Summer in Leelanau Peninsula is glorious – clear waters to swim in, green woods to explore, and sunshiny days. And there are so many wonderful places to see and adventures to go on when you visit the area.
To help you put together the ultimate Leelanau Peninsula adventure itinerary, we’ve put together a list of things to do here during the summer.
So get ready for your next summer trip!
Leelanau Peninsula is home to the beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.
35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline coupled with forests, inland lakes, sandy beaches, and dunes – the main attraction. Some dunes rise as high as 400 feet above Lake Michigan.
Sleeping Bear Dunes features hiking trails through dunes, forests, and shorelines. You may even spot white-tailed deer, black bears, or foxes. The area is also great for birdwatching, kayaking, canoeing, camping, or picnicking.
Hike Pyramid Point
When visiting Sleep Bear Dunes, hike Pyramid Point.
It’s a bluff that features a moderately challenging trail through the forest and is 2 miles round trip. This will give you an amazing view of the surrounding area when you reach the top.
Explore the water
One of the special summer beauties of Leelanau Peninsula is all the amazing rivers, lakes, and beaches you can visit. Making a perfect setting for a picnic featuring your favorite bottle of wine.
A few beaches you can check out are:
- Esch Beach, a beach great for swimming, picnics, and exploring nature
- Empire Beach, a family-friendly beach ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing
- Van’s Beach, a sandy beach perfect for beachcombing and is less crowded than the others
Kayak along Crystal River
Crystal River in Glen Arbor got its name for the clear waters created by the underground springs that feed it.
Crystal River’s slow-moving waters and calm conditions make it a great place for beginners and families. And it’s a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking.
Crystal River flows 8 miles through Sleeping Bear Dunes before emptying into Lake Michigan. There are several access points and public docks along the river you can use to start and end your paddling trip.
Explore the towns
Leelanau Penisula is dotted with many charming coastal towns. Check out:
- Suttons Bay, which is filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants.
- Northport, a harbor town featuring a lighthouse, shops, and local eateries.
But you don’t want to miss Leland.
Eat at Leland, MI
You can also access Van’s Beach from Leland – so take that sandwich and turn it into a picnic.
Explore the coastline
Driving along Leelanau Peninsula will take you through a breathtaking scenic experience. Hop onto the M-22 to enjoy a coastal drive with stunning views of Lake Michigan, rolling hills, orchards, vineyards, and landscapes.
As you go along the western coastline, you’ll glimpse sparkling waters and sandy beaches passing through forests and meadows. Stop to explore local wineries and orchards to sample some of the best Michigan wines and ciders.
M-22 is a well-maintained road, so you’ll have a smooth drive. It gets busy during summer weekends, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Catch the sunset at Rove Winery
At the end of your summer day, stop at Rove Winery to enjoy a wine flight featuring our specially crafted wines and spectacular views.
Our tasting room sits at 1,165 feet. The highest point in all Leelanau Peninsula – making it the most memorable spot to take in the sunset.
It’s the perfect ending to your perfect trip.
At Rove Estate, we wish you a safe, fun-filled summer! Slainte!