Traverse City, Michigan

 


 

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Places: Traverse City, Michigan

Traverse City is located at the southern tip of the western arm of Grand Traverse Bay. We were in Traverse City during August 2007 and stayed at Duncan L. Clinch municipal marina. The marina has nice floating docks, wide fairways, and very nice facilities. In our opinion, it was one of the best (if not the best) we visited during our 2007 trip.

Traverse City has done a great job of keeping the waterfront accessible to the public. There's much parkland with jogging and biking trails, picnic tables and public beaches. The marina is located within a large open park area and there is a small public zoo (which unfortunately seemed to be permanently closed when we were there), right beside the marina. However, the small steam train still runs around the zoo, and it appeared to be a favorite with families and small kids.

Traverse City is a good "destination" port. It has a vibrant downtown area with many shops and restaurants, and interesting neighborhoods of Victorian houses. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is also worth a visit. It's on the grounds of the old Northern Michigan Asylum and is being redeveloped as mixed residential/commercial. Very interesting buildings in the middle of some beautiful grounds. There was a farmer's market there when we visited.

The Grand Traverse area is known for it's wineries and orchards. We biked to several of them including Black Star Farms. It wasn't an easy bike ride though. While the Traverse City section of the TART Trail is paved and very easy riding (and passes in front of the Marina), the Leelanau Trail, which runs north along the western side of Grand Traverse Bay to Suttons's Bay, can be pretty rough riding. 

A decent mountain bike handles it well, though, and the scenery definitely made it worth the effort.

While in Traverse City, we also stopped at the Grand Traverse Heritage Center. It contained many interesting exhibits about the area including an old diver's suit (in case there's any confusion, it's the one behind the glass case) shown here. We definitely recommend it.

Because of the large variety of sights, amenities and activities, Traverse City ranks very high on our list of "we want to stop there again" ports and we are looking forward to returning.

After our 2007 visit to Traverse City, our next stop was Charlevoix.




 

 

Blog entries from 2007:

Northport to Traverse City
Traverse City - Farmer's Market Heaven
Traverse City Wineries
Traverse City
Heading off to Charlevoix


NOAA Online Charts:

14913
14902

 

General Info about Traverse City:

Wikipedia entry
Chamber of Commerce

 


Thumbs up:

Two thumbs up for Duncan Clinch marina possibly the nicest public facility we visited in 2007.

The bayfront parks are really open and expansive, and the train is cute. Great bike trails take you to wineries, orchards and scenic settings. Traverse City has the best Farmer's Market that we've seen in western Michigan.

Great shops and restaurants with a local flavor. Ice cream counter at the Cherry Stop and local beer at the Mackinaw Brewing Company.

Beautiful neighborhoods of Victorian houses and the Heritage Center.