Ultimate Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Guide: MAPS of Wineries, Lighthouse, Lodging, Restaurants | Suttons Bay, Leland, Northport Wine Trail | Top 22 Things To Do + Traverse City Guide
Ultimate Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Guide: MAPS of Wineries, Lighthouse, Lodging, Restaurants | Suttons Bay, Leland, Northport Wine Trail | Top 22 Things To Do + Traverse City Guide
By Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated September 20, 2023
This Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Guide will begin in Traverse City and take you through Suttons Bay and Northport. Enjoy wine tasting, sightseeing, great restaurants and adventures!
The scenic Michigan Leelanau Peninsula includes areas of Benzie County, Grand Traverse County and Leelanau County Michigan. Just west of the peninsula is North Manitou and South Manitou islands.
Traverse City and Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula has so many fun things to do! We love the Cherry Capital of the World!
We created a TOTAL OF THREE Traverse City travel guides, you can grab the other two Itineraries below.
2 More Guides: Downtown Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula
Be sure to grab our Traverse City and Old Mission Peninsula guides below for full Northern Michigan vacation.
- Downtown Traverse City Guide: Emphasis on Exploring the Heart of Traverse City. We’ll see some iconic sites, check out farms, enjoy tours and embark on a tall ship excursion. Perfect Itinerary if you are arriving in Traverse City from the South. Lots of photo opportunities and fun!
- Old Mission Peninsula Guide: Emphasis on Sightseeing and Wine Tasting Along the Old Mission Peninsula. Lots of photo opportunities and fun!
Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Itinerary Map
*Be sure to click this link to open the Map in Google Maps so you can see where they are as you drive!
We created this Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Things to Do Interactive Map to help you find your specific stops and aid in planning your trip.
Leelanau Peninsula Michigan Wineries MAP (Suttons Bay, Leland, Northport Wineries)
Wine Trail Tips:
- We recommend taking your time along the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail.
- Have a designated driver.
- Another option if everyone in your party wants to go wine tasting is to schedule a tour with the many wine tour companies in the area. They would love to drive you to your favorite spots!
- We suggest no more than 3-4 wineries per day or you won’t be able to fully enjoy the experience.
- Restrooms are available in all of the wineries along the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail.
Check out our interactive wine trail map that lists all of the wineries with addresses if you want more choices.
Dune Bird Winery - 5620 N Manitou Trail, Northport, MI 49670
Green Bird Organic Cellars & Farm - 9825 E Engles Rd, Northport, MI 49670
Leelanau Wine Cellars Ltd - 7161 N West Bay Shore Dr, Northport, MI 49670
The Ridge at Verterra - 8080 N Swede Rd, Northport, MI 49670
Suttons Bay Wineries
Big Little Wines - 4519 Elm Valley Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Black Star Farms Suttons Bay - 10844 E Revold Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Ciccone Vineyard & Winery- 10343 E Hilltop Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
French Valley Vineyard Tasting Room - 3655 S French Rd, Cedar, MI 49621
Hawkins Farm Cellars- 5046 S W Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Nathaniel Rose Wine - 1865 N West Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Shady Lane Cellars - 9580 E Shady Ln, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Silver Leaf Vineyard & Winery - 11087 E Silver Leaf Farm Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Tandem Ciders - 2055 N Setterbo Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Two K Farms Cidery & Winery - 3872 S W Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Willow Vineyard & Winery - 10702 E Hilltop Rd #9419, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Lake Leelanau Wineries
45 North Vineyard & Winery - 8580 E Horn Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Aurora Cellars - 7788 E Horn Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Blustone Vineyards - 780 N Sylt Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Boathouse Vineyards - 115 St Mary's St, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Chateau Fontaine - 2290 S French Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Good Harbor Vineyards - 34 S Manitou Trail, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Laurentide Winery - 56 S French Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Soul Squeeze Cellars - 105 E Philip St, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery - 6530 S Lake Shore Dr, Cedar, MI 49621
Verterra Winery - 103 E River St, Leland, MI 49654
Distances Between Stops on This Michigan Leelanau Peninsula - Traverse City Road Trip
- Traverse City to Suttons Bay (wine trail) is approximately 17 miles (25 minutes)
- Suttons Bay to Leelanau State Park is 20 miles (32 minutes)
- Leelanau State Park to Leland is 20 miles (30 minutes)
- Leland back to Traverse City is 27 miles (38 minutes)
*Reservations and planning ahead is recommended as noted for kayaking and special dinners at Black Star Farms
Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Frequently Asked Questions
- How long is the drive around Leelanau Peninsula? From Traverse City to Leelanau State Park is 35 miles one way and takes roughly 50 minutes without stopping.
- Can you see the northern lights in Leelanau Peninsula? Leelanau's north and west shore offers you the greatest potential of seeing the northern lights.
- What is at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula? The northern tip of Leelanau Peninsula is the lovely Leelanau State Park and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Be sure to plan for an hour to enjoy this area.
- What is Leelanau County known for? Leelanau County is known for their wineries, great biking trails, Grand Traverse Lighthouse and scenic drive.
- How Late are The Tasting Rooms Open? Depending on the time of year and day of the week, most are open until 7:00 p.m. Some have live music so the hours will vary. If you are touring in the evening, be sure to check their websites for their hours of operation!
- When is the best time to visit Michigan Leelanau Peninsula? June and July are very popular times to visit this northern Michigan region. Also, the region is very busy during the popular Michigan Fall Color Tours.
- Most wineries open at 11:00 a.m. so we incorporated a few hours of morning activities to kick off the day!
Michigan Leelanau Peninsula Guide
1. Downtown Traverse City (Shopping, Kayaking, Marina)
Let's start the day by exploring downtown Traverse City!
- Time Allotment: 3-4 hours, depending on your interests!
- Restrooms: In Visitor Center and at the beach food pavilion.
- Food: All along Front Street and the beach pavilion in Clinch Park. (See map below.)
- Park in this lot: 303 E. State Street, Traverse City (see the map below)
The arrows above on the map signify parking, shops and great spots to help get you oriented to the downtown Traverse City area.
Must Sees in Downtown Traverse City:
- Play in the water park near the beach and marina!
- Wander the marina located next to the beach. (See Map Above)
- Stop into the Visitors Center (See Map Above)
- Grab lunch at the beach pavilion if you prefer lounging under a shade tree while watching bobbing boats.
- Wander around downtown on Front Street (See Map Above)...lots of great shops and restaurants! Don’t miss Cherry Republic, one of our must-see stops for everything cherry!
- Utilize our Traverse City interactive map
To get a taste of Traverse City, check out the marina, beach, kayaking and the downtown area where you can grab some lunch. So many Traverse City things to do!
Parking: We love parking in the garage at 303 E. State Street (circled in red in the photo below) but if there is a special event it will cost $10-$15 regardless of how long you will be there. This spot is very close to shopping and the beach. Otherwise street parking is 3 hour max.
If you brought your bikes, there are plenty of bike parking spots near the beach so now’s the time to unhitch them and go for a ride! There is also a great bike rack near the beach pavilion. We recommend bringing a bike lock.
This is the fun immersive fountain right near the beach and marina! It’s Free! Just bring your swimsuits and towels!
This is a very popular spot in the summer for locals and vacationers alike. Benches around the edge offer a dry(ish) spot for parents to watch their children play.
2. Rent Kayaks at the Beach on Grandview Parkway!
Rent kayaks at Paddle TC shown on the map above. Kayak down the Boardman river that parallels East Grandview Parkway for great city and water views!
Kayaking is a great family activity to get you moving. Super fun morning, afternoon or evening event! Call to see if you need reservations.
3. Hit the Beach in Traverse City!
Spend a bit of time at the beach, located on Grandview Parkway. Park in the parking garage located on the map above. Bring a towel and lounge for a bit and go for a swim!
Such great views, shopping, walking and beach-going to be had by all! Plus it’s all free (well, unless you buy some great stuff in the shops!)
Be sure to grab lunch on Front Street (parallels the lake as seen in the map above.)
We recommend The Dish Cafe, 108 S Union St, Traverse City, MI, for healthy food choices including salads, wraps and sandwiches. I love the BUDDHA BOWL with quinoa, almonds, kalamata olive tapenade, hummus, onion, tomato, cucumber, feta, lemon parsley vinaigrette.
Ready to move on? I think it’s wine trail time (It’s 5:00 somewhere, right?!)…. Let’s go!
4. Let's Visit Shady Lane Cellars: Great Wine Tasting!
Address: 9580 E. Shady Lane, Suttons Bay, MI
Be sure to visit Shady Lane Cellars and relax outside at their 32 foot, covered outdoor tasting pavilion complete with large furnished patio and outdoor fireplace.
They love talking about their wine and how it’s made, so be sure to ask questions about their vineyard and process! Shop their store, wander their beautiful grounds and relax.
We had such fun talking with other happy wine tasters at Shady Lane Cellars, engaging with the girls serving the tastings and just enjoying the magic of the day. This is one of our favorite Traverse City things to do!
Just in the past 5 years, Shady Lane Cellars added this stunning outdoor spot for wine tasting and enjoying the beauty of the region. In our opinion, it’s one of the most cheerful spots on the wine trail!
Want to Taste Wine in A Chicken Coop?
In 1999, Shady Lane Cellars renovated their tasting room that was once a 100-year-old fieldstone chicken coop! It’s now an elegant tasting room trimmed in copper, Douglas Fir, Italian tile, and granite.
5. Next Stop: Blustone Vineyards
Address: 780 N Sylt Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI.
Bluestone has a great outdoor patio and tons of high, bright windows in their tasting room.
What’s the meaning behind the name? A product of a local Iron smelting operation in the 1800’s, Leland Blue is the natural calcification of impurities that were discarded from the operation and thrown into Lake Michigan.
This beautiful blue stone can only be found walking the beaches of Leland and is a symbol of Northern Michigan.
6. Two K Farms: Wine Tasting in Suttons Bay
Address: 3872 S W Bay Shore Dr, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Two K Farms Cidery and Winery’s extensive wine and extensive cider list is definitely worth checking out! Plus their fire pit is a joy to sit around while sipping a delicious hard cider!
Over thirty varieties of unique, traditional Cider apple varieties are grown at Two K Farms.
The warm days and cool nights of our region create a microclimate ideal for growing Cider-specific varieties.
Two K Farms was the first Cidery & Winery on the Leelanau Peninsula to commercially grow traditional cider varieties.
Their cider-specific apple varieties include bittersharps and bittersweets. Using these types of apples provide tannins and acidity that culinary apples cannot.
In essence, their ciders are much like white wine.
7. Visit the Sutton's Bay Chamber of Commerce
Location: 209 N St Joseph St, Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Chris and I frequently visit local Chamber of Commerce's to get brochures, maps, coupons, up to date info on events, recommendations and a list of fun things to do. It's always worth our time.
8. Leabo Farm- Sunflowers
Address: 204 (Race Street) near Marek Road, Suttons Bay Michigan
If you happen to be touring the Suttons Bay area during August-early September, be sure to stop by Leabo farm to see their gorgeous sunflowers and snap a few pics!
This is a working farm. They usually have bouquets of sunflowers to purchase so it’s nice to support the local farmers!
They may even have a ladder so you look out over the rolling hills of happy yellow blooms! The parking lot is gravel.
If you love Michigan sunflowers, see where to find them throughout the state!
There are several farms and events celebrating this cheerful flower!
There's even a Flower festival in Frankenmuth each August that you won't want to miss!
9. See the 45th Parallel Sign
Grab a quick pic of the 45th Parallel Sign located on Highway 22, two miles north of downtown Suttons Bay, and south of N. Pebble Beach Drive. There really isn't a spot to pull off, so just have your camera ready as you drive.
10. 45 North Vineyard and Winery is a Blast!
Address: 8580 E. Horn Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI
We had an absolute blast at 45 North Vineyard and Winery. We immediately ordered the hummus tray that came with yummy bread and vegetables and poured ourselves glasses of water to pace the day.
It’s always good to eat and drink water between wine tastings! Just sayin’!
Saddle up to the bar!! How fun is this?!
45 North Vineyard also offers delicious ciders to taste and of course, buy! This one was my favorite so I bought a six pack to enjoy at home!
I have a funny story about my cider experience at 45 North Vineyard, check it out on Instagram!
11. Let's Explore Northport with Views of Grand Traverse Bay!
We absolutely love spending time in Northport Michigan. The marina and beach along Grand Traverse Bay are so pretty and worth the visit! Also take the time to wander the downtown shops.
What is there to see? Boardwalk, coastal town, marina and downtown shopping. Oh, and of course, sparkling Grand Traverse Bay!
Northport is a great hidden gem that we just recently discovered. We absolutely love walking along the boardwalk and looking at all the bobbing boats in the marina.
Restrooms are located between the beach and the marina.
The cherry industry that is prevalent in Northport today had just begun in 1853 on Reverend Smith's farm. Farmers began producing cherries so much within those first few years that cherries were being shipped to nearby cities for their markets. The cherry industry in Northport and Leelanau County remains one of the largest in the world.
Northport is becoming famous for being an area where the rich and famous can live quietly and secretly.
According to the Leelanau Visitors Guide: "Chef Mario Batali lives north of town at Cathead point, and comedian and actor Tim Allen routinely spends summers in Northport. Mark Spitznagel, who manages a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, owns a 150 acre ranch in Northport. He summers in Northport Point, a posh community just outside the village."(Batali's and Spitznagel's Northport home and farm, respectively, both were featured in The New York Times.)
12. See a Spectacular Cherry Orchards Along the Way
Address: Woolsey Lake Road and Snyder Road
WOW! If you want to see bright red cherries growing, be sure to keep an eye out while traveling to and from Leelanau State Park! We were in awe of the beauty of the rows and rows of red cherries!!
Here is a Michigan Harvest Calendar to see when our produce is in season.
NOTE: This is not a farm open to the public for picking, it’s just a beautiful sight to see from your car along the way.
13. Leelanau State Park and Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Address: 15310 N. Lighthouse Point Road, Northpoint, MI
Restrooms: Pit Toilets across from the gift shop
Definitely take the time to visit Leelanau State Park as you can tour the Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse! (but check their website to insure tours are going on). Generally the lighthouse tours are until 5:00 p.m.
The grounds are absolutely breathtaking with wonderful views of Lake Michigan.
Leelanau State Park offers 1,519 acres to explore so be sure to bring comfortable shoes or boots so you can go for a hike!
14. Take A Short Hike at the Leelanau State Park!
Take the time to wander the short trails along the water and enjoy the exquisite views from several of the benches. Oh, and skip some rocks just because it’s fun!
Just for a moment, breathe in the natural beauty of the area. At beautiful places like this, I always realize just how lucky we are to enjoy views like this in Michigan!
Leelanau State Park also offers lots of great photo ops too!
15. Explore M-22
Named one of the Top Five Greatest Driving Tours in America by Rand McNally, M-22 has fantastic restaurants, picturesque scenery, shopping and more.
So, take your time and enjoy the scenic drive! (and grab a t-shirt with the famous logo!)
16. Let's Explore Leland (Fishtown) in Northern Michigan
Time Allotment: 1.5 hours + depending on your interests, shopping, lunch!!
Restrooms: Public restrooms are at the top of the hill just as you arrive at the shanties.
Parking: Free, along the streets and there is a lot near the docks.
There are several shops and restaurants along the main road, but the charm begins along the water.
- For something completely different, pop into Carlson’s, located at 205 River St, Leland, MI, for smoked Michigan whitefish or Lake Trout. Many people say this is the only place to get it!
- The Village Cheese Shanty, located at 199 W River St, Leland, MI, is a favorite of visitors! They offer over 60 different types of cheese with sandwiches and lunch offerings.
- Be sure to pop into the shanties that now house tiny boutiques and shops! Parking is free.
The Cove is a super popular Leland restaurant that is right along the water with cool views of the dam. The thatch roof “umbrellas” visible in the photo above is one of the draws of the fun restaurant. Or try the Riverside Inn for river views while dining!
As you stroll along the docks, check out the nets hanging to dry. It really adds such a cool vibe to the fishing village, don’t you think?
More Leland photos, history and information is here!
6 Things to Do Nearby
1. Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!
No trip to northern Michigan is complete without digging your toes in the sand! When visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, you will see sand dunes galore!
2. Explore Scenic Pierce Stocking Drive
Scenic Pierce Stocking Drive is a MUST SEE AND DO when exploring the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore region. It's a lovely driving during Michigan Fall Color tours too. You can climb the dunes, go hiking in the dunes, take a ton of photos, see grand views of Glen Lake.
3. Visit Nearby Glen Arbor!
Chris and I love shopping and downtown in Glen Arbor Michigan along the famous M-22 drive. Glen Arbor is so scenic and has lots of shops (like the M22 store) to buy local souvenirs. There are also lovely art galleries too. I adore wine tasting and shopping at Cherry Republic too. Last time I was there I found great gifts and well, two bottles of wine for myself.
Sleeping Bear Bay and Glen Lake are great spots to get on or in the water if you love boating. Crystal River Outfitters offers rentals to enjoy all kinds of water sports.
4. Explore Nearby Old Mission Peninsula
If you loved exploring the Michigan Leelanau Peninsula, you will love nearby Old Mission Peninsula! Lots of wineries, the Bill Carls Nature Preserve, Old Mission Point Park and the Mission Point Lighthouse are few must-see attractions.
5. Manitou Islands: North Manitou and South Manitou Island
The Manitou Islands, North Manitou and South Manitou, are just off the coast of the peninsula in Lake Michigan. North Manitou Island is approximately 12 miles west-northwest of Leland, Michigan. It is almost eight miles long and more than four miles wide, with 20 miles of shoreline.
What to do on north manitou island? Visitors can go hiking, swimming and enjoying the natural beauty of the island.
For My Traverse City Lovers!
Pin This Traverse City Things To Do Page
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