Traverse City Travel Guide
Traverse City Travel Guide
In early December, my husband and I were out to dinner with friends and sharing stories about how we normally end up staying home on NYE and typically don’t make it until midnight. None of us love the idea of paying a lot of money to get into a crowded bar filled with strangers. Maybe we’re old...or maybe we prefer to spend our precious free time with the people we love the most in atmospheres where we can have conversations without shouting (yeah, you’re right, we’re old.) Because of this mutual feeling, I convinced (it wasn’t that hard) everyone to rent an AirBnb together for a few days in Traverse City; we all love the area and have visited several times.
Traverse City is beautiful and there are plenty of things to do, see, eat and drink. We tried some new things and revisited some old favorites while on this most recent trip. Here’s what I think you should consider when wandering to Michigan’s most famous Cherry City.
We tried out the Snowshoe, Wine and Brew event hosted by Jolly Pumpkin. While there wasn’t enough snow to snowshoe, hiking was just fine with us. You visit two wineries and end back at Jolly Pumpkin and get five tastings at each of the three locations included in your ticket price. When you purchase your tickets, you schedule a time to take the TC Brew Bus from Jolly Pumpkin to Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. Once you enjoy your tastings at Brys, you head to Bowers Harbor Vineyard by following blue stakes in the ground about every 30 feet or so. Then from Bowers Harbor Vineyard, you hike or snowshoe back to Jolly Pumpkin. It’s only ¾ of a mile walk from Brys to Bowers Harbor and ⅓ of a mile from Bowers Harbor to Jolly Pumpkin, so I think this excursion is accessible to most. We had a blast and the sun even came out!
The following day, we hiked to the Hippie Tree. Large, wet snowflakes were falling from the sky on the morning that we decided to take this journey but we are all seasoned Michiganders and it didn’t bother us. There are multiple routes and other sites to see along the trails in the Old State Hospital grounds. I’d recommend you take your time and spend a few hours wandering through the woods. Connecting with nature and myself in the process is something I never regret.
There are so many good restaurants in Traverse City and we usually never have enough time to try all of them. Due to the NYE and New Years Day holidays, a lot of places were closed. We enjoyed breakfast at Bubba’s and Patisserie Amie. In the evenings, we indulged at Trattoria Stella and Sorrelina and I would highly recommend all of them.
Obviously Traverse City is known for their wineries but they are also known for their breweries and cideries as well. In addition to the snowshoe tour, we also visited Earthen Ales and Left Foot Charley. We didn’t make it to many of our favorite spots during this last visit but they still deserve a mention: Tandem Ciders, L. Mawby, Suttons Bay Ciders (incredible view), Two Lads, Workshop, and Hop Lot Brewery.
There are so many good AirBnb’s in Traverse City and if you’re travelling with others, it can be really affordable. We stayed at the Wren House, a beautifully decorated 3 bedroom home with a charming quirkiness that was nestled in a secluded wooded area. It was only 10 minutes to downtown Traverse City making for a quick drive or affordable Uber fare (just be mindful of those NYE upcharges!)
Where are your favorite spots in Traverse City?
My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.
I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.
My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.
Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer