My Adventures / Travel Destinations near my home

Exploring the Leelanau Peninsula

Five days ago, we made our way up to Northern Michigan to spend a few days camping with each other before starting our summer as youth development professionals (camp counselors!). For the first two nights we stayed in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, but the past two nights were spent in the Leelanau Peninsula.

Driving through this part of Michigan is great for lots of stops in small cutesy places. The drive to get all the way up here can be lengthy, but once up here everything is close for the most part.

After departing Sleeping Bear Dunes, our first stop in the Leelanau Peninsula was Leland. Leland is also known as “Fishtown” and is the location of the ferry to North and South Manitou Islands (part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore), which both Alex and I have previously backpacked. We decided to go back to Leland because it is a cute little town that is great for people watching. There are plenty of tiny shops filled with odds and ends.

The Manitou Island transit -- South Manitou is great for a day trip and North Manitou is a good beginner backpacking experience

The Manitou Island transit — South Manitou is great for a day trip and North Manitou is a good beginner backpacking experience

Many of the shops line the channel, others are further inland

Many of the shops line the channel, others are further inland

Great candy shop in Leland with the coolest rocking chairs/tables. We had malted milk balls, chocolate covered blue berries, chocolate covered espresso beans, and sea foam - all were delectable.

Great candy shop in Leland with the coolest rocking chairs/tables. We had malted milk balls, chocolate covered blue berries, chocolate covered espresso beans, and sea foam – all were delectable.

Just a short walk from Leland is a Lake Michigan Beach access point, perfect for skipping rocks and a swim when its hot.

Next we headed inland to Lake Leelanau, a small town with a local diner, Dick’s Pour House. I had been there before with some friends who have a cabin up on Lake Leelanau, so I just had to revisit. Dick’s Pour House is filled with summertime regulars and serves a wide variety of foods from venison and elk burgers to my favorite, the pizza.

Next on the agenda was Boskydel’s Vineyard. My mom has been coming to this winery since I was a little girl: I remember coming into the wine tasting room and not even being able to see over the counter. Now that I am 21, I wanted to experience it for myself. I had been prepped by my family for an unwelcoming owner, but in reality he is just getting a bit old. I tried a couple of the white wines and ended up buying the Vin Blanc – a semi-dry white win.

Boskydel's vineyard over looks Lake Leeland for a picturesque-view

Boskydel’s vineyard over looks Lake Leeland for a picturesque-view

Heading further East, we came across Sutton’s Bay, another small, northern Michigan town. The shops were fun and colorful and great for small souvenirs and trinkets.

Colorful store fronts in Sutton's Bay

Colorful store fronts in Sutton’s Bay

Heading north on M-22 we made our way to our camp site in Leelanau State Park.

The sweet sunset of our first evening at Leelanau State Park

The sweet sunset of our first evening at Leelanau State Park

The grocery store we went to did not end up having much vegetarian options, so we ended up with an assortment of foods including some local bread that was amazing and a pair of pickles

The grocery store we went to did not end up having much vegetarian options, so we ended up with an assortment of foods including some local bread that was amazing and a pair of pickles

Hazy mornings at Leelanau State Park

Hazy mornings at Leelanau State Park

Legit camp set up with our ENO hammocks

Legit camp set up with our ENO hammocks

Since we left our campsite this mourning we have made our way down to Traverse City, where I am posted up writing this… Tonight we are headed to Indian River to set up camp then the next day we are off to start our training at the summer camp we will be working at. Northern Michigan really is a beautiful place, and the Leelanau Peninsula offers some of the most laid-back towns.

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