Best Beaches in Northport and Omena
At the tip of the Leelanau PENINSULA …
Northport is the last frontier for the Leelanau Peninsula. Well, it was actually the first frontier - a vibrant port town for ships and merchants before Traverse City even existed!
Well talk about that later.
We have miles of freshwater coastline, a lot of which is protected by state and local agencies to keep the natural landscape, which also makes for pristine and secluded beaches to enjoy!
Peterson Park - Best for Sunsets
Best for sunsets and rock hunting. This western facing beach with a bluff overlook is a township park. There is plenty of parking as well as picnic tables and grassy space, as well as a play set, swings, and volleyball net.
there is a long stairway down to the water and rocky beach. This is one of the best places to find fossils and Petoskey Stones. The waves can be rough, and not always the best for swimming, we have more beaches for that. If you come to visit Northport, make sure to keep an eye out for the sunset and make your way to the park that is just 3 miles North West of town.
2. Christmas Cove - Best all-around ‘secret’ beach
Christmas Cove is just about a mile up the road from Peterson Park. This is a township park, but with little direction to the beach area, which makes it a local’s favorite spot! There is limited parking since the lake waves have eroded some of a retaining wall. No fear, there is a short path and few steps down to a wide, sandy cove with ample area to picnic and lounge all afternoon.
3. Cathead Bay - Best for secluded sunbathing
Cathead Bay is farther up the peninsula and part is protected by the state park. You can either go to the end of Cathead Point and walk on the beach at the high water level, or hike through the state park a little over a mile up and over the dune to find your secluded spot to sunbathe all day. The trailheads to the state park are just past Woolsey Airport, on the left past Mud Lake. You do have to have a State Park pass to park for an extended amount of time.
4. Omena Bay Beach - Best for swimming
A quiet little park at the middle of Omena Bay, you will see it as you drive through the little town. There is a swingset, a few picnic tables, and a marked-off swimming area. The bay here makes the water calm and that tropical blue color in the summer. Also a favorite for those with boats to anchor here all afternoon. In the winter months, before the bay freezes over, you can often see small tankers take shelter at the mouth of the bay as it is the last deep-water part of Grand Traverse.
5. Northport Marina Park
At the heart of Northport is the Marina and everything that makes a full day of family fun here. On Fridays through the summer catch the Farmers Market bright and early. There is a swimming beach, play set, loads of picnic tables, a gazebo, and youth sailing school!