Summer Getaway | Leelanau Peninsula
Having never been to Traverse City or the Leelanau Peninsula, I was blown away by the warmth and beauty of the cherry tree-filled landscape. When you are that close to Canada, it's basically like the arctic, right? Well believe it or not, that wasn't the case at all! Northern Michigan may be snow covered for a large portion of the year, but it's all a giant blanket protecting the beautiful landscape that bears the most delicious cherry's you've ever tasted come July and August.
Tyler and I were only in the area for about three full days, but we stumbled upon a number of great sites and activities that I wanted to pass along to all of you.
Airbnb - I've mentioned it a thousand times, but I just can't get enough of Airbnb. I've never liked hotels, so the opportunity to stay in a house and feel like a local while traveling is extremely important to me. We stayed in a beautiful farmhouse near Cedar, MI, but you can find just about anything to meet your needs. Here are a few other options we looked into renting - here, here, here or here.
Streetside Grill - We had dinner and drinks here on Thursday evening, and I would definitely recommend. Tyler's still obsessing over the fish & chips, and my pretzel crusted fish was equally as tasty. The prices seemed reasonable, too!
The Ice Cream Factory - After dinner, we took a stroll down to the docks and then back into town to find some dessert. Luckily, we stumbled upon this little gem that sold Moomer's ice cream. Chocolate peanut butter was our pick!
Burritt's - What an awesome market! They offer a little bit of everything - specializing in local ingredients and an extensive wine collection. We actually bought a few things and made dinner back at the Farmhouse on Friday night.
Morsels - Great little coffee shop in downtown Traverse City offering Intelligentsia coffee. They have a great outdoor seating area, too.
Potter's Donuts - It's not vacation unless you have a donut or two, right? I prefer super dense cake donuts, and their chocolate version was pretty tasty!
Brengman Brothers - Not far from where we stayed, this winery was my favorite. Not necessarily because of the wine but the facility itself! Tyler and I may have found the perfect inspiration for our modern farmhouse...
Blustone Vineyards - I liked the wine at Blustone the best of any place else we visited. Plus, the people were very friendly. :) Northern Michigan doesn't offer a lot of red wine, but the "Casual Red" here was really good.
Hop Lot Brewing Company - I love wine and all, but it's nice to mix things up with a brewery every now and again. This place has a great vibe. Plus, they grow their own hops on site which is really cool to see.
The Dune Climb - Be prepared to sweat! Seriously. This was an intense workout, but the views and cool lake water at the end made it all worth it. My biggest piece of advice - START EARLY AND BRING WATER. The sand gets incredibly hot through-out the day, so do yourself a favor and get out there at a decent time. Also, there is a $10/car fee if you don't have an annual pass. The $10/car fee is good for entrance into any of the Sleeping Bear parks for 7 days, though.
North Bar Lake/Beach - This, too, will require your $10 pass, so make sure you keep it handy! North Bar is the perfect beach to get away from it all. It's very secluded and it appeared to be mostly locals that visited. There is an awesome lake that is warm enough for swimming and then you can also walk a bit further to hit the lake and beach.
Farmers Market- There are tons of markets around the area including farm stands on just about every road around. Be sure to hop out of the car and take a look. Warning: Once you try a fresh Michigan cherry, there's no going back. :)
I'm so glad to finally say that I've been to Northern Michigan. It was even more beautiful than I imagined, and I'm excited to go back for some dedicated time on a lake with family and friends. :)