Nicknamed the “Cherry Capital of the World”, Traverse City lies on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. It’s a great base for exploring the immense dunes at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, as well as the wineries and cellar doors of the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas.
Things to do in Traverse City
Want to sample local cherries? Head to the Evergreen Market, which showcases Michigan-made goods and locally-grown produce. Fresh cherries are available in-season, while dried cherries, cherry jams and homemade cherry pies are on sale throughout the year.
If you’re interested in Inuit culture, visit the Dennos Museum Center, which features an impressive Inuit art collection. Sculptural works by international and Michigan-based artists are showcased throughout the museum and there’s a hands-on Discovery Gallery exploring themes of music, light and colour.
You can explore the Music House Museum, where rare antique musical instruments and music-making machines are on display. The collection dates from the late-18th century to 1950 and includes musical boxes, early radio equipment and interactive instruments.
The Old Mission Peninsula extends to the north of Traverse City, splitting the Grand Traverse Bay in two, and is home to the historic Old Mission Point Lighthouse. Built in 1870, it famously stands just south of the 45th parallel north, which is halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.
Getting around Traverse City
Cherry Capital Airport is 15 minutes’ drive from Traverse City and regular buses make the 2.5-hour journey to Grand Rapids. Buses also access most areas of Traverse City, while the downtown area is compact enough to explore on foot.