some of the very best places in the United States to go sailing, but it can be hard to know where to go. Here are five of our very favorite Great Lakes sailing destinations for you to explore.

Go Sailing In These 5 Places On The Great Lakes

1. Saugatuck, Michigan

Located 90 miles northeast of Chicago, Saugatuck is a top vacation destination in the American Midwest for its natural beauty and historic significance. Most of the town’s destinations are within walking distance of the harbor, which holds over 900 boats. On the Douglas side of the Kalamazoo River, Tower Marine can accommodate deep water berths. On land, gourmet restaurants, dozens of museums, and local hiking. Saugatuck is an excellent launching-off point for sailing Lake Michigan.

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2. Mackinac Island

If you are a skilled boater, take your boat out to Mackinac Island. Situated in the eastern part of the Strait of Mackinac, which separates Lake Huron from Lake Michigan, Mackinac Island is a picturesque, car-free paradise. Once you arrive—after storing your boat at the Mackinac Island State Harbor—visit the elegant Grand Hotel, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, or simply relax on the beach.

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3. Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron, lies completely within the province of Ontario. There are over a dozen ports to choose from, meaning that you could explore the entire area by boat. At the northwestern corner of Georgian Bay, Manitoulin Island is a pristine paradise. Manitoulin Island is so large that it contains some lakes of its own, and is known for its natural beauty. However, Manitoulin Island isn’t the only picturesque destination. 63 Georgian Bay islands are part of Georgian Bay Islands National Park, recognizable by their rugged rock formations and pine trees.

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4. Michigan City, Indiana

Michigan City, especially in the summer, is a fun and inviting destination. Many seasonal festivals, including the Big Parade along Franklin Street and the Kite Festival, take place in this lakeside city. In August, the five-day-long Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix attracts over 80,000 speed boating aficionados. Additionally, the Michigan City’s In-Water Boat Show is held at the end of August. The Washington Park Municipal Marina can accommodate 500 yachts, and many Lake Michigan destinations are a short boat ride away.

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5. Door County, Wisconsin

With access to both Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County is a boater’s dream. This peninsula features over 300 miles of coastline for relaxing on the beach, taking in views of vibrant autumn foliage or calm waters. The nautical history in Door County is rich, and it boasts a number of scenic lighthouses that are best seen from the water.

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This article was written by Marissa Fackler.