Leelanau, Michigan: Cherries, cherries, and more cherries!

Last week, my family and I visited my sister in Northern Michigan. This is the second summer she has worked in this part of the country, and we were all excited at the opportunity to explore the state for the first time! I flew into Chicago and made the five hour drive with my family to a town called Leland. More about what we did each day, to come, but for now let's get down to the business of where and what we ate! Spoiler alert: a lot of cherries. 

The area surrounding Leelanau is full of cherry orchards - Michigan is in the top five states for cherry production! Lots of fresh cherries means delicious pies. We bought the above cherry pie from a fruit and vegetable stand, named Ugly Tomato. It was still warm, and the only thing that would have made it better was if we had ice cream to go with it. 

Speaking of cherries; You can't visit the area, specifically Glen Arbor, without making a stop at Cherry Republic. It's a lot like a cherry-themed Disneyland. They have a free tasting room where they have bowls upon bowls of cherry infused salsas, jams and candy, plus a shop and restaurant. They put cherries in everything- I ordered an amazing pulled pork sandwich with cherry BBQ glaze. Even the water has two cherry ice cubes in each cup! We ended up revisiting this spot for a cherry pie (and vanilla ice cream with cherry flecks) on our last night in town. 

Believe it or not, there were meals without cherries. My favorite breakfast was at the Early Bird Restaurant across from where we were staying. It was the perfect old school, small town diner. Great prices and KILLER blueberry pancakes. And they rang up my soda as "pop". 

Another place we visited more than once, was Market M22. Recommended by my sister, this restaurant had an extensive beverage selection, snacks, sandwiches and more. But the real star is their "Detroit style" pizza. We ordered an Aloha (a Hawaiian plus bacon) and a BBQ Chicken. They were both delicious. The BLAT: Bacon-Lettuce-Avocado-Tomato salad was just as good as the pizza. Yes, the salad was just as yummy as the pizza! The second time we went there, we didn't even order any pizza, and just got salads and hot sandwiches. We loved everything about this place. Perfect for really good quality food, and a great location between towns in the area. 

I'm not a big ice cream fan. (Don't hate me!) I enjoy it from time-to-time, but it's rarely something I crave. The Moomers ice cream, pictured above, was the best ice cream I've ever had. I got salted caramel in a peanut dipped waffle cone and it was perfection. I highly recommend Moomers - it was sold all over the area, and I miss it already. 

Above, a sneak peek of some of the beautiful beach photos to come, in my next travel post. I fell in love with Michigan and am excited to share all the goodness with you! Thanks for reading and sharing. :)