Find everything you need for a vacation at Lake Leelanau in the beautiful state of Michigan. Bring your beach umbrella, set it up on the sand and enjoy the cool breeze by the lake. Imagine your family enjoying a Lake Leelanau vacation rental on a warm summer day, frolicking in the lake with the dog and grabbing snacks from the cooler. You can book a vacation rental in the winter for some snowmobiling and return in the spring to enjoy the trees budding. While you think about the dates, here’s a list of 11 of the best Lake Leelanau vacation rental locations.

1. Lake Leelanau

blue ocean water

For a vacation that’s over the top, click your heels three times and say that there’s no place like Lake Leelanau. Among the many activities to enjoy, this charming little village on the lake includes boating, fishing, and friendly family restaurants. You can visit the tasting room of Boathouse Vineyards at the bridge on the narrows by boat or by land. Imagine your child and her dog relaxing on your private dock while you kick back with a cold beverage.

2. Leland

houses beside the river
Source: Flickr / Rachel Kramer

Booking your vacation rental inside city limits need not limit your hiatus from the daily grind when you hole-up in Leland. You can experience the beauty of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore via the sunset Manitou Island Transit shoreline cruise aboard the Mishe-Mokwa. During the day, the transit operates a ferry to South Manitou Island where visitors may explore the remains of an old logging village. In Leland, Fishtown is a collection of historic fishing shanties, docks, and boats along the Leland River that once comprised the heart of a commercial fishing village. You can explore this village to experience the connection to the town’s maritime history.

3. Cedar

people canoeing at the lake

Find your Nirvana in the Cedar where privacy rules and the rentals are within walking distance to the water. You can head over to All About Water to rent some standup paddle boards or a kayak. On your own, you can load up the paddle boards, grab the towels, and head on over to Lake Leelanau. If you prefer some assistance, the company also offers guided kayak tours along the shoreline and on Crystal River. In town, you can browse for gifts at the Polish Art Center for local arts and crafts. The center includes authentic Polish foods, gifts  and clothing.

4. Maple City

frisbee net

Experience cozy vacation rentals in the quiet, natural setting of Maple City. Enjoy charming surroundings that transform a simple visit into a genuine retreat experience. Situated downtown, the Maple City Trading Post features eight rooms that are filled with interesting vintage articles and antiques, including toys, furniture, and household items. For some outdoor family fun, Myles Kimmerly Park features picnic tables with grills, a playground with a sandbox, a disc golf course, a driving range, and two tennis courts. When you work up an appetite, Pegtown Station serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

5. Elmwood Charter Township

Source: Flickr / John Voo

Enjoy your adventures by land, sea, and air when you make Elmwood Charter Township your vacation destination. If you want a nice beach to swim, picnic, and enjoy some playground fun, Greilickville Harbor Park includes picnic tables, grills, and restrooms. For your boating needs, Elmwood Township Marina offers free WiFi, a picnic area, ice, boat slips and much more. To let someone else drive the boat, you can book fishing trips with Mega-Bite Fishing Charters for lake trout and salmon. When you’re ready to see it all from a different perspective, Grand Traverse Balloons can take you up, up and away in one of their beautiful hot air balloons.

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6. Glen Arbor

white sand

For a glimpse of magic in every direction, spend your vacation in Glen Arbor. Dales Glen Arbor offers great family fun with an 18-hole miniature golf course beside the scenic Crystal River. Your vacation rental puts you on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which includes miles of sandy beaches and tall bluffs that rise up to 450 feet above Lake Michigan. Outdoor adventures on the beaches and dunes can keep your family occupied for days on end.

7. Empire

hiking trail over-viewing the sea

It’s awesome to vacation in Empire for the amazing scenery, the swimming, fishing, and hiking opportunities. First, check into your vacation rental and settle in, then you’re ready to take in the local attractions, including the Dickinson Gallery and the Empire Area Museum. When you’re ready to lace up your hiking shoes, Empire Bluff Trail leads to a high bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan and South Bear Lake. If winter is your season, the trails along the bluffs and in the parks open up for snowmobiling.

8. Suttons Bay

green roof
Source: Flickr / PunkToad

Feel free to chill out at Suttons Bay, making it your epicenter for mountains of exciting excursions. Cheese aficionados get a kick out of Leelanau Cheese Company where visitors can look through the large viewing windows in the cheese shop to see the cheese-making process in the creamery. Among the interesting places to visit in the area, Tandem Ciders invites guests to view the cider-making process and sample their artisan hard ciders made from Michigan apples. Just look for the big white barn with a red tandem bike on the front. Staying on the bay, you can enjoy boating, sailing, swimming and other water sports.

9. Northport

flag in front of the lighthouse

When you want a pet-friendly vacation rental, choose the Northport area for family adventures. If you love the outdoors, Leelanau State Park offers more than 1,300 acres for family fun, including picnicking and hiking with Fido. The Grand Traverse Light, located in the park at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, marks the Manitou passage where Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay merge. You can take the kids on a treasure hunt through the lighthouse to choose a gift from the treasure chest. On another day, you might enjoy the Jeff Lamont Preserve trail, features a tunnel of trees, moss and wildflowers. Overall, the preserve includes a forested wetland with ferns, tall cattails and wildlife.

10. Traverse City

golf course
Source: traversecitygolf.com

Pack your bags and make tracks to Traverse City for incredible scenery, miles of white beaches, and breathtaking trails. As this is the Cherry Capital of the World, you might as well enjoy a cherry pie or some local cherry wine. If you bring the golf clubs along, you can reserve your tee time at Bahle Farms Golf Course, situated just minutes from downtown Traverse City. Eighteen holes of golf wind through cherry orchards, rolling hills, and beautiful views of Suttons Bay. When the kids need to unwind, the Traverse City State Park features a quarter mile of beach on Grand Traverse Bay.

11. Peshawbestown

wineglass

Breathe a deep sigh of relief when you set that luggage down in your Peshawbestown vacation rental if your vacation goal is to rest and recharge. Take the kids to 45th Parallel Cafe for breakfast or lunch on the patio. It’s the home of the giant fudge-dipped apple, which features more than 40 flavors of fudge. Your family can learn about the Grand Traverse Band history, culture, and language during a visit to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indian’s museum and cultural center. While you’re out and about, you can stop by Silver Leaf Vineyard and Winery to enjoy the 22-acre estate that sits amidst cherry and apple orchards. From the deck of the tasting room, you can enjoy spectacular views overlooking the vineyard.

 
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