10 Things to Do at Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend 2013

Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day 2013: Looking to end the summer of 2013 with a bang? Check out MyNorth.com’s list of ten Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend activities and get the most out of your time in Northern Michigan.

Grab a Cup of Joe at the Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company

Start your Labor Day Weekend 2013 with an energizing burst at this downtown Glen Arbor staple, just a few minutes from Sleeping Bear Dunes. Northern Michigan’s largest coffee roaster, Leelanau Coffee is conveniently located off of M22 and offers by-reservation guest tours of their roasting plant for those who feel like turning their coffee-drinking experience into an all out event. Divine smells waft through the air from roasting coffee and espresso, homemade pastries and baked goods, making this the perfect spot to start any day. coffeeguys.com

Picnic and Swim at Sleeping Bear Bay

There’s no better way to celebrate the end of summer during your Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend 2013 than with a dip in the pristine, bright blue waters of Lake Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Bay. Good Harbor Beach offers a super accessible path to Sleeping Bear Bay, where you can splash your feet around, write your name in the sand, pick one-of-a-kind skipping stones, and bask in Northern Michigan’s summer sun. With all the water-play, make sure to bring lunch! Stock your picnic basket with essentials from Anderson’s Market, which carries a large selection of locally grown and produced products, including Northwood’s Soda, Stone House Bread, Leelanau Cheese, and two pounds of local fruit per every whole Leelanau Pie and Pastry pie. Bring the whole family, no one will want to miss out!

Have an ‘Art-to-‘Art in Artsy Glen Arbor

Take a break from the sun during your Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend 2013 to head to one of Glen Arbor’s many galleries. Richly diverse, locally supported, and cherishing of visual, musical and literary arts, the close-knit community of Glen Arbor loves art and loves it well. The Glen Arbor Art Association helps to produce amazing works by emerging and established local artists and writers, including the quarterly journal of poetry and literature Dunes Review (for sale at Cottage Books in Glen Arbor). Home also to the GAAA Artist in Residence program, Glen Arbor delights in bringing exceptional artists to the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes to inspire creativity. If you’d like to just stand back and enjoy fine art at its finest, take in some culture at the Ruth Conklin gallery, displaying handmade American art, or Lake Street Studios, featuring Forest, Center, and North galleries. For more information, visit glenarborart.org, ruthconklingallery.com and lakestreetstudiosglenarbor.com.

Get Your Northern Michigan Cherry Fix at Cherry Republic

You can’t visit Northern Michigan without sampling the cherries, and with offerings for the whole family, Cherry Republic is the place to sample. If you feel like doing a little grown-up wine sampling, the “Capitol” of Cherry Republic is home to the Stomphouse Winery and Tasting Room. Sip down the list of nine classic and exotic local cherry wines. Open to kids too, the Stomphouse can provide not only a fun atmosphere but also an educational one — for both grown-ups and kids. Try one of their eight cherry sodas and eat up with the “Super Cherry Meal” at the Cherry Bakery and Café. Cherry Republic makes and packages their own mouthwatering jams, salsas, sour cherries candies and chocolate-covered cherries alike — all scattered throughout the store galore (175 signature cherry products, to be exact), made especially for you to sample and guaranteed to satisfy any cherry-lover’s palette. With comfortable seating areas, lovely gardens, and the Cherry Pit Spitting Arena, this shop will make you feel home sweet home.

Climb to the Top of the Sleeping Bear Dunes

The unforgettable Dune Climb offers stunning, panoramic views from over 200 feet high, providing a breathtaking perspective of the Sleeping Bear Dunes for your Labor Day Weekend 2013. If you haven’t done the Dune Climb before, come prepared with good shoes and plenty of water–and the knowledge that the walk to Lake Michigan from the Dune Climb is over 1.5 miles through sandy dunes (and can take as long as 3-4 hours if you’re adventurous) What to keep in mind during this trek? The view is worth it! Once at the top, take it all in, “I’m-the-king-of-the-world”-style.

Be a Photographer for the Day

It doesn’t cost you a penny to save your own memories from the sands of time—the Sleeping Bear Dunes sands, that is! What better paradise to remember for lifetimes to come than the sandy shores and wonders of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from your Labor Day Weekend 2013 Up North. Take your camera with you as you cruise on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive 7-mile loop through the beech-maple forest and sand dunes. With views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan astounding enough to have earned Sleeping Bear Dunes the title of Most Beautiful Place in America by Good Morning America viewers, the Scenic Drive provides simple proof of why Northern Michigan is this country’s big little secret that just got out.

Take a Hike or Get Lost (whichever you prefer)

If you still have the energy during your Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend 2013 after conquering the Dune Climb, follow the Empire Bluff Trail of M22 along the winding trails that envelop the Sleeping Bear shoreline. The trail isn’t too rigorous or exhausting, so you don’t need to be an avid hiker to make the most of the quiet woods. If you’re feeling up to more dunes hiking, take the Cottonwood Trail. A tip for nature and literature lovers alike: bring a book with you on your hike, take out the book unassumingly, sit against the trunk of a fallen tree and enjoy one of those rare but oh-so perfect moments.

Sip Paradise in a Glass at Good Harbor Vineyards

Take a short drive up Manitou Trail to Good Harbor Vineyards during your Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend 2013 adventures. Good Harbor Vineyards opened in 1980 as the fourth established winery on the Leelanau Peninsula. Today they tend to over 65 acres of land planted with Vitis Vinifera and French hybrid grapes. Try the rich Harbor Red or soft Fishtown White wines at the Good Harbor tasting room. For more information, visit goodharbor.com or call 231-256-7165.

Take a Trip that Withstands Time

Nestled in a fairy tale setting, the beautifully preserved, charming wharf town of historic Glen Haven was a lumbering village over a century ago, and is now a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Exceptionally restored to its early 1900s heritage, Glen Haven is home to a blacksmith shop where guests can see how iron is heated and forged into useful tools and parts. The Cannery Boathouse Museum displays the largest public exhibit of Great Lakes small craft in Michigan, and the Glen Haven General Store and Ranger Station, which sells items and information relating to the history of the area, is fully operational. Visits close in early October, so make it out this Labor Day Weekend 2013 while you still can!

Sleep Peacefully at Sleeping Bear Dunes

The Leelanau Peninsula is home to many hotels, inns and resorts near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. With your busy Sleeping Bear Dunes Labor Day Weekend 2013 plans, you’ll need somewhere to rest your head at day’s end. Here are some suggestions: The Homestead, a luxurious, four season resort located on a mile of Lake Michigan’s sandy shore, choices for resort accommodations include small hotels, a rustic lodge, a grand inn and privately-owned condominiums and homes, family-friendly; Glen Craft Resort & Marina, a hand-crafted log exterior lodge overlooking Glen Lake with one to three bedroom condominiums and a few rustic cottages, all share the private, sandy beach; Glen Arbor Lakeshore Inn, sitting among the northern pines in the charming village of Glen Arbor, the New England style hostelry features quiet, comfortable rooms, adjacent to shops and restaurants, a short walk to the beaches on Lake Michigan.

—By Catie L’Heureux

Check out MyNorth.com’s other Labor Day Weekend articles:

Bring the beauty of Northern Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to life with the Sleeping Bear Dunes Collection–check it out!

Article Comments

  • Joan McGinnis

    This “almost” makes me want to move back to Michigan! I always keep Michigan cherries on hand, as well as the cherry juice!