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Filtering by Tag: empire

My 10 most favorite things to do in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area

Andrew Norton

Good Morning America announced today that Sleeping Bear Dunes won their contest for Most Beautiful Place in America. I'm super excited for the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. It really is one of my favorite spots to visit in Michigan.

I started thinking about what it is about Sleeping Bear Dunes that keeps me coming back and decided that a list was in order. So, without further ado - here are my 10 Favorite things to do in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area:

  1. The 7.4 mile Pierce Stocking Drive. Some of the most beautiful views you will see in Michigan.
  2. The Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum which is located just west of Glen Haven. A really neat museum about the predecessor to the Coast Guard, the U.S. Life-Saving Service.
  3. The picturesque Point Betsie Lighthouse. One of (if not THE) most photographed lighthouses in Michigan. Had a fun time playing a pickup game of wiffle ball there one evening as the sun set into Lake Michigan.
  4. Glen Arbor - beautiful little town that is home to two of my favorite Michigan businesses - Cherry Republic and Leelanau Coffee.
  5. The Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire should be your starting point if you have never visited (shame on you! :) ) the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
  6. The Dune Climb is a great way to wear your kids out. Plus, if you make it to the top you will be rewarded with a great 360 degree panoramic of the surrounding area.
  7. The former logging village of Glen Haven has been restored to how it appeared in the 1920s. Visit the Blacksmith Shop, Glen Haven Cannery Boathouse, and Glen Haven General Store.
  8. Head on over to Riverside Canoe Rentals and canoe the Lower Platte River. It's leisurely pace is great for families and there is plenty of great views and wildlife to see along your trip to Lake Michigan.
  9. Hike nearly 100 miles over 13 different trails in the area.
  10. Visit the Port Oneida Rural Historic District to get a view of farming life without any modern developments. There is an annual fair the first weekend in August.

Shipwrecks in Michigan

Andrew Norton

The Glen Arbor Sun has an intriguing article on shipwrecks in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area that have been shifting with the sands over time. You won't need a boat or to perform any dives to see a couple of these wrecks. One of them is at Empire beach just west of the village of Empire. I myself have walked along the wooden skeleton that lies on the beach where water meets sand. It is pretty neat to think you are seeing a piece of a boat that sailed on Lake Michigan in the 1800s. Steve Harold, Director of the Manistee County Historical Museum, has studied the shipwrecks in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area and notes that this particular wreck has "moved a mile" in the 25 years he has studied shipwrecks in the area.

If you enjoy Michigan's maritime history you should read the full article here.