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Traverse City, Michigan City Trip - Leland and Suttons Bay

Tall Ship Manitou
Tall Ship Manitou

TRAVERSE CITY DAY 3: Fishtown, Manitou Islands, Aerie Lounge, Moomers


After breakfast at your B&B, drive to Leland, on the Leelanau Peninsula's pinkie finger, about twenty miles or 40 minutes (in high season) from downtown. Park in the harbor and take in Fishtown, whose roots date to 1870 when the first commercial fishing began. Thanks to an active preservation society, this historic fishing village remains intact. From the harbor you can catch a dayboat to explore North or South Manitou islands, or rent a charter for Big Lake fishing.

If you still want breakfast and it's lunchtime, the Early Bird has everything you want or need. For your evening date, the Bluebird Restaurant's sautéed perch or walleye, accompanied by delicious little cinnamon rolls, shouldn't be missed. The bird and its rolls are a Leland institution — operated by the Telgard family since 1927.

Aerie Lounge at the Grand Traverse Resort

Aerie Lounge at the Grand Traverse Resort

Now, head back toward Suttons Bay, about ten miles or a fifteen-minute drive, and do a self-guided winery tour. Most local businesses carry winery maps, and they're fairly well marked along the highway. But you can also hire a limo or tour bus. That way, you get to see the scenery on one or both peninsulas in an afternoon and sip as many wines as you want.

Tonight, depending on where you're staying, you might take in some torch singing and jazz in the Aerie Lounge atop the Grand Traverse Resort, or classical guitar at the Boathouse Restaurant on Old Mission Peninsula.

Just be sure to save room for dessert — maybe some hand-packed Moomers ice cream, winner of this year's Good Morning America Best Ice Cream contest. Yeah — with a cherry on top.

For more information, visit the The Traverse City Visitors Bureau at


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* Tall Ship image courtesy of the The Traverse City Visitors Bureau

(Updated: 08/08/13 CT)

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