For a different kind of shopping experience, take a drive to one of the picturesque freshwater port towns that surround Traverse City. These small towns, rich with personality and neighborliness, are the heart and soul of Northern Michigan. Personality and community are at their center. Browsing through their art galleries, craft shops, bookstores, florists, clothing boutiques, and gift stores is a delight.
To the west is the Leelanau Peninsula, with laid-back little villages like Suttons Bay, Lake Leelanau, Empire, Glen Arbor, Leland and Northport -- chock-full of charming shops, dramatic views and cozy little eateries. (Don’t miss Leland’s famousFishtown district, a collection of old fishing shanties and net-drying sheds that are now shops, galleries and stores.) To the east is Antrim County, where the picturesque villages of Elk Rapids, Bellaire, and Alden are wonderful places for a shopping adventure.