The shopping in northern Michigan is truly representative of the unique culture in each community. For an authentic experience, spend some time in the shopping district and you’ll see why travelers say, “We don’t have shopping like this at home.” Stroll the streets of downtown Traverse City, Old Town and the Warehouse District and you’ll find there are more than just t-shirts and fudge for sale. Restaurants, theaters, coffee shops, breweries, book stores, art galleries, jewelers and clothing stores are all within walking distance of parking, beaches and the marina. Festivals and events like art fairs, sidewalk sales and Friday Night Live bring the entertainment out on the streets.

village-shop-roundFor a shopping destination like no other visit The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Known to the locals as the Old State Hospital this 480 acre parcel in the heart of Traverse City is now one of the largest historic redevelopment sites in the nation! Built in 1885, The Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane once housed over 3,500 patients. The former state hospital’s many buildings were left to decay after closing in 1989 – until developer Ray Minervini came along, that is. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is now a vibrant, eclectic gathering place for residents and visitors alike.

Shop your way through the Mercado in Building 50, with its towering red spires, to discover restaurants, a winery, Made in Michigan gifts and specialty shops. Explore the grounds to find the old laundry facility is now a winery, and the firehouse has been re-imagined as a wood-fired bakery. The history and magic of the Village is remarkable.

An Up North vacation means you can shop until you drop! Especially if you’re willing to hop in the car and discover the secrets that await in the communities that surround this region. Take a drive along M-22 into Suttons Bay, Leland, Glen Arbor, Empire and Frankfort. Each town has a shopping district and eateries that rival the beauty of the place.

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