Suttons Bay MI Area Guide


Suttons Bay is a village in Leelanau County, Michigan. As of 2000, the village’s population was approximated at 600 people. The village is located within the Suttons Bay Township.

Suttons Bay is home to Leelanau County’s only movie theater, which opened in 1946. Suttons Bay also has a clothing store that has been owned by the same family for over four generations. Despite Suttons Bay’s size, the village is home to great events like the Suttons Bay Jazzfest and the Suttons Bay Art Festival. The village is also highly embedded in the cherry industry, producing sweet and tart cherries of many varieties. Suttons Bay is the place to be for a great sense of community and small town feel!


Suttons Bay History

The Manistee and Northeastern Railroad came to southern Leelanau County in 1892, and with additional companies and rails over the next several years, transportation of people and products was greatly improved. The Traverse City, Leelanau, and Manistique Railroad began operating between Traverse City and Northport in 1903, stopping at Hatch’s Crossing, Fountain Point, Bingham, Keswick, Suttons Bay, and Omena. The trains ran in all seasons, making snow removal by village citizens a necessity.

The train ran through Suttons Bay, and passed near the previous site of Harry T. Sutton’s wooding station, which was established in 1854. The Sutton name first caused the village to be called Suttonsburg. Suttons Bay was eventually adopted for this growing community with its deep, safe harbor.

By 1880 there were 250 people living in the village, centered around four stores, two hotels, a sawmill, print shop, and school. Just before 1900 the number of churches had increased to four. With the arrival of the railroad, the stagecoach era of transporting the mail came to an end, just as Native American mail runners had earlier been replaced by the coaches.


Suttons Bay Parks and Recreation

The Suttons Bay Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to providing a clean and safe environment for all community members and visitors to enjoy. Suttons Bay is committed to ensuring that their parks and open spaces are meeting the needs of their community.

Bahle Park
Bahle Park features 30 acres of walking trails, skiing, sledding and a warming house.

Deuster Park
Deuster Park features multiple soccer fields.

Suttons Bay Events

The Suttons Bay area features a multitude of extravagant events taking place throughout the year. Bring your family and friends for a day full of entertainment at one of Suttons Bay’s many cultural happenings.

Suttons Bay Jazz Fest
Suttons Bay Jazz Fest features the Big Band sound center stage at this year’s fest.

Suttons Bay Art Festival
The Suttons Bay annual art fair takes place at the beautiful Suttons Bay Marina Park on the first weekend of August. One hundred artists along with community groups, food vendors and a children’s area make this the perfect place to spend an art-filled weekend at the beach. Join us on Sunday morning for a pancake breakfast in the park.


Suttons Bay Attractions

The Suttons Bay area features exciting attractions that everybody in the family can enjoy! Come experience the many fine art galleries that Suttons Bay has to offer or visit the Bay Theatre for a foreign film.

Michigan Artists Gallery
The Michigan Artist Gallery features award winning artists in paintings, folk art, shadow boxes, tilework, woodcuts, photography and jewelry

The Painted Bird
The Painted Bird features over 100 area and American artists. Here you will find clothing, jewelry, decorative and functional art and custom rugs.

Suttons Bay Galleries
Suttons Bay Galleries features 15th-20th century original art.

Treeline Gallery
Treeline Gallery features paintings from area, Midwestern and Californian artists.

Bay Theatre
The Bay Theatre features Hollywood hits, classic, independent and foreign films.

Inland Seas Education Association
The Inland Seas Education Association strives to protect the Great Lakes through education. Sail on the tall ships and visit the Education Center at Dame Street.

Leelanau Club at Bahle Farms
Leelanau Club features 18 holes of unforgettable golf terrain. The club offers a clubhouse, restaurant and driving range.

For more information on Suttons Bay visit the Chamber of Commerce website by clicking here

Nancy Albrecht
Nancy Albrecht
521 Randolph Street Traverse City MI 49684