Manistee to Traverse City; Lake Michigan Shore Tour + ADD NEW ROUTE
11 in Michigan Michigan115 Miles
By Randy Lee
on February 1, 2005
- Trip Toolbox
starting point for this route is in the town of Manistee,
Michigan. Take 31 North out of Manistee, just about a
mile or so outside of town turn left onto 110 North. This
is Lakeshore road and is very fun. Take this about 10
miles as it travels around portage lake and it will intersect
with 22 (AKA the Orchard Hwy). Follow 22 north from the
town of Onekama. 22 is very scenic and runs past Sleeping
Bear National Lakeshore, into the Leelanau Peninsula.
Stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes and at Leland for sightseeing
opportunities and continue up to Northport. North of Northport
is the Leelanau
State Park and the old Grand Traverse Lighthouse.
From here, go back to Northport continuing on 22 toward
Traverse City (this may be called 22 North, yet is heading
south at this point).
I'm calling Traverse City the end point of this route
but if you like what you've seen so far and want more
I recomend the following bonus trips:
- Out of Traverse
City try 37 (Peninsula drive) for more wineries. 37 takes
you straight up into the narrow finger peninsula that
splits Grand Traverse Bay into two bays.
- Or continue on 72
E to 31 North because if you've gone this far you must
do the Tunnel of Trees run north
of Harbor Springs.
On my ride I include the entire trip from Manistee to
Mackinaw along the lakeshore, this is definitely the best
riding anywhere in Michigan's lower peninsula.
This is a very nice route which is mostly wooded and hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline for most of the trip. On this route there are many scenic outlooks, Sleeping bear dunes, lighthouses (including the Grand Traverse lighthouse which you can tour). There are nice small towns on bays and inland lakes, farms, wineries, ski slopes, and be sure to stop in Leland on the Leelenau Peninsula for a historic fishing village. There is a good chance to see some wildlife especially whitetail deer along the way as well. Left: Grand Traverse Lighthouse sign; Right: View from Grand Traverse Lighthouse
The roads have a lot of nice sweeping turns and some hills due to following the shoreline, and at some places it gets more exciting. They roads have decent to good surfaces and occasional stops in the small towns along the way. Left: Leland - fishing village along the river; Right: Legs Inn Restaurant, Cross Village, MI (Polish Food)
Small towns get a lot of tourists (camping and many cottages) during summer weekends, so there are plenty of convenience stores. Some towns have many art shops and tourist traps that are fun to look through. If you plan to visit a State park or other campground on a weekend, try to phone ahead to reserve a spot. There is also a Casino along 22 between Northport and Traverse city. Along the way you'll see and travel through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pere Marquette State Forest.
- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .
Nickname (optional) : Randy Lee