Mountain Blog

Just a short drive from The Most Beautiful Place in America

web designer - Thursday, August 18, 2011

We’ve known it for years but this morning the rest of the nation was let in on our little secret. It’s always been true but now it is official, Crystal Mountain is just 30 minutes from “The Most Beautiful Place in America.” From a list that included Aspen, Colorado, Lanikai Beach, Hawaii and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Sleeping Bear Dunes ranked Number 1 in Good Morning America’s Ten Most Beautiful Places in America.

Sleeping Bear Dunes’ 70,000 acres and 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline holds a distinctive beauty with the changing of each season. Thousands upon thousands visit over the course of the summer but few places are more breathtaking during the fall color season or offer more incredible snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter months.


Whichever season you choose to visit, here are a few of the more popular stops and how to get there: 

Point Betsie (Click for directions) 22 miles
Completed in 1858, this historic lighthouse is just south of the Lakshore and marks the southern entrance of the Manitou Passage.

Pierce Stocking Drive (Click for directions) 29 miles
If Sleeping Bear Dunes is the most beautiful place then this must be the most beautiful 7.5 mile drive in America with views of the Glen Lakes, Dunes and Lake Michigan.

Dune Climb (Click for directions) 32 miles
This is a must-do if you have kids located just 5 miles north of Empire. There is also a handicap-accessible Dunes Interpretive Trail (.9 miles).

Pyramid Point (Click for directions) 40 miles
The 0.6 mile walk from the trailhead to the lookout over Lake Michigan is worth every single step (trail loop is 2.7 miles).

Manitou Islands (Click for directions) 51 miles
Catch the Manitou Island Transit out of Leland and tour the lighthouse of South Manitou Island or explore the wilderness and countless trails of North Manitou.      

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