With Torch Lake in the background, Bellaire is a destination for boating, fishing, beachcombing, and swimming during the summer. However, you can’t visit this village without getting a tasty treat from Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery.
About Ruthann’s Gourmet Bakery in Bellaire
The winner of the Taste of Gaylord Most Creative Award in 2015 and 2016, Ruthann’s is a boutique bakery. Owner and baking artist Ruthann creates beautiful and delicious edibles — cakes for all occasions, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, bagels, and artisan breads. Her cookies and cupcakes are particularly popular for a midday sweet.
Additionally, Ruthann’s has a signature coffee menu with a variety of flavors and, just in time for summer 2021, gourmet frozen coffee. She sells ground and whole-bean coffee packages in her shop too.
Torch Lake Beaches
During the summer, locals flock to the few beaches that sit along Torch Lake, which is actually 19 miles long and the second-largest inland lake in Michigan. The name comes from the Ojibwa Tribe word “Was-wa-gon-ong,” which means “Place of the Torches.” It’s a reference to the torches that local tribes used while fishing with nets and spears at night.
Torch Lake is known for diving, canoeing, kayaking, motorboating, and swimming. Although the beaches don’t have the sand that Lake Michigan beaches have, one of the best is located at Torch Lake Township Day Park. This 4-acre park is located on the gorgeous water in Torch Lake Township. Along with a swimming area, there’s a boat launch and picnic tables.
In Alden, you’ll find a boat launch and a public beach on the lake. It’s a nice place to lay in the sun and take a dip to cool off. Since it faces due west, it’s the perfect spot to watch sunsets. On the south side of Torch Lake, there’s the Torch Lake Sandbar and a public access beach in Rapid City. The sandbar is regarded as one of the best and most beautiful in the country.
Other Things to Do and Restaurants Near Torch Lake
Aside from spending time on Torch Lake, there are many other things to do and see nearby. Antrim Creek Natural Area in Banks Township is a 156-acre area situated on Grand Traverse Bay and offers a unique experience because of its rare wildlife habitats and plant species.
At Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area Trailhead in Bellaire, you can hike or bike a combined trail system of more than 30 miles through 20 tree species and over 100 flower species. You could encounter some of more than 100 bird species too.
You can learn more about the community of Alden at the Alden Depot Park & Museum, which features photos and other memorabilia — such as model trains. In Elk Rapids, stop by Guntzviller’s Spirit of the Woods Museum, a museum of zoology with interactive exhibits and an impressive collection of Native American artifacts.
While you’re out and about, grab a bite at one of Bellaire’s many restaurants. Start the day with M88 Morning Grind, a shop that serves breakfast sandwiches, coffee drinks, doughnuts, and more. For lunch, Corner Bistro makes sandwiches, sliders, and flatbreads; while Short’s Brewing Company Bellaire Pub offers pizzas, salads, and sandwiches.
For dinner, The Pelican’s Nest Restaurant has a huge menu with steak, seafood, full salads, and New York and brick-oven pizzas. Dockside Torch Lake serves burgers, deli sandwiches, Mexican dishes, and more to enjoy with a view of Torch Lake.
Lodging & Campgrounds Around Bellaire and Torch Lake
If you’re looking to extend your fun in Bellaire this summer, here are a few options for lodging and campgrounds nearby:
- Barnes Park Campground
- Six Mile Lake Campground
- Pinney Bridge State Forest Campground
- Starlight Campground and RV Park
- Rapid River Campground & Cabins
- Honcho Rest Campground
- Affordable Two Bedroom Family Getaway. Ski / Golf / Boating / Leisure
- Great Value – Golf Course & Ski Condo at Great Location
- Hillside Hideaway at Shanty Creek