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Traveling to Traverse City, Michigan

Updated on August 5, 2017

Some history about Traverse City Michigan

Grand Traverse bay is where Traverse city got its name from. It is the primary feature of city. Grand Traverse bay is a huge bay 10 miles wide and 32 miles deep. And in the middle of the bay, there is a long peninsula, it was actually the location of the first post office.

Traverse City's first permanent settlement was established in 1839. The Boardman family began a sawmill. the Boardmans sold the mill in 1851, which was a huge boon to the city. It was the new owners that improved the mill and the city began to build up around it. And by 1872 the city was connected by railway, and that was the final boon needed for the city. Population began to expand at a nice rate.

Mission Point Lighthouse

It is one of the things I had to see while we were there. Not only did it give us a reason to drive the peninsula, which is pretty cool. But it also has a pretty nice beach at it as well. That, and I have a huge addiction to lighthouses. I just think they are the coolest thing ever, and that people lived in them and operated them at all hours, and the fact that they have been around for usually more than 100 years.

Mission Point lighthouse was built in 1870, because of a boat crash and sink, in the late 1860's on a shallow reef near the location of the lighthouse. The money was raised for the structure ($6000) after the ship sunk, but it was delayed due to the civil war.

For 15 years from 1933 to 1948, the lighthouse was abandoned, before a handful of the peninsula residents collected funds, allowing the township to purchase the lighthouse and surrounding property. It was then restored and added to the National and State historical register,

Old Mission Lighthouse is on a Peninsula in Traverse bay, with a public beach
Old Mission Lighthouse is on a Peninsula in Traverse bay, with a public beach
The beaches at Old Mission Lighthouse
The beaches at Old Mission Lighthouse

Traverse City Michigan is known for cherries and wine

If you have heard of Traverse City, Michigan. It was probably for their cherries. I believe they are the cherry capital of the world...

Well, I actually have no idea if that is true, but it seems like it should be. They have a national cherry festival at the end of June. It attracts nearly half a million people for the week long festival

And if you drive through the country side just on the outskirts of the city you will find lots of cherry orchards. And then there is old mission point. They have a lot of cherry orchards and vineyards on the peninsula.

Old mission peninsula is a beautiful location. it has loads of vineyards and orchards. And there are lots of wine tasting opportunities. Which is a fu, grown up vacation time.

Wine Country Michigan

The Grand Traverse lighthouse is not in Traverse city. but...

I was mostly in Traverse City to see the lighthouses. So, we had to drive up to Northport to see the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, while we were in the general area. It was way cooler than the Mission Point lighthouse, at least in my personal opinion. And the drive is cool.

And Mario Batalli can sometimes be spotted in Northport.

So, for all those reasons, I think you should totally make that drive.

Oh, also, the lighthouse was built in 1852 and was in operation until 1972, when the automatic beacon tower was erected. Since 1986 it has been open to the public. It is a beautiful lighthouse, and I love the rocky beach that surrounds it. We went on a cloudy day with a slight mist in the air, and it was perfect.

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is actually just north of Northport
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is actually just north of Northport
Beaches at Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Beaches at Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Check out Traverse City if you need a place to vacation

Traverse city is probably a vacation town first and foremost. It is a fun town, but it will be slightly pricey.

Most likely you will come to Traverse city if you are looking for freshwater beaches, wine, cherries, and lighthouses. All of which are great.

But there is also Sleeping Bear Sand dunes. They are also something worth seeing, and they are really close to Traverse City. It is less than an hour drive to the dunes. I find it amazing that Michigan has so much sand.

All around, it is a nice area to spend a four day weekend, or maybe even a week. It has fun for any family member. And there are so many little vacation towns that you could spend a small fortune on kitchy t-shirts, and Petoskey stones with uplifting words or wisdom or something, if you are into that.


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