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The new Sleeping Bear Loop on the Leelanau Wine Trail starts at Cherry Republic, a charming catchall shop for pies, candy, gifts and a few sweet cherry wines. Have breakfast or lunch in the café--everything on the menu features (you got it) cherries, including 12 varieties of cherry ice cream--and stick around to check out the rest of the shops and galleries in the picturesque town of Glen Arbor.
Mud runs are so last summer. This year, get dirty at the Harvest Stompede on September 7, a 5K run through vineyard rows where the plump, end-of-season grapes are about to be picked. After the race, go on a harvest wine tour featuring food pairings from local farmers. Photo courtesy lpwines.com.
Little-known fact: The Leelanau Peninsula lies along on the 45th parallel, the same latitude as Italy’s Piedmont region and the Rhone region of France. One winery, Forty-Five North, named itself after this grape-friendly globe placement.
Who knew that the most beautiful place in America is just a five-hour drive from Chicago? The serene Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore earned this distinction in a Good Morning America contest two years ago, and it’s a gorgeous place to kayak, climb the dunes, swim and mountain bike.
Photo courtesy Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau.
In case you get lost in the splendor of Michigan’s wine coast, download the Leelanau Peninsula’s new iPhone app. It can help you track down the nearest glass of Pinot Noir or a place to have brunch on the road.
Photo courtesy lpwines.com.
Stop for a picture at one of the overlooks that offers sweeping Lake Michigan panoramas as you snake along the Pierce Stocking scenic drive.
Photo by Doug Coldwell.
You?ve been on the ?buy local? bandwagon so long, you can?t remember the last time you ate beef that grazed more than 300 miles from the Loop--even your favorite vodka is distilled on the North Shore. ??
So why are you always bringing home wines from New Zealand and Argentina when there are 100 wineries right up US-131 in northern Michigan (where they?re conveniently situated on the 45th parallel, otherwise known as a great place to grow grapes)?
??For your last road trip of summer 2013--or as a crisp early fall getaway--snake 350 miles around Lake Michigan to get to the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail, a concentration of 25 wineries situated in gorgeous rolling hills near Lake Michigan.
??View our slideshow to find out where to stop and what to taste.
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