In Northern Michigan, there is a jewel of a city that can be enjoyed year round. If you’re not familiar with Traverse City, then now’s the time to acquaint yourself! Gorgeous weather, fresh air, friendly folks…that‘s Traverse City, Michigan in a nutshell. It’s a quaint town in size, but big in human kindness, beautiful natural scenery, and activities.
Remarkably, the population is only about 15,000 in Traverse City proper, but the vigor and circulation of the city makes it appear to be much larger. There is an estimated combined total of about 140,000 in the city and surrounding towns.
Traverse City, Michigan has tremendous tourism–which is at the heart of its thriving economy. It has managed to hold fast to its charm despite an economy that has crippled cities ten times its size and larger. A significant token for the city is that it actually has four seasonal changes, which only enhances its appeal and tourism.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Mike Norton of the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Norton handles media relations and is the editor and contributing writer for Traverse City’s tourism guide. He shared details about the region from his vast personal knowledge and experience in the area.
Norton’s 3 recommended and top visited places in the region:
- Grand Traverse Commons
- Old Mission Lighthouse/Peninsula
- Sleeping Bear Dunes
Grand Traverse Commons: http://www.traversecity.com/grand-traverse-commons-418/ Old Mission Peninsula: www.oldmission.com Sleeping Bear Dunes: http://www.traversecity.com/sleeping-bear-dunes-29/
Norton’s recommendations for Young adults/Singles:
- Soft adventure
- Paddle boarding
Outdoor recreation: http://www.traversecity.com/outdoor-recreation-4/ Dining options: http://www.traversecity.com/dining-options-26/ Spas: http://www.traversecity.com/spas-311/
Norton’s recommendations for Couples:
- Evening cruises
- Tall ships
Dining, wineries and breweries: http://www.traversecity.com/dinewinebrew-285/ Golf: http://www.traversecity.com/golf-16/ Tall ships and boating: http://www.traversecity.com/tall-ships-and-boating-27/
Norton’s suggestions for Families:
- Outdoor experiences-i.e. swimming, fishing
- Lakes and Beaches
Beaches: http://www.traversecity.com/beaches-22/ Skiing and Snowboarding: http://www.traversecity.com/skiingsnowboarding-50/
Norton’s suggestions for adults 55 and older:
- Wine tasting
Shopping: http://www.traversecity.com/shopping-25/ Tours: http://www.traversecity.com/tours-420/
Activities and Dining options for Saturday and Sunday mornings:
- Cuppa Joe Restaurant
- Grand Traverse Commons
- Farmer’s market
- Sunday Brunch at Apache Trout Grill
- Sleder’s Family Restaurant
The vast offerings of Traverse City can’t be summed up in one article. For more information, including events and specials, go online to www.traversecity.com, the website of the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Fun facts about Traverse City and the surrounding area:
- It is the largest tart cherry producer in the U.S.
- One of the centers of wine production in the Midwest with several wineries in the area.
- Gorgeous freshwater beaches
- Because of its northern position on the 45th parallel and its location on the western edge of the Eastern time zone, the city enjoys daylight well into the evening hours throughout the spring and summer.
- Winter Solstice, the first day of winter and longest night of the year, is remarkable here.
Accommodations range from hotels to cabins, luxurious to no-frills, with most options being family-friendly.
- Accommodations listing: http://www.traversecity.com/accommodations-5/
An estimated 95% of visitors arrive by auto to Traverse City, MI.
Driving Distances to/from Traverse City:
- Chicago, IL. 305 miles
- Detroit, MI. 242 miles
- Indianapolis, IN. 399 miles
- Milwaukee, WI. 394 miles
For those who opt to fly, options are:
- Cherry Capital Airport–American Eagle, United Express, and Delta Airlines service the area (http://www.tvcairport.com/index.php)
- Lakeshore Express, a premier commercial airline, provides exclusive service between Chicago’s Midway Airport and Traverse City’s Pellston Airport. The pricing for the 1-hour flight includes: first-class legroom, snack and beverage and free on-site parking. (http://www.lakeshoreexpress.com/index.html)
Request a Free Visitors guide at this link:
Special Thanks to Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager for the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau, and his lovely wife, for allowing me to glean from their wisdom about the city and surrounding areas.