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 Park...you'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.
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.
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.