I first came to the Leelanau Peninsula over a decade ago. My wife, Susi, went to college in Michigan, and she had friends near Traverse City. We rented a house on a little beach for a week. The next year it was two weeks, the next year three, then four. We ended up buying a 1920s fish camp on Lake Michigan, did some renovation, put in a pizza oven, and fell in love with the place. Now we’re here from July 1 until Labor Day weekend.
The food scene has really exploded in the region. There are farmers’ markets and hip-looking people farming and butchering. It’s very cool. Even in Northport, our town of less than 1,000 people, there’s a great weekly farmers’ market in the summer. The chefs involved in the scene celebrate what’s here; they’re not trying to be anything they’re not. Now people are coming for gastronomic tourism.