With summer having arrived here in Leelanau county, beautiful weather is not the only entity that arrives with it. Right on cue with the warm temperatures, flocks of tourists, vacationers, or known to locals as simply,”fudgies,” seem to show up out of no where. This phenomenon is predictable and expected by all, but is very telling about the true nature of Leelanau, “The Land of Delight.” I heard a statistic which I believe sums up this inundation of people that manifest every summer. The statistic states that four out of every five homes In Leelanau County are owned by someone who lives out of state. It seems hard to believe but if you take the time to explore just how many cottages and houses are hidden among private drives and back roads it is obvious that Leelanau is a seasonal attraction. The sheer amount of driveways in the winter months that lack tire tracks or any sign of human inhabitants is a testament to how truly great this place is in the summer/fall seasons and not so much in the winter and spring. With the tourists/vacationers, comes an economic influx to the local businesses that constitutes their livelihoods or at least a majority of their revenue. Leland for example, could be mistaken for a ghost town in the winter. But every year, the lack of a stop light at the intersection of River st. and Main st. is questioned when the free-for-all traffic resembles that of a bustling urban city. This seasonal contrast is embraced by the locals and is a big part of what makes Leelanau so special. As I have said since I first experienced it, there is no place I would rather spend the summer months than right here in paradise.
A refreshing view from our local man at the bar, Ben G who knows everything there is worth knowing about Leland… Just ask Ben when you visit Laurentide!