When visiting Traverse City, I...
When visiting Traverse City, I find time to go downtown. Its very nice, especially in the summer. Since 1989, the US Navy Blue Angels have performed at the National Cherry Festival Airshow over the West Grand Traverse Bay. The airshow is a highlight and something I look forward to when I visit during the National Cherry Festival.
Black Star Farms on Leelanau Peninsula
Black Star Farms produces wines of high character, acidity, and balance. They also produce Leelanau Cheese in the Creamery at Black Star Farms. This Leelanau Peninsular location was their original home and is located 3 miles south of Suttons Bay. It is on a working farm with a winery, creamery, farmers' market, equestrian facility, vineyards, orchards, trails, and a B&B Inn!
We tasted wines in the tasting room, and we observed cheese being made by looking through huge glass windows, seeing the cheese makers. We learned that the milk for the cheese comes from the Gavin Farm in Cedar, MI. They have grass fed cows. They have a cellar that is cave like; it holds a certain temperature and humidity level [the cheese develops flavor while aging.]
It takes 3 months for the mild Raclette to ripen; 8-10 months for the sharp; and two years for the extra sharp. Seeing and learning about the cheese making was quite interesting. We were able to taste the cheese, which was DELICIOUS. Because we stayed in a hotel and had to type of refrigeration for the drive home, we did not buy any.
The Black Star Farms is just wonderful and should be on everyone's list to visit.
Sleeping Bear Dunes
"Sleeping Bear Dunes"
You don't have to be in great shape to climb the dunes. My 7 year old niece LOVED racing up and exploring. My 1-1/2 year old nephew had to be carried. I got some great pictures! Take plenty of water. There's water fountains at the base, but that won't help while you're in the dunes.
We rented a house in North Port, about as far north as you can get in the "little finger". It's a sleepy little town with a marina on the Grand Traverse Bay about 40 minutes north of Traverse City.
"Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park"
450 feet vertical drop into Lake Michigan. Going down it is the easy part!