Embracing 64 miles of scenic Great Lakes beaches as well as two unspoiled islands, 26 inland lakes, more than 50,000 acres of terrain and those monumental dunes of legend, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was crowned “Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place in America” 2011
Northern Michigan’s famed M-22 skirts the shoreline perimeter of Leelanau County. The scenic route passes through Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and the colorful communities of Suttons Bay, Leland, Glen Arbor and Empire. Void of any fast food franchises, stoplights or parking meters, each town offers its own, unique allure, filled with must-do daytrips, scenic tours, art galleries, shopping, restaurants and beaches.
Colorful and timeless, stocked with quaint boutique shops, vintage antiques, an eclectic mix of art and inviting eateries, this popular harbor town can be found tucked up along West Bay. The historic village and classic cinema - the county’s only cinema - lend to its by-gone charm.
Photo by Rick Lahmann
Characterized by its weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, fish tugs and charter boats, “Fishtown” tells its 150 year-old story along the mouth of the Leland River. Sugar-sand beaches and pristine waters lead out to the glacier-carved North and South Manitou Islands, host to ghost towns, historic lighthouses, ancient cedar stands and dunes. Be sure to stop by the Village Cheese Shanty for the acclaimed North Shore sandwich on pretzel bread.
Journey south of Leland, on M-22 and you’ll reach Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the arty town of Glen Arbor. The small town rests on a sliver of land between Sleeping Bear Bay and the Glen Lakes, supplying some of the most awe-inspiring views of the region, including Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and Pyramid Point.