MICHIGAN MONDAYS | SLEEPING BEAR DUNES

Sleeping Bear Dunes  | Michigan
My bestie and her fiance came for a little visit so we took them to one of the prettiest places we know: Sleeping Bear Dunes. Sleeping Bear is one of those places that doesn’t seem like it should exist in these fine United States (and in Michigan, no less)–what with its stretches of pristine white sand beaches and freakishly blue water–but it totally does.

A trip to Sleeping Bear would not be complete without a pitstop (get it?) at The Cherry Hut, home of our favorite Michgian mascot, Jerry Cherry. The Cherry Hut is known for cherry everything so we indulged in its famous cherry-ade, cherry burgers, cherry salsa and (naturally) cherry pie.
The Cherry Hut | Michigan
We stayed in a lovely AirBNB in Frankfort, a few blocks from both Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake. Mostly, we wanted to stay here because it is close to the most charming lighthouse, Point Bestie. Evidently, it’s one of the most photographed lighthouses in America–for good reason.
Point Betsie Lighthouse | Michigan
And mostly we wanted to visit so we could take our signature back-to-back-BFFs photo, a la Blossom and Six (though, sadly, minus the sweet hats), in front of a lighthouse. Because every BFFreindship needs a lighthouse photo. Herein, we imagined we were Anne and Diana chillaxing on Prince Edward Island.
Of course, no trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes is possible without taking a loop around Pierce Stocking’s famed Scenic Drive. I like Mr. Stocking because he built a covered bridge for the sole purpose of having a “picturesque” point for tourists to snap a photo. Because he is a thinking man.
Side bar: the original covered bridge had to be torn down because porcupines munched through the sides!
Sleeping Bear Dunes Forest | Michigan
We got there right when the very tippy tops of the trees were starting to change, though you would probably never guess that it was a chilly fall day with all this greenery, save for Trish and Rich’s J.Crew outerwear. And, really, how adorable are they? These two are my favorites.
The scenic drive takes you through forest, wetland, and finally dunes. Here we are standing on the precipice of a dune that stands 450 feet tall. Right where the sand hits the water is a drop that crazy people (ahem, Warren and Rich) run down with abandon and the climb up on all fours, panting.
They say it’s worth it. However, Trish and I just sat on the top watching them struggle while we gabbed up a storm.
Sleeping Bear Dunes | Michigan
I love all the quaint Michigan farmland in these parts because it reminds me of all the Iowa farmland I once loved so dearly. And, yes, I made Warren pull a U-turn just to snap a photo of this barn. In fact, I do this so often that he’s learned to preemptively make U-turns when we see something that looks even vaguely interesting on the side of the road, which is exactly how we found Dabl’s Bead Museum in Detroit a few years ago.
Michigan Farmland
Another Avonlea moment, swaying sea grass and all.
Sleeping Bear Dunes | Michigan
We honestly could have stayed here forever.
Sleeping Bear Dunes | Michigan
One of the easiest and loveliest walks is out to Empire Bluffs. We went right at sunset so we got out to the lake view right after it went down. Still, it was a pretty good show. We also took a series of faux engagement photos.
In Warren’s dream world, we would have both been wearing Pirates (or Steelers) gear for our engagement photos. But, alas, we danced across a frozen Iowa lake. How have we already been married for over four years?
Empire Bluffs Sunset
We also tried to take some legit engagement photos of Trish and Rich. Next time you’re in West Michigan, keep an eye out for a mythical beadered ginger who just might–as legend tells (and if you’re really lucky)–photo bomb your engagement photos! We’re really hoping this shot is the one that makes the final cut.
But really, Sleeping Bear Dunes is the dreamiest. I’m so glad I live in a state that varies so much–from urban Detroit, to the vast vistas of Lake Michigan, and to (quite literally) Hell (though it’s a very charming Hell). We are lucky ducks, indeed.
Lake Michigan | Sleeping Bear Dunes
It’s been many moons since I last did Michigan Monday post–mostly because we were busy exploring other parts of the world this summer–so I’m glad that we have a few more excuses this fall to reignite one of my favorite blog series. Here are a few of our favorites:

Hell, Michigan

Urban Exploring in Detroit’s Fisher Body Plant

Fischer Body Plant | Detroit

Detroit’s Guardian Building

The Guardian Building | Detroit

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