Stay at The Homestead in Glen Arbor, surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and these beautiful Leelanau Peninsula attractions and activities are right out your backdoor!
1.5 miles from The Homestead // Kayak the Crystal River
This sleepy, sandy-bottomed river that runs through Glen Arbor and empties at the mouth of The Homestead is made for relaxing floats—by canoe, kayak or tube. The Homestead can help resort-registered guests with kayaks and guided trips. Or check out Crystal River Outfitters in Glen Arbor.
2.5–6 miles from The Homestead // Port Oneida Rural Historic District & Pyramid Point
The quiet, last-century farms you see just north of The Homestead are a part of the Port Oneida Rural Historic District—meaning the park has preserved them (and the nonprofit Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear manages them) as an example of a bygone way of life. They are beautiful destinations for bikes, hikes and car tours. Pyramid Point, a spectacularly beautiful hiking trail and Lake Michigan-bluff view, lies at the north end of the Historic District. While you’re in the area, explore more Sleeping Bear Dunes hiking trails.
5 miles from The Homestead // Sleeping Bear Maritime Museum
This former US Coast Guard station is now a museum and a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. See life-saving equipment from the 1900s, check out a re-created steamer wheelhouse and every summer day at 3 p.m., watch Raggedy Ann and Andy be rescued from a pretend shipwreck (a kids’ fave!). The Maritime Museum is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drive to Glen Haven and follow the road to the left. Drive another half mile and arrive at the Maritime Museum parking lot.
5 miles from the Homestead // Dune Climb
The most popular attraction in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is also the most fun! Challenge yourself to walk up this gigantic pile of sand—and then run, tumble or somersault back down. Caution: You’ll be shaking sand out of your hair and clothes for days! The Dune Climb is on M-109 just two miles south of Glen Arbor. You’ll need a park pass to get in—available at the entrance to the climb.
6 miles from The Homestead // Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
This 7.4-mile drive that winds across the dunes is the best way to get the lay of this beautiful land. An interpretive brochure leads you through 12 stops where signs tell the story of this rare and beautiful ecosystem. The most popular stops are overlooks #9 and #10 that put you 450 dizzyingly beautiful feet above Lake Michigan. Resist the temptation to climb down (and back up!). The bluff is steeper than it looks and each year, the National Park Service has to rescue people who get hurt in the process. Find the entrance to Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive on M-109 between Glen Arbor and Empire. Park passes are available at the entrance.
15 miles from The Homestead // Fishtown
This picturesque enclave of last century fishing shanties turned eateries and shops is in the village of Leland, a picturesque drive up M-22 from The Homestead. Set at the edge of the Leland River and the Leland Harbor, Fishtown is also a hub for charter fishing, offering a fun way to get out on Lake Michigan. Grab a made-to-order sandwich on homemade bread (Pretzel! Baguette! Pita!) at the Village Cheese Shanty. Pick up smoked whitefish at Carlson’s Fishery and then relax with a Chubby Mary (a bloody Mary garnished with a smoked chub) on the deck at The Cove.
15 miles from The Homestead // South Manitou Island via Manitou Island Transit Ferry
To and from a wilderness island for a day? Yep, that can happen from the Leelanau Peninsula. Take the Manitou Island Transit Ferry out of Leland (reservations are required) at 10 a.m. and return at 5:30 p.m. Crossing Lake Michigan’s Manitou Passage takes about 1.5 hours. Know that the seas can get rough and there are no stores on the island so you will need to bring all your own food, water, sunscreen and apparel. There are motorized tours of the island or you can take off on foot. The payoff for roughing it is discovering this glorious Lake Michigan outpost, from touring its beautiful 100-foot lighthouse, built in 1871, to a grove of giant virgin cedars known as the Valley of the Giants.
28 miles from The Homestead // Point Betsie Lighthouse
This 1858 beauty is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. Climb 34-steps to the top of the tower and its breathtaking view of Lake Michigan. Then tour Point Betsie’s keeper’s quarters, boathouse museum and fog signal building. Make time to stroll the gorgeous Point Betsie beach.