Named one of America's Top 10 Beach Towns by Fodor's Travel Guides, Traverse City is Michigan's favorite northern travel destination. Miles and miles of sugar sand beaches along Lake Michigan, numerous outdoor activities, an energetic downtown and award-winning wineries make Traverse City the place to be!
At just over 15,000 people, Traverse City has a small town feel with large town advantages. In fact, the food scene in Traverse City is gaining national attention, with recognition by Bon Appetit magazine and Chef Mario Batali, who has a summer home in Traverse City.
Top Things to Do and See in Traverse City
- The Village at Grand Traverse Commons: Once the Traverse City State hospital, the village holds a lot of history, even ghost stories, and offers unique shopping, fine restaurants and tours.
- Traverse City Recreation and Transportation Trails: Traverse City has a wonderful network of biking and walking trails perfect for seeing the city and supporting an active lifestyle.
- Grand Traverse Bay: This gorgeous, calm bay has popular beaches all along the coast and shimmering blue water navigated by sailboats.
- State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay: Run by the Traverse City Film Festival, both theaters play an important role in the community and host a variety of films and events.
- Beach Bums Baseball Game: This professional baseball team play at Wuerfel Park, a grand stadium that resembles a resort hotel, with home games perfect for the whole family.
Downtown Traverse CityThe largest, most developed and diverse downtown in Northern Michigan, Front Street in Traverse City is an experience unlike any other. With so many nooks and crannies in the downtown area, each time you visit you are sure to find something new. The shopping is superb: fine apparel, handcrafted jewelry, art galleries, home furnishings, gourmet Michigan foods, electronics, music and so many specialty stores to leave you speechless. With events and attractions happening all year long, downtown Traverse City is always an adventure.
The Great OutdoorsIf you like to hit the links, Traverse City golf championship courses will become your favorite places to play. With designs by such famous players as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Tom Weiskopf, you'll find these courses both beautiful and challenging. Pamper yourself with a visit to one of Traverse City's premier spas, visit a museum or lighthouse or try your luck at a local casino. For just $10, watch a Traverse City Beach Bums baseball game in Wuerfel Park, which resembles a hotel more than a ballpark. Kids will love the waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge. Not too far away is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and you won’t want to miss climbing the high dunes and enjoying breathtaking vistas of Lake Michigan.
During the winter, Traverse City is still a great place to enjoy the outdoors! Engage in snowshoe races, go cross country and downhill skiing, explore the county by snowmobile or ice skate on the lakes. There's no better way to survive the cold than to immerse yourself in it and have fun!
BeachesOver 180 miles of shoreline await you on Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. Traverse City locals and visitors enjoy water that is clear blue, clean and FRESH! None of that pesky salt water to dry out your skin. You'll feel refreshed and relaxed after your swim. With all this space, you'll avoid the crowds and have your own special spot on the beach. Build a sand castle, soak up some sun and feel the stress leave your body.
Wine CountryThe Traverse City and Leelanau Peninsula area is home to 34 wineries, many of which offer tours and wine tasting, and they're all within miles of each other. The steep slopes hold moisture, and the climate unique to this region is perfect for producing some of the best wines in the country. Read Our Northwest Michigan Wineries & Vineyards Story here.
Traverse City Festivals & EventsAny season — any time — Traverse City is where you want to be. We have listed our area events in our festivals & events story so you can see at a glance what's happening when. Don’t miss the annual Cherry Festival or the nationally acclaimed Traverse City Film Festival. You'll never be bored in Traverse City!
Some of Traverse City's Top Events
- National Cherry Festival
- Traverse City Film Festival
- Northwestern Michigan Fair
- Taste of Traverse City
- Traverse City Wine & Art Festival
- Blossom Days
Lodging & Restaurants in Traverse CityWhen it's time to retire for the evening, Traverse City has the most wonderful variety of accommodations. Hotels and motels, bed & breakfasts, cabins and resorts, condominiums and vacation rentals are available in all styles and price ranges. And you certainly won't go hungry in Traverse City — their distinctive cuisine will both surprise and delight you. Fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables are showcased in delicious entrees and desserts. New restaurants are always popping up, and the Little Fleet food truck spot on Front Street remains a popular stop during the summer. Tantalize your taste buds with a glass of wine produced from area vineyards. Whether you stop into a cafe, bistro or elegant restaurant, you will not be disappointed.
For more information about the Traverse City area:
Traverse City Chamber of Commerce
202 E Grandview Pkwy
Traverse City, MI
Traverse City Chamber of Commerce