Explore Leelanau and Benzie
Drive north on M-22 to Leland. Visit the shops and galleries on Main Street, explore Fishtown, a well preserved and very scenic fishing village, enjoy a made-to-order sandwich at the Cheese Shanty or luncheon at The Cove overlooking the dam, and go for a swim at Van’s Beach. Come back to The Homestead and get a ready-to-heat or ready-to-eat dinner from Cavanaugh’s.
Get your Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau Map, park pass, picnic lunch and beverages at Cavanaugh’s, do the dune climb, then drive the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive and stop for a picnic with a sweeping view of the “Most Beautiful Place in America.” Cool off with a swim at the Esch Road Beach which is especially good for young children as Otter Creek flows into Lake Michigan at that spot. For more, visit friendsofsleepingbear.org Celebrate the day with a wonderful meal served at Café Manitou on the deck overlooking Lake Michigan and the Crystal River.
Start a bit early, drive to and tour the most popular attraction in Benzie County, the Point Betsie Lighthouse www.pointbetsie.org. Take the tour and your camera – it is very photogenic. Then head north and rent a canoe, kayak or tube at the Riverside Canoes. https://www.canoemichigan.com The river is more challenging than the Crystal River, but you will be going with the current which makes it a bit easier. End the day with an outdoor meal cooked over a wood-fired grill at Whiskers.