The Best Things To Do at the Sleeping Bear Dunes in One Day

Experience the best of the Sleeping Bear Dunes in one day by visiting the park’s most popular attractions.  In this age of deadlines and schedules, the following travel ideas will make the most of your day-long Northern Michigan vacation in the Dunes.

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Conquer the Dune Climb — Required time: 1–2 hrs.

Hike to the top of this 300-foot dune and you’ll be rewarded by a panoramic view of Little and Big Glen Lake, the rolling green hills of Leelanau County, and unending blue skies. And the best part of this entire venture? The run down the Dune Climb, with sand flying behind you and the wind in your face; you’ve never felt so fast.

Take a Video Tour of the Dune Climb:

Cruise the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive — Required time: 30 min–2 hrs.

You’ve just broken a sweat at the Dune Climb, now take a breather and bask in the interior of your air-conditioned car while you navigate the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This 7.4-mile, 12-stop, self-guided educational loop takes passengers through each distinct landscape that covers the Sleeping Bear Dunes park, from thick forests to rolling meadows to an incredible dune vista overlooking Lake Michigan from 450 feet above the water.  Make all the stops or just a few—you’re behind the wheel, after all.

Take a Video Tour of the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive:

Take a Dip in a Lake Michigan Beach — Required time: 2–3 hrs.

The views from the Dune Climb and Pierce Stocking Drive are so stunning because of the vast waters of Lake Michigan and those placid inland lakes that dot Leelanau County. Now get in on the action by swimming, sunbathing and sunset-savoring on a Sleeping Bear Dunes beach for the rest of your day-trip.


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