Seven Things Not to Miss in Leelanau County

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.

Beach-Walk forever

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.

Fishtown Walk

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.

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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. (Click on “Port oneida run”).

Wine touring

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.

M-22 drive

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).

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.

Quick Links
Discover 100’s of Northern Michigan restaurants.
Have (even more) fun Up North! Visit the Events page on
Rent a Cottage or book a hotel room.  Visit the Vacation page on

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!

Traverse City

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

Charlevoix & Chain of Lakes

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

Benzie & West Shore

Ideas for your ultimate vacation in Benzie, Manistee, West Shore, Beulah, Benzonia, Crystal Lake, Frankfort, Ludington, Onekama, and Pentwater

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