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10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Traverse City

Best Places to Visit in Traverse City

Located on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Traverse City is a haven for foodies, wine lovers, and outdoor adventurers. Wake up every day with options ranging from exploring the stunning downtown to adventure to one of the many extraordinary wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Traverse Bay is so named because of its location in the center of Grand Traverse Bay. On the right is the said peninsula, but in the other direction, you will find the Rilanau Peninsula. Endless hiking and biking trails take you deep into the forest before taking in beautiful coastal views.

Whether you’re getting into nature or exploring Traverse City’s activities, its tranquil beaches will greet you on your return. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Traverse City and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Traverse City

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Traverse City:

1. Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery

With plenty of sunshine and a cool climate, Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery can produce outstanding falls. The family-run winery is located on a historic farm and the 19th-century farmhouse has been converted into a charming tasting room.

After choosing the wine of your choice, take a stroll upstairs where you can browse the magnificent wineries and Grand Traverse Bay. Guests will also have the opportunity to hike along a nearby trail to a higher windswept viewing platform. Afterward, head back to the old farmhouse for some delicious cheeses that pair perfectly with the vineyard’s wines.

2. Traverse Area Recreation Trail

The Traverse Area Recreation Trail, or TART for short, is one of the best ways to explore the area. The trail stretches for 60 miles along the Leelanau Peninsula and showcases the stunning coastline in all its glory.

TART connects many small roads that provide a natural way to get from A to B. The longest of the eight individual trails is the 27-mile Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. This connects Traverse City to its famous coastline and several other parks nearby.

Other popular trails include the 17 miles of hiking and biking trails that connect the town to stunning Suttons Bay. As the VASA trail leads into the state forest, visitors can explore the adventurous terrain on mountain bikes in the summer and snowshoes in the winter.

3. Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Overlooking the pristine Grand Traverse Bay, Bowers Harbor Vineyards is a beautiful family winery. You can go somewhere peaceful along the Old Mission Peninsula. Upon arrival, rows of vines will lead you to the tasting room.

You will enjoy the panoramic view overlooking the winery and taste some of the best wines in Port Powers. The winery’s cool climate is ideal for producing great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Riesling. Taste their award-winning reds, whites and sparkling wines with nothing but the rattle of the glass and the rustle of leaves.

4. Clinch Park

Just steps from what’s downtown, Traverse City has its beautiful waterfront. The heart of this part of town is scenic Clinch Park. When the sun goes down, locals flock to the wide white sand beach to sunbathe and take a dip in the refreshing waters of Lake Michigan under the watchful eye of lifeguards.

In addition to the beach, visitors will find a variety of modern amenities such as picnic tables, snack shelters, and bathrooms. You can rent water sports, including canoes, to go out to sea. The park is full of hiking and biking trails and offers stunning views of the nearby waters. In the summer, evening concerts give you plenty of reasons to stay after sunset.

5. Dennos Museum Center

To promote art and culture, travelers should head to the Danos Museum Center. The Center is a prestigious institution and is part of Northwestern Michigan College. This is an amazing art gallery displaying a collection of works from the last 250 years.

The 3,000 works of art on display come from a variety of genres, including textiles, portraits and sculptures. However, what gives the Danos Museum Center its reputation is its diverse collection of Inuit art on Canada’s Baffin Island, which makes up more than half of the museum.

In addition to Inuit art, you can also explore the Canadian Woodland Indians exhibit. Other highlights include the expanded art collection of the famous Jozsef Domjan. The center also hosts regular events and seminars.

6. Downtown Traverse City

Despite its size, the heart of Traverse City is exciting. Old streets are what you want to see in a beloved town. Wander along quaint roads with utility poles, shady trees and endless shops. Along the way, you’ll discover mouthwatering local cuisine, boutiques, galleries and vibrant culture.

Start your exploration on Front Street, where you can find cozy cafes and bakeries for an early morning snack. Wander through independent stores such as West Bay Artisan and savor great marshmallows at Kilwin’s.

Downtown also hosts the Sara Hardy Farmers Market and Traverse City Opera House on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

7. Mission Point Lighthouse

Head along the scenic Old Mission Peninsula to Cape Mission Lighthouse. From 1870 to 1933, the historic lighthouse guided weary sailors through the mists of Lake Michigan before it became automatic. Even when working, the beautiful location attracts visitors from all directions. Today, the lighthouse’s appeal has not diminished.

Now a National Historic Site, you can climb the many stairs to the top of the Mission Point Lighthouse for incredible views. Afterward, stroll to the nearby beach or explore the old wooden houses built long before the lighthouse was opened for use. There is beautiful nature surrounding Mission Point, with paths winding through pine and hemlock trees.

8. Grand Traverse Village

Once a public hospital and local refuge, Grand Traverse Village has become a popular destination for locals and travelers alike. After facing obsolescence, historic buildings have been retained not only to preserve history but also to preserve stunning architecture.

The old shelter is a particularly large structure. It is designed to assist hospitalized patients. The patients were also served fine Chinese food, and each room was decorated with flowers. Today, you can explore the village and its historic buildings on a guided tour. It is also a popular spot for picnics because of its lush lawns. Then explore the hiking and biking trails along Kid’s Creek.

9. Chateau Chantal Winery

Famous for its ice wine, Chateau Chantal Winery is both a beautiful place to explore and a great place to taste wine. This stunning castle is located on the shore of the Old Mission Peninsula, north of Traverse City.

Start your experience with an ice wine tasting made from harvested frozen grapes. Before exploring the region and grape varieties in the spacious tasting rooms. Afterward, explore its vast grounds and enjoy stunning views of the lakeside, vineyards, and European-style castles.

The winery hosts live jazz every Thursday night and stay at sunset. The winery also offers cooking classes and workshops.

10. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore sits 400 feet above the azure sea of ‚Äč‚ÄčLake Michigan and makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. Lakeshore is a wonderful place and one of the most underrated places in America. Dunes are located about 30 minutes west of Traverse City.

The sleeping bear gets its name from a local Native American tribe, the Anishinaabe. As part of their legend, the two offshore islands are eternally sleeping cubs with their mothers lying on the dunes watching them.

Climb the high dunes to explore the stunning lakeshore or explore along Pyramid Point, which offers unforgettable views. Finally, visit the charming village of Glenhaven, a place largely untouched by the passage of time.


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Traverse City. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Traverse City, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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