A Weekend in the Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park


If you live in the midwestern region and are looking for a weekend getaway in the summer or fall, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park/Glen Arbor area is a must. The shores of Lake Michigan (and Lake Superior) are my absolute favorite part about living in Wisconsin. My best friend asked if I wanted to go camping for a weekend in the area and of course, I said yes! 

From my house to Glen Arbor, MI is about a 6-7 hour drive, so we left my house around 4am on a Friday morning. We stopped in Escanaba, MI for a coffee pick me up at Stone Cup Coffee House, the cutest cafe with super cool vintage decor and the most amazing philodendron plant that I actually wanted to steal. 


We decided to go off route again to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise, MI. BEAUTIFUL! Especially during fall's peak colors.


Arriving around 5pm, instead of staying at a boring hotel, we decided to camp at DH Day campground which has access to the bike trails and is a matter of feet from the beach. And, at $16 per night with the BEST views of the star lit sky you'll ever see, it was a no brainer for us. We got so lucky with perfect fall weather, 65-75 and sunny all weekend! Leah and I set up our campsite and went into Glen Arbor, about a mile down the road to grab dinner and drinks at Art's Tavern. The food was excellent, the cider spiced dark and stormy Moscow mule was seriously good and the staff were all so fun! Afterwards, we had a campfire, watched the stars and fell asleep listening to the breeze blowing through the leaves above us and the waves crashing on the beach behind us. 



On Saturday morning, we got up early with the sunrise and did yoga on the beach. Listening to the waves crash against the shore paired with deep yogi breathing really felt magical, so intensely relaxing. The sky turned to gorgeous cotton candy colors as the sun was making is debut.


After yoga, we went into Glen Arbor and got coffee at Leelanau Coffee, pumpkin spiced of course. We routed our hike and the rest of our plans for the day over hot coffee in their courtyard seating outside. We started out with the Sleeping Bear Dunes Scenic Drive which had gorgeous overlooking views of the lake shore, and again, those fall colors were to die for! 


After the drive we made our way to the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb. This was definitely hard work but its soooo worth it! I was amazed at how much sand there is and the walk to water is actually numerous miles. We made it about 2 miles in, found a good lookout point and decided it was ready to slide back down. I emptied buckets on buckets on buckets of sand out of my shoes.

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We worked up an appetite and were ready for lunch! We drove back to Glen Arbor and ate at Good Harbor Grill . We sat outside on the front patio to people watch and again, the food and wine were SO GOOD! Needing to walk off the massive amounts of food we ate, we strolled up and down the storybook streets of Glen Arbor and walked through most of the shops. Theres an abundance of wine tasting, art galleries, clothing, and jewelry. Hammock napping and walking up and down the beach filled the rest of our afternoon and early evening. We went back into town and did wine tasting over a patio campfire at Glen Arbor Wines, the Rose was super tasty!  

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I woke Leah up at 4 am the next morning (she hated me)  to pack up and make the long drive back home. It was a great little getaway and any lakeshore time I can sneak in is a bonus. Glen Arbor is a great area for a solo or family getaway with lots of recreational and relaxing activities, great food and drinks, and tons of scenery.