This year was a banner year for news in Leelanau County. The Glen Arbor Sun’s top viewed stories on our website in 2023 included the strange—a relationship coaching cult in Suttons Bay (“Twin Flames, a Suttons Bay cult, an inferno of controversy” was our fourth most-viewed story of all time); the heroic—a neighborhood effort to rescue boaters from a burning craft; the celebratory—The Mill made its long awaited opening on the Crystal River, and collaboration between the National Lakeshore and Leelanau Conservancy to preserve Glen Lake ridge property; the breaking news—an 18-hole putting course and restaurant planned to open next year in Glen Arbor; the historical—our 12-part series covering Leelanau’s farming families; and the reflective—remembering Horndog Newt Cole. Thanks for your readership, and Happy New Year! Here’s the list of our top 10 stories by online views in 2023.

The iconic Cedar Tavern in the heart of Leelanau County hit the market this week with a listing price of $1.2 million. Owner Ellen Stachnik confirmed the news on Facebook: “Well it’s out there. After a lot of talking we have decided to list the Tavern for sale. We love you all and appreciate your support and kindness over the years. 45 years it’s been a great time!!” In our 2013 feature story about the Cedar Tavern, Stachnik narrated the history of the business and its importance to campers and locals, alike.

Tucked away in the hilly heart of Leelanau County are two under-the-radar, off-the-beaten path towns that need to be moved up on your list of destinations. Maple City and Cedar are especially great Leelanau hubs if you’re a family with younger children looking for a more relaxed vibe, but still plenty to do.

The Empire Area Community Center will hold a free community concert at the Cedar Tavern from 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 29 to benefit the Empire Area Emergency Fund. Admission is free.

Thousands of visitors flock to Leelanau County each year, many of them attracted by big draws such as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. But while nothing compares to the delight of bounding down the Dune Climb after a sweaty trek uphill, or taking in the pristine view of the Manitou Islands from a sugar sand beach, there are plenty of lesser-known places in the county to have fun, too. Two of these places are sister communities Maple City and Cedar.

Neither the Glen Arbor Sun nor any other media outlet in Northern Michigan seems to know exactly if/when Liko Smith will show up to claim Sugar Loaf/allow Leelanau County inspector Steve Haugen to tour the premises. Claims that Smith and Haugen would tour the property today, January 31, and that Smith would meet the public over karaoke tonight at the Cedar Tavern proved incorrect. Liko Smith emailed various media sources today that the inspection will now take place on Friday, February 7. Meanwhile, it remains a mystery as to who actually controls/owns the long-shuttered ski resort, and what their true intentions/motives are. One thing is certain: we journalists are pecking and clawing for every little scrap like vultures in a garbage dump.

It’s cold and dark in the north country, and the cheery onslaught of tourists is many months away. But those of us who stick around through the winter still deserve to eat, and eat well. Thanks to a bevy of deals and discounts offered at local restaurants, we shall not starve.

Summer officially arrives at the Cedar Tavern when campers pack the place on Wednesday nights. “Leelanau Pines (a campground/resort) is a big supporter of us,” says the tavern’s owner, Ellen Stachnik. “We’ve gotten to know the campers really well. Wednesday is “Ribs,” and they all come in for them.” The barbequed ribs are also Stachnik’s favorite tavern meal. Will she divulge the recipe?

When a line forms in front of the window at Cedar’s corner ice cream stand, summer isn’t far behind. (Let’s hope it orders a Blue Moon, not a Flurry.) It’s mid-June, and the shelves and kitchen cupboards of local businesses hold some surprises. The Sun caught up with some owners and managers and asked them to share what’s new. Their replies might whet your appetite and kickstart your summer shopping.