A Summer Trip To Sleeping Bear Dunes

BY Taylor Rebhan

Meghan McEwen, the intrepid traveler who brought us along with her to Glen Arbor, MI a few weeks ago, has just reported in on the second leg of her trip to the Leelanau Peninsula. This journey (of course) includes the classic Michigan vacation spot known as Sleeping Bear Dunes—a beautiful place we’d love to tell you all about, but we’ll leave that up to Meghan.

Summer travelers (and second home owners) flock to the Leelanau Peninsula for the vast expanse of lakefront lining the 30-mile-long finger of land that juts into Lake Michigan just north of Traverse City. Wooded, sandy, rocky—it’s all sublime.

The natural beauty, combined with the area’s rich agricultural bounty, is pretty hard to beat. Shimmering blue waters compete with any ocean I’ve ever seen, and country roads crisscross patchwork farmland and wind through orchards with peek-a-boo views of Lake Michigan from the tops of rolling hills.

If you make the trip, Sleeping Bear Dunes is paramount. We spent hours scaling the huge dunes with views of Lake Michigan, and the trails that wind through the 3,000 acres of preserved land made up of wildflowers, meadowland, forests, lakeshore and farm. Leelanau State Park is another fantastic place to hike. Whether you’re headed out for the day, or just a quick loop at sunset, the best way to take in the views is to find a pretty overlook (not a difficult task) and set up a picnic.

In the summertime, there’s a farmer’s market somewhere on the peninsula almost every day of the week, and the roadside honor stands sell just-picked berries, cherries, apples and almost any kind of veggie you can dream up. Grab some smoked whitefish from Carlson’s Fishery, a hunk of local raclette from the Leelanau Cheese Company, a growler of Tandem Cider—load up your backpack and enjoy.





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