This fall has been insane to put it nicely. We finished a huge project we’ve had going on for a year plus, took our first trip out to Arizona, spent a week in Colorado, went on some work trips, and finally just got back celebrating our 1st anniversary to Leland where we got married. I’m finally getting back in to the swing of my normal schedule, so I figured I would start with sharing our quick trip Up North, then work backwards through the fall to catch up!
Because of limited PTO, we decided to go up Saturday early and spend the night at the Leland Lodge where we got married. I always underestimate how long it really takes to get out the door, so we made it up there just at brunch-o-clock to Traverse City. We hit up one of our favorite breakfast places, The Omelette Shoppe for some mouth watering cinnamon raisin toast and omelettes, then hit the wine trail.
We’ve gone up to the TC area before for wine tasting, last time was for an amazing bachelorette party on Old Mission Peninsula, so this time we decided to cruise M-22 up to Northport then down to Leland on the Leelanau Peninsula, hitting wineries along the way.
Our first stop after leaving Traverse City was Shady Lane Cellars, and we were really impressed with their different red wines. From my limited wine-knowledge, a lot of the grapes grown in the Northern Michigan area are used to make riesling and other white wines because of the cold winters, so whenever we find a good red we remember it. We sat and sipped, looking out over the vineyard in the cutest mitten-shaped adirondack chairs.
After Shady Cellars, we made our way down to Ciccone Vineyard & Winery. We sampled some sips in the tasting room then walked along through the vineyard. The interesting thing about this winery is that they pick all the grapes by hand, which takes over a month to cover the whole property. The lady behind the bar said that we can go try some, but they weren’t very good. Well she should’ve known that’s exactly what we were going to do, and they weren’t as bad as I would’ve thought! They also had stunning view on top of the hill looking out over the bay, I could’ve stayed there for hours.
We cruised for a while, enjoying M-22, it’s one of the prettiest roads in the state, and if you get a chance to travel anywhere along there during peak fall colors, you do it. We meandered up to Northport and hit some shops, Enjoy Michigan is so stinking cute, then grabbed food at The Mitten brewing company’s location in downtown.
Our favorite stop on the whole trip however was easily Green Bird Cellars & Organic Farms. We got our wedding photos taken there, and we didn’t have enough time to stick around, so this place was on our list for over a year. It was worth the wait. The property is tucked away, and the fall colors make a perfect backdrop for the grapevines and the orchard. The weather was absolutely perfect, so we took a walk around the property and sat outside on their porch for a while.
We checked in and had some down time at the Leland Lodge. I’m in love with this place, the staff is so incredibly friendly and every time we go there we have a great personable experience. After relaxing for a while and peeking in on a wedding that was starting up we headed to dinner at The Riverside Inn. Absolutely amazing food in a perfectly elegant, up north, old home-feel. Afterwards we took a walk under the stars back up to the Leland Lodge for a quick drink, then off to bed to get ready for another day of exploring.
The next day we had more perfect weather, so we got breakfast downtown then walked and shopped the morning away. Between Blue Boat Coffee and Leelanau Books, I found so many great treasures from our trip. Probably the nerdiest and best was a book all about the history and geology of the Great Lakes, I’m so excited to read it!
We knew some bad weather was rolling in off the lake, so we took a detour from Leland and headed south on M-22 further in to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. I’ve been to the dunes in the summer, but in autumn is when this beautiful lakeshore really steps up it’s game. Unfortunately it started to rain while we were driving there, but I couldn’t miss a chance to get close to my favorite lake again, especially when we were so close. A quick beach trip and we headed home to a nice dinner out by us and some great couch cuddles at home.
Little adventures like this are one of our favorite things about our married life. We are always ready to explore, go a little bit farther out of the way, and do something different. I love living in a state where so many getaways are possible and living with someone who is always volunteering to go with me.