Travel the Beautiful M-22 Scenic Drive in Northwest Michigan

Voted America's 2015 Number One Best Scenic Autumn Drive by 10Best and USA TODAY, M-22 has so much to offer!

M-22 is a 116-mile stretch of highway that winds along the Lake Michigan shoreline and through the scenic countryside of Manistee, Benzie and Leelanau counties. Whether you are planning a vacation or just passing through, M-22 has everything you need to enjoy the beauty of Northern Michigan. Charm and adventure rest in every bend of the road, all year long. Part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, the highway meanders through several towns sure to capture your heart. With light traffic and breathtaking views, you’ll treasure the journey more than the destination.

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Point Betsie Lighthouse near Frankfort Michigan

M-22 in Manistee County

Arcadia Overlook
Arcadia Overlook - Photo by
This iconic highway begins in Manistee, Michigan and heads north all the way through Manistee County. With historic landmarks, stunning white sand beaches and a downtown buzzing with development, Manistee is the perfect launchpoint for the M-22 journey. Driving up, you’ll pass Onekama, the "Two Lake Town" with Portage Lake and Lake Michigan within reach. Inspiration Point, a picturesque sunset spot north of Arcadia, is a must-stop for locals and tourists alike.

For more information, read our story about M-22 in Manistee County.


M-22 in Benzie County

Entering Benzie County, M-22 curves through the sister towns of Elberta and Frankfort. Frankfort has an exceptional downtown with fine dining and unique shopping that makes the town feel much bigger than its small size. Just a few miles north, the highway drives by Point Betsie Light, a public lighthouse with historic and aesthetic value. M-22 continues up and rides along the shore of Crystal Lake, named accurately for its breathtaking color.

For more information, read our story about M-22 in Benzie County.

M-22 and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the most beautiful, untouched places in Michigan, and M-22 drives right through it. Beginning in Benzie County but with the majority in Leelanau County, this nature reserve is cherished in legends, history and natural beauty. The national park is well protected to preserve the mountainous sand dunes and the shoreline topography.

For more information, read our story about M-22 in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

M-22 in Leelanau County

M-22 continues up and winds around the Leelanau Peninsula, the “little finger” of our mitten-shaped state. Empire offers unparalleled hiking trails. Glen Arbor and Leland’s Fishtown are top visitor destinations with friendly locals ready to welcome you in. If you make it all the way to Northport at the tip, you’ll find yourself more secluded, surrounded by nature unspoiled by heavy tourism. The journey ends in Traverse City, an up-and-coming, energetic city and the cherry capital of the world.

For more information, read our story about M-22 in Leelanau County.

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Whatever adventure you are looking for, you will find it on M-22. Eat at restaurants where service is characterized by smiles and locally grown food. Drink and be merry at one of several breweries and wineries. Fish in mighty Lake Michigan, or one of the many lakes and rivers along the way. Shop in unique boutiques crafted with flair and small-town friendliness. Enjoy world-class golf, hiking, artists, water recreation and much, much more.

It's well worth the trip when you travel on M-22 in Northwest Michigan. The scenery will amaze you … and the towns will welcome you!

If you like traveling on M-22, then you will love the Lake Michigan Circle Tour! Dozens of articles for travel destinations around the Lake Michigan Circle Tour can be found in the Lake Michigan Circle Tour website. Enjoy reading and then plan your getaway!

Lake Michigan Circle Tour


Last Updated: 10-12-2018 02:41 PM ID: 1850