It’s hard to beat a warm and sunny day in Northern Michigan, especially on the Leelanau Peninsula. But when the weatherman calls for a day inside, it can be hard to come up with travel ideas on where to go and what to see. Not to fear—just because it’s raining doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do during your Northern Michigan vacation. Here are 10 rainy day activities on the Leelanau Peninsula for both kids and adults. From wine tasting to catching a movie in Suttons Bay, you’re sure to have a good time without sunshine.
1) Wine Tasting
Relax and let the stress of a rainy day melt away into a perfect glass of Pinot Grigio at one of the 26 wineries that decorate the Leelanau Peninsula. With beautiful views of the water, wine tasting in Northern Michigan is becoming one of the biggest attractions for visitors and one that will surely make your vacation memorable.
2) Take a Knitting Lesson at The Yarn Shop in Glen Arbor
The Yarn Shop in Glen Arbor has been a creative force in the world of knitting since 1955. Owner Mary Turak’s parents Marge and Doc Standen began the enterprise which she still runs today. With over 50 years of experience, The Yarn Shop offers a serene getaway to learn a new craft. You can knit with them for free every Tuesday night from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
3) Tucker’s of Northport
Named after a lovable Golden Doodle, Tucker’s of Northport is home to indoor and outdoor games, bowling and delicious food—all “tucked” into one venue in the center of Northport village. The family-friendly design and awesome menu should place this at the top of your rainy day family activities.
4) Bay Theater in Suttons Bay
The Bay Theater of Suttons Bay has been around since the roaring twenties. After numerous years of ownership changes and renovations, the Bay Theater remains a historic landmark within the town. With 271 seats, Dolby Digital surround sound and a full concession stand, The Bay Theater is a great place to hide out on a gloomy day. Make sure to swing by on a Tuesday to get your popcorn for free.
5) Browse Fishtown
Tucked away in Leland is a historic enclave of 19th-century fishing shanties turned into hip boutiques, eateries and hubs for other Northern Michigan activities. Perfect for rainy and sunny days alike, Fishtown offers endless activities for a Northern Michigan vacation. Stop by the Village Cheese Shop for an unforgettable pretzel sandwich or pick up some memorable photographs of the Leelenau Peninsula at Reflections Art Gallery.
6) Leelanau Historical Society
Launched in 1957, the Leelanau Historical Society in Leland houses collections and archives of more than 14,000 items. Visitors will learn about Leelanau life and maritime history from exhibits, educational programs and publications. The society continues to collect and document artifacts regarding the rich Leelanau history.
7) Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Does the ghost of former keeper-of-the-light Captain Peter Nelson really haunt the Grand Traverse Lighthouse? Spend the day at this 19th-century landmark on Leelanau Peninsula’s watery tip and decide for yourself. When you’re not listening for creaking floor-boards, climb the tightly wound spiral steps to the lighthouse tower for a view over blue water to the Fox Islands, cover your ears when the fog signal horn sounds, or wander the old keeper’s quarters, restored to 1920s heyday—two decades after Captain Nelson had gone to his grave.
8) Sleeping Bear Coast Guard Museum
An exhibition space devoted to teaching visitors about Great Lakes Shipping, the Sleeping Bear Coast Guard Museum is an original U.S. Life-Saving Station turned Maritime Museum. At 3 p.m. each day during the summer, children can help pull Ragedy Ann and Andy from the waters during a safety demonstration. The museum is located just west of the Cannery Boathouse on Sleeping Bear Dunes Road.
9) Check into the Spa Amira at The Homestead
Spa Amira invites you to a ridge high above Lake Michigan where you’ll enjoy commanding views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Manitou Islands. Relax in the tranquility of the extensive outdoor spaces including terraces, gardens, waterfalls, a fireplace, labyrinth, and pool. With facials, body care and massages, Amira at The Homestead is a great place to leave your rainy day behind.
10) Buy a Good Book
Nothing cures a gloomy day like curling up and reading a good book. Swing by The Cottage Book Shop in Glen Arbor to pick up local Northern Michigan books like The Ice Caves of Leelanau: A Visual Exploration by Ken Scott. Or head over to Leelanau Books in Leland to enjoy a nice read in the tasting room and cafe.