Discover M-22 in Northwest Michigan's Benzie County

inspiration point
Inspiration Point
photo by Lake Michigan Destinations

Benzie County borders Lake Michigan and has over one hundred lakes, plus the major Platte and Bestie Rivers running through it. This beautiful county is part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, and a favorite destination for those who love to fish, kayak, canoe, walk along beaches, or just enjoy the magnificent views of the lakeshore.

Benzie County is situated between Manistee and Leelanau Counties, and is a part of the M-22 highway tour. To travel the entire M-22 tour, we suggest you start at the southern most section in Manistee, and work your way north.

Arcadia Scenic Turnout

Just about at the Manistee/Benzie county line, and about one mile north of Arcadia is a popular gem along M-22, called Inspiration Point or the Arcadia Scenic Turnout. Park in the roadside lot high on a bluff for fantastic views of the Lake Michigan shoreline and surrounding land. The lakeshore vista is even more magnificent if you climb the many stairs to a viewing platform. Read our story about Inspiration Point for all the details.

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Point Betsie Lighthouse near Frankfort Michigan

Visit Benzie County Communities Along M-22


Just a 15 minutes drive north of Arcadia, you'll come across the village of Elberta. Visit the clean beaches along Lake Michigan, try your hand at fishing and stop at Elberta's Waterfront Park and Elberta Dunes. Read more about Elberta here.


Less than five minutes north of Elberta and around Betsie Lake, you'll reach the small, bustling city of Frankfort with a dynamic downtown to explore and enjoy. As you head out north of Frankfort, visit the Point Betsie Lighthouse, one of the most famous lights along the lakeshore. Read more about Frankfort here.

Throughout Benzie County

Betsie light
Point Betsie Lighthouse by
US-31 runs right through the heart of Benzie county with personable Michigan towns along the way. Visit the Cherry Bowl Theater in Honor, Michigan, one of the last drive-in movie theaters in the nation, with the latest featured films, a miniature golf course and a classic 1950s atmosphere. Beulah and Benzonia have great dining options as well as unique boutiques. Near the Manistee-Benzie border, Crystal Mountain Resort offers exceptional golf during the summer and some of the best skiing and snowboarding around during the winter. Like Manistee County, you will find vast opportunities for hiking, kayaking, fishing and other outdoor recreation in Benzie. Benzie County may be the smallest county in the state of Michigan, but it certainly offers big fun!


Friendly, Small Town Businesses

When you visit a community away from home, it's typical to find yourself eating out, shopping, or looking for things to do. Benzie County merchants are happy to serve you with a smile! So, browse at our downtown specialty stores in Benzie County and nearby. Relax, and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant. Discover the many businesses ready to entertain you, or to provide you with a variety of services.

Quick Links for Benzie County Businesses

M-22 Northwest Michigan Map

This map shows the entire 116-mile length of M-22, which takes travelers along Lake Michigan and through the beautiful countryside of these Northwest Michigan counties:

Manistee County
Benzie County
Leelanau County
Grand Traverse County

The scenic highway M-22 is designated as a Pure Michigan Byway, and is also part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.

Discover More Things to Do Near Benzie County...

Things to Do in Leelanau County -- In addition to Fishtown in downtown Leland, be sure to visit some of the other attractions found in Leelanau County.
Things to Do in Benzie County -- In addition to sandy beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the county is home of part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, lighthouses at Point Betsie and Frankfort, and the Betsie Valley Trail for hiking and biking along 22 miles from Elberta to Thompsonville.
Northwest Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- While in Northwest Michigan, visit beaches and lighthouses, antiques, art galleries, casinos and wineries and breweries, and more.
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!
West Michigan Things to Do -- Check this site out for West Michigan activities in the towns of Manistee, Ludington, Pentwater, the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and more.

Last Updated: 04-19-2022 07:25 PM ID: 1880