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.
  Synchronicity Gallery
  Becky Thatcher Jewelry Design
  Suzanne Wilson Studio
 Kristin Hurlin Gallery & Paul May Custom Furniture Studio. Incredible art of the  beautiful Leelanau forests, lakes and dunes. Recommended
  Ruth Conklin Gallery - At the end of our street, Lake Isle.
  Glen Lake Artists Gallery
  Forest Flowers Gallery
  Center Gallery
  Hepburn-Holt Gallery
  Creative Corner                                        
  Tiny Treasures Gallery
  Glen Arbor Botannicals

Golf (The Dunes)
Golf also available at The Homestead
Golf (Mistwood)
Golf (Kings Challenge)
The Sleeping Bear Dunes including the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and Dune Climb area
Maritime Museum and Lifesaving Station

South Manitou Island  North Manitou Island
Music: Interlochen Center for the Arts
Music: Manitou Music Festival kicked off by the free Dune Climb concert on July 17
Leland's Historic Fishtown
Hiking/Nature Trails
Traverse City (26 miles away)
Local Goods (Cherry Republic) All things Cherry, and we everything! (Walking distance)
Groceries: IGA Market & Bear Paw Market (Both within walking distance)

Golf & Downhill Skiing: Crystal Mountain Resort or The Homestead.                                              
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing: Groomed trails at the Homestead (2 miles away)  or throughout the national lakeshore.
Leelanau County Wineries (13)
Fishing (Sleeping Bear Charters)
Fishing (The Sportsman Shop)

The Major Lakes of Leelanau County

  • Cedar Lake
  • Duck Lake
  • Gilbert Lake
  • Glen Lake aka Big Glen Lake
  • Lime Lake
  • Little Glen Lake
  • Little Traverse Lake
  • North Leelanau Lake
  • School Lake
  • Shell Lake (briggs)
  • Shisler Lake
  • South Bar Lake
  • South Leelanau Lake

Canoeing (rentals) / Kayaking (rentals)/ Bike (rentals): Crystal River Outfitters  Bike rentals include helmets. (Walking distance) canoes and kayaks include paddles and life jackets.
Nature Center
Boating on Glen Lake
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
Casinos: Leelanau Sands or Turtle Creek
Glen Arbor Medical Arts: Dr. Houghton 5851 Lake St., Glen Arbor. Phone: (231)334-8300 or have paged at (231)935-5000

Restaurant's Aplenty!
*Art's Tavern: Lots of fun, good food, 231-334-3754 (Walking / Stumbling Distance)  
Bear Paw Pizza and Market  231-334-2327    
*Boon Dock Restaurant: Soooo close to our cottage, if you can't find your way back to our cottage from this restaurant, PUT DOWN THE BEER because you have had waaaay tooo muuuch! Live music on the outside deck, really fun! 231-334-6444   (Easy Stumbling Distance)   
Cherry Republic:  Think of Bubba from Forrest Gump, only replace the shrimp thing with foods made from cherries. If you're looking for unique gifts, especially for people living out-of-state, you'll love this place. Nothing says "Michigan" like cherries!  231-334-3150    
Foothills Motel & Cafe  231-334-3495    
Funistrada  231-334-3900    
Good Harbor Grill: Near the end of our Street. Good greek pita  231-334-3555    
La Becasse  231-334-3944 (Off-season hours: Tue-Sat 5:45 pm).    
Leelanau Coffee Roasting Co.: I say, "Seattle, Smeattle!" You can keep Starbucks because we've got Leelanau Coffee. Take that, Seattle! Stroll into town in the morning, get a newspaper, a doughnut and a cup of fresh roasted coffee  231-334-3365    
Pine Cone  231-334-3555 Next the Good Harbor Grill
Riverfront Pizza & Specialities: My wife and I really like their subs and pizza!  231-334-3876    
Snuffy's  231-334-3163    
Thyme Out  231-334-8179    
*Western Avenue Grill: 231-334-3362  (Walking / Stumbling Distance) 

 Note:  (Walking / *Stumbling Distance) denotes nearby establishments that serve alcohol, not meant to encourage or imply over consumption, don't drink and drive! Especially when you can walk home)

Weather See current Glen Arbor weather Conditions

Fishing in Glen Arbor                 City            Miles
Hawkins Outfitters                         Glen Arbor 0 miles from cottage
Homestead Resort                         Glen Arbor 0 miles away cottage
Sleeping Bear Fishing Adventures   Glen Arbor 0 miles away cottage
Watta Bite Charter Fishing             Glen Arbor 0 miles away cottage
Sleeping Bear Fishing Adventures   Glen Haven 3 miles away cottage
Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore     Empire       4 miles away cottage
Sleeping Bear Fishing Adventures   Empire        4 miles away cottage
Watta Bite Charter Fishing              Empire        4 miles away cottage
Platte River State Forest                 Honor          9 miles away cottage

Area Events
(Complete Winery Info Below Calendar)

1. Glen Arbor Every Tuesday, June 21 to September 6. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Behind the Glen Arbor Twp Hall, M22
2. Empire Every Saturday, June 18 to September 10. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.Next to the Empire Post Office, Front St.

Here's a list of Northern Michigan Wineries. (Many wineries offer extended hours in July and August. Call before you go.)

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.

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