Traverse City is a Michigan Gem. Here's 11 Reasons Why


Nestled in the North West corner of Michigan, sits Traverse City. This Northern Michigan city is a must visit city for all Michiganders and out of staters. Let’s take a peek at why you need to experience one of my favorite places in Michigan today! 

Best Things To Do in Traverse City Overview (2021)

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Traverse City is the gateway to one of Michigan’s most popular natural attractions, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sleeping Bear Dunes was recognized as the Most Beautiful Place in America by Good Morning America. 

Here are some of the Best Things to do at Sleeping Bear Dunes:

  • Dune Climb – This hike should no be taken lightly. The rolling dunes take you to the shores of Lake Michigan on this 4 mile hike. Be weary if it’s hot and you’re not in good condition
  • Pierce Stocking 7 Mile Drive – The Pierce Stocking drive is the best way to get a sense of the grandeur of the dunes without the physical challenge. There are various viewpoints but the best are the 8 and 9 that require only a few minutes of walking to get the best view of Lake Michigan in the state. This scenic drive is OPEN during the Covid-19 Pandemic from 9 am to 1/2 hour after sunset.
  • Pyramid Point – Pyramid Point has incredible views of Lake Michigan but requires a 1 mile hike. Get here if you can

Traverse City Breweries

Let’s start with one of the main draws to Traverse City, Beer! Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo might get all of the attention, but Traverse City has slowly become a major destination for Beer Drinkers.

The City has more than 16 breweries and best part about it, most of them are situated in close proximity.

Here are some of the BEST Breweries in Traverse City:

  • Right Brain Brewery 
  • The Filling Station 

Beer not your thing? Head into the Traverse City Whiskey Company for a taste of locally sourced and produced Whiskey. These guys have a lovely space for cocktails and TOURS!

Cherry Capital of the World!

Traverse City is the Cherry Capital of the world! Make sure to plan your visit when the National Cherry Festival is in town. If you are lucky you can catch the Local Northwoods Baseball League team, the Pit Spitters in action.

Wineries of the Traverse Area

The Traverse City Wine Region is the 6th highest grape production region in the U.S. The area has quietly stayed under the radar while having an excellent growing climate with it’s cold winters and long summers.

The region stretches into the Leelanau Peninsula and the Old Mission Peninsula that offers visitors sprawling Lake Michigan scenery and a lovely bucolic setting.

Here are some of the Best Traverse City Wineries:

  • Left Foot Charley
  • Bonobo Winery
  • Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery
  • Mari Vineyards
  • Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Are Wineries in Traverse City Open during the Covid-19 pandemic? Yes, the wineries are open but are operating on limited capacity. Expect longer lines and limited winery experiences.

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Traverse City Biking

Biking in Traverse City is a main draw for many folks to the region. With options like the TART trail, Vasa Mountain Bike trails, and downtown bike paths, bikers will love pushing their pedals here.

Didn’t bring a bike? Rent one from one of these Bike Shops

Golfing in Traverse City

PohlCat Golf Course

Golfers will absolutely love the golf courses near Traverse City. Options for Golfers to tee it up include:

The Bear Golf Course 

Traverse City Country Club

Lake Michigan and City Kayaking

Paddle enthusiasts have the option to paddle throughout some of the cities canals. Want more? You can take part in a Paddle Brewery Tour when you make your way here!

America's #1 Ice Cream - Moomers

Moomers was recently awarded BEST ICE CREAM Scoop in the United States by USA Today. Have your fill in town or drive out into the country side and visit their farm for an authentic taste of the Nations Best Ice Cream.

Traverse City Festivals

Traverse City is home to a number of nationally recognized events. Here are some of the most popular ones you will want to find your way to:

  • National Cherry Festival
  • TC Food Festival 
  • TC Film Festival
  • Bells Iceman Cometh
  • Blossom DAY

Northern Michigan Fishing

The Grand Traverse Bay and beyond hosts some excellent fishing opportunities for those in the area. Combine that with the sparking blue waters of Lake Michigan and you will surely have yourself a day. Find TC Fishing Charters here

Free Transportation

One of the most overlooked parts about a city can be its transportation system. For those who have had to much to drink or just don’t want to think about parking downtown, the city has the Bayline Bus. The Bayline Bus runs from 7 am-11 pm everyday and runs every 15 minutes with stops at some of the most popular places in town.

Grand Traverse County Regions

The region has three different sections to familiarize yourself with:

  • Traverse City Area 
  • Leelanau Peninsula – Leland, Suttons Bay and Northport. Leland is Michigan’s “Fishtown” and Suttons Bay is home to Hop Lot Brewing. Northport is at the Top of the Leelanau Peninsula and features the Grand Traverse Lighthouse at the tip.
  • Old Mission Peninsula – Wineries, Wineries, and Wineries. Follow it to the tip to find the Mission Point Lighthouse.

Best Things to do Close to Traverse City

In almost any direction outside of Traverse City, visitors can find some other unbelievable things to do. Here are some that you should include on your list for your next visit within 45 minutes of downtown Traverse!

Snowboarding at Crystal Mountain – Crystal Mountain is one of the closest Ski Resorts to Traverse City, and is one that is welcoming to all levels of skills. Families will love the environment here and snowfall is abundant.

High Rollaways – This spot is growing in popularity thanks to Instagram, but is still relatively quiet on the must see Michigan attractions. The beauty of this spot is from an aerial perspective(drone) but the viewing platform will do it’s job for you. Visit in Fall to witness the insane color transformation.


tahquamenon Falls

I hope this has helped you plan your trip to one of my favorite places in Michigan. If you need me to help schedule your trip, Please reach out, and if you are looking to hire a Northern Michigan Photographer, follow the link. Thank you for reading and check out my Michigan Photos for Sale

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