Traverse City travel guide


Traverse City Tourism | Traverse City Guide

You're Going to Love Traverse City

Located in northern Michigan, Traverse City may seem remote, but it's quickly becoming one of the most popular inland tourist destinations in the USA. The reasons aren't hard to find. From high-quality food and drink to fine scenery, sailing opportunities, golf courses and comfortable resorts, Traverse City is an easy destination to love.

For one thing, Traverse City is great for gourmet food and drink fans. Join tour parties with By the Bay Transportation to explore the region's burgeoning wine scene. Gorge yourself on the freshest, most delicious cherry pie imaginable at the Grand Traverse Pie Company and relax in luxury spas at resorts like the Inn at Bay Harbor.

On the other hand, it's also a wonderful place for active vacationers. Sail on the bay, shoulder your golf bag at a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, hike in the coves and inlets, parasail, swim or go horse-riding - all of this can be enjoyed in Traverse City, so make it your next getaway destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Traverse City

What to do in Traverse City

Top activities & attractions in Traverse City

When to Visit Traverse City

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The majority of visitors to Traverse City head there during the summer months, which is when the charter boats are busiest, and the shore is teeming with families looking for space to relax. If you can handle the crowds, July and August are the best times to go. You won't just get the best weather, you can also attend major events like the National Cherry Festival. For those wanting a more private trip, try April and May, or September and October.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Traverse City

How to Get to Traverse City

Airlines serving Traverse City

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Where to Stay in Traverse City

Most of the best places to stay in Traverse City are located along the shores of Grand Traverse Bay. If you require luxury accommodation, the Inn at Bay Harbor is hard to beat, with a beautiful shoreside location and on-site championship standard golf course. However, families might feel more at home at Cedar Lake Lodge, which offers standalone cabins and plenty of activities. If you are on a budget, have a look at "motel mile" on US-31 or city center options like the Days Inn or the Heritage Inn.

Popular Neighborhoods in Traverse City

Where to stay in popular areas of Traverse City

Most booked hotels in Traverse City

How to Get Around Traverse City

The Cost of Living in Traverse City

Shopping Streets

Traverse City is one of the best places in the USA to shop for fresh fruit and related products. For example, there are few better places to stock up on artisan preserves, cordials and fruit wines than the Cherry Stop on E Front Street. However, there are also conventional shopping opportunities as well. Grand Traverse Mall is definitely the best place for shoppers to visit, with major names like TK Maxx, JC Penney and Target.

Groceries and Other

Self-catering is a popular way to stay in Traverse City, and if you have access to your own kitchen there are plenty of places to shop. Supermarkets on the outskirts of town like Tom's Food Market and Oleson's offer the best deals, but Sara Hardy Farmers Market offers plenty of fresh fruit and other produce if you want to splash out. Food and drink isn't that cheap, with a gallon of milk costing around $2.80 and a pound of apples $2.30, but you can buy local produce cheaply when fruit and vegetables are in season. And the wine is always in season.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans

Where to Eat in Traverse City

Home cooking is a big deal in Traverse City and there are a number of great places to dine on traditional dishes. Everyone should try the cherry pie at Grand Traverse Pie Company (after all, you are traveling to the "cherry capital of the world"). If you want a full meal, head to fine Italian restaurants like Trattoria Stella or Tuscan Bistro, seafood and meat joints like Scott's Harbor Grill or upmarket Mexican options like Red Mesa Grill. Expect to pay $20 for a midrange meal and over $30 at higher end restaurants.

Most popular restaurants in Traverse City

Trattoria Stella
Contemporary Italian
Excellent (505 reviews)
Boathouse Restaurant
Excellent (202 reviews)
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