There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Leland tradition than by trolling the tiny boutiques in historic Fishtown (preservingfishtown.org). In the weather-worn dockside shanties of this 140-year-old fishing village, you’ll find a little bit of everything, like hats for every head at Diversions (231-256-9017), deliciously mild cheese curds at Village Cheese Shanty (231-256-9141), and souvenir gear embroidered with the regionally recognized Fishtown tug logo at Tug Stuff (231-256-7140).
On Main Street, away from the docks, there’s more in store. Pick out a sundress at Haystacks (104 N. Main St., 231-256-9730), find polished Petoskey stones at Nature’s Gems (106 N. Main St., 231-256-7570), and peruse one-of-a-kind gifts like Acoma Pueblo pottery and antique cowboy boots at Tampico (112 N. Main St., 231-256-7747). Leelanau Books (109 Main St., 231-256-7111) stocks an impressive list of Michigan authors and national bestsellers. When you’re all shopped out, nab a Chubby Mary, with a whole smoked chub for a swizzle stick, and soak up the Lake Michigan views at The Cove (111 river st., 231-256-9834).
Make your way to the docks to catch an early evening shoreline cruise with Manitou Island Transit (231-256-9061, leelanau.com/manitou). Several days a week in the summer, the Mishe-Mokwa sets sail from Fishtown for a scenic hour-and-a-half jaunt that skims along the Manitou Passage, through Good Harbor Bay and around the tip of Pyramid Point.
QUICK BITE: A riverside supper at The Bluebird has been a Leland tradition since 1927; folks flock here for whitefish—the house specialty—lightly fried Bluebird style or broiled with citrus butter. 102 E. River St., 231-256-9081, leelanau.com/bluebird.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: If you want to see a little of Leland—and greater Leelanau—every day, no matter where you are, check out lelandreport.com. Every day since 2001 Leland lover and local Keith Burnham posts a daily photo and diary entry showcasing the beauty of his beloved region.