7 Reasons to Visit Leland

Fish Town is the remnants of a quant old fishing village. Now days the cedar shake shanties house a handful of shops. It’s part of a non-profit preservation society.

Leland Dam
Leland Dam

The Leland Dam was built in 1854. The cascading waters are both scenic. and peaceful. In the spring it attracts families of playful otters and in the fall salmon come to spawn.

Cheese Shop, Leland
Cheese Shop, Leland

The Village Cheese Shanty offers the best sandwiches in Northern Michigan. Gourmet cheeses and meats are paired with homemade pretzel bread. It’s not uncommon for them to sell. So make sure you get there early. My favorite is the North Shore.

South Manitou Island Lighthouse
South Manitou Island Lighthouse

South Manitou Island is just 16 miles offshore. It offers unique shoreline views of the sleeping bear sand dunes national lakeshore. Manitou Islands can be reached by ferry from Leland Transit Company. There is a lighthouse that can be toured on the island and shipwreck just offshore. You can take both day and multiday trips to the island. Camping here was one of the most enjoyable excursions I’ve done in Michigan.

North Manitou Island is more rugged then its Southern counterpart. It’s ideal for backpackers seeking solitude. There is an old village made up of decrepit buildings from the islands logging and farming days.

Leland Beach
Leland Beach

Tucked a couple blocks away from Leland proper is one of the most scenic beaches in Northern Michigan. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of good Harbor, Pyramid Point, and Manitou Islands.

The Candy Store has an old fashioned feel with malt balls and Swedish fish displayed in charming glass jars. If you prefer baked goods to sweets try Sisson’s down the street. Their carrot cake is out of this world.

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