This Northern Michigan winery is known for its bay views (they’re jaw-dropping), crowd-favorite wines and playful fun-factor (just check out their T-shirts). But holy moly, there’s so much more to soak up at the longest-running winery on the Leelanau Peninsula. Linger longer at Leelanau Cellars and sip, shop and immerse in the relaxed vibes. You’ll only get these awesome experiences at the tasting room.

1. That view. Grab a seat on the deck, hang at the bar; there’s always a view of Omena Bay’s unbelievable blue hues, and yes, that’s Old Mission Peninsula across the way. (Insider tip: This waterfront winery has a private marina—and yes, customers can dock here. Just imagine pulling up in your boat for a tasting. Is this the good life, or what?)

2. Estate wines. You’ve seen a few Leelanau Cellars bottles in your grocery store’s wine aisles, but the winery has more than 50 wines, many of which you’ll only find at the tasting room. Happy sipping. (Insider tip: The 2016 Dry Riesling received Gold at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The 2016 Merlot brought home a Silver and Wine Enthusiast Magazine recently featured it, giving it a score of 89 points out of 100—red lovers, stock up.)

3. Free tastings. It’s been this way since 1974 and every year we love them more. (Insider tip: Tell your server what you like—sweet or dry, red or white, all the rosé—and let them tailor a tasting just for you. Anna, Joy and Jeremy know wine.)

4. Wine by the glass. Once you find your favorite, order a glass and lounge on the deck. (Insider tip: Our MyNorth editors loved the 2017 Gewürztraminer and 2013 Baco Noir—it was our first time trying, and ever hearing about, this amazing hybrid red wine grape, which is similar to pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.)

5. Bubbly! Leelanau Cellars has five bottles of bubbly to pop and three canned bubblies—perfect for beach days. (Insider tip: We could sip the Tall Ship Bubbly Rosé all day.)

6. Bubby on the Bay. Speaking of those bubbles, Leelanau Cellars has a one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience on that crystal-clear Omena Bay. Paddle the bay with an awesome guide, then head inside the tasting room to take advantage of your tour-exclusive discounts. (Insider tip: Expect epic views.)

7. Bachelorette parties. Your girl gang is always welcome. Plus, bridesmaids get free pink sunglasses and brides get a special pair in white. (Insider tip: Omena Bay is an unbeatable background for group photos.)

8. Merchandise//Apparel. Okay, this sounds weird, but you seriously need to touch the sweatshirts. All of them. They’re so soft! And affordable and adorable. (Insider tip: Every T-shirt is $15.)

9. Omena. This darling postage-stamp of a town is also home to a restaurant, art gallery, general store, U-pick flower farm and beach. Honestly, it’s the cutest town. Ever. (Insider tip: Omena’s cat mayor is up for re-election soon. Sweet Tart governs the town of about 300 with Vice Mayor Diablo Shapiro, a dog.)

10. Ambassador program. Can’t make it up to Leelanau Cellars this summer? Put it on your list for a fall color trip. And in the meantime, check out these brand advocates and ambassadors on social media. (Insider tip: If you embrace the #DrinkUpNorth lifestyle, consider joining the program!)

Photo(s) by Leelanau Cellars