Featured Places on the Leelanau Peninsula
Why should I visit the Leelanau Peninsula?
The Leelanau Peninsula is a stunning piece of Michigan that boasts endless natural beauty and recreational activities. This beautiful region is an ideal location to explore for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and anyone looking for a fun and exciting trip.
Located on the northern end of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the Leelanau Peninsula is a haven for those looking to immerse themselves in breathtaking scenery, pristine waters, and outdoor adventure. From its picturesque beaches and dense forests to its vast networks of trails and wildlife-filled parks, there’s never a shortage of things to explore.
With numerous towns, such as Leland, Suttons Bay, Glen Arbor, and Northport, that are packed with quaint shops, art galleries, and delicious restaurants, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From leisurely strolls through charming streets to adrenaline-fueled activities like kayaking, hiking, and biking, the Leelanau Peninsula is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
There are plenty of recreational activities available for everyone in the family. Whether you’re an avid fisherman, water sports enthusiast, or enjoy visiting museums, wineries, or golf courses, the Leelanau Peninsula has something to offer.
So why should you explore the Leelanau Peninsula? Because it’s a breathtaking slice of paradise just waiting to be discovered. There’s something for everyone, no matter your interests, and the scenery alone is worth the trip. If you’re looking for a beautiful and exciting vacation destination, you won’t be disappointed with the Leelanau Peninsula.
Leelanau Peninsula Communities to Visit
A tiny town with Polish heritage, the 380-acre Cedar River Preserve, and more. Cedar is considered the heart of Leelanau County. It is a friendly little town with the motto "The Community That Cares". With Cedar's strong Polish heritage, the town holds a 4-day Cedar Polka Fest every July. Cedar,…
Set in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore. On the western side of Michigan's "pinky", Empire is a tiny village on the Lake Michigan side of the Leelanau Peninsula. Surrounded by ancient forests and towering mountains of sand, Empire is a gorgeous setting for your next…
The natural beauty of Frankfort is simply breathtaking. With its crystal-clear blue waters and sandy beaches, Lake Michigan offers visitors the perfect opportunity to relax, soak up the sun and indulge in a variety of water sports like kayaking, fishing, and paddle-boarding. But it's not just about the lake. Frankfort…
Filled with art galleries, shops, restaurants, and....the Sleeping Bear Dunes! Glen Arbor is one of the top destinations on M-22 with a variety of activities year-round. There is literally something for everyone, from shopping, dining, and wine, to golf, recreation, and art. Nestled in the heart of the Sleeping Bear…
Nestled in the heart of Northern Michigan lies the charming village of Honor, a true gem in the Great Lakes State. This idyllic destination is home to just over 300 residents, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Honor, MI boasts an incredible array of…
Connecting the 21 miles of North and South Lake Leelanau with food and fun. Lake Leelanau is a tiny community at "The Narrows", the tiny waterway connecting North and South Lake Leelanau. At the Narrows, you'll find a terrific Catholic church and school, some great local dining, a bit of…
Home to historic Fishtown, exciting shops, golf, and delicious food on M-22. Leland, Michigan is best known for the historic wooden shacks and shanties that make up the state and national historic location of "Fishtown". Visitors can walk the wood plank boardwalk in and out of the wooden shanties shopping…
A laid-back town with family restaurants and friendly residents. Maple City was originally known as Peg Town because of the shoe peg factory that once dominated the area in the 1860s. What's a shoe peg? Well, it was small peg made from the area's maple timber that was used to…
The very top of the peninsula with beaches, shopping, dining, and a lighthouse. Northport is the northern most village in the Leelanau Peninsula, dating back to 1849. Being located on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, the village of Northport has over two miles of water frontage with an incredible…
A relaxing, tiny town set along M-22 on the gorgeous Omena Bay. While quaint, Omena, Michigan offers a nice public beach that's perfect for spending an afternoon reading a book while the kids splash in the clear water. Although Omena Bay is a deep-water cove on Grand Traverse Bay, the…
A Native American community between Suttons Bay and Omena with a casino. Peshawbestown is about 12.5 acres of land in the the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians reservation, and was originally founded as a mission. The Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church is here, honoring the first Native American…
The first city on M-22 after Traverse City with shopping, dining, and art galleries. Suttons Bay boasts some incredible restaurants with burgers, pizza, steaks, and much, much more. For those who enjoy shopping, this beautiful Northern-Michigan village offers tons of options. Find gifts galore for both indoors and outdoors, indulge…
Explore the Leelanau Peninsula
7 Things to do on the Leelanau Peninsula
Welcome to Leelanau, Michigan! Located on the scenic Lake Michigan shoreline, Leelanau County is a prime destination for anyone looking for outdoor activities and scenic vistas. If you’re planning a visit to Leelanau, be sure to add these top things to your itinerary. 1. Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – The iconic sand dunes are a must-see for anyone visiting Leelanau. You can climb the dunes, hike through the forests, and take in the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. 2. Tour the Wineries – Leelanau is home to over 25 wineries and tasting rooms, producing some of the finest wines in the country. Take a leisurely tour of the vineyards, sip on award-winning wines, and learn about the art of winemaking. 3. Go Fishing – Leelanau’s lakes and rivers are a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. You can cast a line for salmon, trout, or bass, and experience the thrill of reeling in your catch. 4. Bike the Leelanau Trail – The Leelanau Trail is a 17-mile paved bike path that winds through beautiful countryside and scenic vistas. Take a leisurely ride or challenge yourself with a more intense workout. 5. Visit Historic Fishtown – Fishtown is a historic fishing […]
How to Enjoy the Wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula
Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful wineries in the United States, making it the perfect destination for anyone who loves a good glass of wine. Whether you’re a connoisseur or just someone who enjoys the occasional sip, there’s something for everyone here. To make the most out of your winery experience in Leelanau Michigan, here’s a list of tips on how to enjoy them: 1. Plan Ahead Before embarking on your winery adventure, it is always best to have a plan in place. Leelanau Michigan has many different wineries, each with its own unique characteristics and wines. Therefore, it’s a good idea to research the different options available and decide which ones to visit. Also, it’s essential to plan your transportation beforehand so you can sit back and enjoy the tastings without worrying about getting home safely. 2. Take a Tour If you want to learn more about the wineries in Leelanau Michigan, then taking a tour is an excellent idea. Many wineries offer tours that include an inside look into their wine-making process, wine tastings, and an overview of their vineyards. This experience will help you to understand the different types of wines, the […]
Top things to see on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
As I ventured through the stunning Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the sheer beauty that surrounded me. This picturesque drive is truly a sight to behold and I wanted to share the top things I saw on my journey. 1. The towering dunes of Sleeping Bear – The dunes are a must-see when driving through Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Standing atop these massive sand dunes provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding forests. 2. Glen Lake Overlook – Located along the scenic drive is a lookout point that provides an unparalleled view of the majestic Glen Lake. The crystal clear waters, along with the towering trees, make for a breathtaking experience that you won’t soon forget. 3. Covered bridge – There is a quaint covered bridge located on the route that adds an extra element of charm and beauty to this already picturesque area. Be sure to stop and take a stroll across the bridge while taking in the serene views of the surrounding area. 4. Pierce Stocking Memorial Scenic Overlook – One of the most famous sights on the scenic drive is the Pierce Stocking Memorial Scenic Overlook. From […]
What golf courses are on the Leelanau Peninsula?
Golf enthusiasts are in for a treat on the Leelanau Peninsula! The area is a golfer’s paradise, with several fantastic courses that are perfect for players of all levels. The stunning natural beauty of these courses, coupled with their challenging layouts, make these true gems of the Leelanau Peninsula. First up is the highly-rated Leland Country Club. This 18-hole championship course is set among the beautiful rolling hills and lush forests of northern Michigan. The layout features challenging doglegs, strategic bunkers, and beautiful greens that will test your skills. Plus, the panoramic views of Lake Michigan are truly breathtaking. Another excellent option is Manitou Passage Golf Club. This Arnold Palmer-designed course offers players stunning views of Sleeping Bear Bay and is considered one of the top public courses in the state. The course is known for its challenging layout, particularly on the back nine, which features several long par fours and water hazards. For those looking for a more casual experience, Sugar Loaf The Old Course is a perfect option. This nine-hole course offers a fun and laid-back round of golf with picturesque views of the surrounding hills and forests. It’s an ideal spot for families and beginner golfers. Whether […]
Top 10 Fish to go after on the Leelanau Peninsula
If you are a fishing enthusiast, then you should definitely add Leelanau Peninsula to your list of must-visit fishing spots. Located in Michigan, this scenic location offers some of the best freshwater fishing opportunities that you won’t want to miss. To make the most of your visit, we’ve put together a list of the top ten fish you should try to catch in Leelanau Peninsula. 1. Chinook Salmon The king of all freshwater gamefish, Chinook Salmon, can be found in Lake Michigan. You will need a good trolling rig and live bait to get this large fish biting. 2. Steelhead If you love to fly fish, then you must go after the Steelhead. The winter and early spring are the best times to find this elusive fish in the Leelanau River. 3. Smallmouth Bass Smallmouth Bass is the most popular sportfish in the Great Lakes. These feisty fish are found in many of the smaller inland lakes in the Leelanau Peninsula. 4. Northern Pike The northern pike is a top predator fish and is a popular catch in the colder months. Try your luck with a big minnow on a tip-up, and you just might be in for an exciting […]
Top beaches on Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you’re in the mood for a day of sun, sand, and sea. Luckily, the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan is home to some of the best beaches in the Great Lakes region, and we’ve rounded up the top spots for you to explore. First on our list is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a vast and stunning beach that is sure to take your breath away. With towering sand dunes, crystal clear water, and picturesque views, this is a must-visit spot for any beach lover. Next up is North Bar Lake, a serene and peaceful beach that is perfect for families and nature lovers. The shallow waters are great for kids to splash around in, and the surrounding forest offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and picnicking. For those who want a bit more excitement, head over to Glen Haven Beach, where you can rent kayaks and paddleboards and explore the stunning coastline. The beach is also home to a historic shipwreck, adding an extra bit of intrigue to your day. If you’re looking for a secluded and quiet spot, then Good Harbor Bay Beach is the place for you. This tranquil […]
What shipwrecks are off the coasts of the Leelanau Peninsula?
As one of the most scenic regions in Michigan, the Leelanau Peninsula attracts visitors from all over the world. With its picturesque beaches, wineries, and breathtaking sunsets, it’s easy to forget that there is a dark side to this beautiful coastline – one that’s littered with shipwrecks. In fact, some of the most intriguing shipwrecks in the Great Lakes are located off the coasts of the Leelanau Peninsula. Let’s take a closer look at some of these fascinating maritime artifacts. The Three Brothers Located off the shore of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Three Brothers is a schooner that met its untimely end in 1911. The ship was caught in a storm and dashed against the rocky shoreline, where it remains to this day. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the wreck while hiking along the Empire Bluff Trail. Francis H. Houghton The Francis H. Houghton is a schooner that sank in 1887 after it ran aground on South Manitou Island. Despite the crew’s efforts to save the ship, the vessel was eventually abandoned, and today it’s one of the most popular dive sites in the Great Lakes. Divers can explore the wreckage, which sits at a depth of […]
What lighthouses are on the Leelanau Peninsula?
The Leelanau Peninsula, also known as the Little Finger of Michigan, boasts some of the most scenic views in the Great Lakes region. Home to rolling hills, pristine beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, this peninsula is a gem waiting to be explored. And what better way to appreciate its beauty than by visiting its lighthouses? There are four lighthouses that can be found on the Leelanau Peninsula: South Manitou Island Lighthouse, Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Point Betsie Lighthouse, and North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse. Each of these structures has its unique story and purpose, making them a must-see for anyone visiting the area. The South Manitou Island Lighthouse was first built in 1871 on the Manitou Passage. It guided ships from Lake Michigan towards the island, which was a major refueling stop for steamers traveling from Chicago to the east coast. The lighthouse, which is currently managed by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, now serves as a museum that visitors can tour. The Grand Traverse Lighthouse (pictured) was built in 1858 to serve as a guide for mariners on their journey from Chicago to Montreal. Located at the tip of the peninsula, this lighthouse is now open to the public as a […]
Why is it called the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore?
Nestled in the heart of Northern Michigan, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is a true gem of natural beauty. However, it’s not the picturesque landscape that earned it its iconic name. The real reason it’s called Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is much more unique and intriguing. Legend has it that many years ago, a mother bear and her two cubs were caught in the middle of a forest fire. To escape the flames, they headed towards the shoreline of Lake Michigan, swimming tirelessly towards safety. Sadly, only the mother bear made it to the shore. Looking back, she realized that her cubs couldn’t keep up and had perished in the water. Feeling a deep sense of loss, the mother bear climbed to the top of a nearby bluff and gazed out over the vast blue water. With a heavy heart, she lay down to rest and fell into an eternal sleep. It’s said that her body gradually transformed into the dune formation that we see today – the iconic “Sleeping Bear.” Although it’s just a legend, the story has been passed down for generations by Native American tribes in the area. When the park was established in 1970, the name Sleeping […]
What is the history of Glen Haven, Michigan?
Glen Haven, Michigan is a charming small town nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan. It may seem like just another quaint beach town, but it has a rich history that has helped shape its character and culture over the years. The history of Glen Haven begins in the 1850s when the first settlers arrived in the area. They were primarily lumberjacks who saw the potential of the land’s vast pine forests. Logging soon became the town’s main industry and sawmills were built to process the logs that were floated down the nearby river. However, the town’s economy suffered a significant setback in the 1870s when a series of devastating fires swept through the forests and destroyed much of the lumber supply. Despite the setback, the town’s resilient community worked to rebuild the industry. The Michigan Land and Lumber Company purchased the land and set up operations in the area, and a new mill was built that helped to reestablish the town’s economy. The early 1900s brought another change to Glen Haven. The area’s stunning natural beauty drew tourists from across the state and country. A variety of tourist attractions and activities were added, such as swimming, boating, and camping, […]
What lakes are on the Leelanau Peninsula?
The Leelanau Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan, offering visitors a range of activities to enjoy in its scenic waters. The peninsula juts out into Lake Michigan and divides it into two parts: the East and West Arm. Here are some of the lakes that dot this stunning landscape. 1. Glen Lake One of the most popular lakes on the Leelanau Peninsula, Glen Lake boasts crystal clear water that is perfect for swimming and paddling. The lake is surrounded by lush forests and offers breathtaking views of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 2. North and South Manitou Lake Located on North and South Manitou Island, these twin lakes offer visitors an idyllic spot to relax and take in the scenery. The lakes are situated on a pristine natural island that is accessible by ferry and features some of the most scenic hiking trails in the region. 3. Lake Leelanau Lake Leelanau is the largest lake on the peninsula, stretching over 21 miles in length. The lake is a popular spot for fishing and boating, and its beautiful sandy beaches attract sunbathers and swimmers during the summer months. 4. Little Traverse Lake Nestled among rolling […]
Where are some of the best places to see a sunrise on the Leelanau Peninsula?
If you’re looking for a stunning sunrise experience on the Leelanau Peninsula, then you’re in for a treat. There are plenty of places to choose from that offer spectacular views and are perfect for starting your day. One of the best spots to watch the sunrise on the Leelanau Peninsula is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The view of the sun rising over Lake Michigan is nothing short of breathtaking. Climb up to the top of the dunes, and you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent sight. Another great place to catch a sunrise is the Old Mission Point Lighthouse. It’s a historic lighthouse that dates back to 1870 and offers a stunning panoramic view of East Bay. It’s a great spot to relax, take some amazing photos, and watch the sun rise over the water. For those who want to witness a sunrise in a peaceful setting, then the Leelanau State Park is the perfect place to go. Located at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, it’s an ideal spot to see the sun come up over Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, then the Fishtown Village in […]