Good Morning America's 'Most Beautiful Place in America' Contest...
And... The Winner is 'SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE' See the Telecast at:
LAKESHORE HEMLOCK & ASPEN COTTAGES are tucked in amid mature oaks & lofty white birches. Our crystal clear sand-bottom spring-fed Lake teems with a variety of wildlife and fish. Take Guided Nature Walks in the Park, see dappled twin fawns, swans, ducks & geese from our compound and docks... fish, swim and climb the Dunes. The Cottages are furnished with Picnic tables, BBQ's, a large GE Profile Ice-Maker fridge (Aspen), a new large stainless Ice-Maker fridge (Hemlock), complete kitchens, fireplaces and a lazy hammock. Two fire pits for s'mores, marshmallows, campfire songs and stories. LINENS ARE NOT FURNISHED.
FIVE DEEP AND SHALLOW WATER BOAT MOORINGS are for our Guests who bring their own boats. Also available for Guests are a 14 foot fishing rowboat, a new canoe and 3 Kayaks for guests... ALL FREE! We occasionally will take our Guests on a “Sunset Cruise” to that secret spot at the Glen Lake “Bermuda Triangle” where you can see the SUN RISE IN THE WEST and have multiple Sunset events!
Bring your own FLOTATION VESTS for WATER SAFETY.
BIRCH SHORES has two docks with sun decks and swim ladders, safe shallow water for tots to wade in... Beautiful Sunset and Lake views from the rustic swing, our new Glider bench and the storage Dock bench.
ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR YOUNGSTERS WHILE IN AND AROUND THE WATER.
NORTH STAR - Comfortable accommodations for eight Guests. Private master bedroom & bath. The Guest Wing has three bedrooms with a computer center and a separate bath. A beautiful custom hickory kitchen, sparkling emerald-pearl granite counter, island bar and stainless bar fridge... Your Family and Friends will gather around the fireplace & bar areas for games and lively conversation.
Amenities include a Gold Whirlpool dishwasher, washer & dryer, a gourmet GE Profile convection-gas range, central Air Conditioning & gas heat, 2 spacious new decks... The Family Great Room has a fireplace, VCR, a DVD video movie library, games and a 42” High Definition TV.
A new upper and lower 700 sq. ft. Brazilian hardwood deck, complete with a deluxe Weber stainless gas grill, outdoor kitchen, a 16 foot-long sparkling emerald-pearl granite counter, island bar and stainless bar fridge. Four large built-in comfortable benches and three picnic tables have seating for 22 or more Guests ready for 'al fresco' dining in the great outdoors... Fab Fun for Family Reunions. The lower deck features a circular granite cocktail table with a fire-glass fire pit - Perfect for an evening get together... Indirect soft LED lights under the benches and Dusk to Dawn step illumination. Just Chillin' out, star-gazing, listening to the night sounds of the forest and the splash of the waves on the beach... and a nice glass of Chardonnay.
In NORTH STAR, families and friends gather around the granite island bar, in the great room, around the fireplace, and out on the new decks.
NORTH STAR only: High speed Wi-Fi wireless Internet until October 31. Repeaters to the Cottages, reception spotty and not guaranteed there. We will try new wi-fi extenders next spring to improve Internet reception.
NORTH STAR is usually available October 1 to April 15, sometimes from June 1 to 15. Call Elaine for RATES and AVAILABILITY.
BIRD WATCHERS DELIGHT!! The 'Early Birds' in the Spring... Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tangiers, Goldfinches, Blue Jays, Cardinals, tiny Hummingbirds and giant Pileated woodpeckers all abound in early & mid-May. Several Bald Eagles make their nests high in the trees.
'THE M-22 CHALLENGE' is A MINI - TRIATHLON in early June (5K run, 17 mile bike ride and 2 mile Kayak). The M-22 Challenge starts just 2 miles from Birch Shores at the Dunes. Five young Ladies from Ann Arbor were our Guests in Aspen, as well as a nice Family in Hemlock for this event. One Gal finished SECOND in the Women's Division. The girls said that they liked our Kayaks much more than the ones furnished for the race. Of course, they will be allowed to use our Kayaks next year if they wish. They are all coming back for more next June.
AUTUMN COLORS AND SCENIC ROUTES: BIKERS - enjoy the same Autumn colors and scenic routes taken by the 'Le Tour de Leelanau' where amateur & professional bicyclists go right by Birch Shores!! Discounts are available for Cycle Club members renting one or two cottages in the Spring and Fall (March 1 - June 12 and September 2 - November 21).
INTERLOCKEN CONCERTS ON ALL SUMMER - The Dunes Blue Grass Festival in nearby Empire (6 miles) - great fun & good music, lots of handicrafts & ethnic foods. Take a sunset cruise in a Tall Ship. Hike Alligator Hill to benches with a beautiful view of Sleeping Bear Bay. Watch the Bald Eagles soaring on high. Enjoy scenic drives and the views from Pyramid Point, the Empire Bluffs and Pierce Stocking Drive. Great Dunes sunsets from the swing with your Honey and a glass of Leelanau wine - TOUR some of the 18 wineries that dot the area.
HONEYMOON: Many Honeymooners have spend their first nights here. Repeat Guests have returned to the same cottages for more than 35 years. Have a relaxing Hammock nap in dappled sunlight under an emerald canopy of leaves. Summer beach novels on the docks while tots find treasures in the clear sandy shallows. View Blue jays, bald eagles, geese, loons, woodpeckers, swans, goldfinches, hummingbirds and more.
TWO DARLING FAWNS were born in the forest within 100 yards of Birch Shores on May 14th this past spring of 2013... See the pictures on the first page. Deer, raccoons, porcupines, swans, ducks and turkeys are found in the woods and waters of the Park and often in our yard. Guests ski, bike, nature walk, fish, swim and climb the massive Dune to view Lake Michigan. Take the Leland Ferry and visit the Chippewa's mysterious Manitou Islands, part of the Park.
GLEN LAKE is known as 'The Jewel of the Leelanau...' This is an apt description of the Lake with the Sapphire Blues, Sandy Shallows, Emerald Greens and Deep Water Cobalt seen from Inspiration Point high above the Lake. Once a part of Lake Michigan over 12,000 years ago, the last mile-thick glacier melted here and deposited the 500 ft sands of the mighty Dune, cutting off the waters from the Great Lake Gitchigumi and formed the Glen Lakes.
Elaine is our long-term Manager. She was born and raised in Leelanau County. Her Husband, Dennis, runs the excellent Taghon Auto Repair Service across from Empire Airport. She is a Special Ed Teacher, mother of 3 great kids, a 4-H sponsor, conscientious and hard-working. If she doesn't know the answer to your question, she will find it & get right back to you. We are fortunate to have her for the routine of taking care of Birch Shores, especially when Gail & I are not in residence.
Scotty was a student at Lakeview High in Battle Creek when his family discovered Glen Lake. He is a USAF Academy graduate. He served in the Air Force as a fighter pilot flying F4D Phantoms in the USA, Europe & Vietnam... He then flew F-101 VooDoo's with the Kentucky Air National Guard for several years. He is retired from Delta Airlines. Scotty trains and competes in Hunt Tests and Field Trials with our 3 Field Champion Labradors. He loves all 3 of them ~ Senior dog Lark (Black), Middle dog Phanny (Yellow) & 3-year old VooDoo (Chocolate ~ Lark's 80 lb puppy). Over the past 30 years, our Labs have qualified for & competed in 17 National Field Trials. Scotty and Gail's kennel, GLEN LAKE LABRADORS
( www.Glen-Lake-Labradors.com/2011_litter ) has been honored as an American Kennel Club BREEDER of MERIT.
Gail is a Colorado University graduate. Her gift for languages (French, Spanish & German) served us well during our Air Force European Tour of Duty. She has raised 2 great girls, Champion Orchids, and many wonderful Labrador Puppies. Gail has worked as an Archeological Survey Tech and as a Field Supervisor for a Soils Engineering firm. She has been on field trips to most of the Native American Archeological Sites in the Western and Southwestern USA. She loves our dogs, Mahjong, RummiCube and Crossword Puzzles. The Seward's celebrated their 50th Anniversary with family and friends at the Blue Bird in June. I am such a lucky guy to have Gail as my Soul Mate for Life!
We were looking for a summer lake vacation 'PLACE' in 1960, when our first view of Glen Lake was from Inspiration Point... The stunning emerald, cobalt, sky blue water colors just were spectacular - 'Why look for anywhere else - this is meant to be 'OUR PLACE!!'
A 'BEAUTIFUL PLACE' ~ BIRCH SHORES is located within 'The most beautiful PLACE in America'. Great waterfront, awesome sunset and lake views, a safe shallow crystal-clear sand bottom lake, the prevailing North West on shore breezes keep the mosquito and bugs to a minimum.
A 'FRIENDLY PLACE' ~ Leelanau County is populated by friendly, hard-working and well-informed citizens.
A 'TRUSTING PLACE' ~ The County is dotted with numerous self-serve fruit and vegetable stands, where an unguarded coffee can is where the honest folk put their money for purchases...
A 'PATRIOTIC PLACE' ~ THE FLAG flies everywhere in Leelanau County, and not just on the Fourth of July. The VFW, LIONS, ELKS and other patriotic Service Clubs are well represented here.
A 'PROTECTED PLACE' ~ Much of the County acreage is agricultural land and is protected in Conservation Preserve Easements. Over 70,000 PARK acres are protected for all America and our future generations within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
A 'DESTINATION PLACE' ~ Leelanau Peninsula is the Destination... It is not 'On the Way' to anyplace else. Those that come here do so because they want to be here. Because it is Beautiful, Vibrant, full of Life, full of Nature's Living Things, Spectacular Vistas, Glowing Sunsets, and Closer to the Stars at night than any other place on Earth. With luck and some solar flare activity, shimmering Northern Lights can be observed at the Glen Haven Cannery parking area by Lake Michigan - no city lights to dim the display.
A 'COLORFUL PLACE' ~ Spring wildflowers - Trilliums, native Orchids, Cherry Blossoms ~ Indigo Buntings, Scarlet Tangiers, Goldfinches, Blue Jays, Cardinals ~ Fall colors galore!
Over the years, our travels have taken Gail and I to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Tahiti, Bali, Java, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Hong Kong, Japan, the Florida Keys, California & Baja beaches, most of the countries in Europe and much of the good old USA.
There is nowhere else on earth that we would rather be than Glen Lake, especially when our family, friends and guests come to visit us every summer...
Now that 'The Cat is out of the Bag' with the contest by TV's GOOD MORNING AMERICA... We have always known that our Leelanau Peninsula was 'The most beautiful Place in America!!'