The ultimate foodie guide to the Leelanau Peninsula, I’m sharing where to eat and what to do for the best weekend getaway!
This month, I had the opportunity to spend 24 hours in Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. While I enjoy exploring as many areas as I can, there’s something special about discovering hidden gems in your own backyard. Case in point, I loved discovering The Best Things to Do in Grand Rapids. Similarly, I’m always up for a Northern Michigan Getaway. Despite growing up here in West Michigan, it wasn’t until recently that I took my first trip to the Leelanau Peninsula.
Since my first visit to the region in May 2019, I have been back 4 times with friends and family.
Whenever I visit the area, I always stay at the cozy Leland Lodge. Located in the heart of the Leland, the lodge offers beautiful and bright rooms and cottages available year-round.
The lodge was first built in 1909 and known as the Nicholas Hotel. Now, the Leland Lodge continues to offer a rustic atmosphere along with amazing scenery, fantastic food, and friendly faces. It’s definitely the place to stay when visiting Leelanau!
Once you check in, be sure to explored the breathtaking landscape. Then, grab your keys and head over to Hop Lot Brewing Company for burgers, beer, and more.
With a menu full of sandwiches, tacos, appetizers, and local beers, Hop Lot offers a unique experience by providing outdoor dining all year long. When visiting, don’t forget to make a reservation for one of their outdoor igloos where you can enjoy the crisp Michigan weather while sitting and sipping next to a warm fire pit.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, 45-North Vineyard and Winery is the place for you. In addition to tasting flights, 45-North offers a 3-mile trail that can be traveled on foot, bike, or ski for a fun afternoon.
Next on the list is Bel Lago Wines and Ciders. Given that this location is only 18 miles from the center of Traverse City (one of my favorite places in Michigan), I can’t believe I had never visited, but I will definitely be back. Made from the over 100 varieties of grapes grown in the Bel Lago vineyards, the wine was incomparable.
To end the afternoon, the wine crawl finished at the lovely Aurora Cellars where visitors experience a wide variety of white, red, and sparkling wines to sip. With outdoor seating and wide-open fields, visiting Aurora Cellars is such a peaceful way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
After all that walking through vineyards, my stomach was growling, and it was definitely time for dinner. So, I made my way back to my hotel where Bogey’s 19th Hole is located inside. To be honest, I was shocked by how good everything was. Naturally, I had to order my FAVORITE Brussels sprouts. They were crispy, flavorful, and quickly devoured along with a fully loaded burger and fries. You have to try them.
Afterwards, I explored Fishtown taking in the scenes, shopping, and learning about the history of Downtown Leland
Of course, on my way I found a local shop or two. After all, it’s more important than ever to support small businesses! Leleland Gal and Leelanau Books definitely didn’t disappoint. They’re great locations for souvenirs to bring home.
The next day, after a super restful sleep in the Leland Lodge, I fueled up for a final day of exploring at the 45th Parallel Cafe in downtown Suttons Bay, just 20 minutes from the Lodge. The menu had plenty of healthy options, and the food was served quickly and hot. I grab breakfast here every time I’m in the Leelanau Peninsula.
After breakfast I decided to explore the shops throughout Sutton Bay. Suttons Bay has a little something for everyone: you can shop ‘til you drop downtown, go golfing or take a trip to the beach. Since my visit was in November I decided to visit the local shops and stumbled upon my new favorite, Poppy Things, which sells super cute clothes plus handmade items made by locals. (Bonus: the female owner is a Grand Rapids native!)
Afterwards, I stopped into Mundos Roasting & Co. for a pick-me-up in the form of an americano. Let’s be real, strong coffee is an afternoon essential. The baristas were super friendly and more than happy to answer all my questions.
Before heading home, I strongly recommend stopping by 9 Bean Rows Bakery. Your family will thank you for bringing home a selection of pastries (if they make it that far). I highly recommend the salty fennel bread as well!
There you have it, 24 food-filled hours spent in the Leelanau Peninsula. From burgers and beers, to wine, pastries, and shopping, I loved every minute of my trip! Are there any shops or restaurants I missed? Leave me a comment below letting me know, because I will definitely be back soon.
Your suitcase is waiting.
Disclosure: Leland Lodge paid for my travel and hosted me while visiting the Leelanau Peninsula. I was not compensated to write this post and all thoughts are my own.