Empire is a beautiful, charming, small village of only 400 people. It swells during the summertime due to it being the gateway to Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Make your first stop at Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, just east of Empire of M-72. View the exhibits and dioramas, ask questions of the staff, or pick up a brochure to help guide you through the park. Take M-109 to the Pierce Stocking scenic drive, a seven mile stretch that shows you the highlights of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Be sure to stop off at the Lake Michigan overlook, giving you fantastic views from 450 feet above lake level, and only the ambitious dare to undertake the Dune climb. Vacationers may want to visit Empire in May, for the annual Asparagus Festival.
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