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The Little Traverse Lighthouse. | Photo by the Harbor Springs Area HIstorical Society

Activities & Attractions in Harbor Springs

What makes Harbor Springs in Northern Michigan a great place? Easy. Here are the Top 10 Reasons:

Here’s what makes downtown Harbor Springs special:

  • #1 – Harbor Springs is a charming, walkable downtown district where you can shop, dine, and explore.
  • #2 – Two beaches are within the city limits and just a few blocks from downtown.
  • #3 – The beautiful downtown waterfront of Harbor Springs is complete with green space, picnic tables, and a dock to walk on.
  • #4 – Harbor Springs has a sailing school for children and adults on the waterfront.
  • #5 – A variety of art galleries featuring artists-in-residence and a variety of art mediums make Harbor Springs a thriving art community.
  • #6 – Shop fresh at the farmer’s market two days a week during the growing season.
  • #7 – Enjoy celebrations in downtown Harbor Springs such as Street Musique each Thursday evening in the summer, July 4th activities including a parade, fireworks, and an art fair, Taste of Harbor Springs, Sidewalk Sales and Celebration, and Holiday Open Houses and activities.
  • #8 – There are park benches throughout the downtown area in front of businesses and along the waterfront where people can enjoy the atmosphere.
  • #9 – Harbor Springs is for book lovers with a downtown library plus a book store.
  • #10 – The Harbor Springs History Museum and the Andrew J. Blackbird Museum are one-of-a-kind attractions.

Here are 10 places near downtown Harbor Springs to explore:

  • #1 – Downhill skiing at Nub’s Nob.
  • #2 – Downhill skiing at Boyne Highlands. Yes, we have two ski resorts!
  • #3 – Talent and entertainment at the Young Americans Dinner Theatre.
  • #4 – The famous drive along The Tunnel of Trees.
  • #5 – Golf courses-dozens of them.
  • #6 – The Little Traverse Wheelway.
  • #7 – Nature and more at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve.
  • #8 – Spectacular Fall Foliage.
  • #9 – Sailing and the Little Traverse Yacht Club Regatta.
  • #10 – Beaches!

Here’s a sampling of the many activities and attractions Harbor Springs has to offer:

Little Traverse Conservancy

The Little Traverse Conservancy protects significant land and scenic areas and provides opportunities to appreciate and understand the environment. With more than 40,000 acres of land and 70 miles of shoreline protected, the Conservancy encourages the use of the preserves for hiking, photography, and other types of recreation. There are over 8 nature preserves located on the conservancy.

Andrew J. Blackbird Museum

The Andrew J. Blackbird Museum is named for a man who was born in what is now Harbor Springs around 1815. His father was an Ottawa chief of the Arbor Croche, or Middle Village band of the Ottawas. Andrew was trained as a blacksmith but enjoyed education and attended Twinsburg Institute in Ohio and Michigan State Normal School, now Eastern Michigan University.

During the 1850’s, Blackbird was a counselor for both the U.S. and Ottawa and Ojibwa peoples and worked to help Native American veterans receive pensions. He helped settle land claims and worked to achieve citizenship for Native Americans.

The M-119 Tunnel of Trees. | Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography.

M-119 Tunnel of Trees

The “Tunnel of Trees,” also known as the M-119 Heritage Route goes from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. The tunnel is a display of northern hardwoods located next to the road which creates the feeling of traveling through a tunnel. 

The Tunnel of Trees is a scenic route along the Lake Michigan shoreline. While this drive is spectacular all year ’round, the fall colors along the route bring people back year after year to experience the glorious foliage.

Scroll below for more articles about the Harbor Springs area.

Experience the Harbor Springs Area

M-119 Tunnel of Trees

Take a beautiful color tour as you travel under a tunnel of colorful trees along M-119 from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

Harbor Springs History Museum

Harbor Springs History Museum

The Harbor Springs History Museum offers a unique look at the history of the community, starting with the first Catholic missionaries.