Each summer, millions of visitors throng to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to prowl its miles of sandy beaches, climb its towering 400-foot dunes and swim in the jewel-bright waters of Lake Michigan. Far fewer travelers think to visit the dunes in winter, but those who make the effort find it uniquely rewarding.
If you’re a Sleeping Bear Dunes veteran, chances are you’ve run up and down the Dune Climb or biked along the Heritage Trail . You’ve probably hiked to the top of the Empire Bluffs or visited the Good Harbor Bay Beach , looking to find that famous beauty and stunning serenity that the National Lakeshore holds for anyone who needs it. However, it may be just a bit harder to find that serenity when you’re surrounded by people sprinting down a giant sand dune, flailing their arms and yelling like maniacs. But hey – we’ve all been there. We know how much fun it is!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed on vacation, and even easier to spend more money than you have. Luckily, Traverse City has plenty of options for families on a budget – and we’ve found the most fun, easy, and beautiful ways for you to enjoy one of the best cities America has to offer.
(All photos courtesy of Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station. No claims are made for their accuracy.) The volunteers at the Traverse City Visitor Center can almost always come up with advice for baffled tourists who need directions. However, one question consistently leaves them speechless. It’s the one about whale-watching tours.