Exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan
We have a gem in the state of Michigan - a special place that is quaint and diverse, exciting and peaceful all in one place. I’m talking about the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan.
The United States has quite a few states that have sand dunes, but none other have been named by Good Morning America as "The Most Beautiful Place in America”. With it’s expansive fresh-water views, forests and beautiful inland lakes, this area of Michigan shows off with natural wonder.
For the outdoor enthusiast there is plenty of adventure. You can hike the Dune Climb or Pyramid Point or climb and see panoramic views from Empire Bluff. Kayaking the Crystal River is great fun as well as paddle boarding or kayaking on the Glen Lakes. Both Big and Little Glen have such a beautiful blue water color! Swimming is great on these lovely lakes but there are larger beaches along Sleeping Bear Bay or at the Empire Beach Village Park. If you do explore the area around Empire, ice cream at Tiffany’s Cafe in the village is a great stop!
There is plenty of preserved history in the area and biking the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a terrific way to take it all in. It cuts through the D.H. Day Campground and takes you through the historic hamlet of Glen Haven where you can visit the preserved Boathouse Museum in the former Cannery, the General Store, and the Blacksmith Shop. I also love to bike by the fantastically restored barns that were once owned by D.H. Day.
If you’re looking for a beautiful drive, then you can’t beat the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive with it’s covered bridge and picturesque views through the heart of the park. You can also drive into the quaint town of Glen Arbor to shop the cute stores and art galleries, putt-putt along the river, or wander through the grounds of Cherry Republic (and eat local cherries of course!). Live music on the deck at Boondocks is always fun and the fried smelt at Art’s Tavern can’t be beat.
This area of Michigan has the perfect blend of outdoor activities, beautiful natural scenery, history and art, as well as wonderful shops, food and music. Whether it’s a weekend or a week, take time to explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!