Looking to spend a perfect day in the quaint Northern Michigan town of Leland, Michigan? Check out my 5 charming things to do "Up North" in Leland, Michigan!
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Visiting Leland, Michigan?
The Leelanau Peninsula is a gorgeous little corner of Michigan, home to small, resort towns, quaint wineries, and, of course, the ever-inspiring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. And, while you're up there, you'll want to be sure to put Leland on your list. Boasting just a three-digit population, you'll immediately feel relaxed when you arrive in Leland's tiny downtown.
Where is Leland, Michigan?
Leland is wedged on a minuscule bit of land between Lake Michigan and the interior Lake Leelanau.
Leland actually sits on the site of a former Ottawa Native American settlement, whose names translates: "the place where canoes run up into the river to land, because they have no harbor." Today, in addition to being a charming tourist town, Leland is where you'll catch the ferry to either North or South Manitou and the town is served by...*one* (you read that correctly) road, M-22, which connects Leland to Glen Arbor to Leland's west.
Interested in exploring more of Northern Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula? Learn all about Leland's M-22 neighbor, Glen Arbor, Michigan!
Leland, Michigan: Explore Fishtown
You may have noticed, there's a third body of water here in Leland - the Leland River, which flows right through the historic portion of town, directly out into Lake Michigan. The highlight of any trip to Leland is exploring this area - tiny, historic Fishtown, one of very few commercial fishing villages in the state, that's been proudly situated on this special strip of land for over 100 years. Imagine how remote Fishtown must have been at the turn of the last century, when rustic fisherman called it home.
Fishtown is deservedly on the National Register of Historic Places. Though still a small fishing hub, today you'll also see lots of tourist-focused stalls in Fishtown - from food stalls, selling fish, obviously - to, as you'd expect t-shirt boutiques, etc.
It doesn't take terribly long to explore Fishtown, and it can get a bit crowded, but don't get distracted by the rest of Leland's offerings and miss this lovely bit!
Wondering what to pack for your trip Up North? Check out my Northern Michigan packing list!
Leland, Michigan: Eat at The Cove
After you explore Fishtown, stop by The Cove to get the best view of the Leland River, and enjoy the world's best Bloody Mary! Fresh white fish and a cold local beer makes for the perfect respite from a day of, albeit relaxing, tourism.
PRO TIP: Get your spot at The Cove early in the day. This place *fills up!* And, as it's relevant to this crazy era in which we live, they do have two sets of outdoor seating. Ask for a view of the river - I took the cover picture for this post from the rear patio at The Cove!
Can't get into The Cove? Head over to The Bluebird, just on the other side of the main road, offering fresh seafood, hamburgers, and a view of the River!
Leland, Michigan: Explore the Shops
Time to shop! Leland has a surprising number of nice stores, for a town this tiny, in addition to the candy, ice cream, and t-shirts you'd expect in a vacation destination!
A few Leland shopping recommendations, from years of experience:
Love road trips? Here are the 8 Best Midwest Road Trips!
Leland, Michigan: Spend some time at the beach!
Given its location, Leland is, unsurprisingly, home to several nice beaches, close to downtown! If you haven't had a chance to check out Lake Leelanau, definitely take some time to see the incredibly crystal clear water!
Leland, Michigan: Good Harbor Winery
Just a hop, skip, and a jump outside of "metro" Leland is the Good Harbor Winery. With easily drinkable local wines, Good Harbor Winery makes for a perfect pit stop on your way out of Leland, especially if you're heading to Glen Arbor. So grab a beverage, snag an Adirondack chair, and enjoy a glass! It's vacation, after all!
Heads up: you'll have to drive to Good Harbor from downtown Leland. It's not walkable.
Extra Credit: Explore Glen Arbor
While you're up here, be sure to stop by Glen Arbor, which is about a 20-minute drive from Leland on scenic M-22. Home to The Homestead Resort (the nicest hotel in this area, by far) and more than its fair share of shops and restaurants, Glen Arbor is another gorgeous Northern Michigan town that is certainly worth a day trip (or more!)
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a phenomenal time in this charming resort town! You'll adore Leland, and if you're anything like me, you'll be coming back to this cozy corner of the world, year after year!
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