Recently, a lot of stars fell into place and we came across an opportunity to buy some property in Northern Michigan. We bought it with the intention of camping on it for a while and not building anything for several years. However, some more stars fell into place and the timing ended up becoming way sooner than we imagined. This past weekend, we spent our first weekend at our new "forever home"-- which is currently a sand pit.
Northern Michigan holds a very special place in my heart. My husband first took me up there back in 2012 and I immediately fell in love. We ended up getting married there, spending every summer vacationing there, heading up for a little "babymoon", and last weekend, we brought our son there for the first time. We camped out on our property with friends, and celebrated the end of summer along with breaking ground. It was a weekend we will never forget.
People often ask me for suggestions on where to go/what to do in Northern Michigan. There are SO many hidden gems in the state of Michigan. I love a lot of places up there, but for this blog post I will focus primarily on Glen Arbor and Leland.
Glen Arbor is a little town Northwest of Traverse City on Lake Michigan. It is small with an outdoorsy, family vibe. I swear every time we head up there there is more to do. Some things that I would recommend while spending time in Glen Arbor are...
- Grab coffee at Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co.
- Hit the shops in town-- favorites include the M22 store & Cottonseed Apparel
- Getting an ice cream cone from Cherry Republic is a MUST
- Art's Tavern is our favorite spot for lunch or dinner & is especially cozy after a day out on the water
- Another favorite food spot is Boonedocks -- always good for a bigger group and they often have live music
- Wine tasting is super fun when visiting Northern Michigan -- Glen Arbor Wines is a hip new place to try some local vino
- Last but not least-- Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is the biggest MUST of all!
Of course there is a TON more to do in this town including renting kayaks and heading down the Crystal River, or riding on the bike trails. I would suggest renting an AirBnb, staying in an actual Bnb OR staying at The Homestead which is a beautiful resort with TONS to do.
Leland is a small town just North of Glen Arbor on the M22. It is another quaint little town, but is always lively. It is full of lots of shops and restaurants. Some favorites include The Cove and The Riverside Inn which both offer unbeatable waterfront dining.
My favorite part of Leland is Fishtown. Fishtown is an old fishing village full of weathered shanties, racks of drying fishnets along with little boutiques & food stops. Tug Stuff is always a favorite shop for cozy Leland gear, while Dam Candy Store is the best for ice cream cones and candy. You can get lost in this little village for hours. Be sure to grab some fresh caught fish for dinner while you are watching all of the boats head into the harbor.
As I mentioned above, there are so many hidden gems in the state of Michigan. In the future I hope to write posts on some of my other favorite places in Northern Michigan including: Northport, Traverse City, Petoskey & Mackinac Island. Until then, feel free to ask when looking for recomendations up there-- I am full of them : )