Sleeping Bear Dunes No trip to Leelanau would be complete without a trip to the dunes. Climb the dunes and learn the legend of the Sleeping Bear. For incomparable views, drive the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. More information from the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau and Leelanau.com.
North Manitou Island and South Manitou Island: Take the ferry from Leland for a day trip to South Manitou or overnight camping on either island. South Manitou has 3 established campgrounds and North Manitou has ‘open’ camping where you find your own site. Bring everything (including food) with you.
Riverside Canoe Trips Canoeists and kayakers can choose between a two hour, gentle “Lower Platte Trip” and a four hour, faster trip on the “Upper Platte.” Be sure to bring your bathing suits. When the trip ends, the river becomes very, very shallow and flows into Lake Michigan. It’s bath-water warm. Children love to grab hold of a flotation device and coast with the gentle current.
Mackinac Island Step back in time on Mackinac Island. Bring your own bicycles or rent them on the island. If you prefer, you can travel on horseback or by buggy. Be sure to see Fort Mackinac and get some fudge. It’s a couple hours’ drive to the ferry from Northport so leave early but you can still do Mackinac as a day trip.
Interlochen Center for the Arts In the summer, there are about 2,500 students at the camp. Another 500 attend the high school. Check the web page for concerts and special events.
Traverse City Beach Bums baseball Take in a ball game at Wuerfel Park with the Traverse City Beach Bums. There’s plenty of space for children to play and pie to eat with your hot dogs.
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Leelanau State Park are just eight miles north of Northport at the very tip of the peninsula. Tour the lighthouse and climb to the top and enjoy the panoramic view. The Lighthouse is located within the park.