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Updated by Joseph Kimmell on 26, Sep 2016

We are beginning planning a trip circum navigating Lake Michigan in June-July, 2017 in our 45 ft. Ocean Alexander (power).We are familiar with the northern (sturgeon bay, Wisconsin. , Leland ,Mi.) part of the lake. Can anyone offer some advice on marinas, towns from Sturgeon Bay to Chicago to definitely see or avoid? Also planning on staying at Belmont harbor in Chicago if possible. Thanks to all. Joe Kimmell



we are off Saturday on our trip and plan to go to Frankfort from Charlevoix, then cross to Wisconsin. Does anyone have a recommendation for a Frankfort marina? Jacobson seems attractive. Frankfort Municipal?? Also which marinas in Sturgeon bay would you recommend? not.?


Either are fine. There was a change of Harbor Master at the munie for the better. Jacobson is more expensive and a few hundred yards close to downtown. About half the time we just anchor off the munie, the rest of the time we go to the munie. As you are in a power boat, you should be able to make it easily in one day. Most sailors stop a Leland, about half way, to break up the trip and enjoy a fun place. While in Frankfort try out the Cru Wine Bar and Restaurant.

Lou Bruska


Joe - I apologize but I somehow missed seeing your post from September 26th. As Joann Mead indicates, over this winter GLCCSchool will be airing several live webinars focused on Lake Michigan cruising. These will be scheduled in the February to April time-frame in part to facilitate people's advance cruise planning for the 2017 GLCC Rendezvous in Sturgeon Bay, which I'd encourage you to incorporate into your itinerary.

Here's a link to the description of the upcoming class on cruising Lake Michigan's NE shore:…

Here's a link to the description of the upcoming class on cruising Lake Michigan's SE shore:…

The tile describing our new-this-year class on Cruising Green Bay will be posted in the GLCCSchool web site's "Future Webinars" area as soon as the abstract is ready. That new class will be held on March 16th.

If you're not already enrolled with GLCCSchool I'd encourage you to do so such that you're alerted when these and other classes have been opened for registration. Just go to and click "Free Enrollment" on the top ribbon. Once you're enrolled with the school you can sign up for live classes or sign up to view recordings of past classes as they're made available for registration.

I hope the above is helpful.


Watch the website or our Facebook page for announcements on Lake Michigan Webinars. Lou Bruska usually does some. You could also contact him for information.


We completed this same cruise this year and stayed at the following:
Kewaunee: Nice people not much there but lots of powerboats.
Manitowac: Great marina, pretty town, good park along river and waterfront. Stores a good hike away. Friend took us to Copp's Market for groceries and to Beerntsen's Confectionary which is not to be missed.
Sheboygan: Great marina with pool. Nice boater's lounge, good bike riding along the waterfront. The Kohler Art Museum is not to be missed.
Port Washington, small but efficient marina, mainly fishermen, town's a short walk
Milwaukee: Huge and well kept marina, great restaurants just up the hill, take the dinghy up the river to the Harley Museum or any number of spots to tie up downtown Short walk to art museum.
Racine: Huge marina, not much help in docking. No grocery stores downtown. Good library.
Waukegan: Nice marina, great staff, nothing much to do there. Staff person Gregg took me in the marina's pickup to Louis Fresh Market and it was fantastic shopping.
Chicago: We were extremely pleased with Monroe Harbor and were on a mooring for 4 days right downtown. Both the rates and the tender service were great. Mariano's Market, by the Blue Cross tower, was a great place to provision. Great bike riding along the waterfront to the Field & Shedd Museums.

If you want to know about the eastern Lake Michigan harbors that we visited, let us know.

Carl & Joyce, Running Free