Things to see and do while staying in Glen Arbor :
The Park: Sleeping Bears National Lake Shore
The colossal park perpetually preserves a large geographic area encompassing about 35 miles of the Lake Michigan coastline. It has many unique points-of-interest, including the two large islands, North and South Manitou Islands. They are accessible by ferry boat departing from the nearby town of Leland for day trips or overnight camping.. You can also travel to the islands by private water craft. (There is a public boat launch right in downtown Glen Arbor.) It will take a sea-worthy vessel and a seasoned boater to make the trip as you must cross about 9 miles of relatively open water. Any experienced sailor knows that the Great Lakes are unforgiving. Now re-read that last sentence, but this time, do it right! Yes, you know what I'm talking about- use your pirate voice: "Arrrg! Any real seaman knows them Lakes be unforgiving wenches!" That's better! Not great, but better.
The park was chartered on October 21, 1970 by the US Congress, primarily to preserve its unique and outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and "ancient glacial phenomena" (...I hope I recognize that "ancient glacial phenomena" thingy when I see it). The iconic "dune climb" area is widely recognized by most of Michigan's residents. You can let the kids burn off energy conquering the dune. If you can imagine a sand box the size of a ski hill, you sorta get the idea. Essentially, you climb up so that you can run back down. It's really great fun (and exercise) for kids and adults but especially the kids. They really love it, and what's not to love about sand wedged into every crevice of your body? But, of course, the kids don't seem to mind, they absolutely love it! After all, what's the point of vacation? Photos of the climb have been featured on lots of things, like post cards or the cover of many of the State's publications like maps, directories, etc.
The national lakeshore also contains many cultural features. The 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service (Coast Guard) Stations and an extensive rural historic farm district are some of the highlights. Various trails are also woven throughout area of the park. Trails are numbered, marked and maps are available. The maps are handy as they will tell you how far each trail segment is. Many people without consulting any maps climb the first dune at the "dune climb" area and think Lake Michigan is "just over the next dune". Two hours later they are still wondering through the sand, looking for the lake. (At some point they may even imagine they see things like camels, palm trees, and veiled women. Remember, it's only in your mind...). Point is check the map!
The park is named after the Chippewa Indian legend of the Sleeping Bear. According to this legend, an enormous forest fire swept across the western shore of Lake Michigan (Wisconsin) and forced a mother bear and her two cubs to flee into Lake Michigan to escape the blaze. Forced to swim for the eastern shore, the three bears went as far as they could. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she lay down and waited for her cubs on the top of a bluff. The cubs, exhausted, never made it to the shore. The Great Spirit was impressed by the mother bear's eternal vigilance and rewarded her love for her cubs by creating the two islands (North and South Manitou Island) to commemorate the cubs. The dunes were formed by the blowing sand that covered the sleeping mother bear as she eternally watched for her cubs to arrive.
We are fortunate to have three cottages available in this water wonderland.
Glen Arbor Galleries: Glen Arbor is an Art Destination for Northern Michigan. You can walk to several of these galleries in about 5 minutes:
Art: Glen Arbor Art Association Art
exhibits & artist receptions at the GAAA Center.
Golf (The Dunes)
Canoeing (rentals) / Kayaking (rentals)/ Bike (rentals):
Crystal River Outfitters Bike rentals include helmets.
(Walking distance) canoes and kayaks include paddles and life jackets.
Weather See current Glen Arbor weather Conditions
Fishing in Glen Arbor
Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery: Located just north of Cedar on County Road 643 (South Lake Shore Drive). Open from noon-5 p.m. Thursday through Monday and by appointment. 6530 South Lake Shore Drive, Cedar; (231) 228-4800, ext. 102.
Boskydel Vineyards: Located at the corner of Otto Road and County Road 641. Open daily from 1-6 p.m. 7501 E. Otto, Lake Leelanau; (231) 256-7272.
Bowers Harbor Vineyards: Located on the Old Mission Peninsula. Open weekends December through May; June through November 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon - 6 p.m. Sunday. 2896 Bowers Harbor Road, Traverse City; (231) 223-7615.
Chateau Chantal: Twelve miles north of Traverse City on the Old Mission Peninsula. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. 15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City; (231) 223-4110.
Chateau Fontaine: Open Friday through Sunday, noon - 5 p.m. 2270 S. French Road, Lake Leelanau; (231) 256-0000.
Chateau de Leelanau: In barn at Hilltop Road and M-22, Suttons Bay. Opening October 2000. Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday noon - 5 p.m. Suttons Bay, 49682; (231) 271-8888.
Chateau Grand Traverse, Ltd.: At the winery eight miles north on M-37 on the Old Mission Peninsula, 12239 Center Rd., Mon.-Sat. 10-7, Sunday noon-6. (231) 223-7355. Also, three tasting rooms: Downtown Traverse City, Mon.-Weds. and Sat. 10-6, Thurs.-Fri. 10-8, Sunday noon-5. In Acme next to the Stained Glass Cabinet Co., Mon.-Sat., 10-5, Sunday noon-5. In July and August, hours extended to 6 p.m. every day.
Ciccone Vineyard and Winery: Located eight miles north of Traverse City on Hilltop Road off M-22. Open noon-6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. 10343 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay; (231) 271-5551. (TRIVIA ANSWER: Silvio and Joan Ciccione, the parents of the Material Girl, own and operate the Ciccione Vineyard and Winery in Suttons Bay. Michigan wines tend to be somewhat sweet due to the short growing season. Ciccione produces Gewurztraminer, a fruity Chardonnay and some medium-bodied reds such as Pinot Noir. Many wineries produce cherry wines. Ciccione makes “Cherri-Noir,” described as “Tart cherry wine blended with our Pinot Noir wine. Great with dessert, as an after dinner drink or as a warm drink on a cool night.”
Good Harbor Vineyards: Located three miles south of Leland on M-22 behind Manitou Farm Market and Bakery. May through October, tours and tastings are offered daily from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon - 5 p.m. Winter hours, November through December 16, Saturday only, noon - 5 p.m. Closed January through April. Sunday. R. 1, Box 888, Lake Leelanau; (231) 256-7165.
L. Mawby Vineyards/Winery: On Elm Valley Rd. south of Suttons Bay (take M-22 to Hilltop Rd. to S. Elm Valley Rd.). Hours are 1-6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday or by appointment. 4519 S. Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay; (231) 271-3522.
Leelanau Wine Cellars: Located in Omena on the east side of the Leelanau Peninsula, between Suttons Bay and Northport. Hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. 12683 East Tatch Rd., P.O. Box 68, Omena; (231) 386-5201.
The Homestead of Glen Arbor renamed their Snow Ski rental shop, “Mountain Flowers Lodge”. The building has been expanded to twice its original size. New this season, The Homestead will offer ice skating. www.thehomesteadresort.com
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