Get Ready To Take The 2023
"Best Scenic Autumn Drive"
This autumn, make your way along M-22 on the "Best Scenic Autumn Drive" as voted by USA Today and the "Most Beautiful Place in America" as voted by Good Morning America in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Visit the Official Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Visitors Center Pick up your day-use parking/permits and gather all of the hiking and trail maps you'll need for your trip. 9922 W. Front St., Empire
1 Explore Alberta Ten minutes from Frankfort drive thru a chute of trees to see Alberta and Frankfort in the distance, flanked by the burnt oranges and reds against the aqua water of Lake Michigan.
2 Downtown Frankfort Drive around Betsie Lake, turn left down Main into the heart of downtown. Grab lunch, shop, tour the historic Frankfort lighthouse at the waterfront park.
3 Point Betsie Lighthouse Built in 1858, tours available Sat. and Sun. from Memorial Day to Columbus Day in the early afternoons
4 5 6 Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Hiking Trails Miles of sandy beaches, towering bluffs 450 feet above Lake Michigan, lush forests and crystal clear inland lakes on this stretch of your tour. Enjoy the exhilarating breeze, and hike the trails: Old Indian Trail (4), Platte Plains (5) or The Empire Bluff Trail (6). All end up on the dunes. Each trail takes 1-1.5 hours.
7 Explore Empire Quaint shops, small cafes... don't miss the Empire Area Museum and their 6 historic buildings showcasing 1900s life in the area.
8 Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive This 7.4 mile drive loops you through the forest and along the coastline. (National park vehicle pass is required for trail and scenic drive use)
9 The Dune Climb A few miles north, as you leave the scenic drive, snap a few selfies at the Dune Climb. Scenery and clear water of Glen Lake.
10 Glen Haven Visit the Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum, and many beautifully restored century-old buildings. Hike the Lakeshore on the Dunes Trail.
11 Glen Arbor Rent bikes, scooters, tour the bustling village. Make a few wine tasting stops in the heart of this quaint coastal community.
12 Pyramid Point Follow the path through the hardwoods and pop out high atop the bluff with picturesque views of the Manitou Islands and Good Harbor Bay. Great sunsets.
13 Leland and Fishtown Shopping, dining and local attractions, and Historic Fishtown.
Happy Fall, America!
Northern Michigan Golf Courses-The Most Scenic Drives
(From The Tee, Of Course!)
There's nothing quite like the beautiful scenery and fall weather in Michigan. It is the home of some of the Midwest's most stunning roadways, from the mighty Sleeping Bear Dunes to Torch Lake and other inland beauties -- to the countless small villages along M-22.
Northern Michigan's real beauty comes from a spectacular, elevated tee box, overlooking an endless expanse of forest or lake, as well as a wide, appetizing fairway 100 or more feet below. The elevated tee shot is the signature of northern Michigan courses...the reason so many in the state ditch their local weekend spot in the autumn and head north. Here's a sampling of the best drives off the tee northern Michigan has to offer:
• Classic Course at Otsego Club (No. 18, par 4, 310 yards): For our first drive, we pay homage to one of the founders of the northern Michigan elevated tee shot at the Classic course at the Otsego Club. This hole doesn't hide the fact it doubles as a ski resort in the winter.
• Manitou Passage Golf Club (No. 8, par 5, 570 yards): Perhaps the most difficult tee shot of this collection is at Manitou Passage, an Arnold Palmer design, 20 minutes west of Traverse City in Cedar.
• Black Bear Golf Club (No. 17, par 4, 379 yards): Black Bear is one of the north's best bargains, making the 17th the most value-added scenic drive.
• The Tribute at Otsego Club (No. 3, par 4, 430 yards): The first two holes on the Tribute are unassuming with a slightly uphill first and then a flat, dogleg second. What follows on the third is completely unexpected: a 400-yard-plus hole that drops so severely the green is almost within reach. There is a landing zone that corals many shots and flattens out about 50 yards from the green, making a very difficult approach shot steeply downhill.
• The Tradition at Treetops (No. 13, par 4, 290 yards): Treetops' 81 holes of golf certainly get the most nominations on this list, considering the three championship courses at the Treetops North facility have over two dozen elevated tees between them, but probably the most exciting for the average player comes on the 13th at the Tradition course, a short, 280-yard par 4 with plenty of space to run it up and the slope helps direct it towards the green.
• Black Forest Golf Course (No. 18, par 5, 500 yards): No. 18 is special because after 17 intimidating, tree-lined holes and tiny, mind-boggling greens, architect Tom Doak finally gives you a little breathing room with an elevated tee on this par-5 finisher. The landing area is even wider than it appears, as the fairway widens beyond a tree about 200 yards out. A good blast will give you a chance to hit the elevated green in two.
• Arcadia Bluffs (No. 11, par 5, 633 yards): Michigan's most acclaimed public golf course at the moment, just about every shot at Arcadia is stunning. But the par-5 11th that plays out to Lake Michigan is a sight to behold and is becoming one of the state's most photographed holes. If the 11th doesn't tickle your eye's fancy, the 12th will, which runs along the lake from tee to green. Still, keep your head down.
14 Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Leelanau State Park North of M-22 and Northport, relax at the beautiful nature area with one of the oldest lighthouses in the region.
15 Suttons Bay hLovely coastal community with shopping, galleries and unique dinig stops, a must stop after a day of exploring on M-22.
Even after 100 years...
only two traffic lights
exist on 116.7 miles of
M22 IS AN ICONIC HIGHWAY that was formed in 1919 from a collection of shorter roadways that became connected under the authority of the state's department of transportation.
The scenic M22 starts in Manistee and heads north to Frankfort continuing up the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It continues north through Glen Arbor and Leland looping south at Northport and ends in Traverse City. The 116-mile highway is that roadway that connects and unearths a remarkable lifestyle.
The debate among locals is whether or not there are one
or two traffic lights along the M22 highway. We'll leave that
for further discussion!
WE HAVE YOUR PERFECT WEDDING DESTINATION... ADVENTURE SEEKERS' BEST KEPT SECRET
Say the most important vows of your life in northern Michigan's natural sanctuary at Lake Bluff Preserve
Just north of Frankfort is the idyllic setting for the ceremony of your dreams. 70 acres of private dunes and a collection of three homes that can accommodate sixty overnight guests in your 3-night destination wedding celebration.
Speak to our wedding specialist about all the amenities, and services offered at Lake Bluff Preserve.
FOUR SEASONS IS NOT ENOUGH.
M22 Lakeshore Trail
Discover the magical life.
M22 LAKESHORE TRAIL | PO BOX 22 FRANKFORT MI 49635 | Nancy@NancyAlbrecht.com | 231.409.4444
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