Leelanau County is home to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, rolling land covered with cherry orchards and vineyards, historic lakeside towns. Take a drive on M-22 and take in all seven of these Leelanau County sites not to miss!
Sunset at Peterson Park
Lake Michigan’s impressive expanse is laid out before you when you catch the evening color show from the bluff-top park north of Northport. Or opt for a more intimate feel by heading down the narrow steps to the rock hound’s paradise-of-a-beach.
Roam the dreamy Lake Michigan shoreline of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; 35 miles of coast on the mainland and another 35 miles on two park-owned islands. Visit the Welcome Center in Empire and then head out for a day of splendor. nps.gov/scbe.
Stroll is how you explore Fishtown, a one-of-a-kind enclave of weathered, repurposed fishing shanties turned shops and galleries along Leland’s river. Stop to pick up penny candy or savor gourmet whitefish alongside the falls gushing over the dam. fishtownmi.org.
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Barn to Barn run
Dash past historic barns, knowing your $20 fee doesn’t just score you views of pastoral hills and stunning shorelines; it also helps preserve some of the historic cultural landscape—the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s 366 historic buildings. phsb.org. (Click on “Port oneida run”).
Wine here is about a taste of the terroir—and at any of the roughly 20 Leelanau County wineries within a short drive or bicycle trail ride from your Suttons Bay hub, you’ll also get some of America’s finest landscape views. Tasting rooms overlook that gorgeous Leelanau countryside and offer friendly service to tasters of all experience levels. lpwines.com.
There’s no rushing a road trip on this scenic heritage route drive, which curves its way past orchards, watery overlooks and dunes (plus wineries, artful gallery towns and sunset beaches to explore). m22colortour.com.
Picnic at the beach in Suttons Bay
Your picnic dessert provisions are close by: fresh gelato within strolling distance of your picnic table at Suttons Bay’s Marina beach. Settle in by the playground or cross a tiny drawbridge to the quieter South Marina, where a natural area draws wild birds aplenty.
For more summer vacation ideas in Northern Michigan, grab the 2013 MyNorth Vacation Guide!
Your Guide to Traverse City, Mackinac Island, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Leelanau, Benzie & More
From the same people who produce Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, this is a colorful, easy-to-use guide to Northern Michigan vacation ideas from Ludington to Traverse City, from Charlevoix to Mackinac Island and everything in between. It is filled with ideas, tips and hundreds of websites that connect you to fun, food, activities, lodging and recreation in every part of Northern Michigan.
- More than 140, full color pages with stunning photography and travel stories
- Maps of each region
- Hundreds of resources
Be sure to also check out our free online area-specific vacation guides!
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Traverse City, Acme, Fife Lake, Interlochen, Kingsley, and Williamsburg
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, Mackinac Island, and Boyne Country
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Charlevoix, Alden, Beaver Island, Bellaire, Central Lake, Easst Jordon, Elk Rapids, and Torch Lake
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Cedar, Empire, Glen Arbor, Lake Leelanau, Leland, Maple City, Northport, Peshawbestown, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Suttons Bay, and Omena
Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Benzie, Manistee, West Shore, Beulah, Benzonia, Crystal Lake, Frankfort, Ludington, Onekama, and Pentwater