Although it’s known as the Cherry Capital of the World, there’s a lot more to Traverse City than just fruit. The natural beauty of Grand Traverse Bay and Old Mission Peninsula are the perfect backdrop for this classic American tourist town on the banks of Lake Michigan. The warmer months are when Traverse City bursts into life, featuring local theater, frequent farmers markets, and some exceptional outdoor recreation. Summer and fall are best, when you can drive around the region and go winery hopping in between stops at small waterfront hamlets.
Things to see
They may be lake beaches, but the sand around Traverse City is as soft as sugar. During summer everyone heads to the water at Frankfort Beach and Traverse City Beach for summer fun.
The wineries surrounding Traverse City on Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula are both beautiful and delicious. All of them welcome visitors for a tour and taste during their season.
Prepare to be thrust into another realm with a local theater performance at the vintage Old Town Playhouse and its highly-acclaimed troupe of actors.
Loosen the pursestrings, because between the Traverse City Mall and the Preferred Outlets at Traverse City you will be tempted to spend and save at every turn.
Hotels in Traverse City
Traverse City is deeply connected to its seasonal tourism industry, offering hotel rooms for every budget. Accommodations here range from upscale full-service resorts along the lake to quaint historic bed and breakfasts in town. There are also plenty of family-run hotels and well-known motel chains along Traverse City’s famous Motel Mile on US-31.
Where to stay
Motel Mile is the local’s name for a long stretch of US-31 between 3 Mile Road and 4 Mile Road, where affordable motels line up like trees in a forest.
Downtown Traverse City is the best place for a historic hotel or upscale lodging along the waterfront.
Full-service resorts and popular hotels can be found along the lake outside of town in neighboring villages like Bellaire and Beulah where amenities allow guests to make the most of the water.
How to get to Traverse City
Cherry Capital Airport provides year-round flights to Traverse City from a handful of regional cities, with increased routes and frequency during the peak summer tourism season.
Indian Trails runs bus service to Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, where onward connections can be made on Greyhound Bus Lines.
Many travelers drive to Traverse City, using US-31 as the best route from Manistee Michigan.