Family Vacations to Traverse City, Michigan

Bikers in Traverse City, Michigan
Bikers in Traverse City (courtesy, Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Nestled at the base of Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City gets its name for the many navigable waterways surrounding the area. A diverse and exciting mix of natural beauty, there's something for everyone at this northern Michigan retreat: shopping and dining opportunities, a thriving arts community, outdoor activities like golf, cross-country skiing and hiking, and opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation at the area's spas and resorts.

A sailboat lover's paradise, Traverse City boasts more tall ships than any other Michigan port. You'll find historically accurate replicas of imposing 18th- and 19th-century sea craft, some of which offer dockside tours and other unique opportunities. One of the ships, The Manitou, serves as both a tour ship and a bed and breakfast. If boating is your thing, you can also rent a variety of boats, from cabin cruisers to Jet Skis, in one of the city's many marinas.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a huge part of the area's lore and natural beauty, and a must-visit attraction. Offering panoramic views of Lake Michigan, miles of pristine freshwater beaches, forested hiking trails, the Manitou Islands, abundant wildlife, and historic farmsteads, it's a serenely beautiful place to get lost for a few hours—or a whole day. It's a bit of a haul outside of the city, about an hour's drive, but well worth the trip.

The Grand Traverse area is referred to as the Cherry Capital of the world for the large number of tart cherries grown in the region. While you're at Sleeping Bear Dunes, make a stop at the world headquarters of Cherry Republic, two miles away in Glen Arbor. Cherry Republic produces over 150 gourmet food products made from locally-grown cherries, from cherry salsa to cherry barbeque sauce. Kids especially love the Cherry Bakery and Café, offering 12 different cherry-themed ice cream flavors and fresh baked goods like, of course, true cherry pie. Or stop into the Cherry Winery and sample a glass of cherry wine, while kids sip on a BoomChuggaLugga Cherry Soda Pop.

When you or your kids have had your fill of shopping, eating, and outdoor fun, head to one of the area's resorts for some relaxing indoor fun. The Great Wolf Lodge is home to an indoor water park, open to hotel guests only; while the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa offers children's activities to keep the kids busy while their parents enjoy a massage or round of golf.


Published: 18 Feb 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Traverse City

$246
Average/night*
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  

#1
Cambria Suites Traverse City
$89-$99
Average/night*
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  

#2
Grand Beach Resort
$215
Average/night*
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  
    •  

#3
Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City

advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »