Almost anywhere you point your car is a great drive in Leelanau County, certain to be filled with gorgeous vistas, small villages, farm stands and wildlife. Here are three suggestions to get you started.
AROUND THE HORN: THE M-22 LOOP
The classic, fall-in-love-with-Leelanau drive traces M-22 for 60 captivating miles around the county’s watery perimeter. Find food, boutiques and antiques as you pass through port towns of Suttons Bay, Omena, Northport, Leland, Glen Arbor and Empire. Or use this guide to Leelanau's art stops to fill your route with galleries and art. Grandview Parkway, which runs along West Bay in Traverse City, turns into M-22 at the intersection of M-72 West.
A short-but-sweet ribbon of curvy pavement that threads through neat rows of orchards and past orderly farms set close to the road. (Find Setterbo about 1.5 miles north of Suttons Bay off M-22.) Your gorgeous drive on Setterbo ends with a vision of St. Wenceslaus Church framed against the horizon. The church, built in 1890, was once the vibrant center of the short-lived lumber town of Gills Pier. Turn left on East Kolarik Road and pause for a moment at the top of the hill—on most days you will be able to see Lake Michigan on your right and North Lake Leelanau a bit to your left. At the bottom of the hill take a right for a short hop to the junction of M-22 and Kolarik. Take a left for a stop at the Gills Pier Vineyard and Winery. Be sure to try the Pino Grigio, a dry white whose hint of apple is just right for a blossom tour. Or turn right onto M-22 and you'll come to Fisher's Happy Hour Tavern, just before Christianson Road. Pop in for a lunch of homemade soup, thick egg salad sandwiches or a Happy Hour burger. Once you've had your fill, turn right or left out of the Happy Hour and you're back on the M-22 tour.
An unsung countryside drive that swings and rolls and climbs and dips and enchants along the way. From M-72 out of Traverse City, head north on C-651 to Cedar. Just north of Cedar (at the blinking yellow), turn right on Schomberg Rd. Stay on Schomberg for 15 miles. Turn right on Dufek and follow to T at French Rd. From there, the choices are yours.
Turn Your Road Trip into a Wine Tour, An Art Tour or a Weekend Away
- The Ultimate Summer Wine List
- Sample Leelanau's Wine Country
- A Gallery Tour of Leelanau County
- Water and Wine Weekends
Quick Links to More Fun in Leelanau County!
- The Leelanau Vacation Directory: Listings to lodging, galleries, restaurants and more along with an interactive map.
- Leelanau Digital Vacation Guide: Browse beautiful pages connecting you to wine tours, great drives, historic Glen Haven, lighthouse tours, canoeing and click to hundreds of websites.
- The Leelanau County "Don't Miss" List
- The Complete Restaurant Guide for Leelanau County: Just type in any Leelanau County town and browse the wonderful array of restaurant options.
- Video: Sleeping Bear Dunes
- Check out all the music, festivals, arts and events of all kinds happening in Leelanau County: Just pop in the name of the Leelanau County town you'd like to play in and choose amongst hundreds of things to do!
- Plot your day in Leelanau County using this Interactive Map: Choose an activity in "I'd like to find" and choose a Leelanau town for "in a town near." Then click away!
- Rent a cottage in Leelanau County: There are hundreds of cottages to rent in Northern Michigan. Type the town you're interested in into the Search box and plan your getaway Up North!