Thursday, August 9, 2012

Leelanau Peninsula & Cathead Bay

We’ve been home for over a week already, and I’m just getting around to posting our last day’s adventures . . . oh well!

A family from the boys’ old school had arrived up north on Saturday, and we had hoped to be able to get together with them before we went home on Tuesday.  On Monday morning, they gave us a call, and we decided to take a drive up to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula where they rent a cottage on Cathead Bay.


We drove through Glen Arbor, around Good Harbor Bay, and on up to Leland (aka “Fishtown”).


We’ve never been to Leland before, so we found a place to park the truck and walked around town checking out the little shops.  They had the typical touristy stuff – clothes, toys, ice cream and coffee shops.  We found a nice little local cherry foods shop (can’t remember the name of it!) and picked up a jar of cherry jalapeno salsa to bring to our friends.

From there, we wandered down to the Historic District and the harbor.


Tom talked to a couple of the charter boat captains and got the scoop on the charter fishing trips that they offer.  Typical morning trips yield about 100 lbs. of salmon . . . what the heck am I going to do with all that fish!!??!!  No time left during this trip, but maybe another year . . .


We saw lots of people walking around with big backpacks – serious backpacks! – and were a little confused, until we remembered that the ferry to the Manitou Islands leaves from right here in Leland.


We were all getting a little hungry, so we got hot dogs from the street vendor before getting back in the truck and continuing our trek northward.


We drove around Lake Leelanau, and past cherry orchards and wineries, and eventually came to Northport, the last town on the peninsula.  I was amazed to see that, all the way up here, miles from civilization, there was a high school.  That means people live here year-round . . . crazy!

Passing through town, we continued even further north!  We knew where we needed to turn (the last possible left turn on the peninsula), and yet we managed to drive right past it!  Straight ahead took us into Leelanau State Park, so we figured we’d drive through and take a look at the campsites.  There was just a single loop through the woods and along the beach in this rustic campground . . . definitely not big rig friendly (barely big truck friendly!), but would be a really nice place to camp in a tent or small trailer.

As long as we were there, we stopped to check out the lighthouse.


We didn’t go in the actual lighthouse,


but did check out the exhibits in the Fog Signal Building.


Can you see any ships out there, Bryce?!


There were several of these planters made from rocks throughout the park . . . I thought they were pretty cool!


Leaving the State Park, we made the turn onto Cathead Bay Rd., followed it through the woods, and out onto the sand, as a row of cottages came into view.


It’s really pretty out here, with a beautiful private beach . . .


. . .  total seclusion – no cell phone, no wifi . . . definitely a place to “get away from it all!”

Once we arrived at our friends’ cottage and said hello, the boys made a beeline for the chilly water,


as the adults took a walk along the lonely stretch of beach.  We eventually decided that the water looked too good to pass up, so we joined the kids for a swim . . . we didn’t last too long, though – it was chillier up here!


Hey, there’s that ship you were looking for, Bryce!

Back at the cottage, and in dry clothes, we caught up on what’s been happening in everybody’s lives as we snacked on chips and salsa.  While we sat visiting, the sun began to disappear as dark clouds rolled in over the lake . . . it looked like we were going to get a storm!

We packed up the towels and bathing suits and decided to head into Northport for some dinner.  After some debate, we decided to get pizza at the North End Grill, only to find it closing when we got there!  The backup plan was the Garage Bar, which turned out to be a pretty good choice . . . Tom had a whitefish sandwich and the boys and I all had pulled pork . . . YUM!

The rain started while we ate, and continued for our entire drive back home to the RV Park.  We had a really nice day, though, and the boys were glad to be able to spend some time with their friends!



  1. what a great day you all had!..even if the rain came along for the ride!

  2. We loved Fishtown when we were there last year...thanks for the return trip down memory lane :-).

  3. We will have to check that peninsula out when we loop around that way. LOVE the fresh fish, and our friends kids' just went out yesterday on a charter in Lake Michigan. We have five big slabs of fresh salmon in our freezer right now! YUMMMMMM

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

    1. So I have a question for you, Karen . . . are there petoskey stones on the Wisconsin side of the lake??


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