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“Come for the Dunes. Stay for the History.”

Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum
Ranked #5 of 18 things to do in Glen Arbor
Attraction details
Reviewed January 16, 2014

This is an excellent free attraction in the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore Park. The drive from Traverse City takes less than one hour. There is almost no traffic up here in the middle of Summer, how strange, and so your kids (or Grandkids) can run up and down the unpaved roads unmolested. The intrepid die hard history buff in your family will just have to wait until the museum opens at 10 or 11AM (very unrushed and laid back here, you betcha), so maybe go down to the wide sandy beach and roll around for awhile until the Park Ranger hoists Old Glory to begin the day's activities.

There are buildings that appear to be defunct barracks of some sort positioned beside the paved road, and close to the car park is a building, labeled "Cannery". I don't remember what was ever canned here but I suspect it was fruit. The 1900's U. S. Coast Guard station is restored and quite a beauty. We didn't go inside and I don't know if anyone can. The Lifesaving boats can be seen without going inside the museum if the big old doors have been opened, facing the Lake.

There was some construction activity going on in the village, apart from the Coast Guard buildings, in and around the "general store" which may at some future time offer Inn lodging, I only heard the rumour.

When the Sun comes up high, you may do as we did and refresh in the lake waters for awhile before moving on to the next tourist attraction, the village of Glen Arbor, another must- do in the area, for a meal. We have usually enjoyed mostly fine weather whenever we visit Lake Michigan up north, anywhere from late July to late August.

Very highly recommended

Thank fritomann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 11 reviews
"glen haven"
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"great lakes"
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"general store"
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54 - 58 of 60 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2013

The town of Glen Haven, long ago a thriving community, is now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, owned and operated by the National Park Service. It is much more than a single museum. We spent a couple of hours in historic Glen Haven during our days in the park.

Check out the boat house where a park ranger will tell you about the two boats housed there and the other equipment in the boat house. We were interested to learn how the rescue teams saved the lives of many people at sea on many different occasions. I wish we'd been there on a demonstration day.

The museum is in the coast guard building, and it has a nice display. On a decent weather day, it's a picturesque building from both land and shore.

The old cannery building has a very nice display of boats and building/repair tools as well as a lighthouse lens. Another boat rests outside the cannery.

The general store was closed on the September day of our visit, but the blacksmith shop was open. We watched with interest to see a piece of iron being heated in the old firepit (with pumped air) and then banged into the form of a decorative hook.

The old hotel and restaurant sits vacant. I hope that it will someday be restored to use in the park -- perhaps a place to serve sandwiches and ice cream?

Some old homes are also present -- one very fine and the others homes of workmen. Maybe someday they will be restored to use in the park.

Glen Haven is not open all year. Check the NPS website for dates and hours if you are not visiting in the summer.

Thank RetiredTravelerTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

This is a one room Museum with two big boats and a docent. Lot's of good info, but viewing time for small children would be limited. No hands on activity. So if your thing is education about the history of Lake Michigan's maritime activity, this is really a great place. Photo opportunities are limited as well, Expect your visit to be one hour tops. Suggested donation of $1.00 There are some trail guides, area specific literature published by the Dept of Parks and Recreation for purchase for a nominal fee.

Thank Sue M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Great views of the lake and of the islands. Staff is knowledgeable and very friendly. Recommend working on the Junior Ranger badge while here.

Thank Mcgjen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

We bought the $10 park pass and what a bargain.
We took the grandchildren to Sleeping Bear Dunes and they went through the Jr Ranger program. They offer so many wonderful educational programs it is unbelievable.
In particular is Ranger Peg with so much enthusiasm it was contagious. She made the programs so interesting and fun.
My husband and I even went to a program without the grand kids!

Thank MaryfromMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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