West Grand Traverse Bay is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. West Bay is part of the larger Grand Traverse Bay. The Bay is situated in the northwest region of the Lower Peninsula. Traverse City sits along its shoreline.
West Grand Traverse Bay is a large, deepwater bay that stretches about 32 miles in length. It has sandy beaches and a scenic shoreline. The bay is separated from the main body of Lake Michigan by the Old Mission Peninsula. The Peninsula extends northward into the bay, creating two distinct arms known as the East Arm and the West Arm.
Islands in the Bay
The bay features several Islands although most are privately-owned. The most well-known public island in West Bay is Powers Island (also known as Marion Island). Powers Island is part of the Grand Traverse County Parks System. Rustic campsites are available, you are responsible for your own transportation to the island.
The bay’s favorable climate and fertile soil makes it an ideal location for growing cherries, apples, and other fruits. The region became known as the “Cherry Capital of the World,” with Traverse City hosting an annual Cherry Festival since 1926.
West Grand Traverse Bay is a popular destination for recreational activities and tourism. The bay offers opportunities for swimming, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and sailing. The calm waters and picturesque surroundings make it an attractive location for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Clinch Marina is a popular marina located on the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City. It is situated within Clinch Park, a waterfront park that offers various amenities and recreational opportunities for both locals and visitors.
The marina provides docking facilities for boats of various sizes, offering both seasonal and transient slips. It is a hub for boating enthusiasts who wish to explore the beautiful waters of West Grand Traverse Bay. The marina’s location is advantageous as it provides easy access to the bay. The offers many opportunities for fishing, sailing, kayaking, and other water-based activities.
Clinch Park Beach
Apart from its boating facilities, Clinch Park Marina is surrounded by the lush greenery of Clinch Park. It is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and other outdoor recreation. The park features a sandy beach area where visitors can relax and swim. There is also a splash pad for families to enjoy. The park provides picnic tables and grills as well as a snack bar. In addition there are large restrooms and is handicap accessible.
Clinch Park and the Marina are conveniently located within walking distance of the city center. You are close to parking and the downtown shops and restaurants. Park in the parking lot along Cass Street and use the pedestrian underpass to take you right to the beach and park.
The Open Space
The Open Space, also known as the Traverse City Open Space Park, is a public park located in downtown Traverse City. It is situated along the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. The Open Space is a gathering place for residents and visitors alike. It offers stunning views of the bay and serves as a hub for various events and recreational activities.
The Open Space was established in the 1960s as a result of urban renewal efforts in Traverse City. It involved the removal of outdated industrial buildings and the creation of a public park in their place. Today, the park features a large grassy area, walking paths, picnic tables, and benches. The park provides ample space for people to relax, play, and enjoy the outdoors.
The Open Space has a beautiful sandy beach to the west. West End Beach allows visitors to swim in the clear waters of West Grand Traverse Bay or simply soak up the sun while enjoying views. West End also offers multiple beach volleyball courts for competitive and recreational games.
The Open Space serves as a venue for numerous community events and festivals throughout the year. It is home to the National Cherry Festival. The week long festival celebrates Traverse City’s as the “Cherry Capital of the World.” The park also hosts concerts, art fairs, food festivals, and other cultural and recreational activities that draw large crowds from both near and far.
The park’s central location in downtown Traverse City makes it easily accessible to residents and visitors. Its proximity to shops, restaurants, breweries, and other attractions in the city center makes it a popular spot for people to gather and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Traverse City.
The Open Space offers a stunning backdrop for watching sunsets over West Grand Traverse Bay. It is a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
West Grand Traverse Bay shorelines offers family friendly activities, restrooms, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboard rentals. You will find stretches of sandy beaches with spectacular views without salt, sharks, or tides.