TRAVEL

Pure Michigan | Traverse City and Glen Arbor

May 28, 2014
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

We just got back from spending a long Memorial Day weekend in Michigan. Perfect weather, adventure, and delicious food. Traverse City and Glen Arbor are so beautiful.

Traverse City Michigan

Traverse City Michigan

Traverse City Michigan

Traverse City Michigan

We started our first day off with a brunch at the highly recommended restaurant The Towne Plaza.

The Towne Plaza

The Towne Plaza

The food did not disappoint. As you may have guessed from the sign, The Towne Plaza specialized in pork. I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on the menu here.

Traverse City Michigan

Who would have known I have my very own park in Traverse City?  The town may be small, but it’s full of cute shops and wonderful restaurants. Unfortunately we didn’t get photos of everything, but a few other places not to miss while visiting:

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons: cute shops in an interesting setting. The complex used to be a mental institution in the 1930s. Now it’s home to stores, restaurants, and even apartments.

The Cook’s House: This was hand’s down the best meal of the trip. The restaurant is, true to its name, set inside the first floor of a house. With only a few tables, its a very intimate setting. Our service was fantastic and the food, well, lets just say my mouth is watering as I type.

Patisserie Amie – Delicious French food and pastries. Open from breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Frenchies Famous – A quirky, and very small Traverse City institution. A great spot for brunch. And now it morphs into “Frenchies Taqueria” on Fridays.

Blackstar Farms Winery

Blackstar Farms Winery

Blackstar Farms Winery

Blackstar Farms

Day two we spent exploring and drinking our way through the Leelanau Peninsula. ^^Our first stop was Black Star Farms, which had some of the best wine of the day—and a stable full of horses.

Tandem Ciders

We also visited ^^Tandem Ciders, L. Mawby and Gill’s Pier. Each one was delicious, unique and highly recommended. With 25 wineries on the peninsula, one day is not nearly enough.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

For our final two nights, we set up camp at D.H. Day Campgrounds right outside of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. We were concerned without a reservation we might not find a spot, but luckily we pulled up with fingers crossed and there were several spots still available.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

First things first, we had to do the dune climb. Little did we know these would be the first steps of a 6 miles round trip trek barefoot in the sand.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

So, SO much sand! For a small relief from the heat, you could dig your feet down beneath the top layer, and the sand underneath was still very cool to the touch.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Just when it felt like there couldn’t possibly be more to walk, there was. The sun was beating down and the water going quick, but we were determined to push on.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

So happy we did. The view of Lake Michigan was breathtaking. The water was crystal clear (although freezing!) and it was the perfect prize after a long and tiring hike.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Happy campers. I still can’t get over how clear and blue the water is on this side of the lake.

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

 

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park

For a less exhausting view of the shoreline, we visited the lookout point. It can be hard to tell from images, but the steep incline down to the water is almost unbelievable. And people were actually climbing down and then back up. From what we could tell, it was taking people over an hour just to make their way back up.

Glen Arbor

Glen Arbor

Glen Arbor

Glen Arbor

Camping right outside Glen Arbor couldn’t have been more perfect. The little town is packed with fun things to do, delicious restaurants and an absolutely charming atmosphere. We took advantage of the kayaking and spent an afternoon on the river. After 3 hours of rowing, we treated ourselves to a delicious slice of cherry crumble pie with vanilla bean cherry ice cream from Cherry Republic.

Our time in Traverse City and Glen Arbor was the perfect Memorial Day weekend getaway, and now it may just become an annual trip. See you next year, Michigan!

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  • Patricia March 24, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    First off I just want to say ABSOLUTLY BRILLIANT! I have been shooting for years and the beach has alywas been my weakness. I have never been able to ge tthe color that you get in your shots. The sun just seems to be in the wrong spot everytime and I cannot get my subject and the background to both look good all at the same time. Either the background is blown out or my subjects are completely underexposed. I just can’t figure it out. So bravo! Maybe one day I will. But I absolutly love your shots!

    • hannah.s.lea@gmail.com April 27, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you Patricia! The beach is my weakness too :)