PSA: You need to add Traverse City to your travel bucket list ASAP. This urban, yet laid back city is nestled on the shores of Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. It truly has something to offer everyone throughout every season of the year. A sprinkle of historic charm gives Traverse City its unforgettable personality, making it a true treasure of the Midwest. An excellent destination to both settle in and unwind, or get out and explore. With that in mind, we rounded up the ultimate guide for your charming weekend in Michigan, so that all you need to do is hop on the next flight out!
Where to stay
The DELAMAR Hotel Traverse City
A beauty to admire both inside and out – DELAMAR Traverse City is a full service hotel on the West Bay of Lake Michigan. It is also walking distance to downtown Traverse City in Northwest Michigan. The iconic property was originally built in 1968. It is well known among generations of locals and visitors for their guest rooms with stunning overwater views, mid century decor and a beachfront patio, home to the city’s best live entertainment!
Images by @aubreydela
The rooms are spacious and so beautiful! We felt right at home with more than enough room in our spacious suite which included its own separate living room, guest bathroom and dining table.
Waking up with coffee every morning was the best treat with an in room coffee and tea maker in our kitchenette. It was very natural for us to feel cozy and ‘at home’ during our charming weekend in Michigan.
Their Bistro and Artisan dining options are to-die-for. It has promising food options for every palette and craving. Plus, they both have an amazing atmosphere to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort.
Traverse City, Michigan offers an endless array of outdoor recreation, shopping, dining, and activities for visitors of all ages. With so much to see and experience during your stay, below are a just a few of our stops that we fell in love with during our charming weekend in Michigan!
Downtown Traverse City
Experience one of the most charming downtown areas in America – Traverse City. A short 10-minute walk from DELAMAR, Downtown Traverse City offers many shopping, dining, and entertainment options to choose (more details on our favorites as you read on).
Water activities on the bay
Just a few steps outside of the hotel will take you to plenty of waterfront rental options. When the season is right, you can take a boat ride, rent a kayak or paddleboard and so much more on the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan!
Traverse Area Recreation Trail
This is a popular 10.5 mile trail amongst snowshoers, runners, and cross-country skiers. The Traverse Area Recreation Trail (TART) is a paved, non-motorized trail in Michigan. Part of U.S. Bicycle Route 35, the TART runs parallel to the lakeshore in certain parts, as well as, right by the Traverse City State Park, offering patrons a variety of beautiful scenery.
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
Enjoy local art galleries, antique shops and eateries at The Village Grand Traverse Commons. This renovated 19th century castle-like building is surrounded by lush wooded property and offers guided tours along with their unique retail options.
Sleeping Bear Dunes
Named “The Most Beautiful Place in America” by ABC’s Good Morning America, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located about 25 miles west of Traverse City. Originally formed by glaciers, the Sleeping Bear Dunes are a breathtaking, historic landmark in Northern Michigan that offer some of the most beautiful views of Lake Michigan. Pack a picnic lunch complete with apple cider donuts and a local bottle of wine!
With more than 40 wineries in the region, Traverse City is the ultimate place to diversify your vino palette. Many vineyards have on-site hiking trails too!
Crystal Mountain Ski Resort
Nestled in the heart of Benzie county, a scenic day trip from Traverse City will take you to the Midwest’s premier ski resort, Crystal Mountain! This stop is ideal for autumn and winter travels, offering beautiful gondola rides and routes for beginner to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Where to Eat
For something savory
Artisan Restaurant and Tavern
The Artisan at DELAMAR is a dining destination in and of itself. It offers a Great Lakes inspired menu that reflects the rhythm of the seasons with local seafood, farm fresh fare and home made pastries.
The Flying Noodle Front Street
An Italian pasta house and bar in the heart of Traverse City’s downtown neighborhood. THis spot is perfect for a foodie that’s craving some hearty carbs and delicious bread.
Iron Fish Distillery
A short day trip away from the city will take you to the charming town of Thompsonville, Michigan. Thompsonville is home to the best mom-and-pop eateries and beautifully historic neighborhoods. The Iron Fish Distillery, located along the Betsie River watershed, is Michigan’s first farm distillery growing grain and distilling spirits, and barrel finishing sourced whiskey!
Over 100,000 guests make their way to this agricultural destination that was reborn on a long-time abandoned 120-acre farm. Enjoy a tour or order a flight of some of their house made drinks during your visit!
For something sweet
Brew Front St
This is the sweetest little coffee shop on Front Street! Stop by to choose from a wide variety of delicious beverages or pick up a light meal including grilled sandwiches, soups, salads and more. Don’t forget to try their pastries!
Milk and Honey
This inviting and colorful ice cream parlor whips up creative cones with local ingredients and handmade ice cream. The perfect post-dinner sweet treat, in our opinion.
Image by David L. Barber
Known for its phenomenal homemade pies and jams, this renowned restaurant and bakery is more than worth the short day trip from Traverse City, we promise. Since first opening as a roadside pie stand in 1922, The Cherry Hut has served more than 1 million pies and counting! And the menu doesn’t stop at just cherry pies either. You’ll definitely want to pay a visit and discover the myriad of delicious cherry menu items as well as novelty collectibles. Some of those featuring their infamous happy “Cherry Jerry” mascot!
So, what do you say? The only time we will tell you to stop reading, is to book your flight ASAP! Make sure you tag your getaway photos with #everydayIBT to show us what you see during your charming weekend in Michigan!