About Empire, Michigan

Light House in Empire, MI

Empire is a small village town that is located in Michigan. The village is situated in Leelanau County, and as of 2010, has a population of 375 residents. The village is part of a larger township by the same name.

The township was founded in 1851, and the village was later incorporated in 1895. The first president of the village was E.R. Dailey. He was not only the first president of the village, he was also head of the major employer in the village, Empire Lumber Company. The name was taken from the 'Empire' schooner that became icebound in the area during an 1865 storm.

This company stayed in operation from 1897 to 1917, and this lead to several mills, businesses, and even a railroad being built in the area to accommodate the booming lumber town.

Still known as being responsible for helping spur the economic growth of the state, people come to visit Empire because it has transformed into an ideal tourist destination. There are several interesting events and attractions you can visit while you are there.

Things To Do In Empire, MI

From shopping to dining, there are many things to see and do while you are visiting Empire, Michigan. For those who are looking to spend some time shopping, there is surely a shop or market that will have what you are looking for.

The Deerings Market & Garden Center is a family owned and operated local business that supplies all essential items you may need while you are in town. It is the ideal place to pick up groceries for the week, or for your next picnic.

Sleeping Bear Antiques sells and specializes in linens, rare children books, and Haviland china. The store also sets up booths in nearby Traverse City.

Places To Eat

Tiffany's Cafe is located downtown on Front Street. Tiffany's is known for selling a lot of Michigan-made, premium Ashby's Ice Cream. Ice cream can complement a perfect day at the beach! 

The Manor on Glen Lake is located on the shores of the lake. This century old, renovated hotel is the ultimate event space for family reunions, weddings, high tea, and birthdays. Dinner is served here and the Manor is only opened for special events, dinner, and Sunday brunch.

Empire, Michigan is a quaint village that still draws in tourists year round who are looking for a simple and relaxing way to spend their vacation. From hiking, to festivals, to revivals, Empire offers the perfect combination of simplicity with modern amenities and activities.

Visit the Leelanau County page