A visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes isn’t complete without a keepsake to take home. Here is a handful of Michigan must-haves:
If you’re in luck, you will find one of these famous fossil corals along the Lake Michigan lakeshore, some estimated at 350 million years old! These stones often look like a plain gray stone, but when wet, their coral-like pattern emerges. It's not legal to take Petoskey Stones home from within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Instead, you might buy one at a local shop (where they are polished and gorgeous!). Enjoy the treasure hunt for a stone along the shores with your family...but kindly leave them behind.
Leland Blue Stones
Another famous – and even harder to find – stone along Lake Michigan is the Leland Blue. These rocks run from gray-blue to deep purple to turquoise or even green! Look for them along Leland’s sandy beaches. These are pieces of colorful slag rock from the days after the civil war when there was an iron smelter in the area. Shops in Leland carry Leland blue jewelry to take home.
Michigan’s lovable mitten shape can be found on anything from dish towels to coffee mugs too – of course – mittens! A true Michigan enthusiast will insist that the state graphic isn’t legit unless the Upper Peninsula is included in the design– so pick carefully!
This state highway runs 116 miles and stretches along the Leelanau Peninsula under gorgeous forests and beside endless shorelines of freshwater. The “M22” highway sign has become a symbol of outdoor adventure in Northern Michigan. Many local artists depict it in their artwork, and you’ll find all kinds of gear with the classic black and white square “M22” for purchase along its route.
You can’t visit the area without a taste of something cherry. While nearby Traverse City is the “Cherry Capital” – the entire region has become akin to all-things cherry. Stop into Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor to try cherry wine, chocolate-covered cherries, or cherry sours.