sleeping bear dunes leelanau county wine tour

There’s never a dull day in Leelanau County. It’s one of the most celebrated places in the Midwest, with stunning vineyards on par with the best of California, wine on par with the best of Europe, and people you won’t find anywhere else. We’re giving Leelanau just a little love this week with a look at one of the premier wine tasting routes, the Sleeping Bear Loop.

At Old Mission Tours, your tour is totally yours. Choose what stops, what wineries and what unforgettable places you want to see. Of course, it never hurts to take a tip from the experts, and our friends at Leelanau Peninsula Wines have a few different options to make the most of your time in the LC.

The Sleeping Bear Loop focuses on seven special spots clustered around Big and Little Glen lakes, and of course, the world-famous Sleeping Bear Dunes. The dunes are a great stop for kids of all ages, with a challenging hike to the top rewarded by one of the most breathtaking views around. All of Leelanau County unravels at your feet, with views of both lakes and, if you know where to look, a few very special wineries dot the landscape. Maybe it’s from here that Leelanau Peninsula Wines put together this loop. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is open year-round, and before the busy spring and summer seasons, it’s a treat to have it all to yourself.

The main events, though, are the incredible wineries that you’ll enjoy. You’ll save 10% on any tasting room fees just by booking with Old Mission Tours, and we’ll take care of the scheduling.

Sleeping Bear Loop will kick off at Rove Estate, located on M-72 as we leave Grand Traverse County and look north into the very heart of Leelanau. The little winery with a big heart sits at one of the highest points in the county, which creates an ideal environment for a wide variety of grapes that thrive on the property.

We’ll drive through the village of Cedar on the way to Longview Winery, a pleasant stop as we head closer to the lakeshore. Cedar is a fun stop by itself, but Longview adds some sophistication to the charm of this quiet community.

The Sleeping Bear Loop will really kick off at that Northern Michigan landmark, Cherry Republic. Located in beautiful Glen Arbor, Cherry Republic offers a massive amount of unique and fun treats, ranging from wine, cherry jams, salsas, knick-knacks and, the most dangerous offering, their Boomchunka cookies!

Just south of Leland, the famous ‘Fishtown’, sits three wineries we just can’t miss. Chateau Fontaine, Good Harbor Vineyards, and Laurentide Winery are perfectly placed between Lake Michigan shoreline, the idyllic villages of Glen Arbor, Leland, and Suttons Bay.

Bel Lago is last but by no means least on our Sleeping Bear Loop. The vineyards overlook the sunny and lazy southern end of Lake Leelanau, and you aren’t far from getting back to Traverse City. Like the waters of that long and celebrated lake, you won’t be in too much of a hurry to get anywhere.

It’s one thing to read about it, and something else entirely to experience. Let us take you on your Leelanau County tasting adventure, whether it’s your first time or fiftieth. Book today!