I’d never explored Northern Michigan, and kept seeing all these amazing pictures and posts from the area. So I packed up my family for two days and made the 5 hour trek north. It’s safe to say we fell instantly in love.
We arrived late on Friday night so we got up and out early so we could have maximum exploration time. Our first stop was for coffee, of course, and we landed at Blue Boat in Leland. The cappuccinos were perfect and the kids loved their cherry steamers - with sprinkles!
We stopped into a few shops and explored Leland’s Fishtown but it was WINDY AF so we sat down for a second breakfast, so we could get some protein into the boys and strategize our next moves. My second breakfast was a club soda + a damn fine cup of tomato carrot bisque in an unassuming, cash-only diner called Early Bird (can’t link to it, because they don’t have a website) that my husband totally judged by its outward appearance.
I’m amazed by how much Northern Michigan looks like the East Coast, and I kept closing my eyes, listening to the waves crash and could SWEAR I was on Cape. But there was a distinct lack of salt in the air…
The Leland home we stayed in was so charming, and the same was true for its environs. The mass of yellow leaves, both on the many, many trees and the ground, was spectacularly beautiful. I love looking through family homes, see how they personalize a space, how their chattles, collections and all the other stuff of life mixes with the decor, transforming the rooms into a tangible scrapbook of sorts. This is especially true inside well loved vacation homes, where the best version of the family is presented (generally speaking of course, and only because the stresses of daily life aren’t typically in play while on vacation). This particular home had piles of heart shaped rocks, no doubt collected over the many years, as well as beautiful driftwood scattered on the dining table as a centerpiece, and as accents elsewhere.
Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor was really cute and charming, though a little tourist trap-y, but that’s ok, and to be expected. Michigan’s cherry scene is something, apparently. We tasted a few delicious things and left with a sixer of cherry lambic and a cherry pie to eat back at the house.
We explored the various towns like Sutton’s Bay, Glen Arbor, Northport, in addition to Leland, and were thrilled to find accessible beaches and harbors in all of them. We spent a long time on a beach within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, where the boys drew in the sand and enjoyed a rock throwing competish, while I tried to put them all in my pockets. Naturally, Ryan was snapping away with his DSLR.
Michigan is all about promoting their waters as “unsalted” and free of sharks. I’m cool with no sharks, but I love my salt, so I brought my own. #BYOS #GetFoxSea #ABP #AlwaysBePromoting
Cold and windy November was so lovely and delightful, I’m not sure we’d be able to handle the charms of the warm, in-season months!