Things To Do in Cedar, MI

Cedar is a great little town in the Leelanau County of Michigan. If you are looking for a place to visit that has original culture and that small town charm this place will give you just that. There are small stores that carry on the culture that built the town from a forest to a great place to raise and family and vacation. If you can, make your trip during their annual festival to enjoy the best the culture has to offer.

Cedar Polka Festival

The Cedar Polka Festival originated from a suggestion. In 1975, a few members of the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV) from Dearborn, Michigan were vacationing in Leelanau County and learned that Cedar was a Polish community. At that point Cedar had not yet organized any public celebration of its Polish heritage. They approached the Chamber of Commerce and suggested a standard heritage festival with Polish music, dancing, and food. The Chamber liked the idea and began organizing their first ever Polish Festival to take place on the evening of Tuesday, August 26, 1975.

The Polka Festival has become a signature event in Leelanau. In 1999, nearly 40,000 people attended from near and far. The Cedar Polka Festival has grown into one of the largest and best events for Polka music and attracts enthusiasts from all over.

Polish Heritage

The first families to settle the area were from Milwaukee and had arrived in 1868. The first generation of farmers had proven the area to be successful, leading a number of more Polish immigrants to move to the area as well. Cedar remains a tight knit community, that celebrates its rich Polish heritage.

Visit the Cedar page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

The Beauty And Majesty Of The The Leelanau Wine Trail

The Leelanau Wine Trail

For lovers of fine wine and natural beauty a trip to Michigan would not be complete without a meander down the The Leelanau Wine Trail. This trail is the result of an agreement between representatives of four wineries – Boskydel Vineyards of Lake Leelanau, Good Harbor Vineyards of Leland, Leelanau Wine Cellars of Omena and L. Mawby Vineyards of Suttons Bay who got together in 1983 and agreed that they would cooperate to provide visitors with a trail connecting all four wineries.

The interested parties continued their cooperation with some falling out of the group and others joining until today what is now called the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association consists of 25 active members.

Today the The Leelanau Wine Trail includes stops where visitors can enjoy fine dining and even overnight in some of the most beautiful hotels that Michigan has to offer. this is an experience that combines luxury with the opportunity to enjoy fine wine and dining – and an appreciation of spectacular natural beauty of the region.

It’s not only wine that brings visitors to the trail

Although wine tasting at the sates is at the foundation of the experience, but also some fantastic events that male any visit to the trail a pleasure for all the senses, including of course the palette.

Events such as the wintertime ‘Taste the Passion’ February event where wine and savory (and sweet) snacks are paired bring visitors from far and wide. Visitors can also enjoy the February’Sips and Soups event where 18 wineries offer delicious soups paired with their signature wines. But it’s not all winter fun, May and spring sees 24 wineries welcome visitors for a tasting paired with delicious small snacks which make the experience one that will be remembered for seasons to come.

For those who want to learn more about the individual wineries which have contributed to the success of the Leelanau Wine Trail it is as simple as visiting where all the upcoming events, as well as ticket prices are also available.

The Leelanau Wine Trail is an absolute must for anyone – from couples to families who want to enjoy a fun experience and also immerse themselves in the history of this fascinating part of Michigan. And it’s not only for those who are experienced wine connoisseurs – it’s also for those who want to learn more and just have some fun with like minded folk. Book your tickets to one of the exciting events listed on their website – or just set your sights on wandering this fabulous trail.

Visit the Lake Leelanau page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Wineries Of Lake Leelanau That Will Not Disappoint

Are you the kind of person who enjoys wine? Do you enjoy heading out to the various vineyards and tasing the complex flavors of each individual bottle?

Then Lake Leelanau is the perfect place for you! Lake Leelanau and the surrounding area on the peninsula,  is home to a variety of different grapes. The area is widely known for its “lake effect” climate, which makes it ideal for growing classic vinifera grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.

If you can be in the area during October, then you’re in luck. You can visit one of the harvest festivals that the wineries put on! Out of the twenty-six different wineries in Leelanau County, here are the top three wineries in Lake Leelanau, that do not disappoint.

1. Boathouse Vineyards (115 St Mary’s Street)

Located on M204 at the bridge in the Village of Lake Leelanau, Michigan (across from Dick’s Pour House), the tasting room also sits on the Narrows, a beautiful waterway connecting North Lake Leelanau and South Lake Leelanau. The tasting room opened in April of 2012. It was designed to take into effect characteristics of the surrounding area with its barn-red board and batten cedar siding along with stones that match up to buildings in the area.

You can access the tasting room by boat or car. Then relax and have a glass of wine on our covered porch or walk down to the dock at the water’s edge (next to the boathouse) and watch the boats pass by.

2. 45 North Vineyard & Winery (8580 E Horn Rd)

45 North Vineyard and Winery’s tasting room, a hand-hewn, post and beam barn, is nestled in the trees right next to their vinyard. It exudes character and offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere that invites you to relax and have fun while sampling our handcrafted wines and ciders. Our friendly, knowledgable staff is here to educate you about our products and make sure you’re getting the complete experience. We want you to feel at home here — cozy up next to the fireplace with a glass, take a bottle outside on the deck, play bocce ball, or stroll down to the Wine on the Line sign on the 45th parallel for a photo-op. We invite you to come in, pull a stool up to the bar, and taste what Leelanau Peninsula wine is all about.

3. Blustone Vineyards (780 N Sylt Rd)

Blustone’s tasting room is located in the middle of the vineyard with panoramic views, floor to ceiling windows, and a modern, clean vibe that creates an experience of Leelanau that is unforgettable. A huge glass door will open up when its warmer outside and glasses of wine will be available to purchase and enjoy on the terrace. Feel free to stop on by – our tasting room staff would love to see you!

Visit the Lake Leelanau page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Activities Northport Has To Offer

The town of Northport, MI is a genuinely picturesque town with many things to do and see, more that you would expect from a town its size. It is located on the Leelanau Peninsula, near its tip. It overlooks the very well known Grand Traverse Bay, which in itself provides countless opportunity for relaxing and recreation. If you are looking for a place to visit to relax and take in beauty, this is definitely an ideal spot for it.

Local Attractions

One of the most popular attractions is the bay. Whether it be winter, summer, or the seasons in between, you will find that there is something to peak the interests of anyone. A very common activity that people come to the area for is fishing. The bay is full of desirable catch and can be enjoyed from the shore or on a boat.

Shops and Boutiques

If you enjoy visiting unique shops and boutiques you will not be disappointed. One that you absolutely must check out is Boutique By Mary Kent. There you will find one of a kind items, accessories and women’s fashion clothing. Another stop that should be on your list is Pennington Collection. In addition to being a gift shop that specializes in unique items, you will find some beautiful knick knacks and rare pieces. There is sure to be something wonderful to bring home to a special friend or family member that was not able to come along. Last, but not least, is North Shore Outfitters, a clothing store that caters to the clothing needs for the area. There you will find the most fashionable items that will keep you comfortable no matter what time of year it might be.

Art is somewhat a staple of the town, and the fact that they have more than a few galleries for viewing certainly attests to that. You can find everything from wall art to intricate sculptures. There is a theme with a lot of the art focusing on the beauty that the scenery provides, but it certainly is not limited to that. If art is something that you enjoy, or you simply like to explore, you should definitely take the time to visit their galleries.

Northport is definitely a small town, but one of the best things about it is its charm. You will find it to be an extremely relaxing environment that still has a great deal to explore despite its size.

Visit the Northport page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Four Top Places To Eat In The Beautiful Village Of Northport MI

The beautiful village of Northport MI lies right on the waterfront at one of the northernmost parts of the lower peninsula. If you are unfamiliar with Michigan, this Leelanau Township village is a great place to start. Explore the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, Leelanau State Park, Christmas Cove Farms and so much more. While you are exploring all the picturesque village has to offer, enjoy superb meals at these top four places to eat in Northport MI.

Top Four Places to Eat in Northport, MI

There are those top spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then there are special places like Barb’s Bakery that just can’t be overlooked. Located on North Mill Street, Barb’s Bakery is known for its cinnamon rolls, cakes and all kinds of other delectable treats. You can also get a great cup of joe there. One reviewer calls it the best bakery in the world.

The Garage Bar and Grill

Located on Waukazoo Street, and it is a restaurant known for its eclectic menu. Pulled pork is a favorite, and you would not believe the size of the sandwich. The Garage Bar and Grill also serves up delicious pizza, nachos, sweet potato chips, black bean burgers and plenty more. And by the way, the barbecue pulled pork isn’t just for sandwiches. The nachos are in fact BBQ pulled pork nachos.

The Tribune

Located on East Nagonaba Street, and it is a brunch restaurant favorite of travelers and locals alike. Would you like a whitefish sandwich? How about biscuits and gravy, or maybe you are in the mood for a delicious salad. The ingredients this establishment uses are all locally sourced, so that salad might just be the best one you ever tasted.

Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern

Located on North Manitou Trail, and it is known for its fried cauliflower, blueberry muffins, burgers and much more. People say that the establishment features a great atmosphere, indicative of the place where it is located. It is also said that the locals absolutely love this restaurant, and they recommend it to visitors quite often.

These four top places to eat in Northport MI will satisfy you for sure. Sit down for an enjoyable meal, and after some R&R, you can head back out to explore the lower peninsula once again. The Village of Northport MI is like a scene from a storybook, and now you have likely visualized some of what to expect when it comes to the restaurants in the area.

Visit the Northport page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Best Places To Eat In Empire MI

Want to grab something to eat in Empire MI?

You are going to have a lot of choices in this part of America, but that doesn’t mean you have to pick one randomly. Instead, you can look at the top three mentioned in this list before heading out for a good time.

1. Empire Village Inn (11601 S Lacore Rd)

This gorgeous location is an excellent place to begin when it comes to places one should aim to visit. It is a beautiful location and one that is going to win you over as soon as you walk in. Their service is exceptional, and it’s the food that is going to be a pleasant surprise. The portions are lovely, the staff is excellent, and the ambiance of this location is fantastic. You are going to adore all of it!

2. Joe’s Friendly Tavern (11015 W Front St)

Just looking to grab a quick drink and take a look at the rest of the area?

This is the place to be.

Joe’s Friendly Tavern is a lovely location that has all the right things to offer including a positive staff that’s ready to assist at a moment’s notice. You are going to adore having them around, which is only going to brighten your day!

The burgers are truly brilliant and a big reason they continue to draw in significant numbers on a regular basis in Empire MI. You are not going to find a better location.

3. Tiffanys Cafe (10213 W Front St)

The final addition has to be a neat and beautiful cafe located on Front St.

This is one of those cafes that is going to draw you in because of its location and how it looks. This is just the perfect option for those who want to grab a quick bite and enjoy the setting at the same time. It is a clean, gorgeous location.

Tiffanys Cafe is heralded for having great options, and you are not going to feel left out as soon as you enter.

This might be the best cafe in all of Empire MI right now!

These are the best places to eat in Empire MI for those who are coming for the first time or want to open their horizons to the options around them. You aren’t going to be disappointed with any of the options on the list.

Visit the Empire page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Go On An Adventure In Empire MI And Enjoy These Top Things To Do

Empire MI

Empire is both a township and a village. The village lies within the larger township and is part of Leelanau County. Just shy of 400 people live in this beautiful part of Michigan. Have you heard of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore? You are talking about some impressive panoramic views. As you make your way to Empire MI, what are some of the top things to do there?

Things To Do

Let’s first look at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Find West Front Street, and you can choose to take the scenic drive or hit the hiking trails. You can also bike there, and reviewers mention that the bike trails are paved. If you choose to hike, be careful because some of the dunes are rather steep. No matter what you decide to do there, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a great Lake Michigan experience.

The next top attraction in Empire is Lake Michigan Beach Park. This beach is located off of Lake Michigan Drive, and the beaches up in that area are gorgeous. You will find fire pits for roasting marshmallows, and there is also playground equipment for the kids if you are traveling as a family. Enjoy a nice stroll on the beach, watch the sunset, go for a swim and do all kinds of fun stuff. Lake Michigan Beach Park is a great place to visit.

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive sounds lovely, and it is actually part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore mentioned earlier. It is seven miles long, and there is a covered bridge and a viewing platform, too. This sounds like a beautiful drive to take with the family while you enjoy the views. Maybe you can pack a picnic to take along with you.

Pyramid Point Trail is another place of interest, and you get a great view of the Manitou Islands and Lake Michigan. It is said to be quite the uphill hike by some, yet one person says it is an easy hike. Perhaps the best thing to do is to check it out and just do what you feel like doing. It will be a fun place to visit.

Visit the Empire page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Places to Eat in Glen Arbor

How To Find The Best Places To Eat In Glen Arbor MI

If you enjoy fishing, kayaking, running, camping and other such activities, Glen Arbor MI can be the ideal place for an active holiday. Besides, there are some good restaurants in the area, so you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the best local specialties. Here are a few of the best places to eat in Glen Arbor and in the neighboring areas.


The crab puffs, the duck and the escargots are only a few of the dishes you should try at the Blu restaurant. The food is excellent, and the views of the lake are truly spectacular. The menu includes gluten-free options, as well. According to many of their clients, this restaurant has an exquisite wine list. The menu changes often, so you can repeat your visit to try out the new things every now and then.

Art’s Tavern

Boasting a wide selection of foods cooked in front of you, this restaurant isn’t going to disappoint you. Their hamburgers, fish and salads are always fresh and tasty. If you’d like to enjoy a delicious burger in a true local bar atmosphere, Art’s Tavern is going to offer you exactly that.

Trattoria Funistrada

The veal saltimbocca at Trattoria Funistrada is probably the best you’re going to get in Glen Arbor MI. In addition, their pizza and pasta options can satisfy even the most demanding clients. If you are a fan of Italian food, this is the place to try out during your holiday. As a matter of fact, this little restaurant is always full, this being a sign of excellent food quality and seamless service.

These were only a few examples of the best places to eat in this beautiful area around Sleeping Bear Bay and the Glen Lakes. Since the area has a huge tourist potential, local restaurants do their best to live up to the expectation of their visitors. When choosing the perfect spot for having lunch or dinner, you should search the web for the venue type you’d like to find. Once you get a list of names, take the time to read some client reviews, as they will allow you to take a glimpse into the food and drink selection and into the quality of the services offered by each of these venues. This is how you can maximize your chances to enjoy the most rewarding culinary experiences while here.

Visit the Glen Arbor page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Things to do in Glen Arbor

The Port Oneida Rural Historic District is a popular attraction in this small township. This District is a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and contains more than 3,400 acres and 150 structures. Most of these structures are considered the ruins of subsistence farms that were built over 100 years ago. There are reenactments and fairs organized in the District throughout the year. That way the visitor is able to experience the way farming took place in the mid-1800s. This is a popular attraction that you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting Glen Arbor.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is another popular attraction in the region. This park extends for more than 35 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan. There are many attractions and outdoor activities in this park. There are hiking trails and cross-country skiing sites in the park. You can also check out the South Manitou Island lighthouse and watch birds while you are there. You find a lot of observation points and picnic areas spread across the park. There are several on-site campgrounds for those of you who love camping outdoors.

Local Attractions

Glen Arbor consists of two covered bridges -Joshua’s Crossing bridge and the Pierce Stocking-covered bridge. The first bridge is just eight miles from the city center of Glen Arbor while the latter is located about 15 miles from Glen Arbor. In fact, the Pierce Stocking bridge is a part of the 7.4 mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. It was built in the 1960s. Joshua’s Crossing is a ninety-foot bridge which was built in 1995.

In conclusion, if you plan to tour Glen Arbor, you shouldn’t miss the top attractions there. The aforementioned article provides information on things that you need to do in Glen Arbor MI.

Visit the Glen Arbor page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge

Places to Eat in Suttons Bay, MI

Make sure that you sample some of Suttons Bay’s diverse and delicious mix of unforgettable eateries and dining experiences if you have an opportunity to visit this beautiful area in Michigan. Suttons Bay has over 14 restaurants that will provide you with an abundant of al fresco dining choices or scrumptious local fare.

Your options are endless including European style cafés, mouth watering breakfasts, Italian, Chinese, Continental, or the catch of the day. There are unique ice cream and pizza parlors, coffee shops, bakeries, and candy stores for those who have a sweet tooth. If you want to have a picnic on the beach then you can pack a lunch by visiting one of the city’s fine delicatessens. When it comes to dining there is no question that Suttons Bay has it all.

For example, the 45th Parallel Café is an artsy location but it also provides great fun for kids. Many local residents consider it their year-round favorite place to eat and it serves breakfasts and lunches that are creative and tasty. Some of the foods that you should try include their giant burritos, morel omelettes, chocolate cherry pecan pancakes, hummus, thick homemade breads, salads, salsa, grilled sandwiches, and soups. The kids will have a hard time making a selection at Candy World which is within the Café. You can also enjoy outside patio seating.

The Riverside Inn is an historic restaurant and inn where you will have the experience to enjoy casual fine dining on the banks of the Leland River. The restaurant features fresh seafood along with many local favorites. It also has a world-renowned wine selection. During the summer months the restaurant is open from 5 to 9 PM and there is a Sunday brunch from 10 to 2 PM.

Another unique restaurant is Martha’s Leelanau Table which offers a European bistro that features all of your main meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This awesome restaurant provides a farm to table selection of food that includes local cuisine and wine.. During the summer the restaurant is open 7 days and during the winter it is open Wednesday to Saturday.

Other delicious places to visit include 9 Bean Rows Restaurant, Boone’s Prime Time Pub, Shady Lane Market, Streetside Grille, VI Grill, Chimoski Bakery, and Premonitions. Yes, local Suttons Bay residents and visitors alike all agree that there is an abundance of choices to consider when choosing a place to eat in Suttons Bay.

Visit the Suttons Bay page

from Blog | Falling Waters Lodge