Historic Fishtown down by the marina in Leland is fun to stroll through, as are the boat docks in the harbor. The Cheese Shanty has great sandwiches and stop by Carlsons for smoked fish. The Dam Candy Shop is a favorite and there are a few ice cream options.
From Fishtown you can take a day trip or overnight camping to South Manitou Island.
There are multiple charter fishing options located at the Fishtown docks.
North Beach in Leland is a short walk down Lake Street from the cabin and there is also Vans Beach on the south side of the river. Another nice little beach is located on Lake Leelanau, several blocks east of the main intersection of town, just past the golf course. The water is generally warmer there for swimming. You will also pass by a school with a nice playground for kids.
From the North Beach you can walk out the rocky pier. From Vans Beach the older kids can scramble out the pier and jump from the pier head into the river/harbor. There is a ladder attached to the pier to climb back up.
Besides Leland, Glen Arbor to the south and Suttons Bay to the east have a variety of shopping opportunities. Empire is another town south of Glen Arbor and the town of Lake Leelanau is between Leland and Sutton’s Bay. Most have boutiques, antiques, restaurants and a grocery store.
There are more wine and cider tasting opportunities on the peninsula than you could take advantage of. A couple of distilleries have also made appearances.
Glen Arbor offers kayaking rentals with shuttle service as well as bike rentals.
The Cherry Republic headquarters are also in Glen Arbor, with a wide variety of cherry products and free samples!
South of Glen Arbor is the Dune Climb which is right off M109 across the road from Little Glen Lake. A Sleeping Bear Park pass is $25 for a week or $45 for the year. An $80 annual National Parks pass will also do. South of that is Pierce Stocking Drive which is a beautiful drive which includes a spectacular lookout and 500 ft drop to Lake Michigan which is an exhilarating run down and a challenge to climb back up.
Port Oneida Rd takes you to nice trail up to Pyramid point which offers fantastic views of the islands.
All along M22, many roads headed towards Lake Michigan end at beaches, some busy and some almost deserted. One of favorite activities is following our nose down roads we’ve not explored. Let us know if you discover anything extra scenic or fun.
Northport has nice beaches on the “bay” side of the peninsula and Barb’s Bakery is a favorite. A locals’ secret is that the beach to the north of the marina generally has almost no one there compared to the beach south of the marina.
North of Northport is Leelanau State Park where you can go through a lighthouse, the keepers house and a museum.
There are a few “open to the public” golf course within 20 minutes. Early and late season non-members can golf at the Leland Country Club.
A newly developed biking trail runs for miles all the way from Empire north past Port Oneida.
Regarding Petoskey stone hunting, there is a “best” spot from our perspective. From North Beach, walk north and keep walking. You may find Petoskey Stones all along the beach but once you get to the very high cliffs where you see the collapsed stairs, its gets better. From that point, heading north is where we’ve found the highest concentration of Petoskey stones. Of course it also depends on water conditions and lake height. Recently some landslides have cut off some beach access without navigating through water.