Visitors' Guide to Traverse City, Michigan
About This Article
This article will describe Traverse City, Michigan and the many festivals, and other recreational activities that make it an exciting vacation, retirement and year round destination. There are opportunities for those interested in golf, film, literature, festivals, outdoor activities, downtown shopping and much more.
Traverse City, Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay
Best Small Towns.....Smithsonian.com, Traverse City is #4
- The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015 | Travel | Smithsonian
From sea to shining sea, our top picks for the most amazing American small towns to see this year
"Take Me There".....Listen as You Read
My Hometown, Traverse City, Michigan
When I first moved to Traverse City, Michigan thirty-two years ago, I called it the biggest, little town I'd ever seen. While it was true in 1983, it is even more true today, as Traverse City has grown to become a premier vacation, retirement and new home destination. In the years I have spent in this town, I have run on the paved path along Grand Traverse Bay, water skied on the blue waters of both East and West Bays and picnicked with my family in the grassy parks along the water. I never get tired of just walking down Front Street, where restaurants, shops, theaters and bookstores offer hours of enjoyment. This is the place I call home, and I want to share it with you.
Front Street, Downtown Traverse City, Michigan
A Walk Along Front Street in Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan is located in the northwest lower peninsula and is a favorite place in the world for tourists and residents alike. The greater Traverse City area, dominated by cherry farms, is known as the Cherry Capital of the world. The life of northwest Michigan is the downtown of this remarkable city. A stroll along Front Street in Traverse City is always an enjoyable way to spend a little spare time.
The first eye catcher is the number of people in downtown Traverse City during any time of day or season of the year. The second is the number of shops, restaurants, bookstores and entertainment venues along the eight blocks of downtown Traverse City. Restaurants cover a variety of cuisines including Mexican, Middle Eastern, French, Eclectic Southern, Thai and Greek. In addition there are multiple sidewalk cafes, micro breweries, and family style eateries.
Traverse City's Historic State TheatreClick thumbnail to view full-size
Downtown Traverse City Entertainment Venues
The three main entertainment venues in downtown Traverse City are the State Theatre, Bijou by the Bay and the City Opera House. The State Theater and The Bijou host the Traverse City Film Festival and the Traverse City Comedy Festival, both directed by film producer, Michael Moore. The Opera House hosts a variety of talents from around the world. The Film Festival, Micro brew Festival, Comedy Festival and National Cherry Festival add even more fun to daytime and nighttime activities.
National Writers Series in Downtown Traverse City, Michigan
Another downtown Traverse City, Michigan event that draws crowds to the City Opera House year round is the National Writers Series. The event was founded by Traverse City native and New York Times best selling author, Doug Stanton. Throughout the year, best selling authors from around the world visit Traverse City for an evening that is much more than an interview. The onstage setting, coupled with the Opera House atmosphere leaves everyone with a sense of live theatre. Authors such as Michael Connelly, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Janet Evanovich provide the entertainment.
Traverse City Wine Country and Golf Resorts
- Golf Traverse City, Golf Northern Michigan - Traverse City
Information on Traverse City Golf and Golf Courses. Located near the Sleeping Bear Dunes Traverse City offers great northern Michigan golf and information on lodging, things to do, beaches, events, and wineries in the Traverse Bay area.
- Traverse City Wine Country, Michigan Wines - Traverse City
Information on Traverse City Wine Country and Michigan Wines. Located near the Sleeping Bear Dunes Traverse City offers great lodging, things to do, golf, beaches, events, and wineries in the Traverse Bay area.
The Greater Traverse City Area
The outlying area enhances the experience. Grand Traverse Bay, which draws the northern boundary of downtown, provides water recreation of all kinds. Recently, the City of Traverse City carried out a long anticipated project on the city property along the Bay. For three quarters of a century, the main attraction at this location was Traverse City’s Clinch Park Zoo, which featured animals native to the State of Michigan. The zoo facilities are gone now, and the animals all have new homes. The end result of the two and a half million dollar revamp has been the addition of a concession stand and restrooms. But the feature of the expansion is lots and lots of wide open space for everyone to enjoy.
Photos Along the WaterfrontClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore NPS
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located northwest of Traverse City in beautiful Leelanau County and Benzie County. This 32 mile stretch of dunes, forests, inland lakes and Lake Michigan shoreline is the destination of well over one million people annually. The National Park service provides family events such as The Port Oneida Fair (2014) on the grounds of The Port Oneida Rural Historic Farm District.
Horse Shows By the Bay
Another area event that somehow gets overlooked by the local population, but is immensely popular among certain visitors is Horse Shows By the Bay. This is a series of four, one week long competitions. Thousands of the nations most gifted horses and riders come to Traverse City to compete in hunter, jumper, and dressage riding. While its main purpose is to offer a high quality competition for riders and entertainment for spectators, the series of events is also responsible for adding fifteen million dollars annually to the local economy.
Featuring Traverse City, Michigan
You Are Welcome in Traverse City, Michigan
Now you see why I consider it a pleasure and a privilege to call Traverse City, Michigan my home. Even though it has grown over the years, Traverse City has not lost the small town feeling. I can still stroll down Front Street and see old friends doing the same. As residents, we welcome with open arms the many visitors who choose to make our hometown their hometown, if only for a short time. But watch out. One visit may just have you wanting to call Traverse City, Michigan your home for the long term.