Heading "up North" to Glen Arbor, Michigan? Look no further than these top 10 things to do on your visit to Glen Arbor!
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Considering a trip to Glen Arbor?
I'm happy to say I've visited Glen Arbor at least 15 times. I think that's being conservative with the count. I've been a lot. Glen Arbor was our favorite family vacation spot when I was growing up, both in the prime visiting time, summer and even in winter, when skiing keeps things open, yet quaint.
Between boasting a high-end, multi-acre resort, The Homestead, with a variety of rental options, from homes to hotel-like rooms, to fun shopping and a laid-back atmosphere, Glen Arbor really has all the ingredients for a relaxing family vacation. Let's talk through the 10 things you must do on a visit to Glen Arbor, Michigan.
Check out my summer road trip essentials!
Glen Arbor, Michigan: Rent a boat on Big Glen
Glen Arbor is lucky enough to boast a few bodies of water - it has both Big and Little Glen Lakes *and* it's right on Lake Michigan (there are also some creeks, etc., which we'll discuss later). Big Glen is home to, hands down, the clearest water I've ever seen. So rent a boat, explore Big Glen, and see the Sleeping Bear Dunes from a new angle!
Glen Arbor, Michigan: Dining Options in Glen Arbor
In the evening, Glen Arbor's tiny downtown takes on a party atmosphere, with parents and kids eating dinner (and ice cream) seemingly all over the place. Don't be fooled - especially in the height of summer, these restaurants fill up, so you'll want to get there early, or be prepared for a bit of a wait!
For a fun, family atmosphere, check out Boone Dock's, with outdoor (and indoor) dining, and lots of live music - it's where the party happens in Glen Arbor! Art's Tavern is good for cozy comfort food. If you're looking for "fancier" food options, check out the nearby Western Ave Bar & Grill.
Wondering what to wear in Northern Michigan? Check out my Up North Packing List!
Glen Arbor, Michigan: Canoes on the Crystal River
The Crystal River flows in and around Glen Arbor, ultimately leading out into Lake Michigan. The water isn't deep, but it's a relaxing trip, taking you even farther away from the hustle and bustle (not that there is any in Glen Arbor). Canoe and kayak rental spots abound - Crystal River Outfitters is building a bit of a recreation empire - check it out!
Glen Arbor, Michigan: Shop in Glen Arbor
Who doesn't love popping into a few tiny, independent stores. From clothes, to trinkets, and some of the most amazing bear-themed items I've ever spotted at The Ruth Conklin Gallery, there's more shopping in Glen Arbor than you might expect! And, of course, stop by The Totem Shop for the greatest selection of t-shirts, candy, and gizmos anywhere I've ever been.
All about my 8 best Midwest road trips you'll love!
Glen Arbor, Michigan: The Cherry Republic
Glen Arbor's now-famous Cherry Republic certainly deserves its own section. I can at least pretend to have known them "before they were famous," but these days you can find their products all over the place. Visit the spot where in all began in downtown Glen Arbor - try Cherry salsa, chocolate-covered cherries, cherry ice cream, and yes, even Cherry wine.
"Life, Liberty, Beaches, & Pie" - a pretty good slogan to live by.
Glen Arbor, Michigan: The Homestead
"America's Freshwater Resort," The Homestead (not to be confused with the one in Virginia, which is also lovely), has been providing visitors with a "home away from home," Up North, since its humble beginnings as a boarding school in the early 1920s.
Since then, it's grown into a relatively spacious resort, while maintaining an extremely welcoming and cozy ambiance. With multiple dining options, a little grocery, its own golf course, and a spa, The Homestead really has everything you need "on property." Feel free to reach out about questions on the various rental options - I've stayed in/been into almost all of them. But beware - this place books up fast and rentals don't come cheap. But, of course, The Homestead is worth every penny.
Glen Arbor, Michigan:
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