Michigan is home to many stunning lakes, however, many consider Torch Lake to be the crown jewel of the state. With the sun shining brightly and reflecting off the turquoise-colored water, the lake features, and undeniable beauty. Spread over 19 miles on over 18,000 acres, Torch Lake is the longest and second biggest lake in the state, which means there are a wide range of Torch Lake vacation rental locations for your family to choose from. With plenty to do at Torch Lake, take the time to pick an area that puts you near the activities you enjoy.

1. Alden

Coy Mountain Trail in Alden, MI
Source: flickr / Ed McDonald

Located at the southeast end of Torch Lake, Alden provides access to gorgeous parks where the kids can play volleyball or tennis, while you enjoy the charming view of the lake. Put on a pair of comfortable tennis shoes and walk on the trails at Coy Mountain Preserve and get an up-close look at the forest and wildlife.

2. Eastport

fishing at Eastport
Source: flickr / Jason Lander

The Department of Natural Resources stocks the lake with fish, so you can see the heartwarming smile on your kids’ faces as they catch their first fish. Afterwards, cook the fish on the deck of your vacation rental. Featuring one skid pier, Eastport allows you to sail out to the lake and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the lake.

3. Rapid City

Classic Car at Rapid City
Source: flickr / allen watkin

Rapid City rests on the southern end of Torch Lake. Rent a vacation rental with a private dock, and step outside onto your watercraft and explore lake. If you’re feeling lucky, Turtle Creek Casino, only a short drive away, offers slots, table games, and a poker room. For the classic car lover in the family, Rapid City also hosts frequent classic car shows.

4. Torch River

Torch River
Source: flickr / marada

Nestled at the south area of Torch Lake, Torch River flows south toward Lake Skegmog. The west side contains a public access area where you can launch a moderately-sized boat through the river, which leads you under the Cherry Street bridge and through town. With heavy boat traffic in the summer, the river offers plenty of opportunities to socialize with other boaters.

5. Clam River

fishing at Clam River
Source: flickr / Andrea Arden

Clam River is west of Torch Lake, and this area places you in the center of activity. Along with being short drive away from many cities, such as Bellaire, Alden, and Elk Rapids, staying in this area provides you with easy access to restaurants, bars, and shopping centers. Trout fishing is popular, and after a fun-filled day of fishing, barbecue your catch on the deck of your vacation rental while enjoying the incredible lake view.

6. Milton Township

playing at the beach
Source: flickr / Jaume Escofet

Pack the mountain bikes in your SUV while preparing to visit Milton Township, as you’ll likely want to cruise along the bike trails. Traverse City State Park, approximately 20 minutes from Milton Township, sits on 47 acres and features a large camping area with access to electricity, allowing you to enjoy the comforts to which you are accustomed. The park also contains a quarter-mile beach area, perfect for canoeing and surfing.

7. Torch Lake Township

campfire
Source: flickr / Stephen Downes

Bundled in-between Torch Lake and Grand Traverse Bay, Torch Lake Township is home to approximately 1,200 full-time residents, however, the area gets plenty of vacationers, especially in the summertime. If you’re visiting in the winter, enjoy ice sailing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. Travel to Barnes Park Campground and get your heart pumping while hiking or biking on the trails or unwind next to a cozy campfire.

8. Central Lake

Waterfront camping
Source: flickr / -ted

As you venture northeast of Torch Lake, visit the small village of Central Lake, which sits on the shores of Intermediate Lake. Treat the kids to a delicious meal at the Village Market Food Center in the downtown area. The main attraction is Thurston Park, which opens on the last Saturday in April and closes on the third Saturday in October. Spend the night at the waterfront campsites and wake up to the beauty of the lake.

9. Forest Home Township

barbecue
Source: flickr / Julep67

Located about 25 miles northeast of Traverse City, Forest Home Township features rivers and lakes bordering three of its sides. Grill hot dogs and beef patties with the kids at Forest Home Township Family Park, then take the stairs to the lake. The park also offers a walk-in boat launch, suitable for small watercraft like canoes and kayaks.

10. Helena Township

Helena Township
Source: facebook / The Alden Depot and the Helena Twp. Historical Society

Enjoy a homey ambiance and easy access to parks and lakes with a vacation rental in Helena Township. Head to Chessie Pause Depot Park and play a kids-versus-parents volleyball game, or go for a relaxing swim. The park also has a museum for the family’s history buffs to learn a little about the history of Alden and see vintage pictures.