10 Things to Do in Traverse City That You Shouldn't Miss

September 26, 2017 Toi Mattera

Traverse City, known as a four-season playground, is now celebrated for quality cuisine, wine and culture. Miles of sugar-sand shoreline include the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with romantic lighthouses and coastal villages. The glacier-sculpted landscape of orchards and vineyards includes 16 golf courses. Swimming, sailing, paddling, hiking and fishing are favorite warm weather activities, while winter turns the region into a playground for skiers, snowmobilers and snowshoers.
Restaurants in Traverse City

1. Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails

148 E Front St, Suite 201, Traverse City, MI 49684-5725 +1 231-941-4300
Excellent
84%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 163 reviews

Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails

Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation (TART) Trails is system of paved and dirt trails for walkers, hikers, bikers, skaters and skiers in Northern Michigan. Trails are open year-round and available for many users and uses. Many of the paved trails offer access to local breweries, wineries, coffeehouses, restaurants and other area attractions such as lakes, river and beaches. Many of the dirt trails offer world class mountain biking and hiking opportunities for users of various skill levels. Numerous area bike shops offer rentals for any type of technical or recreational riders. Dogs are also welcomed on the trails and must be leashed and cleaned up after.

Reviewed By nursekathyi - Virginia Beach, VA

My husband and I rode the Leelanau Bike Trail from Traverse City to Sutton Bay. We missed the turnoff from Traverse Bay up to the trail and ended up riding along the busy roadway until we figured it out (Thank You Google!). There is only 1 sign to direct you (from what we could tell) so be on the lookout for it. The rental bike company at Clinch Park offered little instruction. The trail travels through mostly farmland including vineyards, hops, and forests.The only water view is in Traverse City. Be aware that there aren't any places to buy water or snacks along the way so plan accordingly, especially if you plan to ride the whole 18 miles. Also, we planned to ride to Sutton Bay and take the bus back to Traverse City......unfortunately the website for pick up times was not up to date and we almost missed the bus.Thankfully my husband was able to flag the bus down and the driver let us on (otherwise we would have been forced to stay in Sutton Bay for another hour and a half.......or ride the 18 miles back to Traverse City!). Hopefully they have corrected the website but you may want to call to verify the correct times before venturing out. All in all it is a pleasant ride in the country.

2. Bowers Harbor Vineyards

2896 Bowers Harbor Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686-9735 +1 231-223-7615
Excellent
75%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 283 reviews

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

We are a boutique winery located in Northern Michigan on picturesque Old Mission Peninsula. Our cool-climate viticulture experience coupled with our hard work proves to produce superior quality Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and our signature meritage blend the 2896, Langley Vineyard. A visit to our quaint tasting room will afford you the opportunity to taste our sparkling wines, red wines, white wines, and view the quiet loveliness of Bowers Harbor. Wine tasting is comfortable and inviting at Bowers Harbor Vineyards; no need to be intimidated! The Tasting Room Join us in the Bower’s Harbor Tasting Room to try the latest Award-Winning wines! - Wine Tasting - Wine by the Glass - Local Cheeses & Spreads - Coroporate & Private Event Rentals - Dining in the Vines - Summer and Fall Vineyard Tours by Reservation - Parties of 8 or More, Please Call for Reservations

Reviewed By Angela M - Rockford, Illinois

Beautiful grounds, cool outdoor tasting areas, love dogs so I really love the theme. Our wine pourer Kevin was so personable and outgoing and really knew his stuff. He even added a wine to our tasting that he thought I would like based on our...MoreSo happy you had a great time visiting us and hope you are continuing to enjoy the wine at home. I will pass on your kind words to Kevin. We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to give us this positive review! Cheers!

3. Front Street

Traverse City, MI 49684 +1 231-947-4800
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 783 reviews

Front Street

Reviewed By MichiganFrancophile - Traverse City and Saginaw Michigan

Traverse City Front Street has all that a downtown should have. Easy waking and shopping restaurants and Theatre. Even old opera house with events scheduled throuout the year. Not far from the beach. And summer farmers market

4. Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery

3309 Blue Water Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686-8561 +1 231-223-9303
Excellent
68%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 311 reviews

Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery

Welcome to Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery. Spanning 91 acres, Brys Estate is one of the largest contiguous winery estates on Old Mission Peninsula. Opened in 2005, we're a family-run business that crafts wines from our 58,000 vines planted less than a mile from Lake Michigan. The Brys experience includes an old-world tasting room, unique Upper Deck with Bridge Above the Vines, and a barn-turned-guest house that offers panoramic views of the bay and Old Mission Peninsula.

Reviewed By Timothy D - Holland, Michigan, United States

Brys focuses on the wine and their grounds. It was a great location for tasting because they also involve some education of their processes in the midst of tasting. When done tasting, you can order platters and sit on their porch overlooking the winery. There are also lawn games available. Also, in a different location, they have a small shop. It’s quaint and it also is in a beautiful location.

This winery focuses on relaxation and enjoyment of the grounds.

5. Clinch Park

111 E Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City, MI 49684-2566
Excellent
63%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 184 reviews

Clinch Park

Reviewed By Terri A - Cleveland, Ohio

Waterfront area by the West Arm Grand Traverse Bay is laid out nicely for walkers , runners and boaters. The pathways are paved and run along the shore with rails for safety. You are right next to the water. It's laid out with well manicured park spots, ice cream shop, chairs right on the lake edge, tree lined areas and very clean throughout. Sunrise is pretty here. The marina is big and very well-kept. The water is so clear you can see the bottom! We really enjoyed our morning walks here!

6. Traverse Area District Library

610 Woodmere Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686-3103 +1 231-932-8500
Excellent
89%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 88 reviews

Traverse Area District Library

Reviewed By joe4075 - Traverse City

You can bring your coffee and find a nice spot to work or just read. Internet is almost always reliable here although they do attempt to block some sites. Lot of comfortable seating areas with good light and nice views. The architecture is good too.

7. Chateau Grand Traverse Winery

12239 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686-8558 +1 231-938-6120
Excellent
58%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 194 reviews

Chateau Grand Traverse Winery

One of the first family wineries in Michigan, the O'Keefe family has been producing world-class quality wines on Old Mission Peninsula since 1974. As the pioneers in growing vinifera grapes in northern Michigan, their mission is to create expressive, classic-style wines while incorporating sustainable growing practices in their 125 acres of estate vineyards plus 60 acres under contract. Chateau Grand Traverse continues to define the Michigan wine industry with their award-winning Riesling wines as well as many other styles. The winery is open daily, year-round, offering wine tasting and free wine tours.

Reviewed By brmusicman - Chicago, Illinois

We enjoyed our wine tasting here. The tasting room is at a beautiful spot on the Old Mission Peninsula. The tasting room itself is gorgeous, with a big tasting bar and beautiful wood tones. It's also positioned on a spot with a lovely vista of the surrounding area.

The tasting was affordably priced. We appreciated that you could select from a wide variety of wines and choose the ones that appealed to you.

The gentleman who helped us with our tasting was very, very nice, and he knew his wines. He was anxious to show us a good experience, and it felt welcoming and personalized, even as he occasionally helped another customer. It was nice of him to pour a couple of extra glasses so we could compare, say, two vintages of a Riesling or two kinds of red wine. That made the tasting educational.

It's not the best wine I have ever tasted, but it wasn't horrible, either. They do Rieslings particularly well, and some of the dry white wines showed interesting character. Overall, we really enjoyed our tasting--some decent wines, great service, and a beautiful space and spot.

8. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

1200 W 11th St, Traverse City, MI 49684-3287 +1 231-941-1900
Excellent
60%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 830 reviews

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

Old state asylum that is being renovated into shops, restaurants, wineries, and more...lots to look at, including tons of trails to walk, bike, ski, etc.

Reviewed By SusanC1949 - Hudsonville, Michigan

Joe Kilpatrick was was a great tour guide. He grew up in the area, so was knowledgeable about the history of the Traverse City State Hospital. The best kind of tour guide, who made the already great tour even more interesting.

9. Mission Point Lighthouse

20500 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686-7900 +1 231-223-7324
Excellent
52%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 659 reviews

Mission Point Lighthouse

Reviewed By tennore - Traverse City, Michigan

At the northern tip of Old Mission Peninsula stands the lighthouse on Mission Point. It is well worth the drive starting inTraverse City. . Many visitors come to Old Mission Peninsula on wine tours at the many local vineyards or view cherry blossoms. The drive to the light house provides spectacular views of East and West bay, vineyards and orchards. The lighthouse does not charge an admission and is well.maintained and clean. There is a fee charged to climb up to the top and see the views of west bay and the non working lamp. On the grounds is a log cabin which is also.interesting to view. There is a sandy beach but no amenities except for two pit toilets. Bring your own food and water.

10. Grand Traverse Distillery

781 Industrial Cir, Suite 5, Traverse City, MI 49686-8942 +1 231-947-8635
Excellent
66%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 186 reviews

Grand Traverse Distillery

Grand Traverse Distillery is Michigan's oldest craft distillery and we are family owned. We use 100% locally grown corn, wheat and rye to distill our award winning spirits which include the True North Vodkas [Rye, Wheat, Cherry, Chocolate & Chipotle], Gin, Rum and our Whiskies [Ole George 100% Rye, Bourbon, as well as many small batch specialty ones]. We also offer 100 Proof Michigan White Dog Whiskey We have 5 Tasting Rooms located throughout the state in Traverse City, Frankenmuth, Leland,Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor so you can stop by and have the Grand Traverse Distillery experience and enjoy tastings and cocktails. We also have joint Tasting Rooms with Black Star Farms Winery where you will find both of our products and be able to taste and have a cocktail. Our Main Distillery Tasting Room is open Monday through Saturday 11-a.m. to 5:30-p.m and is closed Sundays. We offer tours 6 days a week at 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm from May 1 through August 31. October 1 through April 30 tours are offered only on Fridays and Saturdays. Cheers, Kent Rabish!

Reviewed By mrhc - Cincinnati

My husband and I went on the tour at the Grand Traverse Distillery. As a non-drinker, I thought it might be a boring hour but wanted my husband to have the experience. Even for a non-drinker, the process of distilling was really interesting. So much...MoreHello Thanks for coming in and your kinds comments to what we do and our staff. Landis and Jason are great with our customers and help people better understand the distilling process and how to enjoy the tastings we offer. Cheers Kent

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