Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Just a few hours drive from Little Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan is the recently named Most Beautiful Place in the America: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Located near Empire just outside Traverse City, this pristine spot has 64 miles of Lake Michigan beaches, two islands, and 26 inland lakes in addition to the famed dunes.
Fall is a spectacular time to visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The gorgeous fall colors along Lake Michigan combined with the brilliant blues of the inland lakes and Lake Michigan make this is perfect destination for hiking, beach climbs, a fall drive, and more.
The massive and impressive sand dunes in the park begin 450' above Lake Michigan on a glacial ridge formed long ago. The famous Dune Climb is a test for the most aerobically fit--it is a wonderful adventure to run down the steep dunes and climb back up again.
The Philip Hart Visitors Center in Empire offers an introduction to the park. The seven-mile long Pierce Stocking Drive explores the geology, plant life, and history along with beautiful views of the dunes and Lake Michigan, Glen Lake, and the Manitou Islands. Observation points and picnic areas are located along the drive.
The restored logging community of Glen Haven highlights the history of the area. Tour the Sleeping Bear Point Life-Saving Museum to learn about the men who lived and worked in the area. Visit the General Store and the Glen Haven Blacksmith Shop to watch a blacksmith mold iron bars into household articles, or walk through the Cannery Boat Museum to see a collection of wooden boats used on the Great Lakes.
Northern Michigan residents and visitors are not surprised that the spot received national accolades: this place is special!
For more information, contact the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at:
9922 Front St.
Empire, MI 49630
National Park Service page for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Also see www.VisitMichiganUpNorth.com for more about our Northern Michigan lakeshore!
More Northern Michigan Great Outdoors...
- Discover the Lighthouses of Northern Michigan
- Parks Aplenty in the Petoskey Area
- Petoskey State Park
- Petoskey's Bear River Valley Recreation Area
- Petoskey's Bear River Whitewater Park
- Explore the Dark Sky Park Discovery Trail Near Mackinaw City
- Kid's Fishing Pond in Petoskey
- Searching for Petoskey Stones in Northern Michigan
- Disc Golf Up North in Michigan
- Bike the Little Traverse Wheelway from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix
- The Oden State Fish Hatchery Provides Fish for Lakes & Streams
- Kayaking Up North Is The Best!
- Sailing in Northern Michigan for Adults & Kids
- Hike and Bike the North Country Trail
- Boyne City Outdoor Activities
- Thorne Swift Nature Preserve
- Ride the Breezeway Scenic Highway Between Atwood & Boyne Falls
- Up North Outdoor Activities--Hiking, Biking, Golfing, Boating, Sailing, Skiing--It's All Here!
- Visit Young State Park on Lake Charlevoix Near Boyne City
- Arch Rock - A Natural Wonder on Mackinac Island
Northern Michigan Parks and Beaches...
- Charlevoix's Four Beaches
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
- Parks, Beaches & Outdoor Activities & Fun Up North
- Wilderness State Park on Lake Michigan
- Explore Fisherman's Island State Park
- Little Traverse Conservancy
- North Central Michigan College's Natural Area
- Bear River Valley Recreation Area Whitewater Map
- Visit the Deer Park in Harbor Springs
- International Dark Sky Park
For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in Northern Michigan:
Harbor Springs, Michigan -- Harbor Springs is the place to try new things! Rent a bike or a kayak, go snow tubing, attend a concert or an art fair, or play a round of golf with friends.
Petoskey -- There's so much to do in Petoskey from the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, to Petoskey State Park, to biking, golfing, hiking, and more.
Charlevoix, Michigan -- Visiting Charlevoix in Northern Michigan is a fun-filled vacation with great beaches, boating, skiing, fishing and year 'round family fun.
Things to Do in Boyne City, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like Boyne City in Northern Michigan with camping, boating, skiing, year 'round outdoor activities, and of course, the morel mushroom!
Lots of Activities in Mackinaw City, Michigan -- Explore Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan for history, the International Dark Sky Park, and outdoor activities.
Mackinac Island -- Take a step back in time and find lots of things to do when you visit Mackinac Island by horseback or bike--no cars allowed!
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!