(page 1 of 4)
Northern Michigan Vacations: M-22 is the famed highway that twists through the peninsula, curving along Lake Michigan, ascending farm-covered hills, and stretching through dense forests. Yet it also often becomes the main drag in Leelanau’s small towns. Turn up the radio and follow the county’s main artery to these idyllic summer hamlets, perfect for stretching out the legs, wandering through shops, and grabbing a mid-day meal.
This town showcases its Polish roots during the Polka Festival, held in July each year. But drop in anytime to browse its art gallery, quilt shop or yarn shop or pick up the perfect barbecue staples. Pleva’s Meat Market draws shoppers from all around for its award-winning cherry pecan sausage, and next door’s Cedar City Market provides the libations. Bunting’s Market offers smokehouse goodies and groceries. Wildlife watchers love Victoria Creek’s current, so slow that you can paddle the 3.5 miles to Lake Leelanau and back, listening en route to loons and watching the sunning turtles and fishing herons.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (park headquarters is located in the lakeside hamlet of Empire) was recently voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by viewers of Good Morning America. No surprise, then, that its wide sandy beaches and the coastal bluffs deliver some of the lakeshore’s most stunning views. Discover culinary delights in the Friendly Tavern, which highlights organic vegetarian delicacies and Grocer’s Daughter Chocolates, often named among the best in America.
Situated on a small strip of land between the Glen Lakes and Lake Michigan, Glen Arbor thrives as an iconic resort town. Cottages perch along the turquoise blue of Glen Lake, and the town bustles with resort town fun—outdoor patios brought to life with live music, beach shop souvenirs, art galleries and the “world headquarters” of Cherry Republic, a tourist draw in itself that sells 100-plus items crafted from cherries.