Cheese, wine, charming villages and stunning scenery are among the many delights you’ll find on this Leelanau Peninsula road trip that follows the tip of this pinky finger–shaped county known as “The Horn.”

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Leg #1 – Suttons Bay to Northport

Begin this stunning swath of scenic M-22 just south of Suttons Bay at Leelanau Cheese where authentic award-winning French raclette is made behind a window. A couple miles north, turn off M-22 at Revold Road to explore the vineyards, tasting room and more at Black Star Farms. Back on M-22, you’ll find a bounty of eateries and boutiques in downtown Suttons Bay. Browse away, but know that this tour has just begun. Cruising farther north on The Horn you’ll come to Peshawbestown, ancestral home of the Grand Traverse Band of Odawa and Chippewa Indians and home to Leelanau Sands Casino. Next up is the hamlet of Omena where your vintage Americana photo op is waiting at the postcard-perfect post office. In Northport, make a quick stop at the Idyll Farms cheese vending machine (tucked near the visitors center in Haserot Park) for a wheel of the best goat cheese you’ve ever tasted, courtesy of the goats raised just up the road. For information on farm tours, check out Idyll Farms’ website.

shopping in suttons bay

Photo by Mae Stier

Leg #2 – Northport to Leland

From Northport, follow M-22’s beautiful curves and undulations south, past rocky hills and weathered barns. Fab stops along this leg include the classic roadhouse Fischer’s Happy Hour (broasted chicken and burgers!), Green Bird Organic Cellars for wine and cider, as well as family-friendly Dune Bird Winery. Need to stretch your legs? The 1.5-mile trail system at Clay Cliffs Natural Area leads to a viewing platform 200 feet above Lake Michigan. Back in the car, you’ll be in the harbor town of Leland before you know it. From Main Street to Fishtown, Leland is packed with galleries and eateries as well as Verterra Winery.

fishtown aerial, leland, leelanau attraction

Photo by Dave Weidner

Leg #3 – Leland to Suttons Bay

Just south of Leland turn on M-204, a country highway that takes you to tiny Lake Leelanau where the lush narrows between North and South Lake Leelanau are bordered with three wine tasting rooms (Amoritas, Boathouse and Soul Squeeze), Northern Latitudes Distillery and a handful of wonderful restaurants. Just outside of Lake Leelanau, a cluster of stellar wineries tempt, including Blustone, 45 North and Aurora Cellars. Up the road, brake at 9 Bean Rows for memorable croissants, wood-fired pizzas and fresh produce. You’ll still be munching when M-204 drops you back onto M-22 in Suttons Bay. Headed back to Traverse City? Stop at Hop Lot Brewing Co. for awesome craft beer and barbecue.

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner