The park was established primarily for its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations and ancient glacial phenomena. The lakeshore also includes an 1871 lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations. and over 100 miles of hiking trails.
In 2011 tens of thousands of GOOD MORNING AMERICA viewers voted Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore as the number one most beautiful place in America.Contenders in the top ten included Newport, Rhode Island; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Point Reyes, California; Aspen, Colorado; Sedona, Arizona; Destin, Florida; Asheville, North Carolina; Lanikai Beach, Hawaii; and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore visitor center is in Empire, MI., about 25 miles from Traverse City. Most people visit the park via car, but you can fly to Traverse City and rent a car to drive to the park.Hardy adventurers like to run down the sand dunes to the beach, but, I warn you, it is a long climb back up, and many who attempt the climb suffer heat exhaustion. Me? I'm just glad I brought my camera.