5 Great Sunrise Locations Near Traverse City

Of course anywhere overlooking the water is a great place to watch the sunrise in Traverse City, but if you’re looking for something special, perhaps these will do the trick. They’re five of my favorite places in or near Traverse City that offer interesting sunrise views:

Clinch Marina, downtown Traverse City

Directly across from Union Street in downtown Traverse City, Clinch Marina makes a classic sunrise setting. I’ve never been completely alone while shooting sunrises here, but I’ve never had to shoot around other visitors, either.

Cedar Lake, DeYoung Natural Area – Cherry Bend Rd

Cedar Lake is a beautiful turquoise-water lake nestled in the DeYoung Natural Area just northwest of Traverse City. You can access the trailhead via the TART, or you can park at the DeYoung barn. A short walk along some picturesque-on-their-own boardwalks brings you to a fishing pier on the water.

Harbor Park and Elmwood Marina – Greilickville

If you want to get out of Traverse City for your sunrise shot, but still want classic TC views, consider setting up for your morning photo outing in Greilickville. The harbor park offers some great options, and so does the adjacent Elmwood Marina.

Sabin Pond, Traverse City – Cass Rd

One of my all-time favorite places to drop in during the fall color change, Sabin Pond (south of Traverse City at the Boardman River Nature Center) is also a great place for the sunrise. It’s tucked between a couple of ridges, so reflections are easy to come by, too.

Boardman River, South of TC – Brown Bridge Rd

A little farther afield, the Brown Bridge Quiet Area (head south of TC on Garfield) is one of my go-to places, especially in the winter when the light can easily filter through the trees. There is hiking access on both sides of the Boardman River – either off Brown Bridge Road or Ranch Rudolf Road – but you can also spot some nice views directly from the road (Brown Bridge Rd).

How does this list compare to your favorite sunrise spots? Contact me if you have sunrise suggestions!