Comfortable Accommodations near Sleeping Bear Dunes
Natural Beauty at Its Best
Cherry Tree Inn & Suites offers well-appointed hotel accommodations, thoughtful amenities and superb service near all the beauty and recreation of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Located only 32 miles from our hotel, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was voted the #1 Most Beautiful Place in America by ABC's Good Morning America, and features gorgeous, sugary sand dunes and beaches overlooking the aquamarine waters of Lake Michigan and Glen Lake. With 64 miles of beaches, two islands, mountainous sand dunes and 26 inland lakes, all stretching over 50,000 acres, this natural attraction is great for lots of outdoor fun.
Things to Do at Sleeping Bear Dunes
In the spring, summer and fall months, visitors can swim in the lakes' fresh waters; canoe, kayak or tube in the lakes or streams; or have a picnic in a shady knoll or on the white, sandy beaches. There area also 100 miles of trails to hike, bike and explore. Kids will love racing to the top of the dunes to play or fly a kite, and parents can find a quiet perch from which to watch the sun set over the lakes. The tops of the dunes are also a popular place to launch and land hang gliders, paragliders and other powerless flight devices.
In the winter, the area transforms into a snowy playground. Visitors can snowshoe, ski, snowboard or take a peaceful walk through the snowy wilderness. Throughout the year, there is always a variety of wild creatures to get a glimpse of, from trumpeter swans and snapping turtles to white-tailed deer and coyotes.
The Legend of Sleeping Bear
According to the Chippewa Legend the Sleeping Bear, from which the park takes its name, a huge forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake, where they tried to swim across to safety on the other side. After swimming for many miles, the two cubs became tired and fell behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for the cubs.
The cubs were completely exhausted by their struggle in the lake, and unable to go further, they drowned. The mother bear continued to wait, hoping they would appear. The Great Spirit Manitou, impressed by the mother bear's determination, created two islands to commemorate the cubs. Covered by sand blown by the wind, the sleeping mother bear waits for her cubs to this day.
The "sleeping bear" is a small tree-covered area at the top of the bluff that, when viewed from the lake, has the appearance of a sleeping bear, and the bear cub islands are North and South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Today, only a small remnant of the "sleeping bear" remains, due to wind and erosion.
Prime Location for Relaxing Fun
The Sleeping Bear Dunes are perfect for a day trip for the whole family. Located on the Leelanau Peninsula, the dunes not only offer outdoor recreation, but they are also close to lots of great restaurants, wineries and shopping in various nearby small towns. Browse antique shops, grab an ice cream cone or latte, stroll through art galleries, and then tour a winery and sample some of the wines. Then, after a long day, head back to our waterfront hotel for some relaxation by the fire pit or a soak in the whirlpool.
For more information about our Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore lodging , please contact our friendly staff at 1-800-439-3093.