Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Leelanau County

Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Leelanau County

  • The Mitten Group
  • 10/26/23

Leelanau County, nestled in the beautiful northern region of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, is a place of natural splendor, rich history, and vibrant communities. Known for its stunning landscapes, charming small towns, and a plethora of recreational opportunities, it's no wonder that many people consider relocating to this remarkable part of the United States. If you're contemplating a move to Leelanau County, you've come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide you with everything you need to know to make an informed decision about moving to this scenic and culturally rich area.

Geography and Natural Beauty

Leelanau County is a visual masterpiece. Located on the Leelanau Peninsula, it is surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan to the west and Grand Traverse Bay to the east. The region is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, including rolling hills, dense forests, and over a hundred miles of pristine shoreline.

One of the most iconic features of Leelanau County is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Voted as "The Most Beautiful Place in America" by Good Morning America in 2011, this national park offers towering dunes, lush forests, and incredible views of Lake Michigan. If you're a fan of outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and bird watching, this area will quickly become your paradise.

Quality of Life

The quality of life in Leelanau County is one of the main reasons why people choose to move here. The county's picturesque landscapes and small-town charm create an idyllic environment for those seeking a more relaxed and peaceful way of life.

Leelanau County is also known for its commitment to sustainability and conservation. Many residents take pride in their environmentally friendly lifestyles and participate in local efforts to protect the natural beauty of the area.

Employment Opportunities

While Leelanau County is primarily a rural area, it offers diverse employment opportunities. Agriculture, tourism, and small businesses are essential components of the local economy. If you're seeking employment in the agricultural or tourism sectors, you'll find plenty of options. Additionally, remote work opportunities have increased in recent years, allowing many to bring their jobs with them when they make the move.

Traverse City, the largest city near Leelanau County, is about a 30-minute drive away and provides additional job opportunities in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and technology.


Leelanau County offers a wide range of housing options, from historic homes in quaint small towns to modern waterfront properties. The real estate market here is known for its seasonal fluctuations, with more homes becoming available in the spring and summer months. If you're considering purchasing a home in the area, it's essential to work with a local real estate agent who understands the nuances of the market.


For families considering a move to Leelanau County, the quality of education is a significant factor. The county is served by several school districts, including Traverse City Area Public Schools, Suttons Bay Public Schools, and Leland Public School District. These schools provide a range of educational opportunities and extracurricular activities for students.

If you're looking for higher education options, Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City offers a variety of associate degree and vocational programs. Additionally, several universities and colleges are within a few hours' drive, making further education accessible.

Healthcare Services

Leelanau County offers access to healthcare services through several local medical clinics and hospitals. The Munson Healthcare System, with facilities in Traverse City, is a prominent provider in the region. Emergency medical services and critical care are available when needed. While the healthcare facilities are not as numerous as in larger urban areas, residents generally find that they meet their healthcare needs adequately.

Recreation and Outdoor Activities

For those who love the great outdoors, Leelanau County is a haven. There are ample opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and boating. The numerous parks, forests, and bodies of water provide endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. The county is also home to numerous wineries and orchards, making it a delightful destination for food and wine enthusiasts.

In the winter, Leelanau County transforms into a winter wonderland. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are popular activities, while nearby resorts offer downhill skiing and snowboarding. The area's natural beauty is equally stunning under a blanket of snow, making it a year-round outdoor enthusiast's dream.

Cultural and Community Activities

Despite its rural setting, Leelanau County boasts a rich cultural scene. The area is home to a variety of art galleries, music festivals, and theaters. The Interlochen Center for the Arts, located just outside the county, is a world-renowned institution that hosts performances and offers arts education programs.

The small towns in Leelanau County have close-knit communities that organize numerous events and festivals throughout the year. From farmers' markets to local craft fairs, you'll have plenty of opportunities to engage with your neighbors and become part of the community.

Small-Town Living

Leelanau County is renowned for its charming small towns, each with its own unique character. Suttons Bay, Leland, Northport, and Glen Arbor are just a few of the picturesque towns that dot the peninsula. These towns offer a range of amenities, from boutique shops to cozy cafes, and they're ideal for leisurely strolls and casual dining.

About The Mitten Real Estate Group

With over four decades of rich business history, The Mitten Real Estate Group combines expertise across diverse Michigan real estate sectors, from luxury estates to starter homes, powered by state-of-the-art technology and a passionate digital-first approach. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the Leelanau County real estate market, contact The Mitten Real Estate Group today.

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