With Charlie Edson, owner and winemaker at Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery mentoring them, the Alan Eaker and Linda Ackley selected vines, and planted 10 acres of wine grapes on their land. Today there are 12 acres of grapes, including hybrids Cayuga and Frontenac, and vinifera varieties Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc.

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.

When you walk through the dining room at the Cedar Rustic Inn (by the blinker just north of Cedar) on a warm evening, you pass through the back door into a cozy and charming courtyard that is shaded with umbrellas amid young maples and birch trees surrounded by tomato and lima bean plants, peonies, hydrangeas, and flower baskets mounted on the wood walls. If it’s a Wednesday night you’ll probably see Bob Smith of Glen Arbor sucking on his fingers as he polishes off the full rack of ribs. (He claims that some of his charter-fishing customers from Florida recently brought some of those leftover ribs out on the Mariah for their lunch. When they threw the bones over the side it must have attracted the salmon, because the next several fish they caught had rib bones in their mouths! But that’s a fish story.)

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.

The Spring Sip & Savor returns to the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail the weekend of May 5-6. This annual celebration features food and wine pairings at 19 wineries along with the “Sip-o de Mayo Hat Contest” — a chance to show off your best hat and win prizes including a fantastic getaway to Michigan’s Wine Coast.

On Lake Street in Glen Arbor, clusters of friends, fresh off a motorcoach, made their way south along the sidewalk. Some paused to browse at shops. Others ambled slowly toward a destination — a trio of wooden buildings known as “world headquarters for all things cherry.”

“M-22 is all about the northern Michigan lifestyle,” an excited Matt Wiesen says while standing behind the wine counter at his and wife Katy’s new apparel store and tasting room in Glen Arbor. “It’s about a glass of wine on the boat, beaches, bonfires and a laid-back attitude.”