Sweet Spots Near Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge


Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge is just one of many fun things to do when you venture off to Suttons Bay, Michigan.

For example, if you love your wine, then you literally have a dozen more attractions on this list. For more information, scroll to the fifth subheading for a rundown of the wineries and cellars.

But if you’re not one for wine, fear not! You will discover six other exciting places to play when you are looking to take a day or so off from the nonstop casino gaming at Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge.

This post provides a list of seven sweet spots near the casino that you can enjoy during your stay in one of Michigan’s smaller, but more vibrant villages.

Ready to take a break from Michigan casinos and check out the area attractions? Let’s begin.

Grand Traverse Bike Tours

Ranking five out of five stars via TripAdvisor, the Grand Traverse Bike Tours is technically a wine-tasting tour where you will venture to the wineries listed below while riding your favorite bicycle.

But as mentioned in the intro, if you don’t like wine, don’t worry. You can just go along for the ride and enjoy the scenery outdoors while taking in the atmosphere. Because let’s be honest, nothing beats a good old wine cellar, even if you don’t drink. It’s just a fascinating process as a whole!

Located near Traverse City, which you can consider being an attraction in and of itself, the Grand Traverse Bike Tour is a full-service company that also includes self-guided tours and bike rentals.

So, if you would like to get some exercise while you burn off those wine calories, hop on the bike, and get going. Or if you are just someone who wants a first-hand experience of the area’s majestic landscape, you are also well within luck.

Black Star Farms

Another popular area attraction that graces 4.5 stars as per TripAdvisor, Black Star Farms is a 160-acre estate featuring extensive vineyards, an award-winning wine tasting room, a luxury inn, and other hot amenities.

Beautiful Black Star Farm in Michigan

Yes, tourists come from all over the nation to immerse themselves in the area’s famous wineries, and Black Star Farms is no different. It’s yet another sweet spot on the ultimate wine tour. But again, if wine isn’t your thing, it’s also a spot where you can immerse yourself in several fun activities.

The location also boasts an entire farm, farm animals, horses, and hiking trails. So, if you’d rather hit the outdoorsy activities in favor of the wine tasting, Black Star Farms provides, and it does it so well.

Hop Lot Brewing Company

4.5 stars should show you what you are getting yourself into when you venture to Hop Lot Brewing Company. This microbrewery comprises an on-site beer garden. Wine isn’t everyone’s thing. Maybe you prefer beer! the microbrewery is calling your name.

Here, you will receive what the place touts as the “ultimate brewery experience.” Local crafts are definitely in store for you here, so you can skip those beers on tap and try something different that your taste buds will fall in love with.

This is a hot place to frequent if you are looking to spend just an hour or two instead of an entire day away from the casino games at Leelanau Sands.

It’s the ideal spot to relax after a day of gaming or if you are just looking to explore the area and take a break from the games.

So, take a seat within the brewery’s walls! Or if you enjoy stunning views of the area’s mystical scenery, take your order outside and treat your eyes to something grand.

Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center

Dreamcatcher at the Eyaawing Museum and Cultural CenterThis is one of the more obscure attractions. But reviewers on TripAdvisor love the place, so it’s worth mentioning on this list. This specialty museum provides an in-depth look at Native American culture in the area, its history, and preservation.

Reviewers rave about the cultural center’s gift shop that centers on fun items, including Native American jewelry, dream catchers, music, books, and more. Most of what you will find at the gift shop has been homegrown by local Native American tribes, so you are getting the real deal here.

Like the brewery above, the Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center is the ideal place to be if you are just looking for a few hours away from Leelanau Sands Casino Resort instead of taking a day or two away. It’s a quick tour, but definitely worth showing up for.

Wineries, Vineyards, and Cellars

Brace yourself for the ultimate attraction among the area’s many wineries, vineyards, and cellars. Here, you will find a lot of places to get excited about, many of which you will frequent when you embark on the bike tour.

However, if you’d rather drive, that’s okay, too. The following comprises every prominent winery, vineyard, and cellar in the area and a brief description of each.

  1. MAWBY Sparkling Wine is the first winery on the list, and as the name suggests, they specialize in sparkling wine only, having done so since 1973.
  2. Tandem Cider features outdoor picnic tables and is immersed in scenery that reviewers say will remind you of a classic, European countryside. So, if you have been lucky to visit Europe, you will love this location.
  3. Suttons Bay Ciders is a family-owned hard-apple cidery right on the water, so if you are looking for a place to remind you of the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, you will find it here along with a fantastic selection of their best hard apple ciders.
  4. Shady Lane Cellars allows you to experience handcrafted wine grown right at the estate, with no outside ingredients. If you want the freshest options, you will discover it here.
  5. Ciccone Vineyard and Winery may be the most unique experience of your life as far as wineries are concerned. The award-winning wines are already reason enough to come, but to take a high seat on the overlook and catch those stunning views is another ballgame.
  6. Willow Vineyards provides miles of green and blue Michigan scenery atop the overlook. Head over, immerse yourself in your favorite local wine, kick back, and enjoy the view.
  7. Chateau de Leelanau boasts itself for its position right at the entrance of the area’s wine Country. While I’ve listed the Chateau location last, this is probably the first spot you will begin your wine tasting tour given its location. They are always coming up with new wines and improving their existing wines.

Inland Seas Education Association

Ranking high on TripAdvisor, the Inland Seas Education Association boasts a mission to help guests of all ages and interest levels to experience the Great Lakes and everything they offer.

If you are looking for a unique experience on the lake, head over to Inland Seas Education Association and enjoy an educational experience you won’t find anywhere else.

You won’t need to spend an entire day here. If you are gaming at Leelanau Sands Casino for just half a day, ISEA is a great place to spend an afternoon gaining some firsthand insight on what makes the Great Lakes so great.

And it’s a great location to frequent if you are in town with your kids on a family vacation. All ages are welcome, and it’s a surefire winning bet that you and your entire family will be in for an experience of a lifetime.

The Bay Theatre

Another rather obscure attraction with just a handful of reviews. The Bay Theatre features the classic small-town theatrical atmosphere. You will only find a handful of shows playing at this theatre. But if you are into a quaint setting that will take you back in time, the Bay Theatre is where you want to be.

Every reviewer just loves the classic feel of this theatre, but they also praise it for its organization, and many of these reviews are coming from tourists outside of the area.

The Bay Theatre at Michigan

So if you want to catch a movie and take a few hours off from the gaming at Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge, the Bay Theatre is the number one place to frequent as far as fun and games are concerned.

Guests from all over America find the place charming, and it’s highly likely you will, too. So, head over to the Bay Theatre and see what’s playing if you can’t find another hot entertainment option in the area.


For a small town by the lake, Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge and Suttons Bay sure have a lot going for it. You won’t find anything big here. But as with many small towns, you will discover hidden gems all over the place.

While you can gain a complete vacation at the casino, exploring the area can turn a week at Leelanau Sands into a fully blown vacation destination. So, what are you waiting for? Use today’s post to start your vacation itinerary and brace yourself for the time of your life.

And if you have been to Leelanau Sands Casino Resort, tell us about your experience. And let us know if you visited any of the above attractions. We look forward to hearing your stories.