Traverse City has become a year-round destination for visitors from across the nation. Having landed on countless Top 10 lists in National Geographic, Midwest Living, Travel & Leisure and more, it’s clear Traverse City is staking it’s claim as the place to visit in Northern Michigan.
With the natural beauty of our lakes and beaches, the growth of the wine & food industry, a thriving downtown district and expanding list of festivals, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy a trip to the Traverse area. So how do you decide where to stay, dine and play while you’re on vacation?
Let Traverse Traveler be your guide to discovering the best destinations in the Traverse City, Michigan region.
The 45th parallel runs through some of the most famous winemaking regions in the world, including our little tip of the mitt. With over 36 wineries in the area wine tourism is drawing a growing number of visitors each year. Vineyards and wineries are scattered throughout the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas, including a few tasting rooms in the heart of the city. A trip in either direction will lead to an adventure in wine tasting that rivals a trip to Napa for a fraction of the cost.
Beer & Spirits
The craft beer industry is growing throughout the nation, but perhaps no where more than Michigan. Surrounded by Pure Michigan agriculture our region is set to become the next Beer City USA. Micro-breweries, brew pubs, taprooms and beirgardens are popping up on city streets from Frankfort to Traverse City to Bellaire. In fact our love for spirits of all kinds is flourishing in northern Michigan. Local distilleries produce everything from vodka, gin, whiskey and rum to limoncello and eau de vie, with award-winning results. Come, taste the difference.
Traverse City is drawing big time attention as one of America’s top destinations for culinary tourists. Rated the #1 “Foodie City” in America by Livability.com, and making the grade among the Top Five Best Foodie Towns in America by both Midwest Living and Bon Appetit, Traverse City has earned quite a reputation as a mecca for food lovers. The agricultural heritage of this region plays out on menus throughout the city. From brew pubs and coffee shops, to farm-to-table restaurants and food trucks on the corner, there are delicious dishes for every palette and pocketbook.
Downtown Traverse City sparkles year-round as a vibrant shopping destination for visitors and locals. You’ll find specialty shops, clothing, jewelry, home decor, children’s toys and bookstores all within a few blocks radius. The shopping district is walkable, with convenient parking and easy access to Clinch Park Marina, beaches, and the Traverse Area Recreational Trail that runs throughout the city. Explore the historic Village at Grand Traverse Commons and venture out to nearby communities for more unique shops, dining and entertainment.
Whether you’re looking for historic and quaint, or modern and convenient, there are accommodations throughout Traverse City for every type of guest. But reservations are recommended as the rooms disappear quickly. Beach front resorts line the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay, while historic inns, B&Bs and vacation rentals are scattered throughout the region. From full-service resorts to campgrounds you’ll always find up-north hospitality behind the front desk.
The Traverse City area offers activities and attractions for every type of traveler. The outdoor enthusiast will discover hiking, biking, sandy beaches and fresh water lakes with each turn of the compass.Golf on courses designed by legends of the links, fly fish world-famous trout streams, and take in the scenery of America’s Most Beautiful Place – the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – all in our backyard. Traveling with Kids? Explore our museums, lighthouses, and parks on sunny days, and movie theaters, bowling alleys and arcades on the days that aren’t quite as sunny.
Traverse City is the home to several festivals of International acclaim including the National Cherry Festival and Traverse City Film Festival held each summer. Arts, entertainment and culture are thriving in this region as young talent in cultivated at the famed Interlochen Center for the Arts. The Interlochen Arts Festival, City Opera House and National Writers Series attract world-renowned performers to the region. Ask any local and they’ll tell you there’s a festival, concert, play, performance or fundraiser every week of the year.