Leelanau Favorites

The Leelanau Peninsula is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. The landscape is beautiful and the culture is laid-back and welcoming. It's one of those places that is fun to just wander around and explore. I am by no means an expert, but here are a few of my favorites in the area:

 

Free Things to Do:

M22 FOLLOWS THE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE FOR ALMOST 120 MILES OF THE LEELANAU PENINSULA COAST. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DRIVE THROUGH A TUNNEL OF TREES WITH VIEWS OF THE LAKE AND CUTE TOWNS SCATTERED ALL ALONG.

M22 FOLLOWS THE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE FOR ALMOST 120 MILES OF THE LEELANAU PENINSULA COAST. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DRIVE THROUGH A TUNNEL OF TREES WITH VIEWS OF THE LAKE AND CUTE TOWNS SCATTERED ALL ALONG.

Fishtown Leland is a perfect little tourist trap, in the best sense of the word. Old fishing huts house cute shops alongside still operational fishing industry. 

Fishtown Leland is a perfect little tourist trap, in the best sense of the word. Old fishing huts house cute shops alongside still operational fishing industry. 

We discovered Sleeping Bear Point somewhat randomly while out looking for a beach. There is a parking lot past the Maritime Museum and then you have a short hike on a sand path over a couple small dunes to the beach. We went back 2 days in a row because it wasn't crowded and the waves there were some of the best for swimming.

We discovered Sleeping Bear Point somewhat randomly while out looking for a beach. There is a parking lot past the Maritime Museum and then you have a short hike on a sand path over a couple small dunes to the beach. We went back 2 days in a row because it wasn't crowded and the waves there were some of the best for swimming.

Free samples galore! Cherry Republic is known for their samples and for good reason. They have a shop filled with various cherry products and give you the opportunity to taste just about every one of them. It's super fun and I still kinda want the adorable black bear puppets they have there.

Free samples galore! Cherry Republic is known for their samples and for good reason. They have a shop filled with various cherry products and give you the opportunity to taste just about every one of them. It's super fun and I still kinda want the adorable black bear puppets they have there.

A bit further south, Point Betsie is one my favorite lighthouses. Take a ride down M22 to see it. 

A bit further south, Point Betsie is one my favorite lighthouses. Take a ride down M22 to see it. 

 

Eat + Drink:

Ugh, I wish this coffee shop could replace the biggby down the street from my office. The atmosphere is so calming and the coffee is super super tasty. I might have a crush on this place.

Ugh, I wish this coffee shop could replace the biggby down the street from my office. The atmosphere is so calming and the coffee is super super tasty. I might have a crush on this place.

I'm such a sucker for atmosphere. I couldn't tell you a thing about the wine here, but I remember soaking up the sunset and the sophisticated farmyard feel. 

I'm such a sucker for atmosphere. I couldn't tell you a thing about the wine here, but I remember soaking up the sunset and the sophisticated farmyard feel. 

Leelanau Cellers has been my favorite Michigan wine for ages. In fact the bottle of wine I bought on my 21st birthday was one of their Winter White. Their tasting room is super un-intimidating and chill, which is important to a casual wine drinker such as myself.

Leelanau Cellers has been my favorite Michigan wine for ages. In fact the bottle of wine I bought on my 21st birthday was one of their Winter White. Their tasting room is super un-intimidating and chill, which is important to a casual wine drinker such as myself.

I recently noticed that Moomers was everywhere in the Leelanau area. I wasn't quite sure what the fuss was about until we gave it a try and I'm a convert for sure. 

I recently noticed that Moomers was everywhere in the Leelanau area. I wasn't quite sure what the fuss was about until we gave it a try and I'm a convert for sure. 

 

Other Activities:

I love meaningful, non-trinket-y souvenirs. Things I already intended to add to our home, but the fact that we pick it up on a special trip makes it more meaningful. When we walked into Darling Botanical, I knew immediately we'd be leaving with a little air-plant terrarium. You may end up with one of your own if you go here.

I love meaningful, non-trinket-y souvenirs. Things I already intended to add to our home, but the fact that we pick it up on a special trip makes it more meaningful. When we walked into Darling Botanical, I knew immediately we'd be leaving with a little air-plant terrarium. You may end up with one of your own if you go here.

I can't believe we hadn't done this until our last trip up there. Pretty much this is classic Sleeping Bear Dunes. You need to do it at least once. You won't be disappointed.

I can't believe we hadn't done this until our last trip up there. Pretty much this is classic Sleeping Bear Dunes. You need to do it at least once. You won't be disappointed.

This place is in the same building as Darling (above) and I would move in if they let me. Aptly names Wood + Cloth, I couldn't get over the textures and materials of everything they carry. 

This place is in the same building as Darling (above) and I would move in if they let me. Aptly names Wood + Cloth, I couldn't get over the textures and materials of everything they carry. 

At the very tip top of the Peninsula, Grand Traverse is a picturesque trip through the rolling countryside with a classic lighthouse at the end of your drive. 

At the very tip top of the Peninsula, Grand Traverse is a picturesque trip through the rolling countryside with a classic lighthouse at the end of your drive. 

I hope to add new things soon. The whole area is just chock-full of beautiful views and quaint spots. If you have any favorites, I would love hearing about them. And if you plan a trip, I hope this gives you a good idea of where to start once you get up there.