Philip A. Hart Visitor Center
isitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes, especially first time visitors, are well-advised to make their first stop the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center. As shown on the Area Map, the visitor center is located about 22 miles to the west of Traverse City on the edge of the Village of Empire. It operates from 8:00am to 6:00pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day and 8:15am to 4:00pm the rest of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Days. The phone number is 231.326.5134 Ext. 328.
The visitor center has a large relief map of Sleeping Bear Dunes, interesting interpretive displays and an enjoyable movie along with brochures and maps. Collectively, they provide a wealth of information on the natural and human history of the area. Rangers and volunteers are available to answer your questions.
While most of the information available at the visitor center is free, there are a relatively small number of publications and other items which are offered for sale. A larger selection of such items along with shirts, hats, postcards, books, videos and nature games are available at The Dune Center which is located at the base of the Dune Climb, at the Glen Haven General Store and at a number of the privately owned shops in the area.