So much diversity! The town offers everything from unique shopping in locally-owned stores, to snowshoeing, to wine-tasting at local vineyards.
It IS northern Michigan. Bring your warm clothes.
Traverse City is an excellent location for visitng other historic towns; close to the Dunes, and filled with Good Places to Eat
If you have your walking shoes, or maybe a car, I highly recommend exploring some of the residential areas near the historic center. The residents and the city have done a great job of keeping them maintained, clean and well preserved. If you appreciate architecture and/or history, take a walk down these roads.more
While walking down Front street, a sign for a LEGO expo over at the History Center of Traverse City caught our eye. My little guy loves LEGO, so we hoofed it over here to check it out. On the first floor of the building, there were a few larger LEGO displays, and then a few rooms you'd expect to find in a History Center - rooms dedicated to...more
The main shopping drag of Traverse City is Front Street - or downtown Traverse City. Here, you will find a ton of dining and shopping options - from the boutique stores to the tourist traps, and everything in between. The nice thing is that the stretch is only a few blocks long, so you don't have to drag yourself up and down miles and miles to see...more
Hey - in any touristy town, you're going to find a couple of mini-golf courses. At Pirate Cove, along with the golf, there are several other attractions (Go-karts, water slide), but the highlights are the two 18 hole mini-golf courses. Since the two kids wanted to play, we decided to take the "easier" course - and admittedly for an older golfer,...more
When visiting the historical architecture at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons don't miss the opportunity to taste the best darned bread for miles around. Know that with every mouth watering bite you are supporting the best of Northern Michigan right down to its organic crops.This scrumptious, amazing, yeast less SUPER GOOD FOR YOU bread is...more
Our visit to Chateau Chantal Winery was pleasant and 'fruitful.' This beautiful winery sits atop a well-groomed hill top on the Mission Peninsula on the outskirts of Traverse city, on the coastline of Lake Michigan. It has old-world charm and the wines produced are some of the best Michgan wineries have to offer. 'Chateau Chantal was established i...more
As we chose a place to stay in Traverse City, it became pretty apparent that it wasn't going to be...more
Service and manager are horrible. I used to be a repeat custoemer here, but service and...more
Great Wolf Lodge is brought to you by the folks at Cedar Pointe (Sandusky, OH.) There are now 5...more
The Apache Trout Grill is decorated like an upscale log cabin. There are lots of wildlife photos, natural decorations and soft lighting. The tables have white linens, but are by no means extravagant or posh. It can be both casual or romantic depending on what you're looking for. The staff was young but attentive, with good knowledge not only of the...more
If you like home cooking and a relaxed local's ambiance, then this is probably the place. Walking around the day before, I spotted this place but didn't give it much thought since it was in the late afternoon and the lights were off.But after asking a few locals while out and about, and also by asking some of the hotel staff who were noticably well...more
After trying Moomer's at two locations (and being disappointed in both), our last night brought us to Bardon's Wonder Freeze Ice Cream stand. As you pass it on Front street outside the downtown area, it doesn't look like more than your run of the mill DQ type of place. However, it is definitely worth a stop. For one - they have both soft serve and...more
The last night of our trip, we decided to not hang out at another Brewpub, but went to what pretty much amounts as just a regular pub. One of the first things Blue Tractor has going for it, is that there is ample parking, including a parking garage right behind it. When you come in from the rear, you do have to walk all the way to the front of the...more
Located on the eastern end of the Front street area, Bubba's doesn't look like much on the outside. On the inside, it's got a bar feel to it - there is a large bar that runs along the side of the place. There isn't a ton of seating - but the food comes fairly quickly. We were seated quickly right around noon, but it was pretty apparent that we just...more
After the disappointing brewery experience the night before, I was hoping for something a little better the following evening. We arrived here right around 5:30 and were seated promptly. While many were eating outside, we were seated in the clean inside dining room, right off from the bar. Our waitress appeared promptly for a drink order - that...more
Living about an hour north of Chicago, Mickey and I decided that the best way to travel to Traverse City, Michigan, was via automobile. Since we trade off each year as to whose car to use, we knew that it was my turn to use my car. Tradition for us includes taking a photograph of the person and her car just as we are ready to leave. It is about 6-6...more
461 Reviews and Opinions
I was actively looking for a gift for my soon-to-be five year old granddaughter, Sabrina Dee because later that week, she was going to graduate from pre-school. When we walked into Murdick's Fudge Shoppe, I was not even thinking about a gift for Sabrina; that is, until I saw this beautiful PINK butterfly attached to a small pole for placing in the...more
Aurora Borealis Designs is a lovely shop in Leland, Michigan that features custom designed jewelry made from beach glass. The artist uses Petoskey stones and Leland bluestone which are gathered from the beaches of Leland and elsewhere in Leelanau County, Michigan.This store/studio is located in Leland, Michigan, and it is the red building...more
Chateau Grand Traverse Wine Tasting and Gift Shop is located on Old Mission Peninsula. It is a modern wine making facility; yet, it is the oldest and largest winery on the Old Mission Peninsula.This is a family wine making establishment [the O'Keefe family] that was started in 1974. Through the years, they have won many medals for their world-class...more
Don't miss a chance to see the Bay BEFORE the crowds arrive each afternoon. Get up early and bike or walk down to the water. Sit and consider the beauty before you. Meditate on what is important in life. Live, Laugh, Love!
The only way into or out of Traverse City is on a two-lane highway, with oncoming traffic. Plenty of it. In fact, Traverse City is the second largest population center in the USA that still has no 4-lane access to the national highway grid (San Angelo TX is the largest). If you plan to arrive or leave Traverse City on a weekend in the summer,...more
There are two fudge shops on the same block of Front Street and even locals are known to go inside!
I personally prefer Kilwin's for the atmosphere and originality, plus they sell much more than just fudge. I will splurge and buy something sweet just for fun on certain days when I feel touristy. I enjoy just a small chocolate sweet or perhaps a caramel/chocolate-covered pretzel to munch as I wander down Front Street.
Unique Suggestions: Observe the process of fudge making. Consider a taste and then follow your heart. You will probably walk it off quickly anyway. Just resist the temptation to "Buy 3, get one free!"
Fun Alternatives: Not into Fudge? Fine, try the House of Doggs hot dog joint around the corner on Union Street.
I don't eat much meat so I can't speak from experience but it seems to be a hopping spot with a plethora of choices for your dog.
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,...more
Hours: Mid May to Early September: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dailyearly September to Mid October: Noon to 5:00 p.m. Weekend (Sat & Sun only)The Sleeping Bear Point Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum is located just west of Glen Haven. It is the original Sleeping Bear Point U.S. Life-Saving Station [which was moved to its present location because of...more
Glen Haven, Michigan, is a renovated and restored logging village on the Leelanau Peninsula and is located within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In 1857, Glen Haven was founded west of Glen Arbor and was a settlement called Sleeping Bearville. By 1881, there were eleven buildings in this community. The Park Service purchased all of the...more
The most fun that I personally experienced on this 4-day trip to northern Michigan was doing the Sleeping Bear Dunes climb.First, I want to tell about the LEGEND: "Sleeping Bear took its name from an ojibway legend about its formation. According to the story, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven by forest fires from what is now Wisconsin and...more
As Mickey and were taking the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, we noticed that #4 on the drive was called Cottonwood Trail. Since one of the activities we wanted to do while in Sleeping Bear National Dunes was to take a hike on a trail, we decided to give it a try. Thus, on the spur of the moment, we decided to take this particular hike. The bad thing...more
If you really like the notion of "small-town America" and "America, the way it used to be", then you really do need to walk through the historic neighborhoods of TVC. And although the houses certainly have history, these neighborhoods are living and growing.It's really satisfying in a generational way to see these beautiful old home so nicely kept...more
As mentioned in my introduction, Traverse City is centered in a major cherry growing and exporting area. The rebirth of the cherry industry has, to a great extent, been fueled by civic-minded locals hell-bent on saving the old cherry orchards from condo builder bulldozers.You can buy just about any cherry-related or themed product you'd want in and...more