In March, we start to turn the corner from the cold of winter to the warming rejuvenation of spring. As the thaw sets in, an increasing number of local events invites you to leave the cozy confines of home to experience what is happening around Sleeping Bear Dunes and the surrounding area, including Traverse City and Glen Arbor. Join us as we show you some of the cool places to visit and best things to do in March. 

Food & Wine

The Supper Club at The Mill in Glen Arbor is a monthly tradition that inspires a gathering of folks for the sake of companionship and excellent dining, featuring local provisions cooked to perfection. The March 9th edition includes cocktail hour, light bites, a main meal of duck, and a desert. Bring friends, and be prepared to make new ones. Tickets are $75.00. This event usually sells out so sign up soon to reserve your spot.

Celebrate the region’s wines at Vino-Madness, a two-day event (March 16-17) showcasing imaginative pairings of wine and snacks along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. About a dozen wineries are featured at this fun event, and tickets are a bargain at only $25.00.
Located just 15 minutes from Traverse City, Black Star Farms opens its beautiful grounds for Easter Brunch on Sunday, March 31 . An array of delectable dishes including salmon, roast beef, salads, and much more will be prepared by our expert culinary staff for a strolling brunch. There will be an Easter egg hunt for the little ones afterwards. Tickets are $45.00. 

Over 40 local restaurants will participate during Traverse City Restaurant Week from February 25th to March 2nd where local eateries prepare set menus at fixed prices ranging from $25.00 to $45.00. Sample the array of Traverse City cuisine including local farm-to-table, fusion dishes, and more at this festive, filling event. And be sure to sign up ahead of time for a passport to participate in prizes selected by random drawing. 

Outdoor Recreation

The Lake Michigan Stroll is an informational outing with a ranger guiding the way where you can enjoy the epic sweep of scenery from the shores of Lake Michigan. The trek covers about a mile in an hour and a half along the Otter Creek Trail starting from the trailhead location at Esch and Aral Roads. Hike begins at 10:00 AM. The event is free with a park pass. Pets are not permitted. The Tree Identification Hike is another outdoor event which showcases our diverse arboreal beauty of over one hundred tree species. Identifying trees without leaves is not easy, but our expert rangers will be there to guide the way along the approximately one mile trek. A park pass is required at this free event. 

Lace up your running shoes for 14th Annual edition of the Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K foot race to be held on March 16. This event is for a good cause: The proceeds will be donated to Munson Medical Center’s new Family Birth & Children’s Center, Celebrate with a free beer (21 and over) during the after-party at Brady’s Bar. Recipients who register by March 7 will receive a free t-shirt, and medals will be awarded for 1st to 3rd place finishes by age group.


Enjoy live music from Brian Poirer in the inviting confines of Whiskers, a Homestead mainstay. Have a drink around the fireplace and enjoy excellent open-grilled food while Brian plays your favorite tunes. There’s a play station for the kids and open-air seating, weather permitting. Fridays means live music at Cherry Public House in Glen Arbor. Enjoy a beer from the wonderful home-brew selection at Cherry Republic Brewing Company along with the excellent burgers, pizzas, and more after a day’s hike on the dunes.

Celebrate the carnival season on powder at Mardi Gras on the Mountain. This all-day event, held on March 2nd at Crystal Mountain, will feature live music from early afternoon until 11PM. Buy and decorate your own mask ($10 per mask), and participate in a scavenger hunt to look for Fleur de Lis scattered about while the Crystal Mountain Court Jester leads the way.

Popular Toronto musical act, Enter the Haggis, has over two decades of audience-pleasing Celtic fusion combining bagpipes and fiddles to a rocking beat. They will perform on March 2nd at Milliken Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.  Come celebrate the stories of everyday people to a joyful tune by this widely praised band. Tickets are $25.00 - $30.00.


Great Lakes Children’s Museum has a full slate of educational, interactive, fun March events including story time, labs, and science exploration for the kids to enjoy, including a field trip on Tuesday, March 19. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park has events scheduled on most Saturdays. Maple Sugaring Days, held on March 2nd—where you can learn about the fascinating history of this local staple—is just one of the attractions. Check the park website for more details. 

The Traverse City Boat Show celebrates its 16th year exhibiting the latest selection of watercraft on the weekend of March 15-17 at the Grand Traverse City Civic Center. 

As you can see, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is one of the best places to visit in March with a wide-ranging selection of places to visit and events to enjoy. Make your plans to visit now before the rush of summer hits the upper peninsula.