Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, Traverse City is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, exquisite wine, pristine beaches, diverse shopping, delicious cherries, and a rich art and music scene. Come with us to explore the city and see why it’s a must-visit destination for any traveler.
Cherry Capital of the World
When it comes to cherries, Traverse City is synonymous with this delectable fruit, which is a cherished tradition and a source of pride for the city. The sight of cherry blossoms in spring and the aroma of cherry pie baking in the oven are part of the cultural fabric of the city. The region's fertile orchards produce a bounty of cherries, with tart cherries being a specialty.
Every July, Traverse City hosts the National Cherry Festival, a week-long celebration that features a wide range of events from cherry-themed parades and live music to cherry pie-eating contests and pit-spitting competitions. It's a fun, family-friendly event that highlights the integral role cherries play in the local heritage.
Traverse City proudly wears the title of the "Cherry Capital of the World” because the cherry industry has deep roots in this region and the city has been at the forefront of cherry production for over a century. Today, the area is celebrated for exceptional harvests. Whether you're a long-time resident or a first-time visitor, Traverse City's love affair with cherries is contagious, heartwarming and delicious.
The Great Outdoors
Traverse City can aptly be described as a nature lover's paradise. Its surroundings offer year-round activities for all ages and preferences.
With more than 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Traverse City is full of beaches, trails, and waterways for swimming, hiking and water sports. Enjoy one of Traverse City’s beaches for taking in the sun, sand, and swimming. Grand Traverse Bay is a haven for kayaking and paddleboarding along the clear, pristine waters while soaking in the picturesque surroundings. If you prefer to stay on land, you can hike or bike the TART Trail, which offers stunning views of Grand Traverse Bay.
When winter comes to Traverse City, you can still enjoy water activities at the Great Wolf Lodge. For outdoor enthusiasts, winter in Traverse City offers an array of activities for all skill levels, including skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Traverse City's winter activities allow you to appreciate the serenity of nature, with snow-laden forests and the hush of a winter wonderland.
Traverse City's downtown district is a vibrant hub made up of quaint boutiques, art galleries, farmer’s markets, restaurants and local stores. Whether you're on the hunt for fashion, home décor, jewelry, art, food or unique souvenirs, you'll find it in the heart of the city. Stroll down Front Street and explore the unique boutiques and shops showcasing a variety of merchandise.
Art lovers will be particularly enchanted by the city's thriving arts community, with numerous art galleries and studios scattered throughout the downtown area. Local and international artists exhibit their work, showcasing a diverse range of artistic styles.
Traverse City's bustling farmers' markets are not just places to purchase fresh produce but also opportunities to sample local flavors. You'll find an abundance of fruits, vegetables, artisanal cheeses, baked goods and more. Shopping at the farmers' markets gives you a chance to connect with local farmers and producers while savoring the essence of northern Michigan.
Foodies will appreciate Traverse City for its diverse flavors. The city offers international fare as well as regionally produced products, like cherry jams, artisanal chocolates and fudge, and regional wines. Dining out in Traverse City is a smorgasbord of choices from food trucks to fine dining that may make it difficult to decide what and where to eat.
The Traverse City area is home to numerous wineries and vineyards and has been steadily gaining recognition in the world of winemaking. With 10 wineries within five miles, the Old Mission Peninsula just north of the city is known for producing exceptional varietals like Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. At many of these wineries, you can enjoy tastings along with stunning views of the vineyard-covered hills or Grand Traverse Bay.
The region takes its wine seriously. From wine festivals to winemaking classes, there's always something happening. This passion for its wine is celebrated with annual events providing opportunities to learn more about vinification, sample new releases, and connect with fellow wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
Traverse City offers tastings and tours, making it easy for visitors to explore the world of Northern Michigan wine. Savoring a glass of wine while overlooking rows of grapevines with Lake Michigan in the distance is an experience that's nothing short of magical.
Art, music and Culture
Traverse City's cultural landscape is a mosaic of artists, performers and influences drawing from its Native American heritage, European settlers, and diverse communities that now call the region home. This rich blend of cultures is reflected in the city's events, art and music, creating a dynamic and ever-evolving scene.
Explore the works of local and international artists, showcasing a diverse range of artistic styles. Traverse City's galleries feature a rich array of talent, from painters and sculptors to photographers and mixed-media artists. You'll also find works by international artists, creating a dynamic and global perspective on the art scene.
Traverse City hosts a variety of musical events throughout the year, from concerts in the park to classical performances at venues such as The Dennos Museum Center, City Opera House, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts located just outside the city. During the summer, Traverse City comes alive with outdoor concerts in the park. These events allow you to enjoy live music while soaking in the natural beauty of the region.
Traverse City is a remarkable destination. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a food and wine lover, an art connoisseur, or a beach bum, Traverse City offers something for everyone. Plan your visit and prepare to be charmed by this enchanting corner of Michigan.
Indian Trails can help get you there in two ways. First, we run regular bus routes to and from Traverse City throughout the state, and beyond. Buy a ticket and enjoy stress-free travel to this wonderful destination. If you’re bringing a lot of traveling companions, you can charter a bus and create a customized sightseeing tour! Either way, start your adventure with Indian Trails.