Imagine driving down a picturesque highway were you are surrounded by rolling hills and winding roads, cherry trees, roadside fruit stands, vineyards and breathtaking views of the bays. A scenic highway that is approximately 20 miles long and in the middle of a peninsula that is no more than a mile wide in spots and when you reach the end of this highway, you are at the 45th Parallel.
The 45th Parallel, which is an invisible latitude line, marks the half way point between the equator and the North Pole. One of the places along the 45th Parallel is Northern Italy. Another part of the world that is along the 45th Parallel is Northern Michigan, which is home to the Old Mission Peninsula and to M-37, which is the grand highway I was describing above.
Old Mission Peninsula is one of those places that should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit. The peninsula has so much to do that one needs to plan a long weekend trip so you can take in all that the area has to offer.
In 2013, according to USA Today, the Old Mission Peninsula, was voted one of the Top 10 beautiful coastal drives across North America. So believe me when I say, just the drive alone is worth the visit to the peninsula.
If you enjoy fine wines, then a visit to the nine wineries that are on the peninsula is a must. What sets these wineries apart are the grapes that are grown there. The unique climate that is along the 45th Parallel allows for grape growing conditions that are almost perfect. Connoisseurs of fine wine around the world know that Old Mission Peninsula is home to many award-winning wines.
One attraction that is a must visit on the peninsula is the Old Mission Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1870 and you can take a self-guided historical tour of the lighthouse. There isn’t a fee to visit the first floor, however, if you would like to go up to the second floor, there is a small fee. The lighthouse is no longer in operation but it is well worth the stop to check it out.
If you have a love for handmade quilts, you have to plan to take a tour of the Quilt Barn Trail! There are 14 barns that are taking part in this tour. Old Mission Peninsula is also home to four Bed & Breakfasts, six restaurants, various shops, a tasting room and so much more.
Just 17 miles north of Traverse City, the peninsula divides Grand Traverse Bay into East/West Bays. If you are looking for a great weekend or week long escape, I highly recommend a visit to Old Mission Peninsula!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”