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A visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore is like one stop shopping. Everything is right at your fingertips: 400 foot dunes in colors of pink, beige and burnt umber to marvel at; rivers for swimming, kayaking and canoeing; nature trails for hiking and walking; and beaches for lounging on sugary sand to gaze out across Lake Michigan. Winter months bring snowshoeing, downhill and cross country skiing and nature walks to view wildlife. All this is located on Leelanau Peninsula a spit of land that snakes out into Lake Michigan. There are small hamlets that brim with bed and breakfasts, shops, galleries and restaurants. The one ...

A visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore is like one stop shopping. Everything is right at your fingertips: 400 foot dunes in colors of pink, beige and burnt umber to marvel at; rivers for swimming, kayaking and canoeing; nature trails for hiking and walking; and beaches for lounging on sugary sand to gaze out across Lake Michigan. Winter months bring snowshoeing, downhill and cross country skiing and nature walks to view wildlife. All this is located on Leelanau Peninsula a spit of land that snakes out into Lake Michigan. There are small hamlets that brim with bed and breakfasts, shops, galleries and restaurants. The one official town, Fishtown, is where you will find commercial and charter fishing and ferries to the two outer islands, South and North Manitou, excellent for a day trip of "gently" walking on these fragile ecosystem islands. Three historic Lake Michigan lighthouses are open for touring daily in summer and fall: South Manitou built in 1839 is the oldest lighthouse; Grand Travers Light was built in 1850 and is the only one with an original Fresnel light; and Point Betsie Light, which was built in 1858. Sandy soil is good for growing grapes the proof of this is in the seventeen wineries located here that rim the Lake Michigan shoreline. Pick up a Wine Trail map and visit a few.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Frances Folsom for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year depending on your interests