Discover M-22 in Northwest Michigan's Leelanau County

The Leelanau Peninsula is the "little finger" of Michigan's mitten, and one of the most beautiful sections of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Home to many wineries, gorgeous terrain, Lake Michigan beaches and smaller lakes, Leelanau County is a destination you won't want to miss.

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Visit Leelanau County Communities Along M-22

While taking the M-22 Scenic Drive, Leelanau County begins shortly after Frankfort and the Point Betsie Lighthouse in Benzie County, before reaching the city of Empire.


The first place you will come across will be the small village of Empire, headquarters for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore — named the most beautiful place in the United States by the viewers of Good Morning America. It's a place you must visit to appreciate how history and nature come together to form spectacular sand dunes. Read more about Empire here.

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Glen Arbor

You'll enjoy the quaint shops and variety of restaurants in Glen Arbor, just 15 minutes north of Empire. Home to Glen Lake and in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this township is a must stop along M-22. Read more about Glen Arbor here.


Continue along M-22 up through the Leelanau Peninsula to Leland, a cozy little town about 30 minutes north of Glen Arbor. Visit historic Fishtown, a working waterfront with cute shops right along the docks. Grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or fisheries. Read more about Leland here.


Another 20 minutes north of Leland, and you have reached the peak of M-22. Northport is an historic town known for its fine marina, beautiful parks, friendly downtown shops, scenic beaches and the annual Northport Dog Parade and Wine Festival. Read more about Northport here.

Suttons Bay

Work your way south along the Grand Traverse Bay and in about 20 minutes you'll reach Suttons Bay. This very walkable village offers unique shopping and eating experiences. Several wineries and hiking trails are in the surrounding area. Read more about Suttons Bay here.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Throughout Leelanau County

Another worthy M-22 stop, Peshawbestown is a small community sitting on a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indian reservation. Known for the Leelanau Sands Casino, the community is just four miles north of Suttons Bay. Leelanau County, as a peninsula, has many of its most prominent features on M-22, but there are some significant highlights outside the coastal highway. Leelanau County includes several islands, most notably the Manitou and Fox Islands. Ferries are available in many of the major towns along the west coast, and the islands remain a popular place to visit and explore. Lake Leelanau offers boating, fishing and scenic beauty, running over 20 miles down the middle of the county and stretching from Leland to the community of Cedar. Inland, Maple City offers some great dining options like fine dining at La Becasse Restaurant or Market 22 for the best pizza in the state.

M-22 Northwest Michigan Map

This map shows the entire 116-mile length of M-22, which takes travelers along Lake Michigan and through the beautiful countryside of these Northwest Michigan counties:

Manistee County
Benzie County
Leelanau County
Grand Traverse County

The scenic highway M-22 is designated as a Pure Michigan Byway, and is also part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.

Discover More Things to Do Near Leelanau County...

Things to Do in Leelanau County -- In addition to Fishtown in downtown Leland, be sure to visit some of the other attractions found in Leelanau County.
Things to Do in Benzie County -- In addition to sandy beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the county is home of part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, lighthouses at Point Betsie and Frankfort, and the Betsie Valley Trail for hiking and biking along 22 miles from Elberta to Thompsonville.
Northwest Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- While in Northwest Michigan, visit beaches and lighthouses, antiques, art galleries, casinos and wineries and breweries, and more.
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!
West Michigan Things to Do -- Check this site out for West Michigan activities in the towns of Manistee, Ludington, Pentwater, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and more.

Last Updated: 04-19-2022 07:31 PM ID: 1875