Traverse City: What We Love Most

On the shoreline of Lake Michigan, in a land teeming with natural beauty, art, music, food, and festivals, Traverse City is a four-season destination.

Published: 1/05/2016



1| PLAYING OUTDOORS Right in Traverse City’s front yard, stunning Grand Traverse Bay is a year-round playground. On its shoreline, Clinch Park has a marina, beaches, and benches where you can take it all in. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Leelanau Peninsula is easily one of America’s most beautiful places, with 64 miles of beaches, coves, islands, and towering dunes.

2| DINING DOWNTOWN Now recognized as one of the nation’s most unique culinary destinations with creative chefs inspired by fresh and locally sourced ingredients, Traverse City boasts more than 150 restaurants! The downtown’s tree-shaded, pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with intriguing restaurants and also galleries and boutiques to explore before and after a meal.

3| DISCOVERING CULTURE The gracious, wooded grounds of a 19th-century asylum have evolved into the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, complete with galleries, restaurants, shops, and the city’s first urban winery. The Central and Boardman neighborhoods are filled with historic Victorian architecture, including the home of the Crooked Tree Center. Dennos Museum Center, with one of the world’s largest collections of work by Inuit artists of the Canadian Arctic, and Interlochen Center for the Arts, featuring a fabulous summer arts festival and year-round concerts, are also must-visits.

4| HIKING AND CYCLING Traverse City has hundreds of square miles of public forests, nature preserves, and wildlife areas. A network of paved forest trails lies just outside the city at the Boardman River Nature Center. For cycling, there’s the Traverse Area Recreational Trail (TART), a 10-mile paved trail that crosses the city from east to west, and the Leelanau Trail, which leads north to the coastal village of Suttons Bay and seemingly endless miles of mountain biking trails.

5| TOUIRNG AND TASTING At last count, Traverse City had more than a dozen microbreweries, brewpubs, and craft brew taprooms. The Traverse City Ale Trail is a great way to discover them. And there are almost 40 wineries! Running up the center of Grand Traverse Bay, the Old Mission Peninsula treats visitors to compelling views of the lake, orchards, vineyards, and eight wineries. At the peninsula’s northernmost tip, the Old Mission Village, established in 1839, is home to several interesting spots including Lighthouse Park, where the iconic Mission Point Lighthouse, complete with a gift shop, is open for self-guided tours. The second wine trail is located on the Leelanau Peninsula. This major fruit-producing region is now home to 24-plus wineries and several charming villages with unique restaurants and shops. One example is Leland, a working fishing village whose centuryold Fishtown is a great place to shop and get a bite to eat.

Visit to learn more.

As seen in the issue Spring 2016 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.