Sleeping Bear Dunes Camping
The beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes is the draw to many who come here, but it’s the activity-rich surrounding area that keeps people coming back year after year. Along with being voted ‘Most Beautiful Place in America’, the area claims top rating as adventure travel , outdoor lifestyle and best family vacation destination. The landscape that took centuries to sculpt will leave you breathless at first glance. Take in its 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, endless rivers and trails all a part of this 70,000 acre playground. We are centrally located to the parks, beaches, rivers and trails as well as the quaint beach towns that offer personalities all their own.
There are 13 marked trails that span over 50 miles in the immediate vicinity of the dunes, with each trail offering a unique experience. Hike the woods, lay on the beach, and enjoy a picnic at Good Harbor Bay Trail. Be ready to pinch yourself if you’re planning a day trip to the Pyramid Point or Empire Bluffs trails—the overlooks are breathtaking. Conquer the Dunes Trail that takes you across almost 2 miles of sand to a refreshingly cool Lake Michigan. See the complete guide to Hiking in Northern Michigan.
Get everyone together at the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, a paved, multi-use trail that caters to walkers, runners, bikes, wheelchairs, rollerblades, and pets. It currently spans from Empire to Port Oneida, connecting many of the local communities and attractions. When completed, it will run from the Manning Road Trailhead to the Good Harbor Trailhead. If it’s a challenge you seek, head to Shauger Hill Road. The steep and wooded terrain provides a challenging climb that eventually descends towards Empire and connects with the Heritage Trail to complete the loop. See the complete guide to Biking in Northern Michigan.
What good would all this water be if we could not enjoy it? The Sleeping Bear Dunes area has a variety public access beaches as well as secluded beach hideaways. Spend the afternoon bathing in the sun and take a stroll through the shaded woods at Good Harbor Beach. Pack a lunch and head to the Glen Lake Picnic Area, located just 0.5 miles from the Dune Climb and a local favorite picnic spot. The warm and shallow waters of North Bar Lake is perfect for skim boarding or simply enjoying a nice summer’s day. Kids love to play in the shallow waters of Esch Rd Beach, so don’t forget the chairs and cooler. See the complete guide to Beaches in Northern Michigan.
During the summer months, many people take advantage of the numerous water activities such as boating, kayaking, tubing, paddle boarding, and skim boarding. They are a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area while staying cool under the sunny blue skies. Boat storage available on-site at Indigo Bluffs. Public boat launches on Little Glen, Big Glen, and Lake Michigan. Private fishing charters available in both the early morning and afternoon. Plenty of boat, kayak, tube, and other watersport rentals in the local area. See the complete guide to Boating & Watersports in Northern Michigan.
Choose from a wide variety of local flavors. Casual, family, and fine dining experiences are all just a short drive. Many dining options offer waterfront and outdoor seating during the warmer seasons. Leelanau County is home to Moomer’s Ice Cream (voted best homemade ice cream in America) as well as a number of award-winning wineries, microbreweries, and distilleries. Get the full experience with a wine or beer tour, which includes transportation between each stop and a knowledgeable local tour guide. See the complete guide to Food, Wine & Beer in Northern Michigan.
It should come as no surprise that the Sleeping Bear Dunes area often serves as the inspiration for local artists. All across Leelanau County you will find art galleries for paintings, pottery, jewelry, and other art forms where you can observe and even take home some of the area’s beautiful artwork. If you are feeling inspired and want to get hands on, take a class. Learn to paint, spin pottery, or make jewelry—all locally. Take in the rich history of Leelanau County and Sleeping Bear Dunes at one of the area’s museums. See the complete guide to Arts & Entertainment in Northern Michigan.
Leelanau County is renowned for its diverse selection of culture and entertainment. Enjoy live musical performances or take in a stage production at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Immerse yourself in the countless festivals and events going on throughout the season—many of them free and open to the public. With so many options to choose from, the only thing you can’t do is say “there’s nothing to do here.”