44° 37' 11'' N 86° 13' 42'' W

Surf Club


This Land

Benzie County occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Odawa and Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ people.  In particular, this project resides on land stolen in the Treaty of Saginaw (1838, Cession 205). We recognize Michigan’s twelve federally recognized Native Nations, historic Indigenous communities in Michigan, Indigenous individuals and communities who live here now, and those who were forcibly removed from their homelands. We affirm Indigenous sovereignty, history and experiences. We advocate for Indigenous struggles against ongoing settler-colonization and strive for a decolonized future.

If you are considering visiting this area, take time to learn about indigenous communities and contribute to the living economies of tribal nations in our area.

About Benzie County

The Sawbill Surf Club is tucked into the sand dunes on the west end in the village of Elberta, a small shore town located on the pinky tip of the mitten. We’re in Benzie County, the smallest land area county in Michigan. Benzie was called Unszigozbee by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the original inhabitants of the region; the area was known as la rivière aux Bec-scies, or “the river of sawbill ducks” by the French trappers. White settlers shortened the french phrase to “Benzie” in English. It is a place of rolling dunes, crashing waves, ice mountains, and meandering rivers. It is home to artists, meanderers, farmers, and swimmers. 

How to get here

Take a long drive, hop on the cross state bike path, cruise over on the cross lake ferry, or link up to the elaborate rural public transportation system. Whatever way you decide to come here, take your time. If you need help finding your way, just reach out. 

Betsie Valley Trail
Benzie  Bus
S.S. Badger

Our Favorite Local Places

Gwen Frostic Words can’t even describe
Oliver Arts Center Cultural cornerstone of Benzie County
Grow Benzie Rural prosperity incubator (cool!)
The Cabbage Shed  The one and the only
Elberta Dunes Natural Area Elberta’s very own dune climb

Renting this home for your next getaway helps support artists at the Sawbill Surf Club. Your rental puts direct funds into making the Sawbill a place where creatives come use the space to make their work.

Book Your Stay

Wave ReportDial-a-BouyStation 45183
Sleeping Bear Dunes

Local Weather


Web Design by Mary Welcome
Illustrations by Alicia Toldi