If you want a vacation steeped in Michigan’s beautiful countryside, try spending some time around Glen Arbor. Located on the northwest side of Michigan’s lower peninsula, Glen Arbor is surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. There are plenty of outdoor activities to take advantage of during your stay in this show-stopping beautiful spot, including trails to hike, beaches to explore, and even an inland lake to paddle. Stay in the middle of all the beautiful scenery at the Platte River Campground at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. You’ll be in the perfect position for exploring the lakefront, bluffs, lush forests, lighthouses and more. It’s also a great camping home base if you want to check out nearby backcountry camping options at North and South Manitou Islands.
SLEEPING BEAR DUNES
If you love getting outside and enjoying the natural beauty of wild spaces, then you’ll love Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Bike, hike, paddle, or just relax on the beaches while you gaze out at the clear, azure water of Lake Michigan. Try the famous Dune Climb for a hearty workout with a great reward: views of the lake that will take your breath away. The park even offers a maritime museum open in the summer months. Originally the Sleeping Bear Point U.S. Life-Saving Station, exhibits showcase the U.S. Life-Saving Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and local maritime history.
GRAND TRAVERSE LIGHTHOUSE
The Grand Traverse lighthouse is more than just a historic site — it’s an active lighthouse helping to steer ships to safety. It even hosts a keeper program from April through December that allows enthusiasts to stay for a week and help take care of the lighthouse and give historical tours. Located at the very tip of the Leelenau Peninsula, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse boasts hiking trails, a museum, and a gift shop open most of the year. If you visit in the winter, try your hand at snowshoeing or cross-country skiing and be rewarded with a view of Lake Michigan from an overlook, or trail access right onto the beach in nearby Leelenau State Park.
SOUTH MANITOU ISLAND
Spend the day on an island carved by glaciers, surrounded by clear, blue water and beautiful views. South Manitou Island is just a ferry ride away from the shore and proves the perfect spot to explore history as well as nature. Take a tour of the lighthouse and learn how it helped ships get to the shoreline’s natural harbor during storms (learn about the ships that didn’t make it and the more than 50 local shipwreck sites, as well). Hike trails, explore historical sites, or even walk all the way around the island along the beach. Be sure to plan your trip to South Manitou Island well in advance — you’ll need to reserve your spot on the island ferry.
Are you ready for an adventure?