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Shores, Lighthouses and Outdoor Exploring

Surrounded by a glacier-carved landscape of deep freshwater lakes and rolling hills, the Traverse City area has 376 kilometers of continuous Lake Michigan shoreline that attracts swimmers, sailors, boaters, beachcombers and kayakers. Discover Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a 100-kilometer curve of beaches, coves, islands and hills that was voted “Most Beautiful Place in America” by viewers of the “Good Morning America” TV show. Two lighthouses – Mission Point and Grand Traverse – paint a serene picture of the past and draw visitors to the tip of scenic peninsulas. In Leland, anglers will enjoy exploring Fishtown, a historic fishing village, before casting their own lines into some of the country’s finest trout streams. 


Drinks, Cuisine and Shopping Venues

Best known as a fruit-growing region – and the USA’s leading producer of tart cherries – Traverse City is a major wine and craft beer destination. The Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas are dotted with almost 40 vineyards and wineries, and both offer official wine trails to take visitors across their vine-rich landscapes. Along with microbreweries and micro distilleries, regional cuisine is also putting the city in the spotlight, thanks to a new generation of talented chefs who use fresh local ingredients from the surrounding woods, waters and farms. Bon Appetit named Traverse City one of America’s “Five Top Foodie Towns,” and top chef Mario Batali calls it “a modern gastro-paradise.” Take the scenic route to restaurants or picnic spots and bike the TART trail, eight paved routes totaling 161 kilometers. Find retail therapy at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a former state hospital built in 1884 that was converted into a community of shops, restaurants and studios.


Downtown Traverse City

Traverse City has transformed from a rustic holiday community into a charming and sophisticated small city with streets, parks and public spaces harmonizing with the scenery surrounding them. Downtown is no exception with its tree-shaded Victorian walkways lined with boutiques, coffeehouses and restaurants. With a large population of artists, craftsmen and musicians, the community has a rich cultural life featuring dozens of galleries, studios, museums and a wealth of performing talent. Stop into the State Theater, a historic movie palace, or its sister theater Bijou by the Bay for both new and classic movies (or visit during the film festival).

Fun Fact

Exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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In 2011, viewers of the TV show “Good Morning America” voted Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore the “Most Beautiful Place in America.”

Harvesting a bounty of local cherries in Traverse City
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The Grand Traverse Region is the world’s largest producer of tart cherries – the kind used in pies. They're grown here on more than 3 million trees in commercial orchards.

Prolific and picturesque vineyard in Traverse City
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With nearly 40 vineyards and wineries, the slopes of the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas have become the heartland of an increasingly famous wine-producing region.

Sunset over Leelanau Peninsula near Traverse City
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Nearby Experiences