The Leelanau Peninsula is small region in the Grand Traverse Bay Area of Northern Michigan. It is the tip of the "pinky finger" on maps of Michigan, and is known for its scenic coastal beauty, small towns, and winemaking.
- Empire (pop. 378) — a great base for seeing the Sleeping Bear Dunes
- Glen Arbor (pop. 788) — home to the Cherry Republic
- Lake Leelanau(pop.359) county jail, county courthouse. Leelanau Enterprise Paper. Walleye Festival in May.
- Northport (pop. 648) — the northernmost town, at the tip of the peninsula, with convenient lighthouse access. State campground next to lighthouse grounds.
- Suttons Bay (pop. 589) — a charming town with good shops, restaurants and wineries. Counties' only movie theater.
- Cedar — home to the Cedar Polka Festival
- Glen Haven
- Leland — home to historic Fishtown and the Manitou Island ferry. The county seat.
- Maple City (pop. 1,577)
- Omena has a small cove of Lake Michigan.
- Peshawbestown — home to the Leelanau Sands Casino and the Peshawbestown Pow-Wow held in August.
The main road into the peninsula is MI-22, which basically hugs the western shoreline from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore through Leland up to Northport, then turns south and follows the eastern shoreline through Suttons Bay to Traverse City.
- Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA), 3233 Cass Road, 231-941-2355, . Operates 6:10AM to 6:40PM M-F, and 8:10AM to 5:40PM on Saturday; no service on Sundays. Fixed-route service within Traverse City, and an advance-reservation curb-to-curb service in rural Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties. Fares $1.
- Historic Fishtown. In Leland is one of the few remaining commercial fishing complexes on the Great Lakes, made up of shanties, fish tugs and docks, dating back to around 1853. Locals are justifiably proud of it, and have been working hard to keep it preserved.
- Leelanau County has two lighthouses:
- Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Leelanau State Park off M-20 in Northport, 231-386-7195 or 231-922-5270, . Hours vary by season. Restored 1858 lighthouse resembling a keeper's home of the 1920s and 30s. Also has information on the South Fox Island Lighthouse. Located at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. Admission $2.
- Leelanau Historical Museum, 203 East Cedar Street, ☎ +1 231-256-7475. In Leland. Open 10AM to 4PM W-Sa (winter). Features exhibits reflecting the cultural history of the Leelanau Peninsula and its islands from the time of first human habitation.
- Great Lakes Children's Museum, 13240 SW Bayshore Drive, ☎ +1 231-932-4526. In Greilickville. Exhibits on water, fishing, the weather, lighthouses, art and more.
- Leelanau Sands Casino, 2649 NW Bay Shore Drive. In Peshawbestown, 231-534-8100 or 800-922-2WIN. Open 12PM to 2AM M-F, and 10AM to 2AM Saturday and Sunday. Card games, slot machines, bingo hall. On-site restaurant called the Double Eagle Grill, and Sand Dollar bar. Entertainment showroom with nationally recognized entertainers.
- The Leelanau Peninsula has a number of lakes, two of the largest being Glen Lake, south of Glen Arbor by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and North and South Lake Leelanau, which stretch 13 miles south from Leland through the center of the county, with the town of Lake Leelanau located between the north and south branches. The lakes make for some beautiful photo opportunities, particularly the views of Glen Lake from the tall sand dunes.
Visitors may wish to embark upon a winery tour of the Leelanau Peninsula. With thirteen of them in the county, it's probably inadvisable to do all of them in one day, but you could break this trip up with relative ease. Driving the whole trip straight would only take about 2 hours, but of course you'll want to stop along the way!
- Starting from Traverse City, travel about 15 minutes north on MI-22 (S West Bay Shore Drive) and take a left on Shady Lane; just past S Elm Valley Road is Shady Lane Cellars (1). Continuing north on MI-22, you'll come to Chateau de Leelanau (2) just before you reach Hilltop Road. Make a left on Hilltop to find Willow Vineyard (3) and Ciccone Vineyard (4). Continue down Hilltop until you reach the T junction with S Elm Valley Road; make a right to find L. Mawby (5). Further down Elm Valley, take a right on Revold Road to reach Black Star Farms (6). Rejoin MI-22.
- Continue north past Suttons Bay until you reach Omena, and make a left on E Tatch Road to reach Leelanau Wine Cellars (7). From here, the simplest route is to continue north on MI-22 until you reach Northport, then follow MI-22 as it turns into N Manitou Trail along the western part of the peninsula. Shortly after you pass N Novotny Road, you'll see Gill's Pier Vineyard (8). Keep going through Leland until you reach Good Harbor Vineyards (9) just past N Highland Drive.
- The next batch of wineries are further inland, and require a bit more navigation to find. Make a left on S Schomberg Road, then another left on E Dufek Road, and a right onto S French Road, where you'll find Chateau Fontaine (10). Take a left on E Amore Road and a right on S Lake Shore Drive, along the western edge of Lake Leelanau, where Bel Lago Winery (11) is located. Continue following S Lake Shore Drive as it turns west, away from the lake, until you reach S Good Harbor Trail and the Longview Vineyard (12). Continue through the town of Cedar and take a right on E Bellinger Road; in Maple City, turn right onto S Maple City Road until you rejoin MI-22 (Harbor Hwy). Take a left to enter the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and follow the road into Glen Arbor. Make a left on Lake Street, and look for the Cherry Republic shop and winery (13). At this point, you'll probably want to look for the nearest pharmacy (you might need some ibuprofen in the morning) and hotel (to sleep off the effects of the wine), so that you'll be all ready to tackle the Old Mission Peninsula tomorrow!
- Leelanau County has two golf courses open to the public:
- There is also the private and exclusive Leland Country Club on the Lake Leelanau shore in Leland.
Suttons Bay Art Festival, Marina Park in Suttons Bay. Held the first full weekend in August. Jurried art show. Food tent vendors.
Leland Wine Festival. Leland Marina. Wine and food vendor tent.
Lake Leelanau Walleye Festival, May. Events such as queen crowing, and fishing contests.
Tour De' Tart. Family bike ride every summer. To showcase the TART and raise funds.
M-22 Triathalon. Held in the Glen Arbor area in mid-june.
Christmas in the Village. Downtown Suttons Bay. Mid-December. Carolers, tree lighting, shopping bargins.
Cedar Polka Festival. Cedar. First week in July. Dancing. Polka Mass.
Northport Lighthouse Days. Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Northport.
- Cherry Republic, 6026 S Lake Street, toll-free: +1-800-206-6949. In Glen Arbor. Dried cherries, chocolate cherries, cherry nut mixes, cherry jams and jellies, sauces and toppings, cherry salsa, barbecue and dressings, cherry baked goods, cherry candies, cherry juice and concentrate, cherry beverages and soda pop, cherry wines, clothing, cherry bath and home accessories. Antique soda fountain, cherry bakery and light lunches including sandwiches and salads with a cherry twist.
- Cedar City Market. Local, organic and world foods. Owned by Phil.
- Plevas Meat Market, Cedar. Family owned and ran. Products made in store. Perogi.
- Foothills Cafe, 7097 S Dunns Farm Road, ☎ +1 231-334-7499. Open 7AM to 3PM daily. All-day breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Try their homemade soups. $3 - $7.50.
- The Riverside Inn, 302 River Street. In Leland, 231-256-9971 or 888-257-0102. Open 5 to 9PM daily, and 10AM to 2PM on Sunday. Meat and seafood entrees with European flair. Try the Michigan ostrich. $20 - $30.
- Samuel's, 111 St Joseph Street, ☎ +1 231-271-6222. In Suttons Bay. Scratch cooking with local ingredients. Try the sautéed morel mushroom duxelles ravioli in morel cream sauce and the buffalo meatloaf.
- blu, 5705 Lake Street (Glen Arbor), ☎ +1 231-334-2530. Exquisite fine dining on Lake Michigan, open year-round with seasonal hours of operation.
- Bayside Grill, The Marina in Northport, ☎ +1 231-883-2132. Cute outdoor grill in the parking lot of the Northport marina. Burgers, hot dogs, gyros, egg rolls,hummus, and more. Open weekdays for lunch, weather permitting.
- Art's Tavern, 6487 Western Avenue, ☎ +1 231 334-3754. Glen Arbor, MI, United States, artsglenarbor.com/.
- Bear Paw Pizza, 6444 Western Avenue, ☎ +1 231 334-2327. Glen Arbor, MI 49636, United States. Great pizza! Has subs, hot dogs, slushies, alcohol and DVD rental. It is also convenience store.
- Stone House Bread Café, 407 South Main Street, Leland, ☎ +1 231 256 2577. Sourdough bread bakery cafe, specializing in sandwiches, soups, coffee, gelato, and baked goods.
- Western Avenue Grill, 6410 Western Ave (M22), ☎ +1 231 334 3362.
There are thirteen wineries located in the Leelanau Peninsula. If that's still not enough for you, you can check out the five other wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula, north of Traverse City.
- Black Star Farms, 10844 E Revold Road in Suttons Bay, 231-271-4970 or 231-271-4882 ext 130, . Open 11AM to 6PM Monday through Saturday, and 12PM to 5PM on Sunday. 20 white, red, sparkling, fruit, dessert and ice wines, hard apple cider, and 7 fruit spirits. Also home to the Leelanau Cheese Company, producers of Raclette cow's-milk cheese and fromage blanc cheese spread. Wine tastings are $5 for 5 samples (plus an engraved tasting glass to keep; if you bring it with you on subsequent visits, your tastings are free), or $5 for 2 samples from their reserve list of spirits; Raclette samples are $1.
- Willow Vineyard, 10702 East Hilltop Road in Suttons Bay, 231-271-4810. 4 dry wines.
- Cedar Run River Home. 6 Bedroom, 3 bath home on Cedar Run River in Cedar. Sleeps 18. $350
- The Riverside Inn, 302 River Street. In Leland, 231-256-9971 or 888-257-0102. 5 rooms. $70 - $170.
- Wild Cherry Resort, 8563 E Horn Road, ☎ +1 231-271-5550. In Lake Leelanau. Upscale RV and motor coach resort with a working cherry farm. Tent camping, RVs, cabins and yurts. $25 - $49.
- Leelanau Lakeside. 3 Bedroom cottage on west side of South Lake Leelanau, on private road, row boat included. Cable TV and Wireless. $120 - $220, summer and fall.
- Glen Arbor Bed & Breakfast, 6548 Western Avenue, ☎ +1 231 334-6789. Glen Arbor, MI, United States. Right in the middle of Glen Arbor.
- Traverse City is the nearest city, to the southeast of the Leelanau.
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore extends from the western shore of the peninsula down the coastline a bit (plus a couple offshore islands).
|Routes through Leelanau Peninsula|
|Manistee ← Frankfort ←||SW SE||→ Traverse City → Ends at|