Glen Arbor, nestled in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is in the southwestern quadrant of Leelanau County, Michigan. The park boasts the world's largest moving sand dune, 77, 000 acres with 64 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and South and North Manitou Islands. There are pristine lakes, rivers, wetlands, forests, and vintage farmlands. In 2011 it was voted the "Most Beautiful Place in America" by Good Morning America television viewers.
Half of the county's population of 22,000 is seasonal with retirees being the largest influx of population. The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians with its 24-hour casino on the oppposite side of the county are the largest employers.
Located on the 45th parallel, a line designating the latitude halfway between the earth's equator and the North Pole, means that we have four spectacular seasons, although it is mainly a summer resort destination. The pristine waters of Glen Lake and the Crystal River are surrounded by rolling hills, one shaped like an alligator, and sandy beaches along Lake Michigan's shoreline. Historically, Glen Lake has been considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
The area has been a mecca for artists and photographers in addition to attracting naturalists, hikers, bikers, backpackers, canoers, kayakers, and more recently stand-up paddleboarders and surfers. Follow M-22 around Leelanau County and you will pass forests, farms, orchards, bays, coves, lighthouses, wineries and historic FishTown along the 105 miles of Lake Michigan frontage. There are many back roads leading to favorite locations to be discovered, a little like secret morel mushroom hunting sites. There are also an increasing number of biking, running, and athletic events scheduled in the area.
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