Known as one of the top-ranked destinations in the U.S. Midwest for winter sports and outdoor activities, Benzie County in Michigan is adding winery...

Known as one of the top-ranked destinations in the U.S. Midwest for winter sports and outdoor activities, Benzie County in Michigan is adding winery tours to its list of tourism activities.

Coastline Transportation is offering winery tours to groups of five to seven passengers from any lodging location in Benzie County. The tours can be custom-created by travelers who wish to travel to either the Leelanau Peninsula Wineries or Old Mission Peninsula Wineries, both of which are approximately 45 minutes’ driving time to the south of Benzie County’s lodgings. Winter sports can be combined with the winery tours for travelers spending two to three nights in Benzie County.


“By offering winery tours to Northern Natural Organics in Benzie County and to the wineries in the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, Benzie County visitors can have more options when they come here to enjoy our wonderful outdoor activities,” says Mary Carroll, president of the Benzie County Visitors Bureau.

Visitors enjoy a wine tasting at a Leelanau Peninsula winery near Benzie County in Michigan

“In the winter we have the best downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling on miles and miles of pristine trails within woodlands, lakes and along the Lake Michigan shore,” says Carroll. “It’s a plus that Benzie County is only 45 minutes to the Leelanau and Old Mission Wineries. A day-long wine tour is really fun to mix in with outdoor adventure during a weekend getaway or longer vacation.”

Benzie County is 45 minutes’ drive southwest of Old Mission Peninsula, which has seven wineries. The county is 45 minutes south of the Leelanau Peninsula, which has 18 wineries. Usually, four to five wineries can be experienced during a day-long (six-hour) tour with Coastline Transportation from any lodging location in Benzie County. A restaurant lunch stop along the way is also possible for an additional fee.

Additionally, Northern Natural Winery is located in Benzie County. This winery specializes in organic hard ciders from Michigan fruits such as apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches and strawberries.

This photograph shows Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa village in Benzie County, Michigan lit-up at night for winter sports

Benzie County offers downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding at the Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, as well as dog-sled excursions for families to enjoy. For those wanting a chance to view Michigan’s winter scenery, Benzie County offers snowshoeing along marked forest trails or along the Lake Michigan dunes, and more than 40 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing trails. Snowmobile rentals are also available, allowing visitors to experience 135 miles of groomed natural trails suitable for snowmobiles.

Located on 1500 acres, Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa has 45 ski runs, terrain parks and a half pipe, as well as a snow-sports school and daily NASTAR racing. Visitors can also experience snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Crystal Mountain offers two fine-dining restaurants and the luxury of the Crystal Spa, a destination, LEED-certified spa which opened in 2009.

Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa has partnered with Shamhadar Kennels for dog-sledding. Sleds are pulled by four to six Siberian Huskies along Crystal Mountain’s wooded trails.

Benzie County’s 135 miles of groomed and challenging snowmobile trails are spread throughout the county in three locations: East of the village of Honor; in Thompsonville; and in Beulah. Guests can make an afternoon or week of exploring the region, with stops at numerous towns with taverns and restaurants along the way.

Michigan's Benzie County is known for its outdoor activities, particularly in winter. Among the county's winter-sports activities is cross-country skiing on forested trails

Among the most majestic locations for snowshoeing in Benzie County are the Elberta Dunes and Arcadia Dunes along the Lake Michigan Shore. Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is nearby to the north and offers guided snowshoeing excursions on weekends during the winter season.

Benzie County has 57 inland lakes, which attract many ice-fishermen and -women. Arrangements for fishing shanties are made through Crystal Adventures.

For more information on Benzie County lodging, restaurants, recreation and more contact Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-882-5801 or go to www.visitbenzie.com.