March 3, 2024

Your Nautical Shopping Guide

Where to find all your gear for a day on the water
By Jillian Manning | July 8, 2023

Ready to get out on the lake? So are we! But as always, we hope to do so in style, so we’ve put together a list of a few retailers across northern Michigan that offer the coolest suits, hats, shoes, and accessories you need for a day on the boat, at the beach, or in the waves.

1. Sea Bags

First, let’s start by getting a bag for you to put all your new stuff in. From Maine to Michigan, Sea Bags is converting used sails into cute bags and totes perfect for a day on the water. Their bags are all USA made (down to the sails, thread, and rope) and each one is a little bit rugged and unique. This summer, we’re digging their Michigan Landmarks Large Tote ($180)—which includes a few of our favorite port towns—and their Breton Stripe White Anchor Convertible Bucket Bag ($120). The latter gives off classic sailor vibes and can be worn four ways as a crossbody, over-the-shoulder bag, a backpack, or a simple handbag.

Get your Sea Bag at or at locations in Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and Traverse City.

2. Orvis Streamside

For those who like to combine their fishing and boating passions, Orvis Streamside of downtown Traverse City has all the gear. While the store’s focus is on fly fishing, there’s still plenty to shop for a day on the water…whether that’s a stream or a Great Lake. Fishing enthusiasts know the importance of a good hat, and we found lots of great Patagonia options at Orvis, from the Quandary Brimmer (expect full head and neck coverage, a sweat-wicking band, and a toggle closure so it won’t blow away) to Funfarer Cap, which offers a laid-back, beachy vibe.

While you’re there, grab a little something to keep the beer (or pop) cans cool this summer. We can’t stop chuckling at the Puffin Drinkwear Adventurer koozie ($17.95). Opt for the taco tan/olive color, which looks just like a fishing vest.

Find Orvis Streamside at 300 E Front Street, Suite 101, in Traverse City or shop online at

3. Bearcub Outfitters

Petoskey’s one-stop-shop for the outdoors is all about the beach life during the summer months. (Seriously: Their website even has a “beach life” section!) Find swimsuits, sunglasses, and UPF protective clothing, plus fun lounging gear like hammocks and portable chairs. Their staff favorites list is our go-to guide for what to bring on the boat, whether it’s the Ruffwear Float Coat dog life jacket ($89.99) for your sea-faring best friend or the Rumpl Everywhere Towel ($50.99, pictured in Venice Swell), which manages to be absorbent, anti-microbial, and repel sand all at once. They might be pricier than your average beach towel, but you’ll love the versatility and the fact they don’t stay damp on a humid July day.

Shop online at or visit the store at 321 E. Lake Street in Petoskey.

4. Coastal Clothing + Accessories

The name says it all. This Glen Arbor gem can be found in the Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District—which also includes The Cyclery, M22 Glen Arbor, and Crystal River Outfitters—and it channels its location between Glen Lake and Lake Michigan with lake-themed styles for the family.

“Carve [Designs] is always a go-to brand for summertime outfits,” says Coastal’s buyer, Kelly Florip. “Not only does the line offer apparel, but their swimwear is also one of our best sellers.”

A few other hot items this summer include GOODR sunglasses, Gecko Brands water bags, Patagonia UV protection tops, and XTRATUF and Hari Mari footwear for boat-friendly flip-flops. Florip also says YETI and Corkcicle coolers and containers are flying off the shelves.

A fun one for the whole family: “If you have littles, we have Waboba games and water toys to keep them busy for hours so you can relax,” Florip tells us.

Visit the store at 6324 W. Western Ave. in Glen Arbor or get more information online at

5. Golden Shoes

The finishing touch for this list—a good pair of boat shoes. The whole family can gear up at Golden Shoes, home to a wide selection of sandals, slip-ons, and water shoes for kiddos and adults alike. Shop OluKai, Teva, Birkenstock, and more, but don’t skip out without a pair of Sperrys. The quintessential boat shoe, Sperry offers a timeless look with all the function you need on the water: great traction on the rubber soles and an easy-on-and-off design. Golden Shoes stocks the brand’s Authentic Original line and some from their “fish” line—like the Billfish for men ($110) and the Songfish ($100) for women—which offer a more contemporary and athletic look.

Head to Golden Shoes at 122 E. Front Street in Traverse City or use their online order form at


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