Lake Leelanau lies in the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan. The entire lake consists of two major bodies of water, usually referred to as North Lake Leelanau and South Lake Leelanau. Sometimes referred to as Carp Lake, it covers about 8,608 acres and lies within Leelanau County.

On the northwest, Lake Leelanau connects to the Leland River, which runs for one mile to Lake Michigan. Between North Lake Leelanau and South Lake Leelanau the water narrows for about a mile near the unincorporated community of Lake Leelanau.

South Lake Leelanau ends in a marshy area fed by several small creeks. The waters also access the community of Cedar in Solon Township.

Lake Leelanau Homes & Real Estate

Lake Leelanau has a small population—which makes it a very tranquil place to live. It gives residents a mixture of suburban and rural vibes. With real estate properties ranging from elegant, modern farmhouses to cozy cottage homes, Lake Leelanau offers a wide variety of options for those who are interested in living there.

Lake Leelanau is in Leelanau County and is one of the best places to live in Michigan, especially if you love nature.

Many Lake Leelanau properties are spacious and offer plenty of natural lighting. This lets you take in the glorious beauty of the great outdoors.

Lake Leelanau Waterfront Homes for Sale

Lake Leelanau runs 21 miles through the middle of the Leelanau Peninsula. It is about 1.5 miles at its widest. The south lake has an average depth of 24 feet and a maximum depth of 62 feet. The north lake has an average depth of 40 feet and a maximum depth of 121 feet.

Naturally, Lake Leelanau has plenty of available waterfront homes that give people an opportunity to discover the best of Leelanau County. These waterfront homes offer picturesque views of the beautiful Lake Michigan.

There are large luxury homes, as well as smaller cottages for couples and small families. Whether you are looking for a nice place to live or a lovely vacation home with breathtaking views, Lake Leelanau is a great choice.

Average Home Prices in Lake Leelanau

According to Zillow, the median home value in Lake Leelanau is $427,408. The site reports an increase in Lake Leelanau home values over the past year.

Another interesting fact is that Lake Leelanau residents have a 0.0 percent mortgage delinquency, which is lower than the national value of 1.1 percent. Mortgage delinquency is when a homeowner fails to make a mortgage payment. This means Lake Leelanau residents are generally up to date on their mortgage payments.

WaterFront Homes For Sale On Lake Leelanau

It should come as no surprise, considering that Lake Leelanau is one of the premier inland lakes in all of Michigan, that waterfront homes here run in the high hundreds of thousands of dollars and up into the millions.

Famous Homes & Neighbors in Lake Leelanau

There are a lot of interesting sights in Lake Leelanau, and the William and Margaret McFarland Core Farm is one of them. This historical farm was established in 1865 and was operated by William Core and his descendants for nearly 150 years. Nowadays, it is operated as the Ruby Ellen Farm, which is a working farm that is open to the public.

It is located at 5946 S. Center Hwy and 5856 S. Lake Leelanau Dr.

While Lake Leelanau itself does not have a lot of celebrity residents, there are plenty of famous people who live or work or own businesses in the Leelanau County. This includes Mario Batali, Tim Allen, and Madonna.

Mario Batali, the American chef, restaurateur and writer owns a home in the Leelanau Peninsula. In 2007, he talked to the New York Times about Northern Michigan and his home in the Leelanau Peninsula. However, with restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Westport, CT, Singapore and Hong Kong, Batali might not have a lot of time to drop by and hang out in quiet Northern Michigan. Still, he often posts about Northern Michigan on Instagram and Facebook.

Tim Allen, a well-known actor, is originally from Denver, but moved to Michigan with his family at a young age. His voice is a familiar sound in the Pure Michigan ads for many Michiganders. There are rumors that he owns a large piece of land in Leelanau County near Northport, but there are no sources or information that confirm this.

Pop legend Madonna was born in Bay City, Michigan, located in the central part of the state. At a later age, she lived in Detroit suburbs before she moved to New York. Madonna’s father owns the Ciccone Vineyard, a very popular business that is also run by her other family members. Ciccone Vineyard is also a short drive north of Traverse City in Leelanau County.

Well Known Historical Landmarks

There are a few historical landmarks in Lake Leelanau, but first, we need to talk about the lake itself—as Lake Leelanau has a rich history of its own.

In the mid-1800s, Lake Leelanau was a major impediment to east-west travel. This is why a wooden bridge was built over the narrows in 1864. A replacement metal truss bridge was later constructed in 1894 to 1895. In 1939, the Michigan State Highway Department decided to replace the aging truss bridge to help support the local tourist economy. They built a new bridge about 200 yards north. The project was part of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, which provided jobs in the Great Depression through funding public infrastructure projects. This is now known as the Lake Leelanau Narrows Bridge.

Lake Leelanau’s name is from the Native Americans who first inhabited the area. They called the land “ke-ski-bi-ag,” which means “narrow body of water”.

Later on the name was changed by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, an Indian agent for the territory. Schoolcraft was said to use “Leelinau” as a character in his writing. However, scholars have also established that “Leelinau” was first used as a pen name by Schoolcraft’s wife Jane Johnston Schoolcraft in her writings for The Literary Voyager. This was a family magazine which she and her husband wrote together in the 1820s.

While her writing was not published formally in her lifetime, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft has been recognized as the “first Native American literary writer,” “first known Indian woman writer,” “first known Indian poet,” “first known poet to write poems in a Native American language” and the “first known American Indian to write out traditional Indian stories”.

Jane Johnston Schoolcraft was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008.

Lake Leelanau has historical landmarks such as the Fountain Point, located in 990 South Lake Leelanau Drive. The name “Fountain Point” is derived from a fountain of sparkling artesian spring water, which has been continuously gushing since 1867.

In 1889, Lydia Morrison of Cincinnati, Ohio established “The Fountain Point House,” a Victorian-style mansion, and guests began arriving for the summer by steamboat and buggy. This scenic and historic landmark is now a popular tourist spot.

Restaurants in Lake Leelanau

Lake Leelanau has plenty of popular restaurants and dining establishments for you to try out. One good example is Fig’s Breakfast and Lunch located at 202 W Main Street, Lake Leelanau. It serves what people describe as “really great breakfast”. What makes this place unique is that it has a rotating menu that consists of consistently good meals. While some regular customers wish it had a few regular meals, the place does encourage you to try different things—and they’re all delicious.

It’s a cozy little restaurant in Lake Leelanau that gives every meal a unique artisan twist. For example, you can have the option to get duck eggs instead of the usual chicken eggs. Fig’s Breakfast and Lunch is known for their fresh farm to table ingredients. If you’re looking for good food, friendly staff, and a menu that will always surprise you, then this is the place to go. It’s a highly recommended dining place.

Dick’s Pour House in 103 E Philip Street, Lake Leelanau is a local hangout with good food and lots of burgers. If you stumble upon this gem in Leelanau Peninsula, you will find a fun restaurant with a great atmosphere and amazing menu selections. People love the pizza in particular, and rave about it in reviews. Some people describe it as what you would expect from an “up north” pub with its hunting and fishing-inspired decorations and taxidermy. Beer selections are very good here too. Best part is you come hop off your boat and walk right to Dick’s Pour House. THis is one of the amazing restaurants that is accessible by boat on Lake Leelanau. 

But if you are more interested in coffee rather than beer, then Pedaling Beans Coffeehouse is an even better option. It is located at 116 E Philip Street, Lake Leelanau. They offer a wide selection of coffee beverages, including house brewed coffee, Americano, lattes, etc. They have the best tasting coffee in the area.

Reviewers say it is the best coffee shop in Northern Leelanau County. It is an excellent place to grab a snack, have your favorite beverage, and just relax. You can get work done while you sip away and enjoy the view. Pedaling Beans Coffeehouse has a lot of bike-related items and decorations. In fact it is quite popular among bikers, especially during the weekends.

South End Tiki And Resort is another laid back, Margaritaville-esque restaurant and bar. Located on the south end of Lake Leelanau, this place is the perfect spot to come, throw a few back and enjoy some tasty burgers. This is a place you can come kick it with the family and head back onto the Lake. Featuring typical bar style food like chicken strips, burgers, wings and fish sandwiches.

Blue Bird is a staple restaurant that is actually in Leland Michigan, but since it is accessible on Lake Leelanau, we had to include it. Blue Bird has amazing fare for all times of day. It’s a throw back type of vibe. Great food, cozy atmosphere. We have several friends that drive up from Indianapolis, and won’t eat all day just to sample the chicken cuisine at Blue Bird!

The Cove is legendary. Again this one is Leland. But since its boat accessible via Lake Leelanau, it too made the list. Hosting such parties as “here comes the sun” and “there goes the sun”, this is the type of place that Jimmy Buffer himself would love to come and chill at. Laid back carribean vibe. Great drink selection and beautiful views of Lake Michigan. Highly recommend visiting The Cove.

Lake Leelanau has a bit of everything: history, culture, natural wonders, and amazing dining establishments. Some people are so captivated by Lake Leelanau that they decide to find good real estate and invest in it. Lake Leelanau is your tranquil getaway from the bustling city life. Ready to start your home search? Contact Amber Cyman today!