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Beautiful M-22 Color Tours from Birch Shores Resort - USA Today's number One

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Gorgous Dune Sunsets, beautiful Fall Colors, Lakeshore Cottages wildlife abounds

Our Aspen and Hemlock cottages are 0.4 miles from USA Today's Number One Color Tour on famed M-22. Birch Shores lakeshore cottages are on Little Glen Lake. Each sleep 8 Happy Travelers in 3 bedrooms. Summer Guests enjoy the 4 free kayaks, 5 boat moorings, 2 docks and on site boat trailer storage. Our fall Guests have unlimited access to the wonders of the self-guided M-22 Color Tour... A 5 bike rack for our cycling enthusiasts... And they enjoy the most reasonable lodging on Glen Lake at $250 per night for up to eight Guests

The Top 10 Reasons for a Fall M-22 Roadtrip. A few highlights…

Wine Tours. Leelanau peninsula is home to over 18 wineries, many of them off-the-beaten-path. Visit tiny tasting rooms like Chateau Fontaine in Lake Leelanau, or explore the impressive Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. Each as diverse and interesting as the award-winning wines they produce.

Stand on the 45th Parallel. M-22 wraps around the Leelanau Peninsula on both coasts and has the unique claim of crossing the 45th parallel, not once, but twice! So go ahead, get out of your car and take that photo next to the big green marker.

Dining Destinations. From car-side service to the A&W in Frankfort to the Bluebird’s famous whitefish, dining options along M-22 are mouthwatering. For gourmet waterfront dining visit Blu in Glen Arbor or enjoy a casual meal at Knot Just a Bar in Omena. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

The M-22 highway traces the shore around the Leelanau Peninsula, then back down to Traverse City—116 gorgeous miles in all.

In 2011, Good Morning America viewers voted Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore the most beautiful place in America. But this wedge of Eden jutting into Lake Michigan still harbors a juicy secret: Fall is even better than summer. A single highway, M-22, traces the shore up from Manistee, around the Leelanau Peninsula, then back down to Traverse City—116 gorgeous miles in all. The scenery flits between idyllic towns and breathtaking vistas of 300-foot golden sand dunes crowned with an autumn cap of red, green and gold leaves.

Harvest bounty Northern Michigan’s rich soil and lake-tempered climate make for fantastic local wine and produce. Look for roadside fruit stands with the final harvest of heirloom tomatoes and squash—or the first of pears and apples.


The first place you will come across will be the small village of Empire, headquarters for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, named the most beautiful place in the United States by the viewers of Good Morning America. Fall is an excellent time to visit this National'll still be able to take in its magnificence, but without all the crowds. It's a place you must visit to appreciate how history and nature come together to form spectacular sand dunes. More information about Empire.

Glen Arbor

Both Empire and Glen Arbor (15 minutes north of Empire) give you a glimpse into the past with their numerous museums...and you'll enjoy the quaint shops and variety of restaurants. Read more about Glen Arbor.


Continue along M-22 up through the Leelanau Peninsula to Leland, a cozy little town about 30 minutes north of Glen Arbor. Discover the history that Leland holds. Within Leland, visit historic Fishtown, a working waterfront with cute shops right along the docks. Grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or fisheries. Read our story about Leland.


Another 20 minutes north of Leland, and you have reached the peak of M-22. Northport is an historic town known for its fine marina, beautiful parks, friendly downtown shops, scenic beaches, and the annual Northport Dog Parade and Wine Festival. More information about Northport.

Suttons Bay

Work your way south along the Grand Traverse Bay and in about 20 minutes you'll reach Suttons Bay. And then the last leg of the trip is about 25 minutes south on M-22 and continues until you reach the end in Traverse City. Known as the "Cherry Capital of the World," Traverse City is one of America's Top 10 beach towns. Championship Golf Courses, world-class spas, pristine beaches and exquisite food make this the perfect ending to your M-22 fall color tour. Read our story about Suttons Bay.

Leelanau County Info

• The Annual Dune Dash Happens Each August at Sleeping Bear Dunes

• Discover Glen Arbor and the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Leelanau County

• It's Worth the Drive to Northport, Tip of the Scenic M-22 Tour

• Visit Scenic Empire Along M-22 in Leelanau County

• Discover Historic Leland and Fishtown in Leelanau County

• Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

• Discover Highway M-22 in Leelanau County

• Visit Suttons Bay Along M-22 in Leelanau County

• Ice Caves of Leelanau County - Available in a Book by Ken Scott

• Viewing the Northern Lights in Northwest Michigan

It's well worth a weekend drive in October to travel the M-22 route. The vibrant colors will amaze you...and the towns will welcome you.


More Details

Member since: 2017
Speaks: english
Calendar last updated:
October 9, 2017


After graduating from Battle Creek's Lakeview HS, Scotty entered the US Air Force Academy. Gail and Scotty married after his commissioning in the Air Force. In 1965, Scotty flew his F4 Phantom to Cam Rahn Bay Vietnam to serve a year in combat operations. When his active service was completed, Scotty worked at Hughes Aircraft and then was hired by Western Airlines. Western was merged with Delta Airlines, where he retired from flying in 2003.

GREG NICOLAOU, MANAGER purchased this house in 1988


In 1958, I saw Glen Lake for the first time from Inspiration Point and vowed to someday get back to the most beautiful lake that I had ever seen. My Father, Brothers and Cousin Jeff all had Glen Lake homes by the time I had served my Air Force tour of duty. In 1988, Gail and I were able to purchase Birch Shores, our "Forever Home". Over the years, we have been fortunate to provide meaningful family vacations for many nice people. The Frasers Honeymooned here in 1978 and have returned to the Aspen Cottage every year since then. The Hamiltons trailer their Ebb Tide cruiser from Golden, CO to spend two weeks of July in Hemlock at Birch Shores... for over 30 years.

What makes this house unique

A refreshing NW breeze keeps the Bugs to a minimum! Very few Mosquitos!! Birch Shores on Little Glen Lake is inside the virgin forests of the great Dunes Park. Parents and grandparents, toddlers and teens delight in the abundant natural beauty and healthy outdoor fun. Kids play in in the warm, safe clear sandy shallows, learn to swim, snorkle, go tubing, water skiing... finding minnows, crawdads, clams & other treasures . Bald Eagles soar overhead while you Hike Alligator Hill to view the Sleeping Bear Bay. Great views at Pyramid Point, the Empire Bluffs and Pierce Stocking Drive. Romantic sunsets over the Dunes in the swing with your Honey and a glass of wine... Send the Kids to Glen Arbor for the public Tennis & Basketball Courts & Playgrounds!! Take a Hammock nap in dappled sunlight under an emerald canopy. Honeymooners who spent their first nights here return every year. Guests ski, bike, nature walk, fish, swim and climb the massive Sleeping Bear Dune.


Empire House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Outdoor Grill


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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee $75
Tax Rate 6.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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